Gov 2.0, Open Data

California electronic records legislation – SB 1002

Senate Bill 1002, which creates a new “open data standard” in the California Public Records Act, is proceeding in the Assembly after approval by the Senate. The League of California Cities has emerged as the main opponent of the bill. Read their thoughts here.

I’ve expressed my personal thoughts on the League of California Cities’ position on SB 1002 here.

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Gov 2.0, News, Open Data, Public Participation

Thinking Global, Acting Local: Let’s Do It SF!

City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s Office today launched an initiative very dear to my heart, Let’s Do It SF! The anti-blight campaign brings together resources from City departments including DPW, 311 and SF Environment, as well as mobile and Web geo-tagged incident reporting from SeeClickFix and Open311, and the inspiration of an incredible campaign to clean up illegal dumping in 100 countries across the world in 2012.

The Let’s Do It SF! initiative is true Gov 2.0 in action – cross-departmental collaboration, utilizing open data principles to bring in free private sector resources, and an agile social media-fueled engagement plan. Open311, an API pioneered by the SF Department of Technology and 311 in cooperation with NY non-profit OpenPlans, enables commercial apps like SeeClickFix (it features free Web widgets and is free to download for smart phone) to integrate directly with the City’s service request ticketing system. Several apps have used Open311 to better serve San Francisco residents, and 311 also uses Facebook to take requests.

The City Attorney’s Office will be kicking off a training program for folks who live and work in San Francisco and want to learn how access 311 services and leverage mobile apps like SeeClickFix to help fight illegal dumping and graffiti vandalism. You can sign up for updates on the training program here.

“Let’s Do It!” began in 2008 in Estonia, where a small, committed group of organizers inspired 50,000 volunteers to clean their entire country in a single day. They are now planning an ambitious worldwide cleanup for 2012 (check out my podcast with Let’s Do It World organizer Irmelin Hiie here). You can sign up to help with that effort here.

City employees discuss logistics for Saturday's Earth Day cleanup in District 6.

At home, the City Attorney’s Office and Let’s Do It SF! volunteers will be participating this Saturday in DPW’s Clean Team event to clean and green District 6. Sign up here to join us.

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Gov 2.0, News, Public Participation

Third Thursdays SF with TransportationCamp

Friends of OpenSF packed into mid-Market’s Mavelous last night, kicking off discussion and networking around transit-oriented innovation, tech, good government and healthy cities. The event was Third Thursdays SF, a monthly tech and civics meetup organized by OpenSF, CityCampSF, GovFresh and Gov 2.0 Radio (my “networked government” Web radio show).

City workers, local developers and progressive activists were greeted by Frank Hebbert from OpenPlans, who opened the night with a short film by Streetfilms recapping the TransportationCamp unconference held in New York earlier this month. TransportationCamp is in SF this weekend at Public Works.

More photos of March’s Third Thursdays event here.

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News

SF Launches SFFireApp.org to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates

SFFD Chief Joanne Hayes-White, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, SF Paramedic Assn. CEO Arthur Hsieh, Code for America's Jennifer Pahlka

In a great example of Gov 2.0 collaboration in action, City Attorney Dennis Herrera (I work in the City Attorney’s Office as an investigator) and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White today announced SFFireApp.org, an effort to increase sudden cardiac arrest survival rates in San Francisco. The initiative seeks to successfully implement innovative mobile technology developed through the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District and released in the SF East Bay for the iPhone in late January.

Visit SFFireApp.org to learn more and get involved.

San Francisco became the first large municipality to publicly commit to implement the “Fire Department” application, which links CPR-trained volunteers, AED maps and smartphone users in an effort to save lives in the first few minutes after cardiac arrest. Last year, only 10 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims in SF survived to admission in the hospital. The initiative may also save public health dollars by reducing injury to survivors.

“San Ramon has less than 100 sudden cardiac arrests a year, and for this application to have a meaningful impact on society we need to extend it to larger jurisdictions,” said SRVFPD Chief Richard Price. “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with San Francisco today to extend this life-saving tool to the city as soon as possible.”

City Attorney’s Office press release.

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Open Data Improves Lives

In case you missed it on Sunday, the New York Times had a great article on the importance of government-published open data and its benefits to business and community. The article, by Richard H. Thaler of the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, singled out the pioneering efforts of San Francisco’s government and developers:

For some years, Bay Area transit systems had been tracking the locations of their trains and buses via onboard GPS. Then someone got the bright idea to post that information in real time. Thus the delightful app Routesy was born. Install it on a smartphone and the app can tell you that your bus is stuck in traffic and will be 10 minutes late — or it can help you realize that you are standing on the wrong street, dummy. It gives consumers a great new way to find out when and where the bus is coming, and all at minimal government expense.

Find the full Times article here, and check out DataSF for more good bits. 

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Gov 2.0, News, Open Data, Open Source

Chris Vein: From SF to the White House

As reported on Twitter, Gov 2.0 Radio and FedScoop on Wednesday, former SF CIO Chris Vein has decamped for Washington, DC, where he is the new deputy CTO for innovation.

Gov tech pubs have been abuzz with the news.

More at InformationWeek.

On the Code for America blog, Jennifer Pahlka discusses how Vein was instrumental in supporting Civic Commons and CfA. “I’m happy to see Chris and his commitment to change join the other innovators in the White House, all of whom have inspired our work,” Pahlka writes.

The National Association of Communications Officers and Advisors also did a nice write-up on the promotion for its longtime member: “This is an outstanding appointment,” said NATOA Executive Director Steve Traylor. “And it’s an important recognition by the Obama Administration of the importance of local government efforts in technology and broadband innovation.”

Good luck to Chris in his new role!

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News

Feds Release Cloud Computing Strategy

Marking the second major cloud computing white paper of the week, U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra has released a 39-page document outlining the federal government’s cloud computing strategy. Underlining the importance of the strategy, the paper leads with a figure highlighting a potential cloud spend of $20 billion, or a quarter of annual agency IT budgets.

The paper comes the same week as the NIST released a draft version of its cloud security and privacy guidelines.

According to Kundra, agencies that have the most potential spending on cloud computing include DHS, Treasury, DOD, VA, and DOT. Cloud policies and strategies from the federal government are increasingly important to municipalities such as San Francisco, because federal spending often drives private-sector terms of use, security, and standard service level agreements in ways that benefit other government entities. The new paper cites a GSA “infrastructure as a service” contract that includes 12 vendors cleared to provide cloud storage, virtual machines and web hosting for federal agencies.

For government entities looking at adoption of cloud solutions, the strategy paper includes a valuable breakdown of federal agency roles in cloud standards and responsibilities, as well as an extensive index of resources.

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Twitter to Take Roost Next to Civic Center?

SF Mayor Ed Lee was on KQED’s Forum program this morning, and one of his main topics was the negotations to keep Twitter in San Francisco. Former Mayor Gavin Newsom was a big Twitter booster, and more than 50 City officials and agencies actively use the micro-blogging service. Mayor Lee and two supervisors have sponsored legislation offering tax breaks for the Mid-Market area in an effort to bring in Twitter as an anchor tenant. The company is looking to move from SoMa due to its growth. City supervisors have yet to vote on the tax proposal.

“It was well worth the effort we made to keep these folks here,” Lee told Forum’s Michael Krasny.

Lee hopes that Twitter will become an anchor tenant in the massive SF Mart building between 9th and 10th, pictured above, just a block from City Hall and surrounded by municipal offices. I recently wrote about the Mid-Market’s transformation over the last decade.

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NIST Takes On Cloud Security

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released two draft documents on cloud computing, and is taking comments by e-mail through the end of this month.

The documents include a definition of cloud, which NIST researchers say has five core features: on-demand self-service; broad network access; resource pooling; rapid elasticity; and measured service. NIST classified three types of cloud: infrastructure as a service; platform as a service; and software as a service, and four models: public, private, hybrid and community.

NIST’s guidelines on public cloud security and privacy are meaty and well-researched, presenting many of the challenges of public cloud for government agencies as well as planning mitigations.

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