citizen participation

Solving local problems through citizen participation

contest for citizen participation and local open government

Bloomberg Philanthropies recently launched the Mayors Challenge, a contest for funding in the European Union where large cities submit new, innovative ideas for solving local problems.

The EU contest is modeled on a similar competition for cities in the United States, where more than 300 cities submitted ideas covering issues ranging from sustainable development to education to citizen development. The grand prize of that contest went to a program in Providence, R.I. that works to improve the vocabulary of children in low-income households. » Read more

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Default to open data: an Executive Order

transparency in government

Last week, The White House published an Executive Order by which the default method for government data collection and dissemination must now be: » Read more

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OpenOakland: Another city learns the value of open communication

Government can't be a vending machine

I recently co-founded an organization called OpenOakland with Code for America alumni Eddie Tejeda. One of our passions was that we both believe that government can and should be much more than a vending machine. It’s no secret that current local governments have a ton of changing to do, but we think it is unlikely that these changes will come about swiftly without all of us being involved and engaged; and supporting our government staff and leaders to make these changes. » Read more

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What does open government mean to you?

open government

Open government means different things to different people. Is it about transparency, collaboration, or participation? Maybe it’s a combination of all three? If you listen to Tim O’Reilly speak about open government, he'll tell you about his vision of government as a platform

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Beth Noveck predicts two phases of open government in TED Talk

A new dawn

I recently watched a new TED Talk by the first and former White House Deputy CTO Beth Noveck, delivered in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is really the initial instigator of the modern open government movement in the United States and is now working to make it a reality worldwide. What I like best about her talk is the litany of examples that are happening all over the world—from painting the national budget on hundreds of walls so that locals can comment on it to a Texas wiki that lets citizens and businesses comment on regulations. Take a look:

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Can citizens use open source to create legislation?

two-way street sign

In recent weeks we've seen a number of projects in the area of collaborative legislation that operate similarly to open source software. Today, you can find French, German, and Swiss proposals in git repositories. If you're a developer familiar with these tools, it's easy for you to review the patches (bills), submit your own, and collaborate around the code (law). These are exciting projects undertaken by people in many different countries, but very few governing bodies appear to be harnessing their citizens' input. » Read more

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CityCamp Raleigh sets up for year two this weekend, $5000 prize

CityCamp Raleigh

Last year, CityCamp Raleigh raised the bar on the city’s adoption of open sourced solutions and helped bring citizens to the problem solving table. This weekend, the gang behind the event are hosting it again with the same $5000 prize for the best idea and solution. » Read more

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Kansas City explores open government, civic life, and innovation

Kansas City explores open government, civic life, and innovation

The exploration of open government and civic participation in Kansas City has already begun. This weekend, a new chapter begins. A chapter that will include open source, open data, citizen engagement, a Bike Walk hackathon, and more. In fact, it might materialize into several chapters that could start with rapid-fire lighting talks and end with dueling mayors who are innovating beyond borders. And what would a CityCamp be without an unconference? That's a whole chapter by itself.

Meet Jase Wilson, a civic entrepreneur and CEO of Luminopolis. He's one of the main organizers for CityCamp Kansas City. Before I head out to Kansas City this weekend, I wanted to know more about the event and the open government movement in the Kansas City metro area. Here's my interview with Jase Wilson. » Read more

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The Code for America brigade effect

The Code for America 'brigade effect'

Have you ever seen results from your community engagement and realized the impact of your efforts? We recently told you about the LocalWiki project and shared some of the results from the Triangle Wiki day event. But then our friends at Code for America took it a step further. » Read more

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Honolulu looks to build new local tools and applications

Honolulu looks to build new local tools and applications

For a 24 hour period, on January 20-21, 2012, starting at 5 p.m., a mix of programmers and entrepreneurs--partnered with City and County of Honolulu officials and armed with an broad array of government data--will come together to develop applications designed to improve the day-to-day lives of Honolulu residents. » Read more

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