Want to track where the stimulus is being used in your community? Check out StimulusWatch. StimulusWatch.org was built to help the new administration keep its pledge to invest stimulus money smartly, and to hold public officials to account for the taxpayer money they spend. The site accomplishes this by allowing you, citizens around the country with local knowledge about the proposed “shovel-ready” projects in your city, to find, discuss and rate those projects.
Because legislative and executive activity on stimulus spending is moving so quickly, the site’s owners feel it is important to help jump-start citizen participation as soon as possible. The projects are not part of the stimulus bill, but candidates for funding by federal grant programs.
You can search the database by keywords, state/city or program type. Go here to view energy programs.
StimulusWatch.org was built by a four-person team led by Jerry Brito, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University who studies government accountability. The other members of the team include: Kevin Dwyer, Senior Computer Scientist at White Oak Technologies; Eileen Norcross, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Her research has focused on state and local budgets, economic development, and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program; and Peter Snyder, a contract programmer who specializes in Web 2.0 projects and Cocoa programming in Chicago.
They are now working on Stimulus Watch 2.0, will allow citizens to track which projects are actually funded and to provide local knowledge about how that funding is working in their community.
Off the Map, a website dedicated to geodata and visualization, has taken StimulusWatch.org’s dataset and mashed it on a map with regional unemployment numbers. Check out the interactive map. Also, be sure to read their post explaining what they did.
© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.