Trump Town2019-2020

Who exactly is running the federal government? To answer this question, ProPublica launched Trump Town, the only public collection of data on the Trump administration’s current and former appointees. Over 3,000 people are documented in the database, including their jobs and specific offices, employment history, lobbying records, government ethics documents, financial disclosures and, in some cases, resumes. Kravitz, an independent journalist who was part of the Trump Town project, together with the Stabile Center and Columbia Journalism Investigations (CJI), will use their Magic Grant to significantly expand and automate the data collection effort behind Trump Town. A researcher overseen by the Brown Institute will create scripts to issue financial disclosure requests from federal agencies’ and agency staffing lists; develop open-source tools to scrape data out of the returned PDFs; and design new visualizations of the organizational structure of top federal agencies. Fellows with CJI will use the database for reporting stories about appointees’ interests and potential conflicts, and how those impact policymaking.

The Team