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Last Call: Why It’s “Prime Time” for Alcoholic Beverage Control Regulation

Last Call: Why It’s “Prime Time” for Alcoholic Beverage Control Regulation
Nearly 100 years post-Prohibition, alcohol control remains a highly complex topic. This is due in large part to inconsistencies surrounding alcohol licensing, permitting and citizen confusion about the rules and regulations of when and where alcoholic beverages can be purchased and consumed. State by state, differences abound for citizens’ ability to buy alcohol in grocery stores vs. liquor stores, and on Sunday vs. any day. Questions linger even within restaurants and bars: What time constitutes "last call," and is it consistent across county and state lines? Business owners face a slightly different challenge: a lengthy and complex application process for liquor licenses and permits that can require months of waiting to receive an approval, or worse, a denial. In a previous life, I was the State Licensing Director for the State of Connecticut. I’ve seen the thick paper files of alcohol permit applications, reference checks and background information required for...
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Using Social Media for an Open Government: 7 Tips to Get You Started

Using Social Media for an Open Government: 7 Tips to Get You Started

Social media can be a powerful tool for the government to listen to their citizens and for citizens to interact with their local government. It is a force to help build relationships, drive engagement and enhance agency reputations.

Government agencies are using social media more and more to interact with citizens and local businesses in their community.

Here are 7 tips to help get your agency started on social media:

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5 Government Technology Trends to Watch in 2015

5 Government Technology Trends to Watch in 2015

There’s no denying that technology helps you deliver services faster—giving you the ability to improve your civic operations. With an ever-changing technology landscape, municipalities are pressured to transform and adapt quickly. As the evolution in technology and government grows in 2015, we not only need to evaluate trends, but also understand what makes sense for your city and your citizens.

Here are the top five local government technology trends to check out in the coming year:

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Civic Tech: What It Is and Why You Should Care [Free Report]

Civic Tech: What It Is and Why You Should Care [Free Report]
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“Civic technologies provide the platform and tools to fuel government transformation, and this journey is just beginning.” Civic tech aims to solve the problems facing citizens. With technology we can help government agencies engage their communities in new ways and modernize the way they serve citizens. This can be anything from voting automation to data access and transparency to crowdsourcing ideas for community improvement. Civic tech is a growing area for state and local governments, as well as funding agencies and start-ups. We teamed up with the International Data Corporation (IDC) to develop a free report: “Civic Tech Fuels U.S. State and Local Government Transformation.” The report estimates that U.S. civic tech market spending will reach $6.4 billion in 2015 in a space that will grow 14 times faster than traditional state and local government spending from 2013 to 2018. You can download the report here to learn more about...
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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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Open Data: From Coast to Coast

Open Data: From Coast to Coast
The last few weeks have been big for open data and civic innovation. Awareness of the power of open data, the new ideas it can help foment and the new apps and services it can support are spreading from coast to coast. On May 15, I had the pleasure to take part in the Open Data NJ Summit at Montclair State University. The event brought together experts on open data from the Sunlight Foundation, the U.S. Open Data Institute and others to present to local government officials and the journalism community on the power and promise of open data. The event featured presentations from, among others, Jersey City and the City of Newark—both of which are using CKAN as the basis for their open data releases. CKAN is also used as the foundation for CivicData.com , which is free to use for Accela customers and other governments looking to release...
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