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Looking Ahead to Accela Engage: 2013 User Conference

Looking Ahead to Accela Engage: 2013 User Conference
Our user conference is just over two weeks away, and the team at Accela is hard at work making final preparations. We have a lot of great sessions and networking opportunities in store, and we’re looking forward to seeing many of you in San Diego. (If you would like to attend but have not yet signed up, you can register online through August 2, 2013.) So, what makes this user conference different than previous ones? First, you may have noticed that we changed the name of the event to Accela Engage. We did this to reflect the shift within many communities toward improving the delivery of government services through civic engagement . Agencies of all sizes can now deploy cloud, web, mobile and social technologies to more effectively engage with their constituencies, meet changing regulatory and compliance standards and manage civic functions. This is something that our customers are embracing,...
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If These Walls Could Talk: The Case for Open Housing Data

If These Walls Could Talk: The Case for Open Housing Data
Accela is partnering with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Code For America to launch the House Facts Data Standard. Today, Jack Madans, Community Manager for Code for America, shared his thoughts on the partnership, the standard and the case for open housing data: With an average of 36 million Americans changing homes every year, we’re a country constantly on the move. But too often there’s more than meets the eye at an open house. Broken plumbing, faulty heat, pests, or absentee landlords are just some of the unpleasant surprises that arise after the lease or deed is signed. More seriously, poor ventilation, asbestos, mold, and lead constitute hidden hazards that can lead to poisoning and chronic disease. The victims are most often children. Cities and counties are on the front lines of this fight, helping their residents avoid these costly nuisances and tragedies through the enforcement of health and...
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Hacking for Civic Good...and Tacos

Hacking for Civic Good...and Tacos
On Saturday June 1st, Civic Hackers across America united with a common thread, to change their communities by creating new mobile, web and social applications during the National Day of Civic Hacking. One Utah group in particular, Open Salt Lake, held Hack for Salt Lake, an event sponsored by Accela. At the hackathon, civic hackers worked with the City to access the Accela Automation system via the Accela Civic Platform, leading to the creation of a mobile application code named “Taco Cart.” The Taco Cart app was designed to solve for an existing problem facing Salt Lake residents today: locating the many food carts scattered across the city. While most citizens know these carts exist, their specific location is primarily spread by word of mouth alone. Furthermore, most cart owners have no simple way to post their locations online. But through their use of Accela Automation, the City tracks the...
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Civic Engagement: Where Does America Rank?


The  OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) just released an updated version of their  Better Life Index . The annual report measures the well-being of societies on 11 different dimensions from Housing, Education, and the Environment to Life Satisfaction and Civic Engagement. Accela is interested and involved in most all areas of governing, but we're keenly focused on civic engagement. In fact our new mission can be summed up as  bettering government through civic engagement . Check out the Better Life Index here:  http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org There's a rather nifty interactive UI that lets you tailor your own index according to the topics you value most. So how did the United States fair in 2013? When the 11 topics were weighted equally, Australia came out on top, with the U.S. near the head of the pack (6th out of the 34 nations included). The U.S. was #1 in both Housing and...
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Regionalization and Open Government: Key Themes of This Week's Civic Engagement Roadshow


The Accela Crew was out in full force this week in the heart of the South, with stops in Atlanta, GA, and Charlotte, NC. Our gracious host cities invited us into their offices to talk about Accela's new mission for #civicgood, to preview the new  Civic Hero 311/service request app, to hear a brief introduction to the Accela Developer Portal (available at  developer.accela.com ), and to interact at the first ever Southeastern regional user group meetings. Accela Sr. Software Architect Kris Trujillo discusses App Development in Atlanta In our discussions with Accela administrators and users, government leaders, and others from the local development community, several trends emerged: Engagement Is HOT Indeed! Just a few years ago, discussion around the concept of civic engagement centered around making government services more accessible to citizens over the Web or on their mobile devices. While this is an important part of government's purpose and...
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Oklahoma Disaster Relief: American Red Cross Donations

The tragic tornadoes in Oklahoma City have friends and families searching for ways to help. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people and the communities impacted by the recent events, and we wanted to share information on how you can help with the relief efforts. Donate to the on-the-ground efforts via the American Red Cross online or make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999.
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