James Turk

Eight Years

(this post is about my employment at Sunlight, but is in no way a reflection of anything but my own personal sentiment)

May 29th, 2007

I’d been living in DC for a little under a week. I already liked it quite a bit, which was lucky as I’d made plans to move there sight unseen.

In December of 2006 I’d accepted a position with Sunlight Foundation, an up-and-coming nonprofit with a mission I cared about and which already seemed to place an importance on technology. In fact my position was listed as being within Sunlight Labs, “a Sunlight foundation pilot project to prototype tech ideas”.

Since then I’d been working at a mind-numbing job in Rochester making more money than I’d ever made before. The idea was to save enough I could afford to live in DC on my intern stipend. There were certainly times I questioned if it’d all be worth it.

I got pretty lucky. It was.

The Next Eight Years

From my initial time as an intern, to leading the Open States project from a remote office in Boston, to my time as Director of Sunlight Labs, Sunlight was an amazing place for me.

Sunlight is the place that…

  • I launched my first project back in 2007.

  • made it possible for us to take what we called the Fifty States Project at PyCon 2009 to OpenStates.org, one of Sunlight’s biggest projects.

  • when life had me moving to Boston, allowed me to open a small Boston office. (That’s the team that ultimately made Open States what it is today.)

  • allowed me to meet and collaborate with like-minded civic hackers all around the world.

  • let me work with some of the best, smartest, most passionate people I’ll ever meet.

Moving On

So in June when it became clear to me that it was time to move on, I did so with a heavy heart but also eight years of fond memories, great experience, and wonderful friends.

And to all of you that made Sunlight such a wonderful eight years — coworkers, collaborators, peers, users, friends — thank you.

And please, stay in touch.