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Accela Insights

Better government through civic engagement

Marijuana and the Sharing Economy: The Top Government Regulatory Challenges of 2017

Presidential politics has the tendency to drown out all other electoral storylines. If you're in need of proof, consider this: marijuana was legalized for either recreational or medical use in eight of nine states in which it was on the ballot, including the big one – California. Cannabis is now legal in some form in 28 out of 50 states, yet that headline has barely been discussed in the mainstream media. This is just one of several public policy issues that will challenge government officials in 2017. Another is the sharing economy. State and local government officials throughout the U.S. have been trying to figure out how to handle the rise of Airbnb and ridesharing services Lyft and Uber for some time. In San Francisco, Airbnb hosts are now required to register and pay fees to the city. But of the 7,000+ residents who rent out their homes, only a little over a......
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What it Means to Serve NEHA as a Technical Advisor

What it Means to Serve NEHA as a Technical Advisor
I received an exciting email last week from David Riggs, NEHA President, reappointing me as NEHA’s Technology and Informatics Technical Advisor. NEHA (National Environmental Health Association), and its 5,000 work to advance the environmental health and protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all. Accela and NEHA are partnered in the Building Capacity initiative, a collaborative effort to elevate the environmental health profession through technology. I have held the position of Technical Advisor for several years and welcome the opportunity to serve again. In this capacity, I am responsible for providing subject-matter expertise and counsel on informatics to include software, GIS, and management applications to NEHA’s board of directors, staff, affiliates and members. As one of 26 Technical Advisors covering areas relevant to environmental health, I am called on to assist NEHA in identifying and sharing trends and needs of importance, as well as participate in a var......
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A note from Accela’s Chairman and new acting CEO, Mark Jung

After spending some time working closely with the Accela team, I wanted to formally introduce myself and let you know that in addition to Chairman of the Board, I have assumed the role of acting CEO at Accela. For more than 15 years, many of which were under the excellent leadership of Maury Blackman, Accela has established itself as the leader in delivering robust, government-centric solutions that drive efficiency and engagement for communities of all sizes. From my experience leading both private and public companies in the enterprise software and cloud spaces, Accela has reached a place where it is ready to catapult to the next level, and I’m humbled to be a part of it. I recently spoke with Government Technology about a new direction for Accela—one that I believe will steer the company into a future of even greater innovation—and I’d like to share my goals for Accela and what op......
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It’s Time for Clean & Clear Civic Tech

It’s Time for Clean & Clear Civic Tech
Accela guest blogger and EfficientGov columnist, Derek Porter, reviews key learnings from the largest civic tech conference. California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom addresses barriers to innovation. Accela Engage brings together more than 1,000 agency customers, government leaders, partners and Accela staff for the nation’s biggest civic technology conference. This week-long event is dedicated to focused learning on new and better ways to use civic tech to improve core processes and better engage with citizens. But it also engages government technology practitioners in building for success in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. A New Vision for Civic Tech The top takeaway from this year’s conference in Los Angeles, Calif., was that civic tech innovations have helped us fundamentally shift the way we understand our world and our place in it. California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom spoke passionately about: Cutting wasteful tech spending Breaking down barriers to transparency Connecting citizens to critical services These “three pillars” are cruci......
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Removing Barriers with Accela Contractor Central

Removing Barriers with Accela Contractor Central
When we started our pilot program with Tampa last year, our goal was simple: make it easy for contractors to work with government agencies on the permitting process. Through joint collaboration with the Tampa agency and the contractors they work with, Accela used interviews, prototypes and a fully functioning application to really try and address issues that slowed down the permitting process. The result is a streamlined Contractor Central application, available on iOS and Android, that works with contractors to make their day-to-day jobs easier. How this app idea came about As a company, our mission is to provide the tools that make being a citizen, a business owner and a government employee easier. When we looked at the issues plaguing contractor and government agency interaction, it became clear that there was no one solution for contractors to manage all of the daily tasks they have. Even if an agency has......
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Accela Engage Series: Q&A with Dave Sullivan, Applications Specialist for the Cape Cod Commission

Accela Engage Series: Q&A with Dave Sullivan, Applications Specialist for the Cape Cod Commission
With over three years working as an Applications Specialist for the Cape Cod Commission (CCC), Dave Sullivan has successfully implemented four different accounts on the Civic Platform. His charge is to look for ways to become more cost-effective and his agency is looking to leverage regional resources to do so. The CCC is transforming from a data collection agency to a value-add agency, using data to improve economic development. Have you attended Engage in the past?Yes, this will be my third Engage and my second one where I will be speaking. Last year I co-presented on using Accela and GIS to create an environmental determination (parcel) report. What things do you enjoy most about Engage?I have been able to go to Engage for all three years I have been involved with Cape Cod. And in fact, I joined the commission at the end of May, and went to my first Engage......
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