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Better government through civic engagement

Governing the Sharing Economy with Technology

Governing the Sharing Economy with Technology
What would happen if you and your family were living paycheck to paycheck and you lost your job tomorrow? For more than half of all Americans, this is an all too real fear as they have less than a thousand dollars in the bank and little to no financial cushion should a catastrophic life event occur. Whether out of necessity or a desire for greater financial freedom, one of the modern marvels of the headline-grabbing sharing economy is that it provides citizens immediate access to income if they need it, and flexible work arrangements that can fit into complex lives. That is, if the right technology is in place to help them quickly. Perhaps you have a spare room that could be posted for availability on Airbnb. Or a car you could drive for Lyft or Uber. I would venture to say that many Americans have been reassured knowing that they......
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Registration Is Now Open for Accela Engage 2016!

Registration Is Now Open for Accela Engage 2016!
I’m excited to announce that registration is now open for Accela Engage 2016, the civic tech conference that brings together more than 1,000 customers, government leaders, business partners, thought leaders and Accela staff for a week of training, networking, inspiration and fun! The conference will be held August 21-26 at the JW Marriott L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, and attendees will have the opportunity to network, learn and build relationships with the best in the civic tech industry. We’ll have a record number of breakout sessions and training, as well as a number of networking events. Take a look at the agenda to see what’s in store. WHAT ATTENDEES HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ENGAGE “Accela Engage is a ‘must’ show because you get the most opportunity to meet with agencies, learn about the concepts and the product, and be trained in a very cost-effective way. In a short amount of time, I think you......
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Infrastructure Matters: Four Ways to Extend the Life of Your Assets While Reducing Costs

Infrastructure Matters: Four Ways to Extend the Life of Your Assets While Reducing Costs
People often take for granted the key public infrastructure and assets that keep our communities functioning. From traffic lights responsible for keeping rush hour traffic moving, to storm drains that capture rainwater that might otherwise flood our neighborhoods, infrastructure matters to our country, our economy, our quality of life and our communities. Hundreds of organizations are raising awareness about the need to invest in infrastructure locally and nationally in celebration of Infrastructure Week and National Public Works Week. I think many public works departments would agree that using the right technology and tools is the first step for effectively managing public infrastructure as cost-efficiently as possible to maximize long-term investment. So in honor of this week, I want to share four ways local, innovative governments can use (and are using) technology to extend the life of their infrastructure and enhance the efficacy of their work. 1. Consolidate multiple sources of data......
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What Works Cities Summit: The Power of Data Goes Mainstream

What Works Cities Summit: The Power of Data Goes Mainstream
A few weeks ago in New York City, government innovators from all over the country convened for the first ever “What Works Cities” Summit. What Works Cities (WWC) is an initiative of the Bloomberg Philanthropies that aims to bring open data and data analytics to 100 small and mid-sized American cities over the next several years. At the Summit, the first cohort of 27 cities came together for some presentations and practical advice from the leaders of a collection of organizations spearheading the WWC effort – the Center for Government Excellence, Results for America and the Sunlight Foundation. A number of the 27 cities currently taking part in the What Works Cities initiative are Accela customers and it is gratifying to see investment and energy focused on an area that we at Accela have long believed could bring tremendous benefits to state and local governments. In fact, bringing open data and data ......
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Accela Engage 2016 Is Shaping Up to Be Bigger and Better Than Ever Before

Accela Engage 2016 Is Shaping Up to Be Bigger and Better Than Ever Before
As the team here gets ready to open up registration next week for Accela Engage, I can’t help but think back on Accela Engage conferences of years past. I first attended Engage in 2013, only about six weeks after joining the company. I was impressed by the strong sense of community among attendees and Accela staff, something I hadn’t seen to such a degree at other companies’ conferences I’ve been to. Accela Engage has grown significantly in the past several years, and now brings together more than 1,000 customers, government leaders, business partners, thought leaders and Accela staff for a week of training, networking and inspiration. We’ll be returning to Los Angeles in 2016 for an event packed with more training, more breakout sessions and more chances to learn about the latest innovations than ever before. For many, this is the one time each year they get to really focus on learning ......
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Government Invades SXSW: An Interview with Civic Insight Co-founder Eddie Tejeda

Government Invades SXSW: An Interview with Civic Insight Co-founder Eddie Tejeda
South by Southwest (SXSW) is an annual set of conferences and festivals staged in Austin, TX, that showcase original music, independent films and emerging technologies. The SXSW Interactive conference specifically is a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies, including a startup accelerator. 2016 marked the first year SXSW offered a government track, because rather than SXSW happening to the City of Austin, the organizers wanted it to happen in collaboration with the City of Austin. The organizers had the opinion that “Mayors need to embrace civic tech startups early, be part of the iterating, and help frame the issues to make it easier for companies to navigate the bureaucratic dark matter within their organizations.” The Mayor of the City of Austin and the City of Austin Innovation Office put out the following questions to civic tech startups across the country: How might startups and entrepreneurs help cities solve their tou......
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