How is it possible, in the 21st century, that I can Skype with friends in China, keep up with my friends across the country via Facebook and exchange messages with the CEO of a startup I admire on Twitter, but yet when I try to communicate with my members of Congress, it seems like everything I do is swallowed up by the black abyss?

In a recent post from Coder-in-Chief Clay Johnson, Clay outlines several reasons why developers should run for Congress.

Here’s video from yesterday’s Open311 press conference in San Francisco, including Vivek Kundra, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, SF CIO Chris Vein and O’Reilly Media’s Tim O’Reilly.

By now, most people in the Gov 2.0 community have heard of Drupal, the popular open source social publishing system powering close to 500,000 websites ranging from big government to Britney Spears. Drupal has seen steady growth from its inception as a Belgian grad student’s experiment in 2001 to one of the most heavily used open source content management systems in the world, downloaded by a quarter million people per month. A growing trend the Drupal community is following closely this year is government interest in the platform to further open government initiatives and broaden adoption across government.

Open Gov the Movie is a 14-minute compilation of interviews with prominent open gov advocates, including U.S. Deputy CTO Beth Noveck, Sunlight Foundation’s Jake Brewer, City of Manor’s Dustin Haisler, Tim O’Reilly, EPA’s Jeffrey Levy, Deloitte’s Steve Lunceford and National Academy of Public Administration’s Lena Trudeau. The film was created by Delib.

Sunlight Foundation is a Washington, DC-based 501c(3) non-profit organization founded in 2006 to focus on “making government transparent and accountable.” Its name comes from a quote by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

Sunlight was co-founded by Michael Klein and Ellen Miller. Miller serves as its executive director.

San Francisco public officials, including Mayor Gavin Newsom, discuss the launch of launch of DataSF.org and the city’s open government initiative at a meeting with city department heads. Highlights include Newsom’s overview of why the effort is important and Tim O’Reilly’s talk on government as a platform.

Here’s video from the August 2009 news conference announcing the launch of DataSF.org, San Francisco’s open data site, which provides “structured, raw and machine-readable government data to the public in an easily downloadable format.”

The press conference is attended by SF officials and technology entrepreneurs, including SF Mayor Gavin Newsom, SF CIO Chris Vein, SF Dept of Public Works head Ed Riskin, SF Director of Innovation Jay Nath, Tim O’Reilly and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg. There’s a general Q&A that includes examples of how citizens and entrepreneurs are leveraging the newly-opened data.

A new book, State of the eUnion: Government 2.0 and Onwards, is now available free for download. The book, a compilation of essays from 34 Gov 2.0 thought leaders, will soon be available in print through Amazon and elsewhere.

Free PDF download: State of the eUnion: Government 2.0 and Onwards