Washington's Inauguration, 1789 (Photo: Architect of the Capitol)

Find the truth. Tell the truth.

“Find the truth. Tell the truth.” is a core value of the U.S. Digital Service, and Ben Damman uses the mantra to share his sentiments on how it applies to California technology projects, particularly related to the nascent Office of Digital Innovation.

Code California

Golden State dot-gov

California is on the cusp of ushering in a new era of government digital services, one that our elected leaders can finally align, prioritize and execute on, and prove to the people of the Golden State that our representatives are ready to innovate just as other industries here have done.

Tertiary page

Part 2: Re-imagining the California DMV website

It’s been a week since I published my thoughts on re-imagining the California Department of Motor Vehicles website. During that time, the issues I had with not receiving my REAL ID were resolved and the process inspired me to think and prototype a little more on the first iteration.

Re-imaging the California DMV website

Re-imagining the California DMV website

I recently visited my local California Department of Motor Vehicles field office to renew my driver license and, because I scheduled an appointment ahead of time, my experience wasn’t the nightmare it’s traditionally made out to be. However, the designer in me couldn’t help but think about how the entire DMV process could be re-imagined, offline and online.

California

California issues open source, code reuse policy

The California Department of Technology has set a new standard for state government technology offices, releasing an open source and code reuse policy “to better support cost efficiency, effectiveness, and the public’s experience with government programs.”

Photo: Angie Quirarte

Serving California: Angie Quirarte

Angie Quirarte is a behind-the-scenes hero for the state of California, leading on issues such as public sector workforce recruitment and retention, public data, creating a user-friendly government, improving internal government processes and more.

Photo: Code for America

Bringing California open data to life

Okay, I admit it: Even as a champion of open data, I find that it’s often mundane to view data on a portal. Simple lists of datasets — and even the maps and charts you can create — don’t truly show the intrinsic value of data that’s been freed to benefit communities.

Golden Gate Bridge (photo: Luke Fretwell)

City enthusiasts, innovators: Register for BRIDGE SF

San Francisco Bay Area city enthusiasts and innovators can now register for BRIDGE SF, “a collaboration of public, private, non-profit, and academic institutions coming together to challenge assumptions, develop skills, share best practices, and build partnerships that drive innovation for a better tomorrow.”

California

California seeks CIOs

Of significant importance is the state CIO opening, and its convergence with evolving talk of establishing a government digital service team, much like what has been done in the United Kingdom and here in the United States with the U.S. Digital Service and 18F.

"No ugly, old IT."

‘No ugly, old IT.’

“No ugly, old IT” jumped out at me when I first reviewed DataSF’s strategic plan, “Data in San Francisco: Meeting supply, spurring demand,” and it still sticks, mostly because someone inside government was so bold as to make this a priority and openly communicate it and also because this should be a mantra for everyone building civic technology.

Photo: Shinya Suzuki

How and why Los Angeles deployed open source and agile

Last week at DrupalCon, representatives from the city of Los Angeles, CivicActions and Acquia shared their development and project management process to begin migrating and consolidating websites across 40 agencies to a single instance using Acquia Cloud Site Factory.

Palo Alto Civic Technology Center

Inside Palo Alto’s new Civic Technology Center

Last week, I met with Palo Alto Chief Information Officer Jonathan Reichental to get a tour of the city’s new Civic Technology Center, an open space that centralizes the city’s information technology staff, call and data centers into one working area.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Photo: Eric Garcetti)

What if mayors ruled the world?

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: Code for America

These 7 local governments will Code for America in 2015

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.”