Chi Hack Night's Open Data Pledge for the Governor of Illinois

Published on Oct 3, 2017 by Derek Eder

The Seal of the great State of Illinois
The Seal of the great State of Illinois

Chi Hack Night, representing Chicago’s civic technology community, invites every candidate for Governor of Illinois to sign a pledge to, if elected, commit their office to an open data policy and practice.

Below is the invitation to all candidates, as well as the text of the Open Data Pledge.

Update 2: Pritzker and Rauner head to the General Election

On March 20th, 2018 J.B. Pritzker (D) and incumbent Bruce Rauner (R) won their respective primaries for Illinois Governor and will face each other in the General Election. Only J.B. Pritzker has signed this pledge.

  • J.B. Pritzker (D) - Signed Oct 18, 2017
  • Bruce Rauner (R) - did not respond

Update 1: Candidate responses


  • Ameya Pawar (D) - Signed Oct 4, 2017 (withdrew candidacy on Oct 12, 2017)
  • Daniel Biss (D) - Signed Oct 5, 2017 and issued a statement
  • Chris Kennedy (D) - Signed Oct 15, 2017
  • J.B. Pritzker (D) - Signed Oct 18, 2017

Did not sign:

  • Alex Paterakis (D) - responded via Twitter, did not sign
  • Bob Daiber (D) - did not respond
  • Bruce Rauner (R) - did not respond
  • Jeanne Ives (R) - did not respond
  • Robert Marshall (D) - did not respond
  • Tio Hardiman (D) - did not respond
  • William J. Kelly (R) - did not respond

Why an Open Data Pledge?

Representative democracies thrive on transparency and accountability, facilitated by open access to information. The State of Illinois collects and stores a wide range of data that’s critical for the public to know and use.

As the chief executive for the state, we ask our candidates for Governor commit to supporting open data practices to benefit all constituents, including citizens, organizations, journalists, and other government entities. With the initial success of our open data pledges for Cook County State’s Attorney and Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Chi Hack Night is turning our attention to Illinois’ most important statewide race.

Invitation to all candidates

To: All Candidates for Illinois Governor
From: Derek Eder, Chi Hack Night
Date: October 3rd, 2017
Subject: Open Data Pledge for Candidates for Illinois Governor

Chi Hack Night ( is a group of several thousand designers, academic researchers, data journalists, activists, policy wonks, web developers and curious citizens who strive to make our city more just, equitable, transparent and delightful to live in through data, design and technology.

We volunteer every week to build tools to support and serve the public good. Open government data makes it possible for us to do this work.

Chi Hack Night invites every candidate for Governor of Illinois to sign the Chi Hack Night Open Data Pledge (attached) to, if elected, enact and promote robust open data policies.

Please sign and return the pledge to Derek Eder at

Derek Eder
Lead Organizer, Chi Hack Night

Open Data Pledge

Here is the open data pledge, with signatures from the candidates collected so far.

Open Data Pledge for Illinois Governor
Download the pledge (PDF)

The open data pledge was drafted by Karleen McAllester, Don Chartier and Derek Eder, with contributions by Soren Spicknall, Ben Cooper, Steve Ediger, Rebecca Williams, Steven Vance, and The Sunlight Foundation, among many others.

About the author

Derek is an entrepreneur, developer and one of the leaders of the civic technology community in Chicago. He is a co-founder and partner at DataMade — a company that tells stories and builds tools with data — and is the lead organizer for Chi Hack Night.