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Digital Engagement Starting to Be New Normal in New York City Council and City Hall

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 21 2014

Google Hangout with Ben Kallos

Public officials in New York City, from the mayor down to newly elected members of the City Council, are starting to make digital engagement more of an integrated part of their daily routine, as Miranda Neubauer reports. Read More

NYPD Commissioner Bratton Appoints Tech Deputy Jessica Tisch

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, February 13 2014

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced Wednesday night that he was naming Jessica Tisch as Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology. Her previous positions were Counsel to the Police Commissioner and Director of Policy and Planning in the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau. The previous Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology and CIO was James Onalfo. Read More

Open Survey Data from Mayoral Transition Initiative Helps Interpret State of NYC

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, February 12 2014

Talking Transition data on housing in NYC

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his State of the City address Monday, but coders and developers have the chance to present alternative takes on the State of the City with the help of data now provided by Talking Transition, a community engagement effort that sought to crowdsource New Yorkers' opinions about the future direction of the city on the occasion of the mayoral transition. Read More

More Transparency on Agenda for NYPD and New York City Council

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, February 11 2014

NYPD Commissioner Bratton at a CompStat Meeting (Bratton/Twitter)

While there was a lot of hype about a report that the NYPD is testing Google Glass, in the short-term a policy-shift toward more accessible NYPD data has the potential to be more consequential for New Yorkers at large. Read More

Ready to Launch, A New Platform to Ask Elected Officials Anything

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 7 2014

Last week, the White House made something of a splash with its Big Block of Cheese Day, encouraging internet users to ask members of the Obama administration and the White House staff questions on social media. A new platform officially launching Monday hopes to provide voters with the opportunity to pose questions to elected officials and other prominent figures every day of the year, in some ways echoing an ongoing Ask Me Anything concept. Read More

For Democrats, Imitation Not Exactly a Form of Flattery

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, February 5 2014

Democrats created a website mocking republicans' attempt at an in-house tech incubator (screenshot)

Democratic organizers are not impressed with a new Republican National Committee effort to catch up with the Democratic data advantage. They have responded to the Republican's new in-house technology incubator called Para Bellum Labs with a parody website at a similar web address. Read More

Obama Virtual Road Trip Touches on Net Neutrality, Euromaidan, Surveillance, Economy and Obamacare

BY Miranda Neubauer | Saturday, February 1 2014

In a virtual "road trip," or series of Google hangouts across the United States, President Obama participated in Friday, he at one point answered a question about how he viewed the democracy protests in the Ukraine. But his answer said as much about the mindset behind the online post-State-of-the Union Q & A session as it did about the protesters in the Ukraine. Read More

After Snowden, Columbia J-School Panel Sees Renewed Need for Legal Framework Protecting Journalists

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, January 31 2014

The editors of the Guardian's U.S. edition and the New York Times, a First Amendment lawyer and a member of the Obama-appointed surveillance review panel called for a renewed legal framework to protect the privacy and security interests of journalists in the wake of the unprecedented surveillance revelations from Edward Snowden at a panel at Columbia University Thursday night. Noting varying degrees of government pressure on both sides of the Atlantic, Guardian U.S. editor Janine Gibson and New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson stressed that respecting the right of news organizations to report on sensitive materials was in the government's interest as well, since otherwise the material would simply find its way out in a completely haphazard way without regard for any journalistic responsibility, which was also the outcome Edward Snowden hoped to avoid. Read More

With Online Public Engagement, White House Follows West Wing Playbook

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, January 30 2014

Science and Technology Adviser John Holdren (Twitter/OSTP)

On The West Wing, on the day known as Big Block of Cheese Day, White House staffers met with advocates for more White House attention on UFOs, supporters of a wolves-only highway and map makers for social equality. As Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, played by John Spencer, explained in the episodes, the inspiration for the tradition that he brought to the Bartlet White House came from President Andrew Jackson, who received a 1,400 pound block of cheese as a gift from a New York dairy farmer, left it in the White House entrance hall two age for two years, and then invited the public to come and eat it. Read More

For Presidential Election Commission, Long Lines at Polls Are a Technology and Data Problem

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, January 29 2014

Election Resource Calculator

In his State of the Union speech last night, President Obama praised the work of his bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration, emphasizing that it "has offered reforms so that no one has to wait more than a half hour to vote." On Election Night 2012, noting that many had "waited in line for a very long time," he emphasized "we have to fix that." With its report published last week, the commission outlines how the widespread ground-level adoption of new innovative election technology is directly tied to shorter lines at the polls. Read More