In 2007 Gale Brewer, then Chair of the NYC Council Committee of Technology, introduced a law to amend the City Constitution to require webcasting of all City public meetings. This law applies to the Council, Committees, City Agencies, and Task Forces. The law – 2013-103 – was approved unaniminously by the council on November 14 2013, and signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg on December 2 2013, including a budget of $230k in 2014, and $100k/annum thereafter. The law gives the City 90 days to implement, which time is up on March 1 2014 – this Sunday. On Monday February 24 2014 the Committee, now chaired by Council Member James Vacca, held a public hearing for oversight of the implementation process, in the form of a report by Jeff Merritt from the Mayor’s office. Furthermore, Council Member Vacca and some colleagues have introduced a new law – Int 0028 – that will require Community Boards to also webcast their proceedings, so this hearing was an opportunity for public input on that topic. Speakers included Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, representatives of several Community Boards, and public interest groups Citizen’s Union and Reinvent Albany. The last word came from ISOC-NY’s own Joly MacFie, who emphasized flexibilty and the need for transcripts. Video is below, click through to YouTube for an index. A transcript should be available in a day or two.
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On August 1 2013 the 21st Century Democracy & Technology Meetup hosted a NYC Civic Tech Demo Night at Tipping Point Partners NYC. Introducing the night was Tipping Points founder and CEO Art Chang, who revealed a forthcoming expanded collaboration – a “tech campus” – between his firm, New York Law School, and other institutions.
Presenting first was FundElevator, a new crowdfunding platform for both causes and politicians that will have its soft launch in the next few days.
The second was NYC Votes. Art Chang is also the Chair of NYC Voter Assistance Advisory Committee(VAAC), part of the NYC Campaign Finance Board‘s (CFB) Voter Assistance Unit, as reconstituted by the 2010 Charter Commission. The CFB has three primary mandates: administering the Campaign Finance Program, publishing the Voter Guide, and overseeing the Debate Program. The CFB provides easily accessible and comprehensive information on candidates’ campaign finance and works to make candidates and elected officials more responsive to New York City citizens, rather than special interests, by reducing the opportunity for campaign contributors to influence candidates and elected officials and by providing a means for credible candidates who might not have access to “big money” to run competitive campaigns via a matching funds program. To assist in this purpose the VAAC spawned the 21st Century Democracy project which in turn spawned a Digital Action Working Group of leading local techies,namely AppOrchard, Method, and Pivotal Labs, who set to work on creating an app – NYC Votes – to help achieve the CFP’s purpose. NYC Votes is aimed to provide the complete voting experience from registering to vote, to learning about the candidates, to funding candidates (thereby gaining them 6x NYC matching funds), to casting a vote at the poll site on Election Day. The app is scheduled to go live on Aug 7 2013 at the New York Tech Meetup. This night was something of a dress rehearsal for that.
View on YouTube: http://youtu.be/GFB90PvU4OQ
Transcribe on AMARA: http://www.amara.org/en/videos/uH601JQul4ez/
Twitter: #civictech | #nycvotes
Art Chang – Chair, NYC Voter Assistance Advisory Committee
Mickey Costa – CEO, FundElevator
James Schuler – CTO, FundElevator
Amy M. Loprest – Executive Director, NYC Campaign Finance Board
Rusty Munro – Creative Director, Method
Michael Schubert – Managing Director, NYC, Pivotal Labs
Michael Carlson – Product Manager, AppOrchard
On July 29 2013 the Coalition for Queens presented Access Code: Demo Day at the See Me exhibition space in Long Island City, NYC. Access Code is an 8-week, 50-hour tech education and entrepreneurship development program that provides immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills & mentorship to build and launch high-tech companies. In the first program, over the past eight weeks, twenty-two students worked hard learning the ins-and-outs of iOS development, and then split into four teams each tasked with producing a working app. The program received support from the City, and no less than two Congresspersons, and two Councilmembers, including the Chair of the Economic Development Committee Karen Koslowitz, showed up to say a few words. A keynote – a lengthy homily on perseverance – was delivered by entrepreneur Nihal Mehta. Video is below, the actual demos start 45 mins in.
- Watch on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/71458334
NYC Digital, part of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, is mounting a series of listening sessions throughout the City this summer with the aim of encouraging feedback on New York City’s innovation progress and contributing to the upcoming version of the City’s Digital Roadmap. New Yorkers are invited to attend the sessions to share their thoughts about how to realize New York City’s potential as the world’s leading digital city, across the areas of Internet access, education, open data, engagement and industry, adding new goals and objectives to the City’s innovation strategy. The first of these, co-sponsored by the Brooklyn Tech Meetup and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, was held in Brooklyn on Thursday, July 11, 2013, and was webcast by ISOC-NY via the Internet Society Chapters Webcast Channel. Video is below. Click here to skip to the actual public responses.
Following their successful Queens Borough President Tech Policy Forum, the Coalition for Queens on Monday May 17 June 2013 presented a similar event for NYC Mayoral Candidates, again at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. Candidates participating in the forum: Former NYC Councilmember Sal Albanese, Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr., NYC Comptroller John Liu, and Former US Congressman Anthony Weiner. Moderators were Anjali Athavaley of the Wall Street Journal and Nilay Patel of The Verge. The forum was webcast live by ISOC-NY. Video is below.
On June 6 2013 the Coalition For Queens hosted a Queens Borough President Candidates Tech Policy Forum at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NYC. With its growing tech community and established spirit of entrepreneurship, Queens is positioned to become a major hub for tech innovation in New York City. The policies and agenda of the next Queens Borough President will affect the development of the tech ecosystem in the borough. The event, sponsored by AT&T and in partnership with the Museum of the Moving Image, Partnership for New York City, Code for America NY, and Queens County Young Democrats, invited candidates to discuss topics related to technology in Queens. Three candidates attended: Leroy Comrie, Melinda Katz, and Peter Vallone Jr. The discussion was moderated by Clare Trapasso of the New York Daily News and Kelly Faircloth of Betabeat. Video is below:
Jonas MacFarquhar and Jack Reylan are discussing. Toggle Comments
In January 2013 we noted the launch of the Gap App Challenge – a software development competition for programs to help middle school students excel in math. This week, out of 200 applicants, 4 winners were announced – winning $15,000 each – as well as some runners up.
- KnowRe - adaptive personalized learning processes.
- Hapara - dashboards for Google’s Apps for Education
- Mathalicious - creates lessons using real-life situations.
- LiveSchool - real-time class tracking
On Wednesday May 29 2013 the winners demo’d their apps. There is an archived webcast .
On Thursday 11 April 2013 the Federal Communications Bar Association (NY Chapter), New York Law School, eBay NYC, the New York Legal Hackers Meetup, the Cardozo Cyberlaw Society, and the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic presented Internet Everywhere: The Role & Policy Implications of Public Wi-Fi in NYC at eBay’s NYC office. This event followed Google’s program to provide free Wi-Fi to all of Chelsea, and the announcement just that day by NYC of a citywide pilot program to turn payphones into open Wi-Fi hotspots. Speakers included Council Member Gale Brewer, ISOC-NY Board member Joe Plotkin, NYC officials Deirdre Flynn and Bruce Regal, reps from the ACLU and Time Warner, and more. The moderator was Nilay Patel, managing editor of The Verge. Video is below,
Tomorrow, Thursday March 7 2013 at 12PM on the Steps of City Hall City Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer will hold a press conference to celebrate the first anniversary of NYC’s Open Data Law. On this day, under the terms of the bill, all qualifying data currently available on any NYC.gov website must be posted to the Open Data portal. Various open government groups including the Open NY Forum and the New York City Transparency Working Group will be in attendance to support Councilwoman Brewer.
What: NYC Open Data rally
Where: NYC City Hall Steps
When: Thursday March 7 2013. 12PM
On Saturday March 30, 2013, from 9:30am to 4:30pm, the Open Tech NYC 2013 conference will be held at the Hunter’s Point Event Space in Queens. Attendees will learn how open source is driving the NYC tech scene – from locally grown open source projects, to startups and big enterprises that run on open source, to new organizations and collaborative models. The format will be aeries of 45 minute talks. Registration is $11.54 for students, $27.37 for everyone else. Coffee and lunch will be provided. No webcast details at this time.
What: Open Tech NYC 2013
When: Saturday March 30, 2013 9:30am-4:30pm
Where: Hunter’s Point Plaza, Queens NY (LIC)
Webcast: No info.
Twitter: #opentech | #opentechnyc |