James Turk

Hi! I’m a software developer, civic technologist, and educator living in Chicago.

I’m an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Chicago. I teach in the Computational Analysis and Public Policy and Masters Program in Computer Science programs.

I’m trying to write more here, you can read my latest posts here or follow via RSS.


Prior to this I was:

I’ve also done freelance work for organizations like:

  • The Orlando Sentinel - Tabs on Tallahassee
  • City Bureau - City Scrapers
  • Various Political Campaigns

I am open to working on interesting projects for public good, please contact me if you’d like to chat.

Open States

I co-founded and then led Open States from 2009-2014 and 2016-2022.

Open States is an open source project that makes state legislative data from all 50 states (and DC and PR!) available in a single website and API. It’s used by journalists, researchers, and civic hackers to build tools that help people understand what their government is doing.

My work on the project started with writing the initial code and doing some open source community building, and expanded into working on grants, managing a team of developers, and helping to build a sustainable organization and software project over the course of 13 years. I also picked up more DevOps and frontend development skills than I’d ever planned to along the way.

I am no longer involved with the project, it is now in the caring and capable hands of my friends over at Plural.




Old Blog Posts