Civic Innovations

Technology, Government Innovation, and Open Data

Open Government

  • Leveraging the Government 2.0 Platform

    A couple months back, I was thrilled to see the New York State Senate expose an API for querying the status of bills in its Legislative Information System. The release of this API is just one component of an exciting change underway in the Senate’s IT management (under NY Senate CIO Andrew Hoppin and his… Continue reading

  • Opening Government Data – the San Francisco Way

    The City of San Francisco recently unveiled a one-stop clearinghouse for all sorts of data generated and maintained by city agencies. Its an exciting first step in an effort that is high on the agenda of San Francisco CIO Chris Vein and Mayor Gavin Newsom – a tangible and visible commitment to open source technologies,… Continue reading

  • Looking for Collaborators

    I’m thinking about starting a project to develop an application that uses crime incident data from the City of San Francisco and allows people to identify crimes that occur close to their homes and/or places of business. I worked on a similar project for the original Apps for Democracy contest last year. Crime incident data… Continue reading

  • Looking Pretty Good!

    For those government agencies using Twitter for notification, 311 and other services I’ll bet its been a tough morning. They may want to have a look at – a competing (albeit much smaller) micro-blogging site that even piggybacks on Twitter’s API. I’ve said before that government’s need to spread the love among different social… Continue reading

  • It’s About the Crowd

    Last night, when the polls closed for the special election in Delaware’s 19th Senate District, people across the state fired up their browsers and pulled up the web site for the Department of Elections to check the results. And then they waited… And waited… And waited some more. The waiting is the hardest part The… Continue reading

  • Ten Two Ways To Make Twitter Useful For Government

    eWeek Europe has an article up listing 10 ways to make Twitter useful for governments. The time is ripe for such thinking – more and more governments are using Twitter to interact with citizens, and its fitting that governments spend some time thinking about how this tool can be used most effectively. Still, the eWeek… Continue reading

  • Open Gov: A Means to and End

    With all of the activity and excitement taking place around the country focused on new Government 2.0 and open government initiatives, its easy for those involved to get lost in the technology. Those of us that love technology and work with it for a living can get lost pretty quickly in the minutia of implementing… Continue reading

  • NYC 311 Gets Skyped, Twittified!

    I’ve seen Tweets all morning coming out of the Personal Democracy Forum Conference about New York City’s 311 service. Looks like NYC 311, in addition to being on the web, is now also on Skype (user name is nyc311) and on Twitter. I’m following @311NYC on Twitter now, and I’ve also added it to my… Continue reading

  • Building an IM Bot for the NY Senate OpenLeg API

    The NY Senate made an exciting announcement today – a host of new open source software and services are being deployed to enhance transparency in what the Senate does. This is big news, and a major tip of the hat goes to the NY Senate CIO, Andrew Hoppin, and his staff. They are doing amazing… Continue reading

  • Delaware Government on YouTube

    I think it’s great the Delaware Government has an official channel on YouTube, I just can’t find anything to watch on it. The most obvious omission from the Delaware Government YouTube Channel seems to be any coverage of official government business (unless I’m missing something). I want to see committee meetings, legislative and executive hearings,… Continue reading

About Me

I am the former Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia. I also served as Director of Government Relations at Code for America, and as Director of the State of Delaware’s Government Information Center. For about six years, I served in the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS), and helped pioneer their work with state and local governments. I also led platform evangelism efforts for TTS’ cloud platform, which supports over 30 critical federal agency systems.