There are several ways to get involved in First Vigil depending on your availability, skills, and resources. Here are some ways to contribute.
The most useful way to contribute is to attend hearings in-person and take notes about what you hear. The information that comes out in hearings can be extremely useful. Committing time to cover a trial or hearing can be arduous and boring, but ultimately it uncovers information that otherwise would be monopolized by the state.
A tool to upload pictures of court notes is coming soon.
Contribute Research Work
First Vigil is not automated nor is it possible to automate. Many of the records, etc. need to be retrieved manually. This means that keeping the data current requires real work. One of the most helpful ways to contribute is to do this work of finding out court information and pulling public records.
If you are interested in contributing to the research effort, standby. An onboarding flow is in the works.
Keeping the data organized is one task. But each of these cases has context and commentary. Helping write about what’s happening is a good way to ensure that the informationa attached to the case has the appropriate content. This means researching related news stories, transcribing notes, and working with other activists to make sure the stories are being told correctly.
If you are interested in contributing content, standby. An onboarding flow is in the works.
Every effort has been made to optimize First Vigil’s infrastructure to minimize hosting costs. But hosting does cost money. And pulling records from PACER and other sources costs money as well. A donation system will be coming soon. For the time being, you can Venmo its creator directly: @Emily-Gorcenski. Emily will publish quarterly transparency reports of all finances to show that the money is being used for running the project.