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Guest Blog: Building a Better Palo Alto with Civic Insight


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Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Civic Insight , one of Accela’s app partners . Picture this: you’re an entrepreneur who’s just signed the lease on your new storefront. You’re itching to knock down some walls, to make the space embody your vision. Or maybe you’re a homeowner looking to remodel your kitchen, or finally finish out that basement. These folks are vital to a thriving city: the ones launching new businesses, fixing up old buildings, investing in their homes and creating new places for residents to live, work and play. As a public servant looking to foster economic development, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to build in your city. But you also need to make sure that they’re building up to code. Unfortunately, securing a building permit is often a daunting experience—especially for first-time builders. Figuring out which permits you need...
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Guest Blog from Appallicious: Open Gov on the Move in 2014

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Editor's Note: Yo Yoshida is the CEO and co-founder of the San Francisco civic start-up, Appallicious. The beginning of 2014 has proved to be a busy one for both Appallicious , and the entire open data movement. To say a lot is going on would be an understatement. Next week, I’ll be participating in  Accela’s annual Partner and Developer Conference to discuss how our company and other civic startups are improving communication between citizens, businesses and government agencies.  Accela is one of the leading civic engagement platform providers — we are thrilled to have been invited up to Tahoe for the event. Last year it was announced that the California based company  raised $40 million. We are excited to learn from other leaders in the space and share what we are gearing up to launch. I’ll join a panel of open data advocates from Accela,  OpenCounter and  BuildingEye . OpenCounter...
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Making Ordinary Citizens Civic Heroes

Making Ordinary Citizens Civic Heroes
Allen Chen and I had the chance to present to the Concord City Council last week. Concord, which is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, is actively using Accela to manage a lot of their land, licensing and assets, and they also have agreed to partner with us to help test, validate and chart the future of Civic Hero , a mobile app for iPhone, Android and Windows phones that lets citizens easily report community issues such as potholes, graffiti or damaged public property to their local government. The City Council meeting was like many others: a Council comprised of many community elders and prominent citizens, community participants insistent on having their voices and issues heard, and a contingent of younger folks learning about civics and the workings of their government. The key recurring theme we heard from citizens and from the City Council was the need to spur...
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Guest Blog: What Kind of Civic Innovator Are You?

Nole Walkingshaw is Brigade Captain for Open Salt Lake as well as the Manager for Institutional Engagement, Community and Economic Development, for the City of Salt Lake. A  new report by the IBM Center for The Business of Government titled,  Engaging Citizens in Co-Creation in Public Services, defines four key roles members of the community can play in conjunction with their government. As explorers ,citizens can identify/discover and define emerging and existing problems. As ideators, citizens can conceptualize novel solutions to well-defined problems. As designers, citizens can design and/or develop implementable solutions to well-defined problems. As diffusers, citizens can directly support or facilitate the adoption and diffusion of public service innovations and solutions among well-defined target populations. So, what kind of “Civic Innovator” are you? Check out the  report and comment here.
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Should You Be Moving to the Cloud?

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We’re only one month into 2014 and we’re already seeing significant momentum around cloud delivery, specifically as it ties to cloud use by government agencies of all sizes. For Accela, this means helping these agencies realize the opportunity to reduce costs, improve service levels and engage with citizens. And we’re not alone. The Center for Digital Government recently published an issue brief (registration required) talking about why it is time to move to the cloud. The idea of outsourcing is not new. Government agencies have been outsourcing for decades. However, this latest push toward outsourcing (also known as Cloud Computing) appears to be driven not only by the economy and cost pressures, but also by a shift in citizen expectations as well. In a Government Technology article last year, Maury Blackman, Accela’s CEO, talked about changing citizen expectations and how cloud can impact an agency’s ability to deliver these services...
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fr
Jeff, Great points and resources for governments looking to move to the cloud. Accela certainly grasps the power of the cloud and... Read More
Thursday, 13 February 2014 19:17
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Guest Blog from Microsoft | Mobile Solutions Connecting Citizens with Government

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Mobile Solutions Connecting Citizens with Government On behalf of Kevin Koh, Director, Government Solutions, Microsoft Government agencies often deal with the same types of issues as other businesses. With increased pressures to cut costs, minimize risk, and keep pace with change, government agencies need modern, secure and affordable mobile solutions to ensure their employees are able to stay connected and productive wherever they are. Government ultimately exists – whether it be local, state, or federal – to serve the populace and to give a voice to the community. Being able to easily connect with colleagues and citizens while in the office or on the go empowers employees to do their job more effectively by using the best means of communications for the situation. Having access to a familiar and consistent experience across a variety of devices based on their needs is very important as well. Government organizations are interested in...
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fr
Am interested in learning more about iLink Systems.
Monday, 10 February 2014 11:41
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