From New York to California, the White House Open Government Initiative is pleased to see states and cities increasing transparency and civic engagement. On June 5th, New York State announced Empire 2.0, modeled on the President’s Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government. Three weeks later, Mayor Bloomberg announced a series of transparency initiatives, including NYC Big Apps, a new annual prize for innovative applications based on city data. Now, San Francisco, too, is taking bold steps towards greater openness.
Last week, San Francisco launched DataSF.org. Modeled on our very own Data.gov, DataSF.gov provides easy access to a clearinghouse of structured, raw and machine-readable government data. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said he hopes the city’s coders and entrepreneurs will use the data to create new innovative services "never imagined within the walls of government":
"The idea behind the site is to open up San Francisco government and tap into the creative expertise of our greatest resource – our residents. We hope DataSF.org will create a torrent of innovation similar to when the developer community was given access to the platforms behind popular technologies and devices like Facebook and Apple’s iPhone."
States and cities have always served as a laboratory for democracy. The examples mentioned here are but a handful of open government initiatives cropping up across the country. If your town, county, state, or region is launching a new open government initiative or perfecting a successful model, we want to hear about it. We look forward to hearing your comments over at the OSTP blog.
Robynn Sturm is United States Assistant Deputy Chief Technology Officer