The California Civic Data Coalition is a loosely coupled team from the Los Angeles Times Data Desk, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Center for Investigative Reporting and Stanford’s Computational Journalism Lab.

The coalition was formed in 2014 by Ben Welsh and Agustin Armendariz to lead the development of open-source software that makes California’s public data easier to access and analyze. The effort has drawn hundreds of contributions from developers and journalists at dozens of competing news outlets.

Our primary focus is refining CAL-ACCESS, the jumbled, dirty and difficult government database that tracks campaign finance and lobbying activity in California politics.

In 2015, the coalition was named a winner of the Knight News Challenge and awarded $250,000 in philanthropic funding from the Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Rita Allen Foundation.

In 2016, the coalition launched a new website to make downloading California campaign finance information much easier.

The coalition is next working on making some of the connections between different campaign committees and candidates more easy to understand and make. The goal is to enable journalists throughout California to more effectively be able to follow the money behind state politics.

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