New Browser Extension Shows Us the Money
By: Matt Calvert
A new browser extension for Chrome, Safari and Firefox displays key contribution data for every U.S. Senator and Representative on any webpage by simply hovering over their name.
Greenhouse, a free extension you can download here, was designed and coded by 16-year-old Nicholas Rubin. A self-taught coder and high school sophomore from Seattle, Rubin says that “even though I am only 16 years old, not quite old enough to vote, I am old enough to know that our political system desperately needs fixing.” We couldn’t agree more and commend Rubin for not only his engagement with a broken political system, but his willingness to innovate and look for ways to improve it.
The contribution data is gathered from OpenSecrets.org and shows an aggregate number in dollars from the top industries that donated to each elected representative. Not only is Greenhouse a great tool for general knowledge about where your representatives in Washington are getting their money from, but its simple design also means that it does not disrupt you from your normal life or workflow with it installed on your browser.
Apps like Greenhouse hold government accountable and shine a light on our elected representatives. Innovation like this will hopefully lead us into a new age of government where technology and government are blended perfectly and citizens have more of a stake in their system. Government 2.0 is happening now, and you can download it here.