Commentary

Regardless of the vendor drama and complexity around delivering data specific to USAspending, here is a simple formula for any government working on the release of a new public-facing website.

“Civic Hacking” is the awareness of a condition that is suboptimal in a neighborhood, community or place and the perception of one’s own ability to effect change on that condition.

Over the past few years, the civic innovation movement has grown tremendously. It’s exploded really. Ten years ago, who would have imagined that Chicago would be a national leader in open government data?

During last week’s 2013 Code for America summit at the Yerba Buena Center, officials from cities including Louisville, New York City, South Bend and New Orleans spoke about how open data had changed the complexion of their communities in public safety, citizen services and blight mapping.

Lately, what’s happening between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue is starting to catch the ire of some venture capitalists who, like many Americans already, are starting to publicly vent their frustrations.

Regardless of what’s happening between the opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, why is America in this situation, and what can we do to ensure it never happens again?

I first met Alex Howard in Los Angeles at Gov20LA a few years ago. This was shortly before he joined O’Reilly Media as its Washington correspondent covering the open government/Gov 2.0 beat.

Finally, a bike-sharing program is coming to San Francisco!

Despite open government calls for performance metrics and financial transparency in government, you’d be hard-pressed to find any of this for the movement behind it.

Today, open data and its power to transform a city and a nation by engaging tech savvy citizens will be on display at San Francisco City Hall. And just as importantly, companies that have been successful because of forward thinking open data policies will testify to our elected leaders about its importance.

MIT Technology Review Editor David Rotman’s commentary on the difference between makers and manufacturers applies to what’s happening with government these days around open data applications, open source software development and civic hackathons.

I’ve always been cool to the term “disruption,” especially how it has recently been used to address changing the way government works.

The recent Open Government Pledge on Honolulu.Govfresh.com brought a moment of pause for me as I watched all three Mayoral candidates respond with a YES within minutes of each other. I am one of the three candidates and the incumbent Mayor, Peter Carlisle.

Ines Mergel asks a great question about a government 2.0 icon emblematic of the potential local open government had in its nascent heyday way back two years ago.

Measured Voice President Jed Sundwall writes “Why We’re a Civic Startup” on the company’s blog to highlight why it applied to the Code for America Accelerator program.

Creating sustainable, meaningful civic contributions to government is something I’ve addressed before, and it’s something that continues to elude us in the form of civic applications and hackathons, despite the overwhelming attention given to each.

Since 2008, there has been a wave of voting law changes that impose barriers to the ballot box. Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a veteran of “Bloody Sunday,” called the new laws “the most concerted effort to restrict the right to vote since before the Voting Rights Act.” The right to vote is being chiseled away […]

There’s been a great deal of discussion lately around the topic of government innovation, especially here in San Francisco, with the appointment of a new chief innovation officer, a new “civic accelerator,” a new venture with a consortium of Bay Area technology companies and a new technology and innovation task force led by SF Mayor Ed Lee.

A recent Seth Godin blog post resonates with me and reflects how I’ve always approached GovFresh and will continue to do in 2012.

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has a blog post on how cities are collaborating to better leverage data analytics and maximize taxpayer return on investment. The post cites examples from major American cities and how they’ve leveraged data, especially 311 logs, to realize efficiencies.

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