BetaNYC is excited to see the NYC Council build upon advice from NYC’s civic tech community. As we noted in last year’s rules reform hearing, we strongly feel that listening sessions are the best medicine for technology development.
Second, we hope that the Council builds upon the great work the New York State Senate has accomplished. For the last six years, the State Senate has produce a number of open source tools that lower the cost of govtech. From open source content management systems, to bill tracking, to constituent relationship database, the State Senate’s award winning examples should be seen as Council 2.0’s foundation.
Having personally worked for the State Senate to develop these open source tools, I feel the Council is best served by creating a Council Chief Information Officer. The Council’s plan looks great, but the devil is in the details. Political will move development forward, but hiring in-house technical talent is key. One can not simply outsource such a grand vision.
Lastly, BetaNYC is excited to work with the Council to demystify civic technology and open data. In the coming year, we will partner with Data and Society to develop a civic technology curriculum. This curriculum will focus on demystifying technology, data, and design to City Council and Community Board offices.
New Yorkers are very lucky to have a Council ready to embrace the community and literacy to make make Council 2.0 a reality.