Twitter: @ValForAustin

Campaign Finance Data Challenge: declined

Open Data

Many of these issues, such as the Open Data Portal and Open Government Resolution, are discussed in our Open Government Briefing Guide.

⇒ 1. How will you encourage City departments to comply with the Open Government Resolution and place useful data on the open data portal on a timely basis?

I will address this with City Manager Mark Ott to get an assessment of what needs to be done to expedite compliance with the Open Government Resolution. A training seminar for staff to remind them about it would be a good start.

⇒ 2. How would you evaluate departments' compliance with the Open Government Resolution? Would you support a resolution to create a quarterly report card?

For the most part good, but there is one program that remains blind—the funding process for the City of Austin Cultural Contracts distribution of bed tax dollars to local artists. The system used to be transparent but currently, neither the City Council nor the Arts Commission know what is being funded, they simply rubber stamp a total amount as recommended by the peer panels. Even the artists don’t know what their award will be until AFTER City Council approves (rubber stamps) the final budget. This has to change.

⇒ 3. Would you support a resolution to require that any software or software services purchased by the City must be accompanied by an open data plan that indicates how public data managed by that system will be made available to the public?


Innovation Office

⇒ 4. This past March, the City hired its first Chief Innovation Officer. What are the specific functions and initiatives you would like to see out of this office to advance the City's open government and open data efforts?

I would like to see the city’s website improved to be more manageable and search friendly.

Website and Online Services

⇒ 5. What steps would you take to help ensure the City of Austin website provides the tools and information that citizens and community groups want?

Navigation on the site needs to be improved. It’s not intuitive. I will work with the City Manager and Chief Innovation Officer to see what can be done to revamp it.

⇒ 6. Would you support action to create an online issue feedback/reporting system, where a citizen could report an issue with the City's website and other online properties, and track city response to that issue?


⇒ 7. There are strong benefits to providing city information and services online. Many residents, however, experience barriers to access. (See discussion of "Digital Inclusion" in our Open Government Briefing Guide.) What do you see as the City's responsibility regarding digital inclusion, and what steps would you take to address these concerns?

The city can provide access to computers at libraries and recreation centers. In areas like District 1, where we have need of these facilities, we will need to expand existing access until additional sites can be dedicated.

Open Data Exercise: Campaign Finance Filings

The City of Austin currently posts candidate and office holder financial statements as scanned facsimiles (PDF format) of the filed, attested documents. In 2012, the City Council approved a resolution to post these filings in a searchable, digital form.

⇒ 8. What would you do to ensure this project is completed before the next municipal election?

I will work with the City Manager to see what’s needed to get the job done.

⇒ 9. Will you publicly post your campaign receipts and expenditures (as reported to the City on form C/OH) online, in CSV spreadsheet data format, within 30 days of filing a report with the Austin City Clerk? Where will you post it?

My campaign is extremely grassroots and I’m not sure I have the technical ability to do it, but If I receive the funding to do so, I will post expenses on my campaign page.