The_Message: December 2022

Hello everyone! We present to you the December 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 year!

Monday, December 12, 2022

Happy December! We have a lot to look forward to in 2023, do you? We hope so! But first, here is how we are wrapping up 2022:

  • Data-informed legislation: How often is your street blocked by a film shoot? After receiving complaints from community members in District 33, the office of Council Member Lincoln Restler called on our Civic Innovation Lab to help analyze the number of film shoots in locations across New York City. HaoChe, a BetaNYC Associate, responded by prototyping an analytical tool using ArcGIS that explores the NYC Open Data Film Permits dataset. You can use it to visualize the number of film permits taken out for a street between 2021 and 2022. Council Member Restler used it to draft legislation that would cap the number of times a film permit can be taken out for a specific street. Learn more about how HaoChe built the tool in this blog post about his process.
  • Final Call for Proposals for School of Data and NYC Open Data Week 2023: Quick! Submit your proposal by Dec 21 to be considered for this year’s program. Got an open data tool to demo or test? A class to teach? A talk to share? We want to hear from you! Last minute questions? Join our Call for Proposals Info Session on Dec 21!
  • There are only two more opportunities for you to learn about NYC Open Data in 2022, tomorrow and Weds! Register for our final classes of the year on December 13 and 14 at These classes, led by Open Data Ambassadors in partnership with Council Offices, are helpful for people who need an introduction to navigate NYC Open Data. 
  • Community Board Applications are open in Brooklyn and Manhattan! Community boards are the appointed advisory groups of the community districts of our five boroughs. As a member, you help make critical decisions about land use, budgets, and service delivery in your district. Anyone can apply to be appointed to their district’s board.
    And finally, with the help of our lab, a majority of the applications are… or will be… digital!
    • Live in Brooklyn? Apply here
    • Live in Manhattan? Apply here
    • Live in the Bronx, Queens, or Staten Island? Stay tuned!
  • We’re testing Mastodon. Are you? Say hi. Find us at and our fediverse account:
  • Do you value our work? Consider donating $23 or whatever is comfortable for your budget to support our Civic Innovation Lab (RADARs!), the Civic Innovation Fellowship, and our public programs (such as THIS NEWSLETTER, NYC Open Data Week, and Open Data Ambassadors) into 2023. Thank you, we appreciate you.

See you next year!

— BetaNYC

But wait, there’s more!

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

👀  Civic Tech and Gov Watch

The Adams administration quietly canceled the Internet Master Plan, an initiative launched under de Blasio’s administration; the plan aimed to provide free or low-cost, high-speed internet to millions of New Yorkers.

The NYC Council Data Team did a breakdown of the many issues that affect children who rely on school bus service.

Tactical Tech has an initiative called Exposing the Invisible, which includes amazing resources on investigative techniques — one of the resources is in 11 languages!

Tech Policy Press interviewed Dr. Meredith Clark, who provides an insightful perspective on Twitter’s future. 

The City performed an analysis on where e-bikes tend to catch fire in NYC, and discussed what e-bike riders can do to stay safe. Side note: we’re excited to see nascent ideas for safe, public battery charging solutions like Ooneepod’s

Why are government websites so…meh? Greg Jordan-Detamore shares insight into the ongoing challenges with government websites and tech projects.

Matt Stempack created a useful guide on the most civic-tech-friendly Mastodon servers. 

It’s a busy time for traveling! Streetsblog did a deep dive on why the US Passenger Rail has struggled, along with some signs of hope.

Last month, the staff at JustFix unanimously voted to unionize as the United JustFix Workers. Congratulations!  

📆  Upcoming Events

Dec 13 at 10am (PST) Scaling Civic Technology: Transitioning to Civic Technology

Dec 13 at 12pm Discovering NYC Open Data: Online Session with Council District 2

Dec 13 at 12pm Karen Levy, Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance

Dec 14 at 12pm Discovering NYC Open Data: Online Session with Council District 42 

Dec 14 at 12pm December Founders Spotlight with Dr. Eugenia Steingold

Dec 14 at 1pm Virtual Digital Service Career Fair

Dec 14 at 6pm 2023 Tech Skills Forecast

Dec 14 at 7pm ML Talk: Navigating the Full Stack of Machine Learning

Dec 15 at 7pm You R an Analytics Engineer!

📢 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 $23 or more to our 2023 campaign and support employment opportunities for our Civic Innovation LabCivic Innovation Fellows and Apprentices to grow with us.

See you next year! Peace, openness and gratitude  🗽