Who We Are

The Free Law Founders is a nationwide effort of people seeking to improve how we access, produce and maintain the most important public information in America — our laws, legislation and legal codes. From San Francisco to New York City, we're coming together to tackle this challenge with technology: creating the modern tools and democratic data standards our city and state governments need to serve citizens efficiently, effectively and accountably. Here are some of the Free Law Founders who have accepted this challenge.
Ben Kallos Council Member New York City, New York Coalition Co-Founder

At the beginning of his career in public service, Ben Kallos put Albany voting records online so New Yorkers could hold politicians accountable. Since then, he has run a government reform organization that helped defeat a corrupt politician and has served as Policy Director for former Public Advocate Mark Green. Council Member Kallos serves as Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations of the City Council, where he has fought to bring reform and transparency to government agencies. Praised by the New York Times for his "fresh ideas," Council Member Kallos has advocated for improving our schools, senior services and transportation.

Council Member Kallos graduated from Bronx Science, SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo Law School. He has a background in law, working as a union-side labor attorney, as well as technology and government and has served as a member of Community Board 8 and Statewide Committee Chair for the New York Democratic Lawyers Council. He and his wife reside on the East Side, where he has lived his entire life.


Mark Farrell Supervisor San Francisco, California Coalition Co-Founder

Supervisor Mark Farrell represents District 2, which includes the Presidio, Marina, Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Anza Vista, Laurel Heights, Jordan Park, the Lake Street corridor, Sea Cliff and parts of Russian Hill.

Supervisor Farrell currently serves as: Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, as a Member of the City and School District Committee, as a Member of the Transportation Authority, as a Member of the Transportation Authority’s Finance Committee, as a Member of the State Legislation Committee, as a Member of the Health Service System Board, on the Department of Emergency Management Disaster Council, on the San Francisco America's Cup Organizing Committee and on the 2016-17 Super Bowl Bid Committee.

Supervisor Farrell is a born and raised San Franciscan and grew up in the neighborhoods of District 2. He attended both Stuart Hall and Saint Ignatius, and subsequently received his B.A. from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, his M.A. from University College Dublin in Ireland, and J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia.

Prior to being elected to the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Farrell practiced law as a corporate and securities attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Silicon Valley for 3 years, joined Thomas Weisel Partners as an investment banker where he was an integral part of the Internet & Digital Media team for over 5 years and subsequently co-founded Quest Hospitality Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm focused on the hospitality and travel sector. Supervisor Farrell is focused on creating long-term, sustainable policies for District 2 and San Francisco. His legislative priorities include economic development, neighborhood vitality, public safety and quality of life issues which affect all San Franciscans.

Supervisor Farrell currently resides in the Jordan Park neighborhood with his wife and three children. Website

Susana Mendoza City Clerk Chicago, Illinois Coalition Co-Founder

Susana Mendoza was sworn in as City Clerk of Chicago on May 16, 2011 and is the first woman ever elected to the Office of the City Clerk. Before City Clerk, she proudly served six terms as a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 2001 to 2011, representing the 1st District of Illinois - which includes the Chicago communities of Brighton Park, Little Village, Gage Park and Back of the Yards. As an Illinois State Representative, she has been publicly recognized for her leadership and legislation on social services, education, law enforcement and job creation.

Susana Mendoza graduated from Bolingbrook High School where she earned All-State and All-Midwest honors in varsity soccer. She attended Northeast Missouri State University, (now Truman State University) on a soccer and academic scholarship, earning All-Midwest honors in soccer and a B.A. in Business Administration.

Susana Mendoza was elected as the youngest member of the 92nd General Assembly in 2001. She has proven to be an aggressive leader with her efforts to improve education, public health, public safety and living conditions for the people of Illinois and the community she serves. Rep. Susana Mendoza was also a leading sponsor of HR 1650 which created the panel to impeach former Governor Blagojevich and she served as an active alternate member of the impeachment committee.


Seamus Kraft Co-Founder and Executive Director The OpenGov Foundation Coalition Co-Founder

Seamus Kraft is the Executive Director of [The OpenGov Foundation](www.OpenGovFoundation.org), a fiercely non-partisan, non-profit transforming the process and policy of our democracy for the Internet Age. He steers two pathbreaking software projects reinventing local, state and federal government: Madison - the leading digital policy-making platform in the United States - and AmericaDecoded.org - the first-ever free, modern online law library built for everyday Americans.

Combining his passions for technology, education and public service, Seamus co-founded OpenGov with U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa to help citizens be heard by their elected officials and government workers fulfil their responsibilities with the most user-friendly tools possible. From 2009 to 2012, he served as Director of Digital Strategy and Press Secretary for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he was named one of the “20 Most Innovative People in Democracy” by TechCrunch.


Dazza Greenwood Human Dynamics Group MIT Media Lab Coalition Co-Founder

Dazza Greenwood, a lecturer and research scientist at the MIT Media Lab, conducts research projects on big data, identity federation and trust frameworks with 2013/2014 academic year research focus on defining and developing "Computational Legal Science" as a sub-discipline of computational social science. Dazza leads the CIVICS.com consultancy, providing solutions at the intersection of business, law and technology for the innovation economy. Dazza also serves as the Vice Chair of the Plenary for the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IDESG of NSTIC), which is developing a framework for federated identity and privacy at the international level. Dazza has consulted to fortune 100 companies, including the insurance industry and financial services sector, architecting the creation of trust frameworks. Federally, Dazza has testified several times on eCommerce before the US House and US Senate and has consulted to NASA as an Online Identity expert, GSA as a multilateral rules drafting expert, Homeland Security as a multistate Federal governance expert and many other agencies and departments. Dazza is a member of the Steward’s Council of the Identity Commons and heads it’s Forum on Law of Identity and Personal Data. Dazza also co-founded the eCitizen Foundation, which focused on creating citizen-centered online identity and personal data sharing projects and solutions.


David Grosso Councilmember Washington, DC

A native Washingtonian, Grosso was elected to the Council of the District of Columbia as an at-large councilmember on November 6, 2012 to represent residents in all eight wards. David brings a wealth of experience having worked with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton as her chief Counsel and former D.C. Councilmember Sharon Ambrose, in addition to his experience in the private sector. David is committed to continuing school reform efforts, improving health outcomes throughout the city, addressing inequities within the criminal justice system and enhancing job opportunities by supporting a robust successful workforce development and public higher education system. David has also pushed for good governance, including sweeping ethics reform, transparency and open government and strengthening civic engagement. He helped pilot a collaborative legislation platform, the Madison Project, in D.C. and is very supportive of the Council’s efforts to engage residents in the legislative process, such as the new Decoded D.C. website and the new Legislative Information Management System.


Charles Allen Councilmember Washington, DC

For over a decade, Charles has worked in Ward 6 neighborhoods – helping bring about school reforms, working with small businesses and improving our community. His years of public service to Ward 6 means he knows and understands neighborhood issues like no one else.

Charles Allen began his career in the District as a graduate fellow with the federal Department of Health and Human Services to work on expanding community-based health options across the nation. Charles quickly understood that to make true change he needed to return to his roots working at the local and community level. So Charles began his service to the District as policy director for the DC Primary Care Association, where he helped bring about legislative, budget and policy changes that expanded health care options for almost every DC resident. Two of his signature efforts – bringing physicians, dentists, nurses and other healthcare providers to medically underserved communities and creating a District-owned captive insurance company to provide free and low-cost medical malpractice insurance to non-profit providers – remain a vital part of the city’s health care safety net nearly a decade after he helped create them.

At the same time, Charles helped found DC for Democracy and served as Chair of the organization to bring a needed voice for progressive priorities and social justice issues facing the city. Today, DC for Democracy is a leading voice in the city.

These experiences led Charles to become an elected delegate for the District at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston and later serve as President of the Ward 6 Democrats. Ultimately, he served as chief of staff to Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, a position he held since Wells first took office in 2007.

Charles graduated from Washington and Lee University and received a master’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition to his local political activism managing Wells’ successful Ward 6 campaigns, he has been involved in progressive national campaigns.

Charles Allen, his wife Jordi Hutchinson and their daughter Cora Neal live at 15th and D Streets, NE with their dog Olive. Website

Tommy Wells Former Councilmember Washington, DC

In his eight years in the D.C. Council, Tommy Wells won support throughout the District for his vision of a livable and walkable city for all. He was and remains a passionate advocate for innovative solutions and D.C.’s leading voice for progressive change.

Tommy started his Washington career in 1983 as a social worker in the D.C. foster care system. In 1991, he took the helm of the D.C. Consortium for Child Welfare, where he was a force for creating neighborhood based-family service collaboratives that coordinate the delivery of city and nonprofit resources. During his 15 years with the Consortium, Tommy also served as an ANC Commissioner from 1994 to 2000 and a member of the D.C. Board of Education, representing Wards 5 and 6, from 2000 to 2006.

Since joining the DC Council in January 2007, Tommy has been a tireless advocate for smart growth and social justice. He spearheaded efforts to ensure that transit prioritized connecting neighborhoods to give DC residents access to jobs, instead of just moving commuters in and out of the city. He led the way in establishing the Housing First program, a proven way to get homeless people back on track by providing a stable place to live.

In his last term, Tommy chaired the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. As Chair, he has championed landmark legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession and “ban the box” in private sector hiring, giving returning citizens equal opportunities for success.

Tommy is the former chair of the board for Jan's Tutoring House and the previous chair of the Local Government Advisory Committee for the Chesapeake Bay. He graduated from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in 1991 and earned a master's degree in social work from the University of Minnesota in 1983. Since 1988 he has been married to Barbara Wells, a writer and arts enthusiast who is a tutor for Jan's Tutoring House and a judge for the Helen Hayes Awards.

Nadeem Mazen Councillor Cambridge, MA

Nadeem Mazen is a Cambridge City Councillor, co-founder of makerspace danger!awesome and founder of creative agency Nimblebot in Central Square, Cambridge. Mazen has spent the last several years as an instructor at MIT and faculty member at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, teaching undergraduate and graduate students the principles of tech and art entrepreneurship. Follow @nadeemtron on Twitter for observations and ruminations from his post in Cambridge, the world capital for research, innovation and progressive ideals.


Jason Murphey Representative District 31 Oklahoma State Legislature

Oklahoma State Representative Jason Murphey has repeatedly championed the cause of using technology to open up the government to the people. In 2001, as a member of his local city council, he sponsored resolutions to place government proceedings on television and the Internet and to make the city code available online for all to read.

Since 2006, as a state legislator, he has sponsored successful legislation to open up access to government spending and performance data, created the data.ok.gov and documents.ok.gov web portals and removed statutory barriers to government agency use of social media.

In 2014, Murphey was designated as one of Government Technology magazine’s top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers. Government Technology also named Murphey as one of the nation’s 13 most tech-savvy legislators.


Hans Riemer Council Member Montgomery County, MD

Hans Riemer was elected to the Montgomery County Council in 2010, where he represents more than one million Montgomery County residents as an At-large Member. In addition to his committee roles, Hans serves as the Council’s Lead for Digital Government, where he is working to make county government smarter and services more efficient. He authored the county’s Open Data Act of 2012, which is one of the country’s most thorough open data policies and has lead to groundbreaking initiatives including the new open budget tool piloted by the county with Socrata and a first-in-the-nation policy to publish all freedom of information requests as an open data set. Before serving on the County Council, Hans established a record as an innovator in political engagement. He served as National Youth Vote Director for the historic Obama for America campaign in 2007 and previously as political director for Rock the Vote.


Traci Hughes Director Office of Open Government Washington, DC

Traci L. Hughes is the inaugural director of the Office of Open Government. Hired in April 2013, she was tapped by the members of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability to bring greater transparency to District government operations. In this role, Ms. Hughes oversees Freedom of Information Act compliance among nearly 60 District Government Agencies, including the Executive Office of the Mayor (EOM) and the Council of the District of Columbia (Council). She also ensures compliance with the District’s Open Meetings Act, training more than 170 boards and commissions, the EOM and the Council on the procedural requirements of the law.

Prior to heading the Office of Open Government, Ms. Hughes served in both the private and public sectors as a highly sought after strategic communications professional, directing communications and marketing for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; the Chair of the Council of the District of Columbia; the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department; and the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

Ms. Hughes began her career with CBS and has worked in television, print and radio in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. She has appeared on major national and local television networks, including ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox News networks.

She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association and the Maryland State Bar Association. Ms. Hughes is a graduate of Howard University and Temple University Beasley School of Law. Website

Curt Savoie Principal Data Scientist Department of Innovation & Technology Boston, Massachusetts

Having a passion for using cutting edge data science techniques to derive valuable insights and turn data into information. A Boston University computer science graduate with an academic emphasis on data, logic and mathematics applied to 15 years of real world analytics and R&D experience in manufacturing, healthcare, finance and government. Currently leading the City of Boston’s effort around technical innovation and policy development with data, analytics and research as well as advising other government officials on a local and national level on the use of data to further civic engagement and increase operational efficiency.

Abhi Nemani Chief Data Officer Los Angeles, CA

Abhi Nemani is a writer, speaker, organizer and technologist. He is currently serving as the first Chief Data Officer for the City of Los Angeles, where he leads the city's efforts to build an open and data-driven LA.

Before joining the city, he helped build, launch and run the national non-profit, Code for America, a technology organization dedicated to reinventing government for the 21st century. Abhi led CfA’s product strategy as its teams tackled local government challenges ranging from transparency and business licensing to food stamps and public safety. He also led the organization's efforts to scale through building multiple new programs: a first-of-its-kind civic startup accelerator, an international volunteer corps and a collaborative network for hundreds of government innovators. Additionally, Abhi developed the organization’s policy portfolio — working hand-in-hand with area experts and local leaders — to enact over 30 municipal policy reforms on topics including open data, healthcare and procurement.

Abhi is a Member of the Board of Directors for the OpenGov Foundation, a member of the Board of Advisors of Significance Labs and has served as Innovator-in-Residence at GovDelivery.


David Zvenyach Former General Counsel Washington, DC Council

Dave Zvenyach is currently part of the team at 18F, working primarily with the 18F Consulting team. Before joining 18F, Dave served as the General Counsel to the Council of the District of Columbia. He is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School and the University of Wisconsin. He lives in Washington, DC, with his spouse and two children.


Bill Hunt Senior Developer The OpenGov Foundation

Bill has worked for a variety of start-ups, client service firms and government agencies, including as the technical lead for several award-winning teams. As an “oldschool” web geek, he likes to work with the whole stack, from servers to css and everything in between. Before joining OpenGov, he was a major contributor to The State Decoded project, an open source tool that puts the law online the right way. Bill can often be found hiking, enjoying the local restaurant scene, or philosophizing about the intricacies of tea.


David Moore Executive Director Participatory Politics Foundation

David is the Executive Director of PPF and has served as Program Manager of OpenCongress since its public launch in Feburary 2007. He graduated from Brown University with degrees in English and Philosophy. Previously, he worked as the first Outreach Coordinator for the Participatory Culture Foundation and helped to launch the open-source Miro video player. David spends a decent amount of time following the Milwaukee Brewers. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Daniel Schuman Policy Director Demand Progress

Daniel Schuman has long worked at the intersection of law, policy and technology. He most recently served as policy director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and prior to that as policy counsel with the Sunlight Foundation. In a prior life he was a legislative attorney with the Congressional Research Service. Daniel chairs the Congressional Data Coalition's steering committee and founded the Advisory Committee on Transparency. In 2013, Daniel was named among the 'top 25 most influential people under 40 in gov and tech' by FedScoop. He is a nationally recognized expert on federal transparency and has testified before Congress and appeared on NPR, C-SPAN. Daniel graduated cum laude from Emory University School of Law.


LaVita Tuff Policy Analyst Sunlight Foundation

LaVita Tuff works with the local policy team to improve online access to government information. Her work focuses on analyzing and writing about government data disclosure in addition to providing feedback on adoption and implementation of open data, open meetings and open government policies at the state and municipal levels.

Her passion for access to information comes from her community and economic development background. She previously worked as an Economic Development Specialist for the City of Baltimore. Prior to that she served as Mayoral Fellow to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and worked on Capitol Hill. She is a graduate of Tennessee State University, the University of New Orleans Master of Urban and Regional Planning program and the University of Baltimore School of Law.


Sean Vitka Federal Policy Manager Sunlight Foundation

Sean Vitka is the Federal Policy Manager at the Sunlight Foundation advocating for policy that opens up more legal information to all. He’s been focused on public interest work since 2007, when he founded a charity that provides technological solutions to problems associated with disability and hospitalization. Since then, he’s earned a J.D. from Boston College law school, where he focused on technology policy and practiced housing law. Sean’s worked at the Open Technology Institute, the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown Law and was a 2013 Google Policy Fellow. His writing on economics, the law and technology has been published in a variety of places, including Ars Technica, The Chicago Tribune, Slate and The Washington Post. He has in turn been directly quoted or cited in articles published by The Guardian, Bloomberg, MSNBC, Mother Jones, Andrew Sullivan's The Dish, The Plum Line at The Washington Post and many others.


Matt Bailey Director of Technology Innovation Washington, DC

Matt Bailey is D.C.’s first Director of Technology Innovation. In that capacity he helps connect DC government with the innovation economy and the civic technology community. His focus areas include closing the innovation gap, using technology to stimulate job creation and improving access to innovative solutions to serve the District’s most overlooked communities. Matt is also working to reinvigorate the District’s Open Government and Open Data programs.

Previously, he served the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a technology strategist and user experience manager. Matt is also a co-founder of Code for DC, an all-volunteer organization that builds technology to help to improve the lives of District residents. Prior to that, Matt was CTO for Citizen Effect, a non-profit that paired a Kickstarter-like fundraising platform with community organizing and skill-building domestically and abroad. He has worked in civil sector technology consulting, web development and information security and he’s an unapologetic English Major.

Waldo Jaquith Director U.S. Open Data

Waldo Jaquith has an enthusiastic supporter of legal technology for twenty years, beginning with an effort as a teenager to put his city’s laws online. He created The State Decoded, runs Virginia Decoded and worked in open ethics data at the White House. He serves as the Senior Technical Advisor to the Sunlight Foundation and the Director of U.S. Open Data, where his work is made possible by a fellowship with the Shuttleworth Foundation.


Dan Whaley Founder and CEO Hypothes.is

Dan Whaley is the Founder and CEO of the non-profit Hypothes.is. Their mission is to bring an open, interoperable conversation layer to the world’s knowledge. Many years ago, Dan founded the first travel reservation company on the web, GetThere, which went public in 1999 and was purchased by Sabre in 2000. Today, it is the dominant player in its industry and processes $10B in travel services on behalf of airlines, corporations and consumers.


Jonathan Askin Professor Brooklyn Law School

Jonathan Askin is a professor at Brooklyn Law School, teaching technology, telecommunications, and entrepreneurial law and policy. He is the Founder of the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic, which represents Internet, new media, communications and other tech entrepreneurs, startups, innovators and organizations on business development, policy advocacy and law reform. He is also the Faculty Chair and Innovation Catalyst for the Brooklyn Law Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship. Jonathan is also a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London, a Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School, and Advisor to iLINC, a network of legal support clinics for the European startup community. Jonathan will spend Spring 2016 as a Visiting Professor at the MIT Media Lab. Jonathan chaired the Internet Governance Working Group for the Obama ’08 Presidential Campaign. He has served on the boards of many communications and Internet industry and consumer groups. Jonathan is an honors grad of both Harvard College and Rutgers Law School.


Anthony (Tony) Luppino Professor University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

Tony Luppino is a Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law and the Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law, and a Senior Fellow with the cross-campus Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UMKC. He teaches or co-teachers a variety of business planning, entrepreneurship and tax classes, including projects-based interdisciplinary courses on Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation, and on Law, Technology & Public Policy.

Tony was the principal organizer and initial chair (2011) of the Law & Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group of the United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship, and 2014 co-chair of that group. He recently connected with Free Law Founders in his work as a principal organizer of a new Cities & Law Schools Consortium to facilitate collaborations on civic entrepreneurship and civic tech designed to promote more efficient regulatory processes and access to law and justice, and to create fertile environments for innovation.

Prof. Luppino has authored or co-authored writings on various subjects involving law and entrepreneurship, including tax and regulatory policies, interactions of entrepreneurs with law and lawyers, ownership issues regarding university-generated innovation, proposed reforms to U.S. immigration law to assist foreign student entrepreneurs, and hybrid business organization forms for social enterprises. He holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College, J.D. from Stanford Law School, and LL.M in Taxation from the Boston University School of Law.


Congressional Data Coalition

The Congressional Data Coalition (CDC) is comprised of citizens, public interest groups, trade associations and businesses that champion greater governmental transparency through improved public access to and long-term preservation of congressional information.

Members of the CDC include CREW, R Street Institute, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Sunlight Foundation, Engine Advocacy, Competitive Enterprise Institute, TechFreedom, GovTrack.us, Capitol Bells, WashingtonWatch.com, LegisWorks, LegCyte, Free Government Information, Fastcase, The Open Gov Foundation, OpenTheGovernment.org and Participatory Politics Foundation.


Micah Sifry Co-Founder Civic Hall and Personal Democracy Media

Micah L. Sifry is Co-Founder of the Personal Democracy Forum. He is also Co-Founder and the Executive Director of Civic Hall, a one-of-a-kind community center for the world’s civic innovators located in the heart of New York City. Additionally, he consults on how political organizations, campaigns, non-profits and media entities can adapt to and thrive in a networked world. He is a senior technology adviser to the Sunlight Foundation, which he helped found in 2006, and also serves on the board of Consumer Reports and the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science.

He is the author and editor of eight books, most recently, A Lever and a Place to Stand: How Civic Tech Can Move the World (PDM Press, 2015), The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn’t Transformed Politics (Yet) (OR Books, 2014) and Wikileaks and the Age of the Transparency (OR Books, 2011). In 2012 he taught “The Politics of the Internet” as a visiting lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School.


Andrew Rasiej Co-Founder Civic Hall and Personal Democracy Media

Andrew Rasiej is the Founder and CEO of Civic Hall, a one-of-a-kind community center for the world’s civic innovators located in the heart of New York City. He is also a civic and social entrepreneur, technology strategist, and Founder of the Personal Democracy Forum.

Additionally, Andrew is the Founder of MOUSE.org, which focuses on 21st century public education; Co-Founder of Mideastwire.com, which translates Arabic and Farsi news and opinion pieces into English; Senior Technology Advisor to the Sunlight Foundation, a D.C.-based organization, using technology to make government more transparent; and the Chairman of the NY Tech Meetup, a 50,000-member organization of technologists, venture funders, marketers, representing start-up and mature companies using technology to transform themselves, New York City, and the world.

In 2005, Andrew ran a highly visible campaign for NYC Public Advocate on a technology and innovation driven platform to redesign the office as a network, bring low-cost broadband to underserved communities, and open up access to city-controlled public data. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.