Zach Sorenson

I’m a recent computer science and public policy graduate currently working in Congress. I am an avid outdoorsman, an advanced procrastinator, and a long-time (unaccomplished) violinist. Self-respecting computer science major that I am, I put together this website so friends and family can see what I’ve been up to.

November 11, 2015

A letter to Mormon Apostle Dallin H. Oaks


Dear Elder Oaks,

You probably don’t remember me, but we met when you visited Oakland last February. At my father’s suggestion, I had driven up from school that Sunday morning to hear your remarks.

There was no way you could have known this at the time, but I had spent a lot of time during the previous few weeks wrestling with my sexuality. I had not yet told anyone that I was gay, but had come to at least personally accept that part of my identity....

Continue reading…

Comments

September 4, 2015
August 24, 2015
The Sunlight Foundation
Sunlight joins coalition demanding Congressional Research Service reports be published online

In an open letter sent today to the leadership of the House and Senate committees that oversee the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Sunlight Foundation joined a bipartisan coalition of 40 advocacy groups, businesses, nonprofits and think tanks, as well as over 90 scholars, researchers, librarians, activists and private citizens, to support public access to CRS reports.

Last year,...

Read blog post…

August 12, 2015
The Sunlight Foundation
Track which federal websites are using HTTPS with Pulse

In June, the federal chief information officer instructed all executive departments and agencies to ensure that their websites and online services use secure Internet connections by default. Adoption of secure web standards will not be instantaneous, but several agencies have made notable strides towards improving security — and a new online dashboard called Pulse allows anyone to follow...

Read blog post…

August 2, 2015

Mormons should embrace gay Boy Scout leaders


When I became an Eagle Scout four years ago, nobody knew I was gay — I was still in the process of accepting it myself. If I had told anyone, I would not have been given the award, despite a decade of involvement with scouting, countless hours with dozens of volunteers installing a garden at my elementary school and more than a hundred nights camping in the California wilderness.

Becoming an Eagle Scout was one of my proudest achievements as a teenager. My parents were thrilled...

Continue reading…

Comments

July 30, 2015
The Sunlight Foundation
NASA’s EPIC photographs: Sunlight and open data on a global scale

Sunlight’s Outside the Beltway series was set up to shine a light on exciting developments in the open government world beyond Washington. But this week we’re taking it a step further and highlighting a new open government initiative that is literally out of this world.

On December 7, 1972, the crew of the last manned lunar mission captured a...

Read blog post…

July 24, 2015
The Sunlight Foundation
DNC retreats, lifts ban on money from lobbyists and PACs

As it gears up for an expensive election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has decided to loosen its restrictions and start accepting contributions for its national convention and presidential campaign accounts from lobbyists and political action committees, lifting a ban that has been in place for the past two presidential elections.

Donors who want to support a presidential candidate...

Read blog post…

July 17, 2015

First and potentially only post


Well, I made a blog for some reason. Actually I made a website and the blog was enabled by default so I kept it.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a very frequent written communicator. When I lived in Panama for a summer as a volunteer with Amigos (pictured), I sent one letter home during the entire summer — to my parents’ great dismay (not pictured). So there’s a solid chance I may not post here again.

But if I do end up...

Continue reading…

Comments

July 13, 2015
The Sunlight Foundation
Pilot program will publicize all FOIA responses at select federal agencies

Last week, the Obama administration quietly announced it is trying a new policy that will increase public disclosure of government information requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). During a six-month pilot period, seven executive departments and agencies will start publishing all responses to FOIA requests – a promising shift from present practice.

Currently, federal agencies are...

Read blog post…

July 10, 2015
The Sunlight Foundation
Court ruling could spur action on greater disclosure of contractor contributions

On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously ruled in Wagner v. FEC that a 75-year-old ban on political contributions by federal contractors is constitutional. The decision comes at a time of renewed interest in executive action to require that government contractors disclose their political activity.

The statute upheld by the court prohibits government...

Read blog post…

May 9, 2014
The Stanford Daily
New Lathrop Library to host Meyer’s services

Lathrop Library is currently being renovated to replace Meyer Library, which will be closed for the 2014-15 academic year and is scheduled to be demolished the following summer.

The new facility will be located in the former Graduate School of Business (GSB) South Building, adjacent to Memorial Auditorium. Renovations on the building began last summer and are scheduled for completion...

Read article…