San Francisco Moves Toward “Open Legislation” Model


San Francisco, California city Supervisor Mark Farrel wants to make city rules and ordinances clearer to the general public. The motion directs the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors to make the City’s legislation, including motions, resolutions, and ordinances to be uploaded to the Board of Supervisors’ website – – in machine-readable format that is consistent with the City’s already approved open data standards.

The motion follows closely on the heels on the House of Representative’s recent work to ensure that legislation at the Federal level is available for bulk download and use in XML format, at –

San Francisco city code is already available in this format on but that website isn’t officially sanctioned by the city. The motion was heard by the Board of Supervisors this week, and a full vote is expected within the next two months.

“This motion is an ongoing step towards fully opening our City’s legislative process, so that our City’s residents can better interact with City government on policy issues that they care about and want to have their voices heard on,” stated Supervisor Mark Farrell. “This motion will make our City’s legislative data easier to use for our constituents, third parties, and outside developers who want to better interact with the legislative process using more modern formats and tools.”

CivSource recently reported on another effort to put municipal and state codes online – which is backed by the OpenGov Foundation. Washington D.C. also launched its own similar project this week.