At the end of these 30 minutes, you will learn something you don't know about local American governance, civic engagement that will change how you think about your work in tech and make a difference how in you prioritize civic engagement
who has been, how did you know to go?, agenda, existing solution is slow, unusuable, reduces oversight
machine politics, weak mayor, city manager with oversight from council
Can't really search...don't click the body name...agenda PDF just downloads...
needs govtech compliance, business as usual vs. needs civictech: citizen or journalist
$100MM revenue GovTech SaaS with funding from Vista
why each, fast, but also robust,d accessibility
- Talk, talk, talk to empower individuals and communities
- Campaign for Phila, SF, Baltimore
- Growth support ideas...
- On-premise agenda boards
- Vendor product
- Power user product
- Donations or grants
- Improve journalist outreach
- Increase community awareness and support
- Use AI for entity recognition, summarization
### My background
- Full stack dev
- 2010s and Civic Data
- Moving: Place and Politics
- Hurricanes, Winter Storms
### Some goals
- Easier for me to view
- Faster, smart UX for journalists and like-minded folks
- Low cost
- Easy maintenance
- Rot resistant
### Some Civic Tech Qualms
- Believers: idealism
- Boondoggles: tech solutionism
- Bandwagons: hackathons
- Bounty: data
- Bitrot: one off
## Where are the humans in the loop?
> The ethos of 'new managerialism' is stripping public services of moral and ethical values and replacing them with the market language of costs, efficiencies, profits and competition. Anything which is not easily quantified becomes undervalued or abandoned.
We want to provide concise, accurate information to users. The app avoids creating unnecessary URLs that might create link rot after Legigram ends. To that end, we link to original documents and canonical Legistar views as much as possible.
That said, UX and UI are paramount. We emphasize the critical data along each steps of the agenda review process. We use a content delivery network, a memory store for API hits (which also help reduce the load on Legistar), server render components, and expires headers to accelerate page load. We adapt the layout adjust for screen sizes and click/tap experiences so that it's easy to navigate on most devices. The text should be scannable and readable so we picked a typeface, DM Sans, that excels in legibility even on small screens, and we try to rein in the long event titles and filenames.
## What exists to help us get better laws?
- Donations and lobbying
- Councilperson comms
- Public info sessions
- Public meetings, video streams, advance notice
- Public comment periods
### Who is in the room?
#### Elected Officials
#### Affected parties
#### Interest groups
#### Press (?)