Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Tonight, a Mayoral Debate on Open Government in San Francisco

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 16 2011

Thursday night in San Francisco, Lotus Development Corporation founder Mitch Kapor will moderate a discussion about open government, civic engagement, technology and innovation between some of the leading candidates for mayor of the City by the Bay.

Beginning at 5:45 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and held at the headquarters of WordPress developers Automatic, the sold-out event, SFOpen, will be streamed live over at GovFresh. It's the kickoff to a series of summer events about urbanism and technology, but the crescendo of a push to put open government ideas — that 21st-century governments must do a better job of communicating what they are doing and involve citizens in deciding what to do — on the map for the San Francisco mayoral campaign. Ahead of this debate, GovFresh founder Luke Fretwell has been advocating, organizing and cajoling mayoral candidates to sign a pledge to use technology to make San Francisco's government more transparent, to involve more people in making decisions, and to better collaborate with people outside government if elected. He's also hosting blog posts on open government and transparency by candidates Phil Ting and Joanna Rees, and video of interviews with candidates on the subject.

Tonight's questions will come from a crowdsourced list where the lead questions are now about participatory budgeting, a process through which some portion of a government budget is allocated by popular vote; improving the performance of San Francisco's MUNI municipal transit system; and the digital divide, the difference in access to the Internet between people of differing race and class.

In part because of the unusual system the people of San Francisco will use to decide their next mayor, the race is still wide open. The online outlet SF Appeal notes that since voters will indicate second and third choices for mayor as well as their top pick, candidates will likely be cordial with one another — in the hopes of staying likeable with enough voters to earn runner-up votes even if they are not top picks.

The event is sponsored by Change.org, GovFresh and the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, SF Appeal notes.

News Briefs

RSS Feed friday >

First POST: Upgrades

Obama tech veterans heading to Hillary 2016?; renewed calls for Obama to stop collecting Americans' phone metadata; FCC upgrades its definition of broadband service, finally; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Blogrolling

How Canada spies on its citizens' web behavior; with uber-blogger Andrew Sullivan quitting the field, whither political blogs; how big data is helping prevent homelessness in NYC; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Jargon Busters

Changes in the RNC's tech team; big plans for digital democracy in the UK; how people in Cuba are making their own private Internet; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Stalking

How the DEA tracks millions of America motorists; will the Senate enter the 21st century?; Obama veteran Jeremy Bird's role in the upcoming Israeli election; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Video Stars

How the White House hit a home run on YouTube post-State of the Union; why the Barrett Brown sentencing casts a chill on online security research; how media producers use Crowdtangle to optimize their Facebook audiences; and much, much more. GO

More