Reinvent Albany promotes open, accountable New York State government. We seek a state government that is clear and honest about its goals and activities, keeps its promises, and benefits from the collective genius and participation of New Yorkers. Our interest in government transparency and public participation is both practical and idealistic. Around the world, the governments that are the most effective and least corrupt are also the most transparent and accountable.

We strongly support the work of New Yorkers advocating for more ethical and fairer government. We share many of their goals. However, we also bring some new and different perspectives. We are particularly interested in the power of Information Technology to make our state government more responsive, open and effective. This technology — which includes the wireless internet, smart phones, social media, and open source “apps” development — is changing everyday life, and has the potential to strengthen our democracy and greatly improve our state government. Many of our initiatives propose using Information Technology to make Albany more understandable and cost effective.

Our work is focused on winning:

  1. A state government that actively uses advances in Information Technology to become more responsive, open, effective and innovative.
  2. An Open NY initiative that places the state’s vast wealth of digital information online in a usable format, and creates new opportunities for public participation and collaboration.
  3. Agency and authority accountability, including online publication of clear public goals, priorities and performance measures for state agencies and authorities.
  4. Fiscal honesty and transparency, starting with an end to the diversion of dedicated taxes and fees.
  5. A full and clear accounting of all forms of state spending, subsidies and borrowing, organized coherently and published online.

Day to day, we seek to take realistic steps toward making Albany more open and accountable. We strongly support the long-standing efforts of good government groups to improve basic democratic processes and clean government, including ethics reform, reduced barriers to voting, and fair election districts.

Our Team

Reinvent Albany has a small, experienced, professional staff and board of directors. We rely on a large circle of expert advisers from government, academia, business and the public interest world. We use our staff as project managers and enlist top tier consultants as needed to produce reports and original research and to help organize events. We also work closely with established advocacy groups and within coalitions dedicated to government transparency, transportation funding, ethics reform and independent redistricting.

Staff

Reinvent Albany was started in January 2010. Its founders include prominent members of New York’s environmental, transportation and urban sustainability movements, who were so dismayed by the dismal state of affairs in Albany that they decided to take action.

John Kaehny, executive director and founding board member, and is the co-chair of the New York City Transparency Working Group.  In that role he helped create New York City’s Open Data Law.  John  has been immersed in New York freedom of information, open government and public participation issues for decades. Prior to co-founding Reinvent Albany, John was a transportation policy consultant for leading New York, national and international environmental groups, and was the longtime executive director of Transportation Alternatives in New York City. John spent many hours in the state capitol, and has written and passed legislation. John is also the co-founder of the national Alliance for Bicycling and Walking and has served on numerous city and state governmental advisory boards. His writing has appeared in many places including the NY Times, NY Daily News, NY Post and NY Newsday, as well as technical and scholarly journals.

Dominic Mauro, staff attorney, is an expert on open data law and policy, and was an important contributor New York State and New York City policies and helped draft the NYC Open Data Law, the NYC OpenFOIL Law and NY State Transit Lockbox. He is a former fellow Institute for Law and Policy and NY Law School

Prudence Katze, policy coordinator, comes to us from the Center for Urban Pedagogy, where she taught classes on housing and public assistance policy. Prudence is a documentary film maker and is currently working on a “City Traced” which examines city development and planning policies from the 1920’s to today.

Board of Directors

Reinvent Albany’s founding board includes prominent members of New York’s environmental, transportation and urban sustainability movements, who were so dismayed by the dismal state of affairs in Albany that they decided to take action.

John Kaehny, executive director and founding board member, and is the co-chair of the New York City Transparency Working Group. In that role he helped create New York City’s Open Data Law. John has been immersed in New York freedom of information, open government and public participation issues for decades. Prior to co-founding Reinvent Albany, John was a transportation policy consultant for leading New York, national and international environmental groups, and was the longtime executive director of Transportation Alternatives in New York City. John spent many hours in the state capitol, and has written and passed legislation. John is also the co-founder of the national Alliance for Bicycling and Walking and has served on numerous city and state governmental advisory boards. His writing has appeared in many places including the NY Times, NY Daily News, NY Post and NY Newsday, as well as technical and scholarly journals.

Mark Gorton, founding board member, is the president and founder of OpenPlans, which creates civic empowerment software and publishes Streetsblog and Streetsfilms. He is a prominent voice for livable streets in New York City and other American cities. Mark is also the founder and chairman of Tower Research Capital.

Aaron Naparstek, founding board member, is the Visiting Scholar at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies, City Design & Development group. Aaron is the founding editor-in-chief of Streetsblog, and is a nationally recognized authority on green transportation and cities.

 

 

Our Funding

Reinvent Albany is funded by donations from New Yorkers and charitable foundations. We receive an in-kind contribution of office space from OpenPlans.org. Reinvent Albany receives no funding from government or businesses.

Audits, Tax Returns

Our most recent, 2012, audit, tax return and state filing are available below.  This and previous year filings are available at Guidestar.org and  NYS Charities Bureau. (We are in the process of redesigning this page and will post 2011 and 2010 filings here shortly. ) Program Please email info@reinventalbany.org for more information, or to let us know about any errors or incomplete information on this website. Reinvent Albany’s EIN is 27-1624621.

2012 Audited Financial Statement
2012 Form 990
2012 Char 500


For more information about Reinvent Albany, please email info@reinventalbany.org or our Contact Us us form. Reach us by phone at 917-388-9087


Organizational Information

Reinvent Albany was founded in January 2010, and is incorporated in New York State. Reinvent Albany is a non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt charitable organization. It was awarded 501(c)(3) public charity status by the IRS in October 2010. Reinvent Albany will post state and federal reporting documents for 2010 on Guidestar in late November 2011. Our Conflict of Interest PolicyWhistleblower Policy and Document Retention policies are downloadable at these links.


Supporters

Reinvent Albany is funded by individuals and foundations from across the political spectrum who support our efforts to make New York State and City government more transparent and effective.

Foundations who have given from 2010-2014:

  • Democracy Fund / Omidyar Network
  • La Vida Feliz Foundation
  • Sustainable Markets Foundation

Individuals who have donated more than $1000 since 2010:

  • Mark Gorton
  • Ken Hirsh
  • Aaron Naparstek