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New York City Council’s Roadmap to Digital Inclusion

A roadmap to digital inclusion and open government

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The New York City Council has released a new digital roadmap called “Council 2.0: A Roadmap to Digital Inclusion and Open Government”, which aims to make the New York City Council more transparent and accessible through digital technology.

The  public technology plan reflects the Council’s commitment to transparency, diversity and support of open government, and follows sweeping reforms passed by the Council in May of 2014.

“Council 2.0 will utilize technology to make the Council more responsive, transparent, and open for every resident in this city,” said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.  “Through this framework, we will grow the Council into a digitally-agile institution that adapts with emerging technology while remaining connected to the public.”

One of the key initiatives of the digital roadmap is a commitment to open data, declaring to “default to open” when it comes to releasing data. The plan also commits to a regular review of what information can be released to the public and the best ways to make information available.

“By providing open access to Council data, improving our social media platforms, and taking concrete steps to pilot new models of engagement, we are building a more inclusive city. Like participatory budgeting, more engaging public technology helps us to hear the voices of New Yorkers — an essential step to doing our job right and strengthening our local democracy” said New York City Council Member Brad Lander.

The roadmap will be lead by a newly appointed Public Technology team, which will be tasked with asked with analyzing open data, driving social media interaction, redesigning of the Web site, and driving a digitally savvy culture at the Council.

Other key initiatives include

  • Launch of a more accessible legislative database, featuring a public API that will allow access and analysis of legislative data by the public.
  • Development of a social media strategy focused on information sharing and crowd-sourcing questions and comments Council proceedings and other hearings.
  • A pilot text-messaging-based community engagement program to support digital inclusion and civic participation

“By focusing on making information more accessible and improving social media outreach, the Council will have new opportunities to reach diverse communities through the platforms they most often use and meet their specific needs at individual levels as never before,” said Member Vanessa L. Gibson, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety Council.

Read the full roadmap – Council 2.0.