The_Message: July 2023

Happy summer, we present the July 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, July 8, 2023

Happy Summer, and Fiscal New Year! We hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful Fourth of July. June was a month for reflection on our progress and acknowledging the work we still have to do — let’s not lose sight of that during the sunny days of July.

In sad news, the Gotham Gazette, a beloved local non-profit digital media outlet, is “temporarily” shutting down after more than 20 years. We want to thank all of the reporters who have covered our work and helped elevate the conversation around open data and public interest technology. We wouldn’t have been able to make the impact without Ben Max, Ben Brachfeld, Samar Khurshid, Aaron Holmes, Kristen Meriwether, Ethan Geringer-Sameth, Lisette Voytko, Kaela Sanborn-Hum, and Rachel Silberstein. Thank you, friends.

Be well and see you next month,

— BetaNYC

What’s New at BetaNYC?

Attend an Open Data Class! 📊

Learn how to use NYC Open Data through the NYC Open Data Ambassadors program, a collaboration with the NYC Office of Technology and Innovation’s Open Data Team. The next class is Friday, July 14 at 12:00 pm with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso! This class will be taught by Open Data Ambassador and NYC’s Chief Analytics Officer, Martha Norrick. For a list of the full class schedule, visit

Our 2022-2023 Civic Innovation Fellows are now graduates! 🎓

Last spring, Fellows presented their semester-long project, Mapping for Equity on OpenStreetMap (OSM), in an effort to promote equitable and accessible public spaces across the City. Thank you to our partners at the Office of Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez and North Brooklyn Parks Alliance! We look forward to our Summer 2023 cohort continuing the amazing work when they join later this month. In the meantime, check out this roundup of the Fellows’ work from the past year.

Training the next NYC Open Data Ambassadors 🗞️

The 2023 NYC Open Data Ambassadors cohort kicked off this week! Over thirty New Yorkers are training to become certified to teach Discovering NYC Open Data classes to the public. We look forward to them joining our mission to engage the public with Open Data!

Save the Date: Upcoming Alumni Event 🎊

BetaNYC alumni, we have an upcoming summer event! Check your inbox this month for an invite to BetaNYC’s alumni event on Saturday, August 26. Hope to see you there!

Community News, Events and Announcements

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

Public Interest Tech and Data Driven Legislation Updates 👀 

ICYMI — New York City Budget has passed. We’re now at a $107 billion municipal budget. This is the ELEVENTH largest US government budget. While we averted major fiscal cuts, it is not a good deal for our future. Both THE CITY and Gotham Gazette provide informative breakdowns. Did you know that we’re going to spend more money on NYPD overtime than we will on our entire Parks Department? 

The NYPD held a hearing about unfettered drones across the city amid concerns from some city leaders. 

We had a special state legislative session two weeks ago and Sammy’s Law was not brought to a vote, despite the votes being available. Note, Sammy’s Law would give NYC home rule over its speed limits. The data continues to show that lower speed limits save lives, especially for young people who can not gage a vehicle traveling faster than 20 mph.

One thing that **did** come out of Albany was the LLC Transparency Act (A3484A). This would create a public database of beneficial owners. This means it would be harder to launder money through LLC while making corporations more accountable. For years, activists have been fighting for LLC transparency, and they’re now one step closer.

NYC Congestion Pricing has been cleared and could come as soon as next year. This will be the first implemented plan in the nation. It aims to reduce congestion wihle increasing revenue for MTA capital projects. We eagerly await the improvements to our transit network (and cleaner air and safer streets!).

The federal government will give the Hudson Tunnel Project $6.88 Billion, making it the largest U.S. Transit Grant. Maybe we’ll get proper high speed rail on the NEC this century?

The NYC Department of Transportation announced that Eastern Queens is getting expanded scooter share. Wahoo for micro mobility

A reflection of NYC as a Smart City: NYC has come a long way with its digital infrastructure, but how can we continue to move forward in the years to come? This article from Vital City gives us an inside look. 

Upcoming Events 📆

July 11 at 6pm The Data School New York – Meet & Greet July 2023 

July 13-14 R Conference

July 14 at 12pm Discovering NYC Open Data: Online Session Hosted by The Office of Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso 

July 17 at 6pm Transit Techies #17: Simulating Mobility Services and Ridesharing Using MATSim

July 18-19 co:mmunity conference 2023

July 14-21 Games for Change 2023 Festival 

July 26 at 6pm Responsible Tech Mixer NYC

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 🗽

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