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Better government through civic engagement

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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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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