The_Message: September 2022

Hello everyone! we are pleased to present the September edition of our monthly newsletter The_Message. Read up and be sure to subscribe for future editions! Also, feel free to share your events, announcements, and anything else that’s happening. Take care and see you next month!


Tuesday, September 13th, 2022

Happy (almost) Fall and new school year!

We’ve been quite busy this past month and have a few exciting updates to share:

  • An ode to our Summer Civic Innovation Fellows (CIF): Our Summer cohort wrapped up their time with us and presented on the projects they worked on. They spent their fellowship acquiring new skills and applying them to projects. The projects included 1) building an information management system for Manhattan Community Board 7’s resolutions using Airtable and 2) mapping and analyzing Chinatown DRI geospatial data using OpenStreetMap (OSM). Thank you Chris, Gurami, Dimitri, Richard and Rosario for your amazing work!  
  • Meet our new Apprentice, Dimitri Mimy! Dimitri graduated from CIF in Spring 2022 and is now a BetaNYC Apprentice. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in biology, with a focus on urban ecology at Queens College. In his new role, he’ll work with Jazzy, our Civic Innovation Fellowship Manager, to manage the Civic Innovation Fellowship Program and prepare a curriculum to introduce incoming CUNY Service Corps students to civics, open data and data analytic tools. We are so glad to continue working with you, Dimitri! 
  • Launching an Associates Program: Our Civic Innovation Lab experimented with an Associates program this summer. Associates are grad-level people interested in applying their technical skills to real world projects involving municipal policy and urban studies. They completed 15 RADARs this summer. Read more about the projects they worked on for NYC stakeholders in this blog post. Thank you Eva, HaoChe and Ziqi for leveraging your talent with us! Going forward, the lab will continue employing associates to work on RADARs. Need help with open data, maps, dashboards or information tools? Submit a RADAR
  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Keep an eye out for our Open Data Week and School of Data CALL FOR PROPOSALS this week! Sign up to receive the announcement at
  • Want the inside scoop on NYC Civic Tech news? We publish weekly updates in #General via Slack. Join our Slack and stay in touch.

Wishing you a happy Fall,

— BetaNYC

Hungry for more civic tech?

Read on for recent content picks from our team and community. Share yours for next month’s newsletter.

📜 Local Legislation Watch

With the anniversary of Governor Hochul’sdirective on agency transparency planssoon approaching,BetaNYC joined ReInvent Albany and other good government groups in calling on her to issue an Executive Order requiring NYS agencies to publish annual updates of their transparency plans and provide measures that allow the public to track their progress. 

In August, the NYC Council passed ahistoric maternal health packagethat Mayor Adams recentlysigned into law. The new legislation seeks to address major disparities in maternal health across the city through education, increased transparency, and expanded access to maternal health care. Great work!

This November, thesefour questionswill be on your ballot, including defining how we calculate the cost of living and how we spend future funds for environmental projects.

The MTA released details for congestion pricing, which resulted in a series of public hearings now available for viewing. Recently, the comment period for the proposals was extended to September 23. 

The NYC Council Committee on Technology is holding a hearing on September 19, jointly with the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, to discuss broadband and equal access to the internet.

👀  Civic Tech Watch

U.S. Digital Service released a quick guide to inclusive design. Author Suzanne Chapman emphasizes that “good design is design that works for everyone.”

The Office of the Comptroller released a dashboard about the Department of Correction, which keeps track of metrics such as staffing and jail populations, as well as service provisions. Each metric is given a threshold that states whether conditions have improved, stayed stagnant or worsened over the past month. 

Colgate magazine recently interviewed Aldrin Bonilla on his role as Manhattan’s COVID Recovery Czar and his life in public service. 

What Works Certification is expanding to include cities in Canada, Central America, and South America. In addition, the program recently required cities to demonstrate commitment to equitable data practices.

Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) held a workshop with researchers from academia, civil society, and journalism where they discussed access to data held by content hosts.

A coalition of NYC government agencies, researchers, communities and universities developed a free web tool that allows users to track the impacts of flooding in the City.

Code for America provided updates on their Reimagine 911 initiative, which has been evaluating and documenting the 911 systems nationwide.

📆  Upcoming Events

Sep 14 at 11amThe Peoples Money Kick-Off
Sep 16 at 8amDataKind 10 Year Anniversary Celebration
Sep 17 Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day
Sep 17 2pm NYC Data Visualization Society – [Low Key] Outdoor Picnic
Sep 18 at 4pm NY Climate Tech x Climatebase September Meetup
Sep 21 at 3pm Fireside Chat: Building trust in communities
Sep 23 – 25 Data for Black Lives III (D4BL III)
Sep 27 at 6:30pm Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World’s First Modern Computer
Sep 29 at 9am 2022 Rebuilding NY Summit
Sep 29 at 11am Data-Centric AI Summit 2022 (Online, Interactive and Free)
Oct 4 The data dividend: powering the data-driven enterprise
Oct 13 2022 NYCETC Conference
Oct 14-16 Code for America’s Brigade Congress 2022
Oct 15 TransportationCamp NYC 2022
Oct 20 Spatial Data Science Conference New York
Oct 28-29 Public Interest Technology University Network Annual Convening

📢 Announcements, Job Openings and Opportunities (Submit yours here and see our #Jobs channel in Slack for more posts.)

🛸 Keep in touch with our community!

Like this newsletter and what we do? Donate $22 or more to our 2022 campaign and support employment opportunities for Civic Innovation Fellows and Apprentices to grow with us.

See you next month! Peace, openness and gratitude  🗽