SF Mayoral Candidates: An Open Government Pledge for San Francisco

In an effort to make it easier for local governments to better implement open government policies, a group of dedicated advocates recently created a sample Local Open Government Initiative (LOGI), modeled after the one initiated by President Obama for the federal government in January 2009. Supporting LOGI organizations included CityCamp, OpenColorado, Code for America, OpenPlans and Sunlight Foundation.

As part of our work around SFOpen 2011, with the help from the above, we’ve adapted the LOGI in the form of a pledge, and we’re formally asking all San Francisco mayoral candidates to make ‘An Open Government Pledge for San Francisco’ (see below).

This is the first step in a process to work with the candidates to help them better embrace the principles of open government. We’re reaching out to each of them and will update this post with commitments (they can also add in the comments).

Update: Candidates committed (ordered by response time):

San Francisco Mayoral Candidate Commitment to Open Government

Open government is the movement to improve government by making government more transparent, participatory, collaborative, accountable, efficient, and effective. Open government will help build the public’s trust and satisfaction in government, will improve government’s delivery of services, and will create new opportunities for innovation.

I, _______________________, commit to support the following principles of open government:

Transparency: To increase accountability, promote informed public participation, and create economic development opportunities, the city shall expand access to information
Participation: To create more informed and effective policies, the city shall enhance and expand opportunities for the public to participate throughout decision-making processes.
Collaboration: To more effectively fulfill its obligations to citizens, the city will enhance and expand its practices of cooperation among city departments, other governmental agencies, the public, and non-profit and private.

With the rise of new technologies and an increasingly connected population, a growing pressure has been placed on government leaders and government entities to adopt these open government principles. I will take steps to ensure San Francisco meets these demands and supports citizens’ needs.

By supporting open government efforts, San Francisco will build on and enhance opportunities for citizens to inform government; will further develop the city’s transparency and accountability; and develop a platform to support innovation.

Furthermore, I will support developing a legal framework to support open government, and I will ensure open government efforts are appropriately funded and managed, which will help build a culture of open government.

San Francisco is already a leader in supporting innovation through sharing government data and is a leader in the open government movement.

I will ensure the city and all of its departments continue in this direction to create the model of local open government.

I commit to working with city officials and the public to ensure open government and innovation continue to grow in San Francisco.

About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at luke@govfresh.com.

12 Responses

  1. Good first step, but inadequate IMHO. 

    Why was so much of http://opengovernmentinitiative.org/directive/v1/ removed? And let’s be more concrete. Following the example set by NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg and Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne, SF Gov2.0 voters expect our next mayor to appoint a Chief Digital Officer and to produce a public SF Gov 2.0 roadmap. Mayoral candidate should commit to creating + filling the Chief Digital Officer position as a part of their open government commitment. Which mayoral candidate will be the first to commit to the CDO + roadmap?Rob 

    P.S. How does one get a ticket to SFOpen 2011? :) http://sf.govfresh.com/sfopen2011/

  2. Be it politicians or just regular people, no one starts out — in planning a journey — with a “roadmap” already in hand.  At this point, we are just trying to get them to agree to general Principles, not specific details (like what type of computer formats should be used).

    Think of it this way:  First you and your spouse agree Where to go on vacation, THEN you agree on the “roadmap” (e.g., itinerary) on how to go on that trip.  —  If you can’t agree on the first part, then the second part is irrelevant.      

  3. Well done, Luke, but I believe that our mayoral candidates’ position on “open government” should be even stronger and aimed at taking on and exposing what I call “systemic corruption” in San Francisco city government.  

    If you want to know where I stand, watch my video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpi0QZcD7LI on this very topic.  Fighting this systemic corruption is my pledge to the voters and citizens of San Francisco, and quite frankly the single most important reason I am running.  Let’s take City Hall back from special interests and give it back to the people.  Keep up the good work! Regards,Tony Hall

  4. Lucas Cioffi

    This is a great example for the rest of us to follow across the country.  Excellent job, Luke.


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