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The rise of the Civil Hacker: Cracking Oakland's Code

The rise of the Civil Hacker: Cracking Oakland's Code | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Back in 2007, Michal Migurski noticed that the City of Oakland's crime-mapping site, Crimewatch, was nearly impossible to navigate — not to mention stuck in the late Nineties, design-wise.
Walter Neary's insight:

A survey of the state of civic hackers, with a focus on Oakland as a case history and leading example. Great examples of how code and coders can help a community and its conversations.

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Amanda Nandory's curator insight, March 15, 2013 8:10 AM

This is about a guy who lives in San Francisco who is hacking in to the government to solve crime rate and decrease it

Melaina Borchert's comment, March 17, 2013 8:45 PM
This guys pretty awesome. He just like fixing things for no pay. Helping people out and being a good samaritan. The city shouldn't have gotten mad that he helped them. But I think they realized that.
Reanna Ostreng's comment, March 21, 2013 12:46 PM
I think this is an example of when hacking into databases can be a good thing. As long as this guy is doing it for a good purpose, I think he should be able to continue to do this job. It helps law enforcement, as well as the whole city.
Local Government Policy & Practice
News and developments about good old-fashioned public policy and politics, with an eye on how digital technologies affect and hopefully improve the conduct of government at the local level. Ideas on how to be an effective member of a city council, school board, or other elected body.
Curated by Walter Neary
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What role is social media playing in decisions - Natchez Democrat

What role is social media playing in decisions - Natchez Democrat | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
What role is social media playing in decisions
Natchez Democrat
Social media has made the job of the city alderman and the county supervisor more difficult than it was 20 years ago.
Walter Neary's insight:

This is interesting: a writer saying social media is playing a negative role in a community and perhaps putting undue pressure on elected officials. We're all still getting used to these new ways to share information and opinion. but here's the long view: Unless you plan to stay inside and hide under your bed and not do anything, you like any government or business are going to have to adjust to people saying nasty things about you on Facebook at one time or another. Does that change what we do, or does it change how we react to Facebook?

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Story Map Journal: how a penny tax would make a difference

Story Map Journal: how a penny tax would make a difference | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
This story map was created with the Story Map Journal application in ArcGIS Online.
Walter Neary's insight:

Very nice use of a map to educate voters

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One Minute Raps in the City of River Falls, Wisconsin - Emerging ...

One Minute Raps in the City of River Falls, Wisconsin - Emerging ... | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
River Falls City Hall Traditional Press Release; City of River Falls Web Site; Social Media: City of River Falls Facebook & Twitter; City Wide Direct Mailed Printed Newsletter (Sent January, May, September); SharePoint – The Source for City...
Walter Neary's insight:

In an age where attention is a precious commodity, here's a clever idea for engaging people through short videos. 

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Editorial: Local government employers should fall under safety rules - Huntington Herald Dispatch

Editorial: Local government employers should fall under safety rules - Huntington Herald Dispatch | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Editorial: Local government employers should fall under safety rules
Huntington Herald Dispatch
WVOSHA had issued 46 citations since a full-time inspector was hired, but last week it notified various local agencies it was rescinding 24 of those.
Walter Neary's insight:

Taken at face value - and maybe there's more to the story - it's disturbing to think that local governments need regulators to insist they create safe workplaces. Your local government should be ensuring its workers are safe. 

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Governments Struggling to Get Social Media Right

Governments Struggling to Get Social Media Right | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Social media is the ultimate government transparency, which is why public officials need to not only get used to it but also get good at it. Here’s how. (Is local government doing a good job with social media?
Walter Neary's insight:

This post is a good review of what's going on with governments and social media, with an emphasis on what's going wrong and what we can learn. My own read on things is that in 5-10 years, we will all be more patient with errors of judgment in social media because we will have had 5 to 10 years of making errors of judgment in social media. If people continued to get as excited about errors of judgment as they are today, then no government or business will be standing. 

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Social media-savvy Glen Eira leaders trade tweets in controversy

Social media-savvy Glen Eira leaders trade tweets in controversy | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Social media-savvy Glen Eira leaders trade tweets over open space and ...
Herald Sun
A TWITTER tussle has been waged between Glen Eira's social media-savvy city leaders over open space and alleged missing millions.
Walter Neary's insight:

This is something we haven't really seen enough of. Much is made over politicians speaking with constituents through social media,  but they can also speak with each other. While I don't understand all references in the article, it's clear someone watching the dialogue who is familiar with the community would understand where each official was coming from. 

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Life as a City Manager's Child with Will Norris, Long Beach (CA ...

Life as a City Manager's Child with Will Norris, Long Beach (CA ... | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
This is the latest post in our series about growing up with a parent who is also a City Manager. For each installment we interview a current local government professional who followed their mother or father's footsteps into ...
Walter Neary's insight:

Nice read on some of the personal aspects of growing up within the shadow of city hall. The part about having his Monday nights broken made me laugh, because any of us in local government service have stories about how 'meeting night' was different for us and our famillies. 

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Facebook and the elected official: a case study

Facebook and the elected official: a case study | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Gilbert struggles to adapt social media to city's needs
Daily Mountain Eagle
Last week, Gilbert unveiled a social media strategy for the city that will rely heavily on Facebook to reach residents with recovery updates.
Walter Neary's insight:

Reading between the lines, this story is a useful lesson in how someone outside government, someone who is a candidate, and someone who is an elected official all need different relationships to social networks like Facebook. In other words, it's a good cautionary tale about blending your personal and elected official profiles. 

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Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti sparks firestorm on social media with comments ... - CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti sparks firestorm on social media with comments ... - CP24 Toronto's Breaking News | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti sparks firestorm on social media with comments ...
Walter Neary's insight:

So we could just say here "Don't call a neighborhood in your city a “pedophile district"" but elected officials will sometimes do something like that in order to get attention. The question here is, did this accomplish anything other than ticking off the neighborhood? Don't think so. 

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How cities manage public questions during council meeting

How cities manage public questions during council meeting | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
North Ridgeville city council's long-standing practice angers residents ...
Sun News
NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio – For decades, city council in North Ridgeville has had a practice of not answering questions from residents who attend its meetings.
Walter Neary's insight:

Quite an interesting look at a procedural challenge to any council: what do you do about people who pose questions during public comment? On the one hand, someone can use such questions to take over a meeting; on the other hand, citizens need to be able to ask tough questions of their elected officials. Lakewood had a point of responding after the meeting to all the people asking sincere questions - not so much to the lunatics, and if you don't know who I mean by that, you've never been to a City Council meeting. The absolute policy described for this city is troubling, and it's very troubling that a citizen says they were never contacted after expressing a concern. 

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Social media serves as hub of local information -

Social media serves as hub of local information - | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Social media serves as hub of local information
New Baltimore Voice Newspapers
Social media serves as hub of local information. Published: Sunday, June 08, 2014. By Jeri Packer, Staff ...
Walter Neary's insight:

A nice case study in how a Facebook page can build community

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Facebook: 10 reasons why councils should embrace it as a tool

Facebook: 10 reasons why councils should embrace it as a tool | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
This week Facebook turned 10.Find out why local authorities should embrace this particular social networking tool (RT @stuartberry1: 10 Reasons why #localgov & Health Authorities should embrace Facebook #FBhealth NHS #nhssm
Walter Neary's insight:

This is all very well said, but as to point 2, it's important communities still own their own social media platforms (such as a blog) as well. God bless Facebook, but the city has no say over how Facebook presents its content to the world. 

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Retired administrator makes Hoover school board bingo card - al.com (blog)

Retired administrator makes Hoover school board bingo card - al.com (blog) | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Retired administrator makes Hoover school board bingo card al.com (blog) This Hoover Board of Education bingo card was made by retired Hoover City Schools administrator Deborah Camp, with the idea that people can mark squares when they hear these...
Walter Neary's insight:

So I have to admit this is a bit of a cheap shot at government, but It's also funny: and it's also a reminder that it's a good idea to avoid cliches and slogans when you can.

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Oakland's Record-Tracking App Is a Model for Open Government - StateTech Magazine

Oakland's Record-Tracking App Is a Model for Open Government - StateTech Magazine | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Oakland's Record-Tracking App Is a Model for Open Government
StateTech Magazine
But responding to hundreds of record requests in a timely manner can put additional strain on small government staffs with heavy workloads.
Walter Neary's insight:

As more and more people make public records act requests, local government will have to become more creative - and more transparent - in using technology to help. 

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Survey Says: The Citizens Most Vocal in Local Government

Survey Says: The Citizens Most Vocal in Local Government | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Walter Neary's insight:

This is a very interesting breakdown in what sorts of citizens are most likely to engage local government. I could see these statistics being very useful if you wanted to justify a campaign to reach out to people less likely to participate, like new people in town and the younger populations. The statistics about lower rates of participation by people of Asian heritage are disturbing and call for attention. 

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Jefferson Parish School Board member sues colleague over outburst - The Times-Picayune

Jefferson Parish School Board member sues colleague over outburst - The Times-Picayune | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Jefferson Parish School Board member sues colleague over outburst
The Times-Picayune
Two members of the Jefferson Parish School Board are headed to court, after a years-long feud.
Walter Neary's insight:

I'm not sure what to say to this story except things should never get to this, and if you're on a board that doesn't have these kinds of disagreements... be happy! There's an update to this story at http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2014/07/3_gretna_judges_refuse_to_rule.html#incart_related_stories

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Village of Gurnee live-tweets Grand Ave. bridge project meeting

The Village of Gurnee live-tweeted a meeting on the Grand Avenue bridge project and answered questions.
Walter Neary's insight:

case study of how a community can share info via Twitter

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Hawaii Political Candidates More Social Media Savvy - HONOLULUMagazine.com

Hawaii Political Candidates More Social Media Savvy - HONOLULUMagazine.com | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Hawaii Political Candidates More Social Media Savvy
HONOLULUMagazine.com
Most candidates vying for office—even in small local races—maintain some presence, even if it's only a page on Facebook. ...
Walter Neary's insight:

This is a nice review of the state of social media campaigns at the state and local level - helps explains why you're seeing candidates so much more often now on Facebook with photos at events or while doorbelling. 

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Infographic suggests the best mix of subjects for a blog

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Walter Neary's insight:

Handy for any elected official or other city official planning a blog. And it's appetizing to look at, too!

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Slow elevator sinks a School Board run - Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Slow elevator sinks a School Board run - Sarasota Herald-Tribune | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Slow elevator sinks a School Board run
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Republican Geoffrey Fisher's campaign for the Sarasota School Board came to an inglorious end partly due to one unexpected obstacle. A really slow elevator.
Walter Neary's insight:

There can be strategic reasons to file late for office, though it sounds like those were not in play here. Someone waited until the last minute, and that's usually not a good idea. 

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Mayor, city council seats up for November election - Times-Standard

Mayor, city council seats up for November election - Times-Standard | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Mayor, city council seats up for November election
Times-Standard
In Eureka, the mayor and 1st, 3rd and 5th ward city council member positions are due for another round of elections, but the incumbents are not planning on giving up their seats.
Walter Neary's insight:

Buried in this story is a twist: a mayor is quoted as saying who might be planning to run against him in an election. This is an interesting strategy; most people wouldn't volunteer that information to a reporter. However, if everyone in the town knows a particular person plans to run against the mayor, or might, it makes some sense to be the one to tell the reporter in order to help her or him out. That's good for credibility, and an honest effort to be transparent.

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Nashville school board debates free speech rights - The Tennessean

Nashville school board debates free speech rights - The Tennessean | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Nashville school board debates free speech rights The Tennessean Will Pinkston, a force on the Metro school board and always ripe for a quote, is at the center of a suddenly spirited discussion: the board's role as a body that simply sets policy...
Walter Neary's insight:

This is quite an interesting story of how people can talk around an issue on an elected body. Instead of talking about people and policies, the article is about how people are talking about WHETHER they should be talking about people and policies, and how others should be talking about people and policies. This is only one story, but I feel bad for anyone actually trying to get something done in this context. 

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Forest Grove police tweet-along: Highlights from the night

Forest Grove police tweet-along: Highlights from the night | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
For about four hours, Capt. Mike Herb tweeted information, commentary and photographs from the department's calls.
Walter Neary's insight:

A clever idea, giving your citizens a taste of the experience of police officers through a social media experience. Any greater understanding of what city officials do is a good thing. 

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How one council battled Australian bushfires using social media

How one council battled Australian bushfires using social media | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
A small team from Redland city council used social media to provide information about power outages and evacuations (RT @mattbrisvegas: My new blog: how our council used #SocialMedia during the Straddie bushfires http://t.co/An7gd8NcMG...
Walter Neary's insight:

Excellent case study in how digital communications can help during a disaster. Check out the links, including their Wordpress blog, which they updated frequently to not only share information, but to encourage people to visit the site. 

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Academy aims to educate Salisbury citizens on city facilities, operations - Salisbury Post

Academy aims to educate Salisbury citizens on city facilities, operations - Salisbury Post | Local Government Policy & Practice | Scoop.it
Academy aims to educate Salisbury citizens on city facilities, operations
Salisbury Post
... from 5:30 to 8 p.m. every Thursday from Sept. 11 to Nov. 6.
Walter Neary's insight:

These sorts of citizen academies are always a great idea: they go into the kind of depth it takes to understand how local government works. There's no way someone can understand civic operations just by volunteering in one area (as great as that is) or attending meetings. 

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