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Obama Veterans Partner Up To Enable Long-Tail Media Campaigns

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, November 21 2013

This map from GMMB and Civis Analytics displays patterns of the percentages of uninsured populations in the U.S.

The Democratically-oriented GMMB advertising communications company is partnering with Civis Analytics to offer clients the same "Optimizer" tool that the Obama campaign used to more efficiently target its television advertising and messaging at voters that its analysts had determined were persuadable. Read More

San Francisco Mayor's Office Unveils 11 Finalists For Entrepreneurship-in-Residence Program

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, November 20 2013

The San Francisco Mayor's Office of Innovation has unveiled 11 finalists to potentially participate in its Entrepreneurship-in-Residence program. Read More

NGP VAN Brings Obama Campaign Startup National Field Into The Fold

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, November 14 2013

NGP VAN significantly expanded its suite of offerings Thursday when it announced that it has acquired the political tech startup National Field, which was born out of President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. The ... Read More

Why Bitcoin Will Remain A Bit Player in Politics

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, November 11 2013

FEC memo says Bitcoin ok for political campaigns but shouldn't be treated as cash (Flickr/antanacoins)

U.S. political campaigns will likely be allowed to accept Bitcoin donations later this month, but don’t expect the development to spur a revolution in digital donations anytime soon. Sarah Lai Stirland reports that for all the buzz, candidates and organizations are finding that Bitcoins aren't easy to use and may be more trouble than they're worth. Read More

Change.org Enables Elected Leaders To Respond To Petitions

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, October 23 2013

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) is one of the early adopters of Change.org's new petition response feature

Change.org moved on Wednesday to change the tenor of public conversation between U.S. politicians and their constituents. The company, which is the global leader in the booming market for online petitioning tools, ... Read More

GitHub Launches Showcase of Government-Citizen Collaborations

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, October 15 2013

GitHub, the social coding startup in San Francisco, launched a new portal Tuesday to showcase some of the more interesting civic collaborations between governments around the world and their citizens. "Governments at all levels have been using GitHub for some time now to build better, more accessible websites, publish laws and data, and even collaborate on policies themselves," said GitHub's Government 2.0 Evangelist Ben Balter in a blog post Tuesday morning. "Today we're proud to announced the launch of government.github.com, a website dedicated to showcasing the amazing efforts of public servants and civic hackers around the globe." Read More

Four Years In, Code for America's Experiments In Disrupting Govt Still Just The Beginning

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, October 14 2013

One of Code for America's projects this year uses text messaging to notify food stamp recipients about their benefits

Code for America's projects may not end world hunger, overhaul a broken criminal justice system, or solve municipal budget crises in of themselves — but both citizens and government officials see promise in using the organization’s philosophy and techniques to work more closely together to incrementally solve these kinds of problems. That’s becoming increasingly evident as the San Francisco non-profit enters its fourth year and convenes its annual summit this week downtown. Officials from 85 cities both in the United States and abroad are getting together to discuss everything from the merits and limits of acquiring talent and technology through the social coding site Github to implementing municipal entrepreneurship-in-residence programs. Last year, officials from 30 cities attended. Read More

NationBuilder Launches Its Version of an iOS for Movements and Campaigns

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, October 11 2013

NationBuilder founder Jim Gilliam visiting PDF office, 2009 (By Micah L. Sifry)

The Republican National Committee spent much of the spring of 2013 publicizing its ambition to build an in-house apps platform to enable technological innovations in their political sphere of technology, but it turns out that the non-partisan software startup NationBuilder may have gotten there first. NationBuilder pulled the wraps off of its new application platform earlier this week with an impressive array of companies that have made use of NationBuilder's new application programming interface (API.) They include Organizer, which makes a canvassing tool that we covered last week, and a host of other apps that for activists and politically-engaged citizens from ActionSprout, Amicus, CallFire, Change.org, ControlShift, and MobileCommons. Read More

Mobile Canvassing Startup Organizer Changes Leadership, Integrates With NationBuilder

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, October 3 2013

Organizer enables campaigners to 'cut turf' by precinct, and managers to track their progress

Organizer, the Democratically-oriented mobile political canvassing software startup, signaled a new strategic direction earlier this week when it casually unveiled the news that it has appointed new leadership in the form of Bay Area politico Chris Kelly, at the same time that it announced a closer integration with NationBuilder. Read More

High-Tech NYPD Is Body Camera Shy, As Departments Across Country Embrace Them

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, September 23 2013

Taser's Axon Flex cameras are the high-end ones that can fit onto glasses Image: Taser

When a federal judge ruled in August that New York City's stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional, she also ordered that policemen wear body cameras in the precincts most vulnerable to stop-and-frisk. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called the prospect of implementing this order "a nightmare" and has filed an appeal. Yet hundreds of police departments around the country are implementing such camera systems as they're sold on the idea that the footage will exonerate officers and help them to resolve complaints and lawsuits against officers more efficiently. Read More