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Looking Ahead to Accela Engage 2014

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Accela Engage 2014 is less than two weeks away, and more than 550 customers and partners have registered to attend. The office is filled with excitement and anticipation, and we’re looking forward to our biggest and best event yet. Attendees share what they love most about Accela Engage. This year we’ll be sharing our latest enhancements, from the Accela Civic Platform and our open data portal to our new solution offerings for pet licensing and legislative , resource and recreation , and right of way management. Based on attendee feedback, we’re offering even more sessions and hands-on training classes than in years past. This year, we’ll have over 60 user product presentations in addition to 50 hours of Accela software training with multiple sessions of our most popular training classes. We will also have some dynamic keynote speakers: • Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media and proponent of...
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A Year in Review: The Top 5 Advances in Civic Engagement

Management Analyst Jason Stewart with Tacoma, Washington Uses the Accela Civic Platform
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Now that Accela Engage is less than a month away, I find myself reflecting on what we’ve achieved as a community since we last met in San Diego. What’s most staggering is the number of new and upgraded customers joining the Accela community, including Seattle, Washington, the State of New Mexico, Dayton, Ohio, Chesapeake, Virginia, Queen Creek, Arizona, and Menifee, California. We now have over 800 customers around the world. Each new customer joins a strong and active community of their peers, combining the power of their solution with the knowledge other agencies have gained solving similar challenges. Building this strong ecosystem means more than just onboarding new customers. We have to continue to innovate and ensure that we’re speeding that innovation to deliver the best-in-class experiences that our agency customers need and want. To that end, I’d like to recap the top 5 advances since Accela Engage 2013: 1) Launch...
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What Does the Civic Platform Mean to Me?

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You’re going to hear a lot about the Accela Civic Platform. It’s core to our mission of bridging the gap between government and citizens and is designed to help you engage—with citizens, across departments and jurisdictions, and with developers looking to create solutions to help you build better communities. Today, Accela customers describe their environments in a manner of alphabet soup: AA, ACA, AMO, ESME, FIDs and the like. Over the years, Accela Automation has evolved to include a great many capabilities that are, in turn, part of the solutions that you’ve deployed to solve core government business problems in managing land, licensing, assets, and public health & safety. Going forward, the term Accela Civic Platform will represent the collective Accela capabilities you use to manage functions in your community or jurisdiction. To be clear: we’re not taking anything away or changing any aspect of your license agreement—we are simplifying...
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Recreation Time!

Recreation Time!
Each year, billions of citizens visit our National Parks and Federal and State lands. Yet, most agencies still haven’t found a way to leverage technology to improve the effectiveness of limited staff in collecting entrance or usage fees and helping to manage their natural resources, or in making services available online and on mobile. Imagine reserving your campground from your phone or computer, purchasing parks entrance passes without having to wait in a long line or renewing your boat registration from the comfort of your couch. It means that citizens can spend more time enjoying these natural resources and less time with process and paperwork. Accela is now in a great position to help manage these types of valuable resources with our acquisition of Kinsail. Their cloud-based solutions to enhance revenue collection and business processes will be rebranded as Accela Recreation and Resource Management, and include secure entrance passes, permits,...
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Top 7 Videos about Open Government Software and Technology

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The Open Government movement is an effort towards making government information transparent and accessible in order to encourage civic participation and promote efficiency. A recent development of this concept is the theory of open source governance, which encourages the development of software to allow citizens to participate more directly in the legislative process. Check out the videos below to learn more about basic terms, key players and events. David Eaves: Open Government. Open Government activist David Eaves explains the basics of Open Government, Government 2.0 and open data. See also Open Data, Baseball and Government, explaining the importance of the availability of government data and how people can use this information to make improvements. Civic Hacking in Pursuit of Democracy. A Sunlight Foundation effort to brainstorm and identify solutions for problems around the country. These “civic hackers” create apps and software to benefit their communities. Their National Day of Civic...
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Working on a New Vision of Democracy at CivicMakers

Working on a New Vision of Democracy at CivicMakers
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In a world of civic cynicism and disconnection, a surprising group of people came together to discuss a new vision for democracy. The first Inaugural CivicMakers Salon was held this week at the Runway Incubator in San Francisco. The challenge posed to event attendees was to answer this question: What should real democracy look like and how can technology help us get there? A new conversation about the opportunity to use technology to bridge the gap between government and citizens is being encouraged by events like this. To kick it off we heard from one of the event organizers, Lawrence Grodeska, Director of Nonprofit Community at Change.org, "I'm so inspired by the 125 people who came together to share their vision for how technology can help improve democracy. It's clear that people want to talk about this, and I hope CivicMakers can help bring this conversation back to every tavern,...
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