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Now You Can See Who Really Pays NYC Property Taxes

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, March 5 2014

Property tax revenue makes up around a quarter of New York City's budget, but until now broader information about it has not been easily accessible. Users could only look up individual properties by entering lot and block information into a basic online form on a city website, and would have had to cross-reference that information with a building's address and other sources, explained Chris Whong, co-organizer of New York City's Code for America brigade betaNYC. "This data is much more powerful in the aggregate," he said. That's why, as part of last week's Code Across NYC hackathon, he along with several collaborators worked to develop an online platform "born out of curiosity" that maps New York City property data. Read More

Enthusiasm and Challenges for Making NYC Local Government More Tech-Friendly

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 28 2014

Gale Brewer, Noel Hidalgo and Ben Kallos at Code Across NYC (Twitter via @ppolitics)

Last weekend, around one hundred members of New York City's civic hacker community came together to help develop tools that would be useful for City Council and local Community Board members as part of Code Across NYC, organized by Code for America brigade betaNYC. As part of the event, open government advocates Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council member Ben Kallos discussed their transparency advocacy. With input from five Community Board members and New York City officials, the weekend program resulted in the creation of 20 projects, of which 12 were submitted for five awards. But even with all the enthusiasm, many challenges remain to making technology more accessible to local government, as participants and subsequent City Council hearings this week indicated. Read More

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

NYC Tech Group Seizes on de Blasio Agenda with Call for Traffic Accident Data

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, January 22 2014

(Transportation Alternatives)

For the New York City technology community, it is time for better traffic data to help prevent some of the unintended dangerous traffic problems in New York City. BetaNYC, New York City's Code for America brigade, is embracing the prospect of change under the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio by seizing on his agenda priority to prevent pedestrian fatalities to renew its call for the city and the NYPD to release traffic data in a more usable format. Read More

First POST: "Somebody Had to Do It"

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, January 7 2014

A blast from the FBI's dirty tricks past sheds light on the NSA's present; internal disputes at WikiLeaks spill into the open; why the Internet is so unkind to women and what to do about it; and much, much more. Read More

With Business Atlas, NYC Analytics Office Looks to 2014

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, January 2 2014

A recently released tool from the City of New York seeks to level the playing field for small businesses looking to learn more about economic conditions of neighborhoods and possible business locations. The NYC Business Atlas is a project from the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications, the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA), and the Departments of Small Business Services. Read More

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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