Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Photo: Eric Garcetti)

Freakonomics Radio has a great episode on the dynamics of mayors and their ability (compared to governors and presidents) to directly and immediately impact the lives of citizens, primarily because they deal with tactical issues with relatively less political obstacles.

Photo: Whitney

I’ve been on a podcast kick lately and stumbled on an old Freakonomics Radio episode highlighting the U.S. Department of Defense ethics guide, “The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure.”

BlueLight

BlueLight founder and CEO Preet Anand shares his vision for re-inventing 911.

Photo: Code for America

Code for America recently held a “Bay Area Government Technology Showcase” featuring ventures and investors pitching their ideas, and CfA’s Ashley Meyers and Dharmishta Rood opened the event with an overview of seven traits of the next generation of government technology startups.

Photo: Code for America

“Civic Hacking” is the awareness of a condition that is suboptimal in a neighborhood, community or place and the perception of one’s own ability to effect change on that condition.

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park with President Obama (Photo: White House)

The White House has officially released the write version of the “We the People” application programming interface that now allows developers to feed data back into the petition platform via third-party applications.

A Guide for Making Innovation Offices Work

If you, like me, have wondered whether the innovation-as-buzzword trend is having much of an impact on government today, a new, very thorough and much-needed report from IBM Center for the Business of Government addresses this issue head-on.

CityCamp

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of CityCamp, we’re encouraging cities across the world to celebrate CityCamp Day on January 10, 2015.

'Smart Cities'

Much like “green” has done for the sustainability movement, the term “smart cities” has brought as much skepticism as enthusiasm for an ambiguous, over-marketed term used to describe the end product of the new urbanist movement.

Open Source Software in Government

The report emphasizes the importance of case studies to highlight open source execution within government, bringing more awareness to support and warranty options, simplify code release process and increase education around license guidance and procurement.

Photo: USDA

As part of this work I’m always on the look out for valuable public assets across city, state and federal government, and help make sure the conversations around these assets always include application programming interfaces, so that we aren’t just building web and mobile applications in silos, and limiting the potential for public access by individuals and small businesses.

Mike Flowers (Photo: Code for America)

Michael Flowers shares insights into his time as the former New York City chief analytics officer at the NYC Office of Data Analytics under Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the 2014 Code for America Summit.

Joy Bonaguro (Photo: Luke Fretwell)

San Francisco Chief Data Officer Joy Bonaguro shares her vision for the city’s open data future at the 2014 Code for America Summit.

Photo: Luke Fretwell

We’ve recently seen an uptick in venture capital interest around government and civic technology startups, but before we enthusiastically celebrate these investments, we must ask ourselves whether this potential bubble will truly reshape government IT or simply leave us five years from now in the same place we are today.

The Data Transparency Coalition will host Data Transparency 2014 on Tuesday, September 30, in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Code for America

Code for America today announced the next class of municipalities for its 2015 Fellowship Program that partners civic technologists with local governments for one year to “explore answers to local challenges by engaging with the community, building applications, and testing the results.”

Photo: Code for America

The 2014 Code for America Summit kicks off today in San Francisco and runs through Thursday. For most of you reading this, 99% of your Twitter stream will reference what has become one of the most important government technology events held throughout the year.

Y Combinator (Photo: Paul Miller

Y Combinator posted a list of sectors it’s interested in hearing pitches from in a “request for startups” that includes government-focused ventures.

Ellen Miller (Photo: Sunlight Foundation)

Today, Sunlight Foundation announced Chris Gates will take over as its new president in October after co-founder and executive director Ellen Miller said she would step down from eight years at the helm.

Photo: FDA / Michael J. Ermarth

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s openFDA initiative aims to “make it easier for web developers, researchers, and the public to access large, important public health datasets.”