Asheville web ninja makes public records requests simple

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Here’s a press release from Patrick Conant, a web ninja, open government proponent and member of Code for Asheville. Check it out:

Sunshine Week is March 12 – 18th, and I am very proud to announce the launch of our latest community project, Sunshine Request!
Sunshine Request can help you, as a member of the media, by allowing you to publish and share the lifecycle of a public records request. You can also use the platform to submit requests anonymously, as the Sunshine Request team serves as a proxy between yourself and the government entity.

There are two ways you can utilize Sunshine Request – you can either fill out the form and Sunshine Request as any other citizen, or you can forward and CC your records request communications to [email protected], and I’ll publish them on the site.

Please let me know if you have any feedback about the project. I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d help spread the word about Sunshine Request – if you’d be interested in writing a story about the platform, please let me know!

We built Sunshine Request to make it easier for citizens to make public records requests, turning a complicated government process into a simple form. Every request made through Sunshine Request is posted publicly for the benefit of everyone.

The Sunshine Request team serves as a proxy between citizens and local government, which allows public records requests to be submitted anonymously.

We hope this platform helps citizens to learn more about our government and improves transparency and accountability through public information. We also hope it saves the staff time of government entities by reducing duplicated efforts, and by improving the quality and specificity of records requests.

Sunshine Request is a community project by PRC Applications ( We use our technical skills to help our community through projects that improve the interactions between citizens and government.

When a request comes in via the form, I will personally review it. I will then submit the request to the appropriate government entity via [email protected] and signed as “Sunshine Request.” I will record all communications about the request as “Activity” entries – you can see an example here:

Then, when the request is completed, I will post the documents online, so other citizens can find the public records without submitting the same request over again.

Happy Sunshine Week!

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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