PlaceGov agencyDateDescriptionCase study, blog post, press release, news article etc.Community advocacy group(s) involvedCrowdlaw toolPolicy draft with public commentsOfficial policyPolicy on OpenDataPolicies.orgPolicy statusNotes
Cook County, ILCounty GovApr 2011In April 2011, President Preckwinkle and Commissioner Fritchey introduced a “Cook County Open Government Ordinance” designed to “increase transparency, accountability, and informed public participation” in Cook County. The ordinance, which passed the Board unanimously in May, requires Cook County agencies and elected officials to prepare open government plans, to develop data catalogs, and to post at least three “high value” datasets for the County website.

More simply annotated by Cook County's civic tech partner (and client) Smart Chicago Collaborative than truly collaboratively drafted, SCC use of RapGenius (now, simply Genius), to add context and feedback to an (open data) public policy, was an important step toward open data policy cocreation.
Smart Chicago CollaborativeGenius
Seems to have been annotated AFTER adoption (so technically not an example of online collabortive drafting, but still a good demonstration of online collaborative feedback on open data policy)
New York, NYCity HallMar 2012New York City adopts local law 11, accompanying this open data policy with a technical standards manual released in a policy wiki. The wiki is later migrated to a GitHub page with Disqus comments enabled and a “Suggest feedback” button inviting public participation and edits in (see “Providing Your Feedback”).Media Wiki
San Diego, CACity HallApr 2013In a project jointly organized by Open San Diego, Code for San Diego, the San Diego Regional library and others,San Diego‘s draft open data plan is posted on GitHub. The repository is described in the readme file as “a place to collaboratively edit a proposed Open Data Policy for adoption by the San Diego City Council or Mayor and by Cities and other legislative bodies or executives in the Region.” Feedback is encouraged through GitHub itself (“Pull Requests Welcome!”).Open San DiegoGitHub
San Diego Regional Data Library
Cambridge, MACity HallJul 2013In Cambridge, Mass., Councilmember Leland Cheung works with Code for Boston, city officials from both Cambridge and Boston, and other community members to gather feedback at a committee meeting. This is then incorporated into a draft open data policy shared online in a public Google Doc to solicit feedback.
Code for BostonGoogle Docs
Oakland, CACity HallAug 2013Steve Spiker of the Urban Strategies Council and Oakland (then) Councilmember (now Mayor) Libby Schaaf use an open Google Doc at a community meeting to compile notes and ideas as well as accept comments and suggestions to put together a document that would lead to the city’s open data policy, adopted by the Oakland City Council in October 2013.
Urban Strategies CouncilGoogle Docs
Sunlight Foundation
San Francisco, CACity HallSep 2013San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell puts a draft amendment to the city’s existing open data ordinanceon GitHub. Farrell invites public contributions to the policy via the issues queue.GitHub
Pittsburgh, PACity HallJan 2014Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Councilmember Natalia Rudiack introduce an open data ordinance for consideration by the City Council, but also invite residents and stakeholders to review and propose changes to the draftlegislation posted online as a public Google Doc in comment mode. The draft receives over 100 comments and suggestions, many of which make their way into the final version of the ordinance, adopted on March 11, 2014.
Open PittsburghGoogle Docs
University of Pittsburgh University Center for Social and Urban Research
Sunlight Foundation
Chattanooga, TNCity HallFeb 2014Chattanooga, Tenn., uses GitHub to post and receive feedback on a draft open data policy previously developed by Open Chattanooga. All in all, there were 48 commits, 14 pull requests and 13 issues closed before mayor Andy Berke signed a refined open data executive order in June.Open ChattanoogaGitHub
Boston, MACity HallApr 2014Boston Mayor Marty Walsh issues an executive order authorizing and directing the CIO to issue an open data policy and also directing and authorizing “regular consult with experts, thought leaders and key stakeholders for the purpose of exploring options for the implementation of policies and practices” related to open data. Interim Boston CIO Justin Holms posts a draft policy on an open Google Doc in comment mode and the city invites feedback from stakeholders and the public.Google Docs
Birmingham, ALn/aNov 2014Code for Birmingham held a brainstorming session on November 26, 2014 with the following blog post:
"The purpose of the brainstorming session was to collect ideas and discuss issues around the technical issues of providing an open data platform for the city of Birmingham. We took the more technical bullet points of the Sunlight Foundation guidelines as a starting point." and on 9/10/14 put together a draft open data policy.

The result was brainstrom notes in a shared google doc as well as an open data policy draft shared online for feedback.
Code for Birmingham;Google Docs
Innovation Depot
Washington, DCDistrict GovJan 2016Washington, D.C.’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer posts a “draft open data policy” on, a Madison instance, allowing for annotation and discussion from the public. The draft received 145 comments and 169 annotations from 37 participants before closing for comment at the end of February. Madison
Washington, DCDistrict GovJan 2016Councilman David Grosso also posted his Strengthening Transparency and Open Access to Government Amendment Act of 2016, which includes provision for open data on
Las Vegas, NVCity HallMar 2016Las Vegas is continuing this trend with the support of the Sunlight Foundation as part of the What Works Cities initiative: The city has recently posted a draft version of its open data policy on Google Docs, seeking public comments until Monday, March 14. Engaging open data users and the community at large were specific goals for the city’s policy update, because they are also goals for the open data program. By putting the draft policy in the public’s hands and utilizing this crowdlaw approach, city officials are receiving first-hand feedback about what its citizens truly want out of Las Vegas’ open data efforts. And remember to check it out soon — the city is accepting feedback until Monday.
Sunlight Foundation / What Works Cities
Google Docs; Google Form
Washington, DCDistrict GovSep 2016The City applied a majority of Sunlight's best practices in its draft a data policy.
Wichita, KSCity HallJune2016Wichita City Manager Robert Layton and Chief Information Officer Mike Mayata led a cross-functional, collaborative effort with our local Code for America brigade, Open Wichita, as we developed the policy. Our conversations have clarified ways we can make municipal data most accessible for our local civic tech community as it creates tools and solutions that help tackle city challenges.

Additionally, the city published a draft of the policy online using free software from the OpenGov Foundation called Madison. Madison is an online environment that allows for annotating, commenting on, and editing various documents. By sharing the draft policy with the public and calling for feedback, we were able to hear directly from our residents how we could further develop it. More than 120 notes were received on the draft (which is still viewable today) over several months. The policy was then redrafted into a format that met our administrative regulations and signed by the City Manager on September 8, 2016.
Open WichitaMadison
OpenGov Foundation
Sunlight Foundation / What Works Cites
Naperville, ILCity HallOct 2016Rogers is excited about the experimental approach the city is taking by using the OpenGov Foundation’s Madison as a tool to seek public feedback on the policy. Madison provides an easy interface for the public to incorporate comments and interact with legislation and laws that they may not otherwise have access to. This approach allows for the city to broaden their outreach and learn from outside experts. “We’re broadcasting to a much wider network than we would otherwise,” said Rogers.

“When government reflects the views of the people, democracy works,” said Seamus Kraft, executive director of the OpenGov Foundation, which leads the open source development of Madison. He continued:

That’s what Madison and the What Works Cities program are all about. We are excited to deepen our collaboration with the Sunlight Foundation here, growing from Open Data Policies Decoded to helping communities like Naperville craft smarter open data policies. Imagine if all 40 What Works Cities followed Naperville’s example, governing better, together with its residents and Madison? That’s the world we’re all striving to create.
Sunlight Foundation / What Works CitesMadison
San Francisco Bay Area, CABay Area Rapid Transit (BART)Oct 2016Public agencies around the world have adopted Open Data policies to increase transparency and access to public data, grow citizen engagement and increase staff productivity. As part of the District’s continued commitment to those goals, an Open Data policy has been drafted to guide the release of public data in the future. We encourage you to review this draft policy and provide your comments below.

Visit our page on Madison to read BART’s Draft Open Data policy, vote on it and leave feedback about changes you’d like to see. Madison, a project by The OpenGov Foundation in collaboration with the Sunlight Foundation and What Works Cities.
Sunlight FoundationMadison
OpenGov Foundation
Buffalo, NYCity HallJan 2017The policy can be viewed at or via the City of Buffalo website at There is an Open Data Buffalo button on the City’s website which takes participants directly to the draft policy. After a brief and simple sign up, they be able to do five things: read the document; let the City know whether they support or oppose the document; leave a comment on the policy or open data, in general; highlight a bit of text and leave a note on that specific text; and respond to other people’s notes, starting a dialogue about a specific passage.
Sunlight Foundation / What Works CitiesMadison
Awaiting approval
Syracuse, NYCity HallApr 2017Sunlight advised the city on its open data policy through WWC. Policy remained on Madison for 2 weeks
Sunlight Foundation / What Works CitiesMadison
Open Syracuse
Nashville, TNCity HallMay 2017Through its engagement with What Works Cities, Metro Nashville Government has been working with Sunlight Foundation and Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Government Excellence to revise Metro’s Open Data Policy.
This policy review is the first in series of efforts designed to catalyze Metro’s digital evolution, to reinvigorate Metro’s Open Data program and portal, and to align Metro data-related policies, practices and activities with national best practices.

The Open Data Policy review will allow a variety of constituents and communities to provide input and share their insights into how and how well Metro’s open data policy facilitates public access to Metro public data assets, and into how Metro public data assets could and should be used.
Sunlight Foundation / Johns Hopkins GovEx / What Works Cities;
Code for Nashville
Awaiting approval
Tempe, AZCity HallMay 2017Tempe worked closely with Sunlight and the Center for Government Excellence at JHU through the What Works Cities Initiative to develop an open data policy and establish good open data governance. Early on in their engagement, Tempe passed a council resolution that included the broad strokes of what would later be posted online as an administrative regulation detailing the plan and goals for Tempe's open data program. Tempe used google docs to facilitate public comments and ended up receiving a majority of feedback on the policy via email response.
Sunlight Foundation / What Works Cities;
Google Docs
Glendale, AZCity HallMay 2017Sunlight advised the City on its open data policy through What Works Cities. The policy remained available for public comment for 2 weeks. Sunlight Foundation / What Works Cities;
Durham, NCCity HallAug 2017The City and County of Durham, NC, worked with the Sunlight Foundation to review and update their exisiting open data policy, as part of an effort to ensure that it was employing current best practices. Durham found that public opinion could play a crucial role in improving the policy in a way that accounts for the needs of residents. Durham's draft policy was posted on Madison, with comments being received until June 21, 2017
Sunlight Foundation / What Works Cities;
Tyler, TXCity HallIn the course of our engagement with Tyler, TX, the city wanted to get feedback from stakeholders within and outside city government. The city couched the open data policy as a wider data policy to reflect the culture change it was seeking to implement through the policy. Comments were open for 10 days and the feedback was overall poisitve, with a focus on clarifying certain terms and questions about what this would mean once the policy is in place. Sunlight Foundation/What Works CitiesMadison
Awaiting approval
Norfolk, VACity HallJul 2017Norfolk worked closely with Sunlight and the Center for Government Excellence at JHU through the What Works Cities Initiative to develop an open data policy and establish good open data governance. Norfolk crowdsourced feedback on their city council ordinance through the Peak Democracy platform a week before it was set to be voted on by city council. The policy uses 31 out of 31 best practices recommended by the Sunlight Foundation.
Sunlight Foundation/What Works Cities
Peak Democracy
Arlington, TXCity HallOct 2017Arlington worked with the Sunlight Foundation to develop a council resolution and post the draft resolution online for public feedback. Through the course of the crowdlaw process Arlington strengthened relationships with the community to improve opportunities for collaboration in the future.
Sunlight Foundation/What Works CitiesMadison
Memphis, TNIn collaboration with Sunlight, Memphis posted their draft policy online using Madison for a month ending on Oct. 31, 2017. During that period Sunlight also conducted interviews with local stakeholder, to get their suggestions for the policy and the open data proram in general. From these inputs Sunlight was able to distill a set of recommendations that the city will use to help shape initial outreach and the future program. Sunlight Foundation/What Works CitiesMadison
Feedback ongoing
Sioux Falls, SDCity HallNov 2017Sioux Falls worked with the Sunlight Foundation through the What Works Cities partnership to develop an open data policy to be approved by the Department of Central Services. The policy was posted online to gather public commentary.
Sunlight Foundation/What Works CitiesMadison
Awaiting approval
Baton Rouge, LACity HallNov 2017Baton Rouge worked with the Sunlight Foundation through the What Works Cities partnership to develop an council resolution to be passed on December 13. The policy was posted on Madison to gather public commentary. The Sunlight Foundation conducted interviews with key policy stakeholders to find opportunities for the use of open data after the policy's implementation.
Sunlight Foundation/What Works CitiesMadison
Feedback ongoing
Colorado Springs, CO
Granicus SpeakUp
Feedback ongoing
Irving, TXDrafted