In the summer of 1787, fifty-five delegates gathered in Philadelphia to discuss,
debate, and ultimately draft the remarkable document that has been the bedrock
of American liberty for more than two centuries.
America’s Constitution provides the basic, practical structure for the greatest
democracy the world has ever known. Yet in order to function as the Founders
truly intended, that spare but inspired framework requires something more – a
public atmosphere of candor that promotes citizen awareness of and participation
in the democratic process, and validates the legitimacy of its outcomes.
Put another way, our political system depends for its very life upon a free and
frank exchange of ideas, conducted in the open air and the brilliant light of
day. In an era of intense partisanship, information overload, and highly
divisive and complex issues, some have claimed that that ideal is beyond our
The Sunlight Foundation begs to differ.
The mission of The Sunlight Foundation is to use the transformative power of the
Internet and new information technology to enable citizens to learn more about
the activities of Congress and their elected representatives. In so doing, it
helps to reduce corruption, to ensure greater transparency and accountability by
government, and – most importantly – to foster a genuine sense of public trust
in the vital institutions of democracy. As its name implies, The Sunlight
Foundation strives to open wide the figurative windows and shutters that cloak
the political process in shadow for most Americans, and to let the fresh air and
light flood in.
To accomplish this, the Sunlight Foundation engages in a varied program of
grants, wide-ranging research projects, and innovative web-based initiatives
such as Congresspedia, Washington Watchdog, and OpenCongress. Such efforts,
designed to enlighten and empower the public regarding the workings of their
government, are one in spirit with The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation’s core
mission of creating an educated citizenry. As such, The Catherine B. Reynolds
Foundation is proud to provide its financial support to this worthy