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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Accela Engage 2013 – DON’T PANIC!

There's less than one week left until Accela Engage 2013 kicks off in San Diego, but don’t panic. Although the world isn’t coming to an end like in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy , time is running out to carefully plan your schedule to ensure you make the most of your time during the conference. If you haven't nailed down your must-attend sessions and events, here's a quick guide to a few things that may just help round out your experience next week: Haven’t registered yet? Not being able to attend Accela Engage would obviously have a serious impact on your entire experience. You can register until 11:59 pm on Wednesday, August 7. All hands-on training classes must be selected by then as well. Speaking of Hands-on Training Sessions: These training classes require preregistration to attend and space is limited to 35 seats per class, so reserve your spot...
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See Accela Solutions in Action: Permitting and Inspection & Code Enforcement

Permitting and Inspection
Code Enforcement
Many government agencies have already discovered the benefits of moving their permitting and inspection and code enforcement processes online. Whether your agency serves a large metropolitan area or a small town , the benefits are the same: doing more with less—in less time. So, what can you do that you couldn’t do before? Government agencies can save time by accepting and managing permits online and capturing inspection results in real time. Developers, contractors and citizens can submit permit applications and review progress and make updates without making a trip to City Hall. Inspectors can interact with complete case information, access their daily inspection schedules, create new cases in the field, and submit inspection results remotely. Code officers can seamlessly create and manage cases in the field using their mobile devices—whether they are performing proactive sweeps or following up on issues reported by police, fire professionals, citizens or other community partners....
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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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