Monthly Archives: March 2012

Money in Politics In New York This Week

1. New York’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics released its 2011 lobbying report this week, which found that the lobbying industry spent a record sum of $220 million last year in its efforts to influence state legislators. As JCOPE’s Executive Director Ellen Biben noted, “Apparently lobbying is recession proof.” The full report can be read […]

Civic Technology

Surprisingly, there is no definition of “civic technology” on Wikipedia. Reinvent Albany and the, um, civic technology groups we work use the term “civic technology” to describe Information Technology (usually Internet based) that promotes more open and transparent government, makes government digital information more findable and usable by the public, encourages public participation and collaboration […]

MTA’s Split Personality: Open Transit Data Innovator or Opaque Bureaucracy?

We set-off to write a post lauding the MTA on its technology leadership. The peg was the upcoming release of countdown clock data to apps developers, and a smart bureaucratic workaround MTA used to hire a cutting edge open source software developer to get the data out.  This innovative project was reported today on the […]

New York Campaign Finance and Ethics News for March 23, 2012

1. The latest Newsday op-ed to call for public financing in New York state, by Make the Road New York member and community organizer Maria Magdalena Flores, explains why public financing is needed to combat apathy among working-class and minority voters. Flores offers some startling statistics: in the most recent state elections for New York […]

A New Transparency for NY State

  A New Transparency for NY State   Use the Explosion in Information Technology to open NY Government Citizens Union • Common Cause NY League of Women Voters of NY State Reinvent Albany • New York Public Interest Research Group March 2012   We call on Governor Cuomo, legislative leaders Skelos and Silver, Attorney General […]

Good Government Groups to Call for New Transparency for NYS Government

Recommendations for Using Everyday Information Technology to Open Up Government At a news conference on Thursday, March 22 at 1 PM, leading civic and government watchdog groups will call on the Governor, Legislature, Attorney General, and Comptroller to use the explosion in affordable Information Technology to make NY State government more transparent, responsive, and accountable. […]

Money and Politics This Week

For more stories on an ongoing basis, follow the Twitter hashtag #moNeYpolitics and #fairelex. 1. Former State Congressman Mike Arcuri expressed his strong support this week for a state system of public campaign financing. Arcuri, a member of the NY LEAD coalition, wrote that such a system would put regular voters back “in the driver’s […]

New York’s Transparency Revolution — Postponed.

Update March 13, 2012 We delayed the release of our “Transparency Revolution” recommendations because of the impending announcement of a deal on redistricting on Monday AM. That deal wasn’t announced, but redistricting is at a fever pitch, and has completely overshadowed Sunshine Week. ———————————————————————————— Original Post March 9, 2012 Healthy, functional democracies embrace government transparency. […]

Money and Politics This Week

For more stories on an ongoing basis, follow the Twitter hashtag #moNeYpolitics and #fairelex. New York Campaign Finance and Ethics News 1. Amidst the media’s recent focus on independent redistricting, New York City Council member Dan Garodnick encourages New Yorkers not to lose sight of the importance of campaign finance reform, highlighting the many benefits […]

In Midst of Meltdown, Suffolk Still Lacks Fiscal Transparency

Yesterday’s announcement that Suffolk County is in a state of financial emergency, caught our attention, as did the unsearchable 1184 page budget document the county has buried on its website. It like some lucky Suffolk employee laboriously scanned all 1184 pages of a paper document and saved those scans as a pdf document. By doing […]

Friday Gov Cool: Leaderboard NYS Agency Tweet-a-thon

Our first “Friday Gov Cool”  highlights the growing use of social media — in this case Twitter — to push online information and updates to New Yorkers. Below is our March Agency Tweet Leaderboard which ranks the 20 govt agencies we know are Tweeting.  But first, other stuff, including a quick shout out to the […]