Knowledge As Power Homepage

Everyday Democracy

Find Bills

About KAP

About Us Welcome to Knowledge As Power (KAP). It's great to meet you.

A small but mighty non-profit, KAP is a 501c3 organization based in Seattle. Our primary objective is to empower politically engaged citizens. If you care about an issue or a bill, we want to help you influence it.

We are currently able to serve Washington State and are working around the clock to expand to more and more political terrain.

  • The Idea
  • The Tools
  • The Team

The idea for KAP started back in early 2000 when founder and director, Sarah Schacht, was managing legislative outreach for students at Central Washington University. Tools for tracking legislation or for effective citizen engagement, she discovered, were few and far between. And why is it, she thought, that individuals have a harder time getting heard than lobbyists?

And so the seed was planted to come up with new technology that would empower both citizens and legislators to do more, and better.

In between stints with campaigns and higher learning, Sarah continued to observe and research the obstacles and inefficiencies facing citizens and legislators. She interviewed elected officials, political staffers, and disenchanted voters. She interned on Capitol Hill to get an insider's look at the top users of constituent feedback: Congressional offices. By 2006, when technology had finally caught up with her ideas, Sarah began working with web 2.0 specialists to develop the KAP you know today.

KAP's beta service was launched in 2008. Not long afterwards, KAP garnered some media attention, found support from experts in citizen engagement and government transparency, and was awarded a grant from the Sunlight Foundation, and a major partnership grant funded through the Ford Foundation. We're hugely grateful to all who've helped Knowledge As Power get here---from friends who lent their time and talent, to probono professionals, to developers who contributed their skills---you're all a part of making government open and the legislative process accessible to all. Thank you.

It's our belief in the power of an informed electorate that prompted us to create KAP. And since we're non-partisan, the only side we take is yours.

Our goal is to give you what you need to get started as a politically engaged citizen – from legislation tracking tools to educational information on how the whole legislative process works. The information you find on legislation in KAPcitizen is straight from the State of Washington's legislature. Our video content is provided through TVW, and KAP staffers, volunteers, and interns create our educational content. When KAP users email their legislators via our service, KAP makes sure their emails are well formatted for legislators, so they're easy for legislator's offices to read and respond to.

Whether you're a political veteran or novice, whether you're confident with how politics work or find it confusing, KAP can provide an easy place to begin following issues that matter to you, staying up-to-date, and communicating with legislators with ease.

No matter what we do or where we are, all of us have the time to be politically engaged citizens.

We're here to help.

Behind this website and tool is a modest team of volunteers, interns, developers, and board members … and people like you who are using KAP, believe it in, and helping it grow.

Sarah Schacht, KAP's executive director

Sarah Schacht is a political entrepreneur who searches for simple technology solutions to complex social problems. Eagerly involved in politics from an early age, she's been a conservative and a liberal, working for a range of causes and campaigns. In 2003, she left college to work on Howard Dean's presidential campaign, working in New Hampshire, Dean's national headquarters, Iowa, and Washington State. She specialized in youth outreach, crafting technical plans, online organizing, and field work. In 2004 she was one of the youngest delegates to the Democratic National Convention, and in 2005 she interned for Congressman Jay Inslee's office, where she researched the communications technology systems within Congress. Returning home to Washington State, she founded Knowledge As Power, a 501c3 nonpartisan organization which provides Washingtonians online tools to track legislation on any issue and communicate effectively with their legislators. Sarah is a 2008 Echoing Green Semi-Finalist, a Ford Foundation Partnership Grantee, Sunlight Foundation grantee, and a contributor to O'Reilly Book's Open Government book, publishing in February, 2010.

Seattle Web Group

Knowledge As Power's technical partner, has brought KAP's vision to life. Based in Seattle's Green Lake neighborhood, Seattle Web Group brings over a decade of web development experience to KAP's work. You can find them at http://seattlewebgroup.com