About the 180° Project
Ever wonder who's influencing the laws passed in Washington that affect us all? Very often, you can get an inside glimpse simply by knowing who attends political fundraisers, congressional hearings or other similar events held by Congress to solicit outside input on the bills they draft. Unfortunately, this is typically hard to do, since current transparency rules do not require public disclosure of this kind of activity.
The Sunlight Foundation's 180° Project aims to empower Americans to know who has access by posting photos of attendees on this site and crowdsourcing their identification. For 180° Project site users, the task is as easy as tagging a photo with the name of the VIP. Sunlight takes that as a jumping stone to verify the attendee's identification and also further investigate their policy influence by matching them to other government data on a full range of issues.
We take inspiration from NPR's Dollar Politics team, who first experimented with turning their cameras 180° during a hearing on health care reform to focus not on who was speaking at the hearing, but instead on who attended.
We believe that knowing who's in the room is the first step toward connecting the dots on who's working to influence the laws being written in Washington.