Civic News

Politico Magazine looks at DC startups automating the federal government

FiscalNote and Quorum are featured prominently. The longread also considers what these platforms could mean for jobs.

What do the locals do around here?

(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

D.C. regtech startups are looking to make government more efficient. A recent Politico Magazine article paints a potential picture of D.C. tech growth going through work in the federal government.

“People vastly, vastly underestimate what automation is going to do,” FiscalNote CEO Tim Hwang told Politico Magazine.

Read the full story

FiscalNote helps companies and nations including South Korea, Canada and Mexico, track and analyze millions of pieces of legislation and regulations, including sifting through 22 million public comments that were sent to the U.S. ∫ last year, including a finding that more than 1 million pro-net neutrality messages fraudulently submitted by bots. 

The story also features Quorum founder Alex Wirth talking about his company’s platform that tracks buzzy topics – work that is usually the province of Congressional staffers and lobbyists. Since launching in 2015, the public affairs data startup has tightened tracking capabilities using data on Congress and local governments.

Throughout, Hwang, Wirth and others talk about how tech could influence many aspects of the federal government, from the information collected by journalists to the work compiled by lobbyists and number crunchers.

In the end, Hwang also considers that automation may result in fewer available jobs in those fields. And it points to a District government that is not only focusing on government tech. The District is looking to increase the number of tech jobs through the Mayor Muriel Bowser’sPathways to Inclusion” initiative. In 2016, Bowser set the goal to create 5,000 new tech jobs for underrepresented workers and 500 new tech businesses founded by underrepresented entrepreneurs. Still, it might be a drop in the water as far as alleviating the number of impacted jobs.


“The District of Columbia has the people, resources and public and private sector support to make the nation’s capital the top city for inclusion, tech and innovation,” Bowser said in 2016. “We look forward to becoming a national model for tech inclusion and entrepreneurship and proving that regardless of income or background, all residents have the opportunity to participate in our growing tech economy.”

Companies: FiscalNote
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