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Accela Insights

Better government through civic engagement

Regionalization and Open Government: Key Themes of This Week's Civic Engagement Roadshow

 The Accela Crew was out in full force this week in the heart of the South, with stops in Atlanta, GA, and Charlotte, NC. Our gracious host cities invited us into their offices to talk about Accela's new mission for #civicgood, to preview the new Civic Hero 311/service request app, to hear a brief introduction to the Accela Developer Portal (available at developer.accela.com), and to interact at the first ever Southeastern regional user group meetings. Accela Sr. Software Architect Kris Trujillo discusses App Development in Atlanta In our discussions with Accela administrators and users, government leaders, and others from the local development community, several trends emerged: Engagement Is HOT Indeed! Just a few years ago, discussion around the concept of civic engagement centered around making government services more accessible to citizens over the Web or on their mobile devices. While this is an important part of government's purpose and responsibilities, this is not......
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Oklahoma Disaster Relief: American Red Cross Donations

The tragic tornadoes in Oklahoma City have friends and families searching for ways to help. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people and the communities impacted by the recent events, and we wanted to share information on how you can help with the relief efforts. Donate to the on-the-ground efforts via the American Red Cross online or make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

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Better Governing through Civic Engagement

It’s already happening. You see it when citizens report potholes, broken signs, graffiti or nuisances using 311 apps. You see it with hackathons, the open data movement, and with organizations like Code for America and Tumml brokering innovation by bringing together developers and government agencies. There’s a palpable energy driven by technological innovations, heightened expectations, and the diverse needs of governments and the businesses they serve. At Accela, we’re keenly focused on improving governing and governments through civic engagement. Why Civic Engagement and why now? Agencies of all sizes can now deploy cloud, web, mobile and social technologies to more effectively engage with their constituencies, meet changing regulatory and compliance standards and manage civic functions. The Center for Digital Government recently completed a survey of 150 local government IT and business leaders to measure awareness and need for regulatory software. The study showed that government efficiency is the most important issue to agenc......
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CityCamp Palo Alto: Thoughts on Civic Hacking from Dr. Jonathan Reichental

Accela is a proud sponsor of the upcoming CityCamp Palo Alto, part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. The event, scheduled for June 1, 2013, will include panel discussions, technology demos, music and amazing food. Jonathan Reichental, the City of Palo Alto Chief Information Officer and the Founder and Co-creator of CityCamp Palo Alto, sent along some thoughts on civic hacking, which I've posted below. Read, comment, join us for a day of Civic Good and let us know if you will inspire and be inspired. Why Civic Hacking is Good News for Government and Our Communities by Dr. Jonathan ReichentalCity of Palo Alto Chief Information OfficerFounder and Co-creator of CityCamp Palo Alto Hacking 101 When US Navy warplanes returned to base after bombing missions during World War 2, engineers would use hacksaws to cut pieces off broken aircraft and apply them to good planes to get them to fly again. Thus,......
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What Does Civic Good Mean to You?

Earlier this week, we announced the availability of the Civic Cloud and, in parallel with that launch, you’ll notice some changes in how we talk about what we do for government agencies, how we work with partners and developers and how we engage citizens. I want you to understand what we’re trying to accomplish, why we're confident we can build our business and provide a lot of value to a lot of agencies, and how you can help tell the story. Today, Accela manages thousands of services and millions of transactions daily for more than 500 public agencies worldwide, connecting governments directly to people and streamlining processes such as permitting, licensing, asset land management and public health & safety. It’s fair to say that we have a heritage and a tradition of powering civic excellence. Our business strategy is 1) to build on that strength and to expand our market opportunity and c......
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Bring Code for America to Your City

We've been doing a lot of great work with Code for America (CfA). Whether participating in civic hackathons or partnering for their 2013 Fellowship Program, we're working together to demonstrate our commitment to civic innovation. Our friends at CfA are actively seeking local governments who want to participate in their 2014 Fellowship. As many of you know, the Code for America Fellowship is a year-long program focused on civic collaboration and innovation. The Fellowship partners talented teams of developers, designers and entrepreneurs with change agents from local governments to address a range of civic challenges. Benefits to cities include: Catalyst for innovation New perspectives on issues your city is facing Products & interfaces that are simple, beautiful and easy to use Collaboration with a network of civic innovators and thought leaders Visibility on a national stage Applications are due March 31, 2013, so click the link below to apply or to nominate a......
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