Parsons, named after Lucy Parsons, is a Python package that contains a growing list of connectors and integrations to move data between various tools. Parsons is focused on integrations and connectors for tools utilized by the progressive community.

Parsons was built out of a belief that progressive organizations spend far too much time building the same integrations, over and over and over again, while they should be engaged in more important and impactful work. It was built and is maintained by The Movement Cooperative.

The Movement Cooperative

The Movement Cooperative is a member led organization focused on providing data, tools and strategic support for the progressive community. Our mission is to break down technological barriers for organizations that fight for social justice.

License and Usage

Usage of Parsons is governed by a modified Apache License with author attribution statement.

Design Goals

The goal of Parsons is to make the movement of data between systems as easy and straightforward as possible. Simply put, we seek to reduce the lines of code that are written by the progressive community. Not only is this a waste of time, but we rarely have the capacity and resources to fully unittest our scripts.


Parsons seeks to be flexible from a data ingestion and output perspective, while providing ETL tools that recognize that our data is always messy. Central to this concept is the Parsons Table the table-like object that most methods return.


# VAN - Download activist codes to a CSV

from parsons import VAN
van = VAN(db='MyVoters')
ac = van.get_activist_codes()

# Redshift - Create a table from a CSV

from parsons import Table
tbl = Table.from_csv('my_table.csv')

# Redshift - Export from a query to CSV

from parsons import Redshift
sql = 'select * from my_schema.my_table'
rs = Redshift()
tbl = rs.query(sql)

# Upload a file to S3

from parsons import S3
s3 = S3()

# TargetSmart - Append data to a record

from parsons import TargetSmart
ts = TargetSmart(api_key='MY_KEY')
record = ts.data_enhance(231231231, state='DC')


Virtual Environments

Normally, tools like pip install Python libraries directly to your system. Python scripts or libraries look for their dependencies in your system. This can cause problems when you have two scripts/libraries installed that require different versions of the same library.

To solve this problem, we recommend you use virtual environments to install Parsons. Virtual environments allow you to keep different sets of installed libraries so that you can use different versions of the same libraries for different purposes.



  1. Install virtualenvwrappers from source:

    git clone git://github.com/davidmarble/virtualenvwrapper-win.git
    cd virtualenvwrapper-win
    python setup.py install
  2. Find the Scripts\ directory for your Python installation, such as C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python37\Scripts\.

  3. Add the Scripts\ directory to your Path.

  4. To create a virtual environment for Parsons, execute: mkvirtualenv parsons

  5. To use this virtual environment, execute: workon parsons

Linux / Mac OS

<Coming Soon>


There are two ways to install Parsons: Using pip and from source. Use pip if you just want to install Parsons and start using it. Install from source if you might want to patch Parsons to customize its behavior.

Installing Parsons (pip)

  1. Make sure you’re in your parsons virtual environment: workon parsons.

  2. Execute: pip install parsons

Installing Parsons from Source

  1. Make sure you’re in your parsons virtual environment: workon parsons.

  2. Execute these commands:

    git clone https://github.com/move-coop/parsons.git
    pip install -r requirements.txt
    python setup.py install
  3. To update your installation, pull the most recent branch from the Parsons GitHub repo (git pull origin master) and rerun python setup.py install.


Parsons uses the native python logging system. By default, log output will go to the console and look like:

parsons.modulename LOGLEVEL the specific log message

In your scripts that use Parsons, if you want to override the default Parsons logging behavior, just grab the “parsons” logger and tweak it:

import logging
parsons_logger = logging.getLogger('parsons')
# parsons_logger.setLevel('DEBUG')
# parsons_logger.addHandler(...)
# parsons_logger.setFormatter(...)

Integrating Parsons

A primary goal of Parsons is to make installing and use as easy as possible. Many of the patterns and examples that we document are meant to show how easy it can be to use Parsons, but sometimes these patterns trade immediate accessibility against ease of integration.

In environments where Parsons is not the primary application, or in scenarios where Parsons must run with limited resources, we recommend users install only the dependencies they need at loose version constraints. To do this, simply set two environment variables before installing Parsons and keep one while running:

` export PIP_NO_BINARY=parsons export PARSONS_LIMITED_DEPENDENCIES=true pip install parsons `

` export PARSONS_LIMITED_DEPENDENCIES=true python myparsons_script.py `

PIP_NO_BINARY tells pip to use the source distribution of Parsons, which then allows PARSONS_LIMITED_DEPENDENCIES to dynamically limit to the bare minimum dependencies needed to run Parsons. Users may also install extra dependencies appropriate to their environment, e.g.

` export PIP_NO_BINARY=parsons export PARSONS_LIMITED_DEPENDENCIES=true pip install parsons[google] `


` export PIP_NO_BINARY=parsons export PARSONS_LIMITED_DEPENDENCIES=true pip install parsons[google,ngpvan] `

* Don’t import from the root Parsons package *

Throughout the Parsons documentation, users are encouraged to load Parsons classes like so:

from parsons import Table

In order to support this pattern, Parsons imports all of its classes into the root parsons package. Due to how Python loads modules and packages, importing even one Parsons class results in ALL of them being loaded. The PARSONS_LIMITED_DEPENDENCIES variable tells Parsons to skip this; it will not import all of its classes into the root parsons package. Setting this environment variable means you will NOT be able to import using the from parsons import X pattern. Instead, you will need to import directly from the package where a class is defined (e.g. from parsons.etl import Table). Using this method, you may see as much as an 8x decrease in memory usage for Parsons!

Indices and tables