the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

Search form

The New We the People Write API, and What It Means for You:

The White House petitions platform We the People just became more accessible and open than ever before. We are very excited to announce the launch of the "write" version of the Petitions Application Programming interface, or "API."

The White House petitions platform, We the People, just became more accessible and open than ever before. We are very excited to announce the launch of the "write" version of the Petitions Application Programming Interface, or "API."

Starting today, people can sign We the People petitions even when they’re not on Now, users can also use third-party platforms, including other petitions services, or even their own websites or blogs. All of those signatures, once validated, will count towards a petition’s objective of meeting the 100,000-signature threshold needed for an official White House response.

We the People started with a simple goal: to give more Americans a way to reach their government. To date, the platform has been more successful than we could have imagined, with more than 16 million users creating and signing more than 360,000 petitions.

We launched our Write API beta test last year, and since then we’ve been hard at work, both internally and in collaboration with our beta test participants. Last spring, as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking, we hosted a hackathon right here at the White House, where our engineers spent a day sitting side-by-side with our beta testers to help get our code and theirs ready for the big day.

That big day has finally come.

Click here if you want to get started right away, or read on to learn more about the Petitions Write API.

What can you do with the API?

The Write API enables people who want to sign White House petitions and engage in the conversation on We the People without visiting Instead, users can use or build an interface that’s more suited to their own needs and issues.

This is where it gets exciting: In addition to expanding the audience and making it easier than ever to sign We the People petitions, the Write API opens up a host of new possibilities, such as new mobile apps and ways to sign petitions via social networking, or new possibilities we’ve yet to imagine.

We’ll be hosting additional hackathons in the future to highlight the opportunities on the platform, and to give the community the ability to collaborate around building new applications. 

Why is this important?

The Petitions Write API takes a strong step toward making it easier than ever for people to petition their government. At the same time, we also hope it serves as a model for a new way of delivering government services online. 

With that in mind, the Petitions API would not exist without the hard work of key federal agencies working on improving how people can use technology to engage with their government. Specifically, the Petitions API is built on infrastructure created and supported by the 18F Team at GSA, and pioneering work done by Presidential Innovation Fellows.

As a developer, how do I use the API?

The process is simple: You request a Write API key* here and agree to our Terms of Use; we review your application and issue you a key along with some introductory instructions, as well as how to test your code without affecting live petitions.

There are some rules you’ll need to follow when building or hosting applications that use the API.

Documentation for the API, as well as a gallery of previous API projects, is available at

*Keys are not needed for the read-only functionality.

We couldn’t be more excited about what this means for We the People, and citizens’ ability to petition their government. Request a key and get started today.