Third Thursdays SF

Ask not what your city can do for you – ask what you can do for your city

When President John F. Kennedy famously proclaimed “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” a sense of civic pride was embedded into our patriotic psyche and Americans were given the money quote needed to do more than just complain about their government.

As municipalities struggle to make ends meet, here are five ways you can do for your city.


CityCampStart a CityCamp where you live. CityCamp is an unconference focused on innovation for municipal governments and community organizations. Founded by Kevin Curry and Jen Pahlka, the first camp was held in Chicago, Illinois, January 23-24, 2010. To date, camps have been held in San Francisco, London, Colorado, Edmonton and many other cities across the world. If you’ve got deep pockets (or even pocket change), support and sponsor CityCamp.


Third Thursdays SFStart a local civictech meet-up. In San Francisco, Gov 2.0 Radio‘s Adriel Hampton and I founded Third Thursdays SF, a monthly happy hour that gathers civic entrepreneurs, tech-savvy government officials, civic developers and open government advocates together to connect with one another. Consistency is key and a regular meet-up will help establish a sustainable foundation for your local community.


Work directly with your local public officials and help give them a Gov 2.0 city makeover. In September 2010, former Manor, TX, CIO Dustin Haisler led a makeover for De Leon, TX, that included a new Website, as well as other technology and social media tools to better connect citizens with their city. Learn how you can do the same.


Code for AmericaApply for a Code for America Fellowship. CfA is now looking for a few good developers, designers, researchers and entrepreneurs who want to make a difference. Fellows get a living-wage stipend, travel expenses and healthcare for the year. Application deadline is June 26 and start date is January 2012.


HackTylerWhen all else fails, hack your city. Ahead of his upcoming move to Tyler, TX, Chicago Tribune news app developer Christopher Groskopf finds himself taking the code into his own hands. Read posts about his adventures at The Atlantic or learn how you can do the same at Hack Tyler.

Next time you’re complaining about what your government isn’t doing, do something about it.

Ask not what your city can do for you – ask what you can do for your city.

OpenSF re-launches, San Francisco will hold ‘Third Thursdays SF’ monthly meet-ups


Two important San Francisco open government announcements from OpenSF founders and contributors Jay Nath and Adriel Hampton.

First, the OpenSF blog has a new look. You can also follow OpenSF on Twitter. More about OpenSF from Hampton:

OpenSF is an informal place to share about our projects and thoughts and to dialog with San Francisco residents and the global Gov 2.0, Open Government and Open Data communities.

Second, beginning Feb. 17, there will be regular monthly meet-ups, ‘Third Thursdays SF’, to keep the community active and help everyone better connect. Join the ‘Third Thursdays SF’ Facebook page to stay updated on the latest news.

Listen to Nath and Hampton discuss Building Gov 2.0 Community in San Francisco on Gov 2.0 Radio: