United States

California commission wants the state to design a better government

A California bipartisan oversight committee, the Little Hoover Commission, has issued recommendations on how the state can bring a more customer-centric government to residents and visitors.

‘No ugly, old IT.’

“No ugly, old IT” jumped out at me when I first reviewed DataSF’s strategic plan, “Data in San Francisco: Meeting supply, spurring demand,” and it still sticks, mostly because someone inside government was so bold as to make this a priority and openly communicate it and also because this should be a mantra for everyone building civic technology.

Oakland seeks chief information officer

Oakland is looking for its next chief information officer to help position the city “at the forefront of American cities in its use of technology.”

California launches innovation contests to improve government operations

The state of California has launched a $25K Find a New Way innovation contest that gives residents a chance “to identify areas of improvement within the state government and share their untapped expertise to create solutions.”

Tennessee’s new logo

There is a lot of shortsighted chatter around the state of Tennessee’s new branding efforts and, while I don’t have a strong opinion on the logo aesthetics, which has received criticism for its $46,000 price tag, it’s important to commend the holistic approach to uniformity and why this will benefit residents (and taxpayers) in the future.

San Francisco publishes year two plan, continues to lead on open data

San Francisco’s DataSF team continues to quietly and effectively demonstrate what an efficient, holistic and personable approach to open data looks like with the announcement of its year two plan and retrospective of the past year.

The changing relationship between tech and government

Silicon Valley venture capital firm a16z hosts an excellent discussion with current Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and former mayor Adrian Fenty on its a16z Podcast series.

How and why Los Angeles deployed open source and agile

Last week at DrupalCon, representatives from the city of Los Angeles, CivicActions and Acquia shared their development and project management process to begin migrating and consolidating websites across 40 agencies to a single instance using Acquia Cloud Site Factory.

Register: ‘Agile Government and the State of Maine’

Agile Government Leadership will host its next AGL Live, “Agile Government and the State of Maine,” featuring Maine Director of Business Process Management Douglas Averill.

Inside Palo Alto’s new Civic Technology Center

Last week, I met with Palo Alto Chief Information Officer Jonathan Reichental to get a tour of the city’s new Civic Technology Center, an open space that centralizes the city’s information technology staff, call and data centers into one working area.

Register and learn how Salt Lake City is going agile

Join Agile Government Leadership tomorrow via Google Hangout on Air for a discussion on how Salt Lake City is implementing agile development.

Chief data officer as business developer (part 2)

Chicago Chief Data Officer Tom Schenk has a great follow-up blog post riffing off my Friday commentary on the CDO’s role as business developer.

Talk to the hand: New Covington logo breaks government convention

I’m a huge fan of government re-branding to modernize away from the antiquated look of the traditional seal, mostly because I believe it can play a huge role in citizen sentiment and how employees see themselves and their roles as public servants.

Philadelphia launches alpha city website

The new site, located at alpha.phila.gov, is powered by WordPress with a custom theme that hopefully the city will open source at some point in the future.

City icons and Vocativ’s livability index

Vocativ published its 2014 Livability Index of the 35 best cities for people 35 and under, and the best part of it is the montage of city icons they created for the piece.

Taking the innovation office government-wide

There’s a great Code for America Summit talk from Philadelphia Chief Data Officer Tim Wisniewski on what they’re doing to build a city-wide culture of innovation, including a physical open space office where anyone can work, a $100,000 internal innovation fund and tapping into external talent.

What if mayors ruled the world?

Freakonomics Radio has a great episode on the dynamics of mayors and their ability (compared to governors and presidents) to directly and immediately impact the lives of citizens, primarily because they deal with tactical issues with relatively less political obstacles.

Analytics and outcome-based government

Michael Flowers shares insights into his time as the former New York City chief analytics officer at the NYC Office of Data Analytics under Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the 2014 Code for America Summit.

Defaulting to open: A foundation for data-driven decisions

San Francisco Chief Data Officer Joy Bonaguro shares her vision for the city’s open data future at the 2014 Code for America Summit.

These 7 local governments will Code for America in 2015

Code for America today announced the next class of municipalities for its 2015 Fellowship Program that partners civic technologists with local governments for one year to “explore answers to local challenges by engaging with the community, building applications, and testing the results.”

Follow GovFresh