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Better government through civic engagement

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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Mark Jung Joins Accela as Chairman of the Board

Mark Jung Joins Accela as Chairman of the Board
I am pleased to welcome Mark Jung to the Accela Board of Directors as Chairman of the Board. Mark possesses an impressive track record that will serve him well in leading our Board of Directors, guiding Accela on best practices and helping to strategically align the company on its path for the future. Having held management and board positions at numerous public technology companies, he will bring nearly two decades of consumer and software expertise to Accela as we continue to develop core offerings for citizen engagement and interaction. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of DataXu, HackerRank, InMar and Pinnacle Foods. And even though he hails from the northeast (and is a hardcore Red Sox fan), he also sits on the Board of Governors of the San Francisco Symphony and is a former member of the Management Board of Stanford Business School. Most recently, he served......
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Making Modernization a Reality for More Than 300 Communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Making Modernization a Reality for More Than 300 Communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

While the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the most populous state in New England, it is also packed full of very small communities, over half of which have under 10,000 residents (with 80 percent under 40,000). And the proportionally smaller budgets have traditionally kept the most advanced and capable technological solutions out of reach.

Not any longer.

Accela and zedIT have partnered to bring the Civic Platform to small towns in an affordable and quick fashion with rapid implementation packages, making the best in government modernization finally attainable to the small towns in the Commonwealth.

With built-in industry best practices specific to the needs of Massachusetts towns, the Civic Platform includes support for emerging state-level initiatives to improve user experience and citizen service.

Read the announcement.

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Yes, Open Data Day Exists, and There Are Civic Hacking Events to Celebrate It

Yes, Open Data Day Exists, and There Are Civic Hacking Events to Celebrate It
Accela has been barnstorming big cities in recent weeks, attending civic tech and open data events. Here’s a recap of several events that Accela has helped support in the first part of 2016. New York City School of Data New York City School of Data was held on international Open Data Day, joining New York with cities across the country and around the world to celebrate open data. The event also helped to commemorate the adoption of the city’s open data law. Over 260 people attended the event, which also included strong representation from young people and students that attending talks to learn about open data and getting involved with improving their neighborhoods. Accela was a sponsor of the event and I teamed up with City Councilperson Ben Kallos for a presentation on open source software, open data and open data standards. Philadelphia Democracy Hackathon In Philadelphia, an event was recently hel......
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No More Printing, Mailing, Scanning (or Hassle): The Future of "Out for Signature" in Government

No More Printing, Mailing, Scanning (or Hassle): The Future of "Out for Signature" in Government
What if I told you that you could eliminate almost all the paper, and the associated costs, from the meeting process? From agenda creation to agreement finalization, you could streamline the entire meeting process from inside a single solution. Too good to be true? It’s not. We’re pleased to announce the integration of DocuSign’s eSignature tool into Agenda and Minutes, part of our Legislative Management solution. The digital portal introduces a secure, paperless signature capability that will help governments save time and money on the legislative process. Consider this: an Intellicap study found that the average savings per electronically signed document is $22.18 and the average turnaround time is reduced by 13.5 days (97%). When I say it’ll save you time and money, I’m not kidding. Get a handle on all the agreements and contracts your meeting process produces with eSignature capabilities. Even with the automation that comes with Agenda and Minutes, there use......
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The Solar Onboarding Experience Needs a Refresh

The Solar Onboarding Experience Needs a Refresh
The below is a guest article I published in North American Clean Energy earlier this month. In 2015, the solar industry celebrated three historic moments — in Paris, world leaders came together and agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach zero emissions by the middle of the 21st century; in Washington, D.C., Republicans and Democrats briefly put aside their differences and voted to extend tax credits for wind turbines and solar panels; and, fortuitously, this came on the heels of new federal regulations mandating a 32 percent cut in carbon from power plants that pollute our air by 2030. But before this is proclaimed a miracle for the planet, there is a government-created problem, from the horse and buggy era, which must be dealt with. And the solution may lie in our cities and counties. Disrupting the permit expediter Since 2008, residential solar panel installations are up nearly 2,000 percent. T......
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