The_Message: May 2023

Hello everyone, we present the May edition of our monthly newsletter! 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!

Saturday, May 6, 2023

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage and Mental Health Awareness month! Wherever you are, we hope you know that you are #MoreThanEnough.

We are pleased to announce that the video recordings from NYC Open Data Week and School of Data have been published on our website. If you were unable to attend a particular event, or simply want to relive the experience, this is the perfect opportunity to catch up on all the excitement.

Today, for Asian Pacific American Heritage month, we’re paying homage to a few AAPI pioneers in STEM – check out the section below!   

Take care and see you next month.

— BetaNYC 

Celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage 🫶

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, let’s pay tribute to these groundbreaking trailblazers in STEM!

Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal was a virologist and molecular biologist who was the first to clone the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Her work illustrated that HIV causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Tetsuya Theodore “Ted” Fujita, nicknamed Mr. Tornado, studied tornadoes amongst other storms, and developed the Fujita Scale (F-Scale), a six-point scale that measures a tornado’s strength. He also advanced airline safety when he discovered microbursts. 

Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, also known as The First Lady of Physics, worked on the Manhattan project where her work was crucial to the development of the atomic bomb. She conducted research in many fields, including biology, where she looked at the molecular changes in red blood cells that cause sickle-cell disease.

What’s New at BetaNYC?

Fellows and Operations ⚙️

As we enter the Summer, our 2022-2023 Civic Innovation Fellows are wrapping up their time with us. We are really proud of the work they did piloting a project to map public resources on OpenStreetMap. Next week, we’ll be interviewing candidates for the 2023 Summer Fellows Cohort to continue what they started. Concurrently, we are working on increasing support for all our programs and services. 

We’re hiring! 💼 

We’re preparing to interview candidates for roles within our Civic Innovation Lab to work on RADARs. If you’re interested in joining us, learn more and apply to be an Associate

A tool to take care of Street Trees 🌳

We partnered with Councilmember Lincoln Restler to launch the District 33 Street Tree Stewardship Map, in an effort to increase tree stewardship. Help District 33 care for a tree and tackle the climate crisis! 

Engaging the public in OpenStreetMap 🗺️

We held a workshop at the High School of Environmental Studies (HSES) to commemorate Earth Day. We showed students how to map, first by mapping their classrooms and then by heading out into Central Park and mapping civic resources! What’s a better way to learn about civics and data than a sunny day counting benches, curb cuts and water fountains in Central Park?

Community News, Events and Announcements

Here are some content picks from our community. Share yours in next month’s newsletter.

Civic Tech and Legislation Watch 👀 

There’s a tentative deal for the New York State Budget! Last Thursday, Governor Hochul announced an agreement for the New York State Budget. New York Focus has a breakdown of what’s included (and not included) and THE CITY has an analysis of who won big. Meanwhile, Streetsblog NYC has an update on how to continue fighting for Sammy’s Law in the NYC Council.

The City’s budget process is ongoing: Mayor Adams released the Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2024, the largest in the city’s history. Hell Gate NYC has a fascinating look at the Mayor’s statement blaming refugees on our budget crisis. Meanwhile, the Civic Engagement Commission announced that the voting phase for the People’s Money — the City’s first-ever citywide participatory budgeting process — will open on May 10. 

Reflections on MyCity: In March, Mayor Adams announced the launch of MyCity, a portal for New Yorkers to check eligibility, apply for and track city services and benefits. While we’re glad to finally see something, as Devin Balkind puts it, the portal has not lived up to its expectations and is a repeat of past bureaucratic mistakes. 

Big Bills from the NYC Council! The NYC Council recently had a big legislative week. Some of the bills passed address preventable traffic violence infrastructure and transparency on traffic crashes to community boards.

Citi Bike Data for public good: Zhi analyzed the number of CitiBike riders who cross Central Park’s transverses, renewing calls for safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

A database with controversy: Criminal justice activists resumed calls to end the NYPD’s database of people with suspected gang ties.

A major victory decades in the making: A historic settlement was approved, requiring the MTA to make subways 95% ADA compliant by 2055

A toolkit for NYC! City Limits created a toolkit for New Yorkers to be better civic participants in housing, transit, justice, education and more.

A fun route for exploratory analysis! Two Sigma updated their tool Scout so users can now visualize their NYC Open Data dataset of interest.

Upcoming Events 📆

May 9 at 5:30pm Databasing Without the Database

May 10 at 4:30pm Transit Techies #15: Scavenger Hunt at the NY Transit Museum

May 10 Citywide Participatory Budgeting starts

May 11 at 6pm Andrew Hagstrom: Colossus of New York Subway Maps

May 16-17 Code for America Summit 2023

May 19 at 9am Underground Utility Data Workshop

May 23-24 The New Wave of AI in Healthcare

June 12-16 Pride Summit

June 19-21 Mozilla Festival

Announcements, Job Openings and Opportunities 📢

Submit to this list by filling out this form and see our #Jobs channel in Slack for more posts.

Join 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 month! Peace, openness and gratitude 🗽