OpenGov Hack Night: IDES and Sunlight Foundation

Here’s this week’s recap of OpenGov Hack Night Chicago:

This week we live streamed the presentations due to the weather and the CTA Brown line trains not running through the loop.

This week’s first presentation: The Illinois Department of Employment Security and

Gideon Blustein from the Illinois Department of Employment Security dropped by the OpenGov Hack night to talk about employment data available on IllinoisJobLink. IllinoisJobLink is the State of Illinois’ job board designed to help match employers and job seekers.

The Illinois Employment of Employment Security publishes real time labor market information on hiring trends, salary trends, job seeker characteristics, and current labor availability.

The department is currently open to releasing data in new ways or new reports if possible. Currently, the department also released a limited number of reports on the state’s data portal.

People who are interested in working with this kind of data are encouraged to attend our open gov hack nights.

This week’s second presentation: The Sunlight Foundation and local government transparency

The Sunlight Foundation is a non-profit non-partisan organization dedicated to making government more transparent. Previously, the Sunlight Foundation mainly focused on federal transparency. This resulted in reports on government spending, APIs that help automate reports on government spending, lobbying funds, and congressional action, as well as cool apps like Inbox Influence, Scout, and other transparency tools.
This year, the Sunlight Foundation received a $2.1 million dollar grant from to help fund transparecy efforts at the municipal level.

In order to get a better idea on how this can be accomplished, the Sunlight Foundation is visiting Chicago and other cities to see what work has been done in this area locally.

Part of this work includes building a living document of open data policy guidelines. This Sunlight Foundation would like to see the open data community get involved in helping to craft these guidelines. Where do we need to expand these guidelines? Where do we need case studies? What fits and what doesn’t? What do you need to work better?

If you’re interested in helping Sunlight with this effort, feel free email the Sunlight Foundation at

Next week’s OpenGov Hack Night will be March 12th at 6:00pm at 1871 Chicago. You can RSVP here.