The_Message: April 2023

Greetings everyone, we present to you the April 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 in May!

Friday, April 7, 2023

Ramadan Mubarak, happy Passover and happy Easter —  a rare occurrence that happens every 30 years! For those who celebrate, many blessings to you and your families. Spring is here, along with sunshine, showers, and blooming flowers — we hope you’re enjoying the scenery! 

Last month, thousands of people celebrated Open Data Week with us. We learned about the many ways New Yorkers use open data to empower their communities, build transparency, and create accountability. If you participated as an organizer, an artist, a volunteer or as an attendee, thank you! Next week, all recorded events will be available on the BetaNYC YouTube channel. Many thanks to the Internet Society New York Chapter for processing our recordings. 

Want to stay in touch for next year’s festival? Sign up for Open Data Week announcements! You’ll be notified when all recordings are available, plus we plan to publish a call for 2024 sessions this Fall.

In this month’s newsletter, we’re back in full swing with civic tech news, upcoming events and announcements! If you have something to share with the community, please submit it for May’s newsletter

Take care and see you next month!

— BetaNYC 🫶

What’s New at BetaNYC?

We have some project updates to share!

Become a NYC Open Data Ambassador! 📊

A New Step for Playgrounds Map 🏀

Last month, Zhi launched NYC Parks Playgrounds Map in collaboration with the Office of Council Member Eric Dinowitz. This map highlights which playgrounds are accessible, have inclusive play elements, contain restrooms and which restrooms are ADA accessible.

Recently, the NYC Parks Department updated its website to include a map! In addition, the Office of New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released a report on park accessibility for people with disabilities. We will continue documenting public space accessibility as part of our mapping for equity.

Civic Innovation Fellows Mapping for Equity 🗺️

Our fellowship’s Spring project, Mapping for Equity, has gotten coverage in the Gothamist and their work was featured by CUNY on Instagram! Their work is part of a semester-long project in partnership with the office of Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez District 34 and the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance. We plan to host a few intro to OpenStreetMap (OSM) classes in the next few months! 

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 Legislation Watch 👀

State budget negotiations are ongoing: Governor Hochul and the New York State Assembly have key differences in their proposals. New York Focus has an interactive guide on these differences, and THE CITY has an informative guide on key items to lookout for.

The City’s budget process continues: The NYC Council released a formal response to Mayor Adams’ preliminary budget proposal from January. Later in the week, Mayor Adams reached out to city agencies requesting they slash their budgets by an additional four percent.   

The wait for MyCity is over: Mayor Adams launched the first phase of the MyCity Portal, in an effort to streamline access to various City services. While we are excited by the premise, we hope it lives up to its promise. 

Making racial wealth equity transparent: Last year, the Black Wealth Data Center and DataKind released to shine a light on Black wealth. This year at NYC Open Data Week, they launched the prototype for their new investment tool the Data Observation Toolkit (DOT).   

Bike lanes for electric and non-electric devices? The NYC Department of Transportation announced it is exploring new street designs to make this a possibility. 

An open-data blockchain? A report by Emil Skandul, through the Tony Blair Institute, proposes an interesting intersection of the blockchain, open data, financial transparency, and UI designs. 

Upcoming Events 📆 

April 12 at 12pm Webinar “Introduction to Time Series Analysis and Forecasting”

April 12 at 1pm Paving the way for an inclusive future tech workforce

April 12 at 6pm Do No Harm Guide: Centering Accessibility in Data Visualization

April 21 at 3pm Sustainable Urbanization Fireside Chat

April 25 at 6pm To be poor is to be surveilled

April 28 at 9am How Can Open Heroines “Cook” Data with Feminist Recipes?

May 1 at 1pm GISMO’s Rat App Coming Your Way!

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

June 12-16 Pride Summit

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 month! Peace, openness and gratitude 🗽