Dispatch From The White House Hackathon

White House - We The People Logo

This past week, our very own Mo Jangda, WordPress.com VIP Lead Developer, along with Carl Danley and Christopher Cochran from 10UP (WordPress.com VIP Featured Service Partners) participated in We the People‘s second White House Hackathon. They were chosen to attend with the goal of building a plugin that allows WordPress users to install a petition tool that connects directly, via API, to the White House’s We the People platform. For those who aren’t familiar, you can learn more about We the People from the White House’s website:

Carl at 10UP published a blog post detailing the events of the day. Below are some key excerpts (you can read the full blog post here):

The event is an open-ended civic hack day where developers of all stripes from across the United States are invited to create applications in languages like Python and JavaScript. The purpose of the event was to create resources for websites, smartphones and other platforms that build on We the People.

The entire experience was incredible. Located in the EEOB, we worked alongside employees from organizations like NASA, Google, and Github. Alongside these fellow developers, we spent June 1 hacking on the We the People API, building public, ready-to-launch applications, with the intention to make them available at the end of the day.

Christopher, Mo, and I built a WordPress plugin called WP the People, which enables WordPress publishers to embed petitions within their sites. The plugin offers three unique views:

  • Basic petition view shows the petition information, signatures, and a progress bar.
  • Geographical view shows who signed the petition based on their location within the United States.
  • Timeline view shows the petition’s progress, deadlines, and when it met signature milestones. Anyone who uses this view can choose between vertical or horizontal orientation.

We focused on making this plugin extensible, so other developers can build additional petition views.

Joining Christopher, Carl and Mo was Steve Grunwell from Buckeye Interactive who built his own WordPress plugin, We The People WordPress plugin, which is already live in the WordPress plugin directory. You can read more about Steve’s experience here.

As Carl notes in his post, this plugin isn’t live yet, but we’re working on it and will post an update as soon as it’s ready to use. Our team will continue to work closely with the White House as they extend their API’s so that millions of WordPress publishers will have the ability to leverage their readers to help petition the power brokers in Washington on important issues that matter to them. Thanks to Mo and the team from 10UP for their exceptional work on behalf of a more open, more powerful democracy and web. Here are some pictures from the White House (courtesy of Mo):

Macon Phillips, who is the White House Director of New Media at the White House posted this Vine video – it’s a cool little snapshot of the hackathon in progress.

One thought on “Dispatch From The White House Hackathon

  1. I do hope that this plug in will be free and easy to use. I am blind and sometimes this is a problem for me. Did you all hear about the President vetoing the easy of acccess treaty for use of printed materials to be made accessible to the blind via e-readers and audio? Just curious.

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