Campaign Finance Data Challenge: accepted
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
We must make open government a priority. If elected I will lead by example by making all of my financial records, budget, calendar, staff background, voting record, etc public record. I would support a redesign of the city’s website that helped accomplish this total transparency goal. I would propose an ordinance to make the most important information required to be on the open data portal.
⇒ 2. How would you evaluate departments' compliance with the Open Government Resolution? Would you support a resolution to create a quarterly report card?
I think that the City Council could do much better in accomplishing Open Government. It should not be a request but a requirement as part of the job. If this were more closely monitored in the form of a quarterly report card we could find offenders quicker as well as give praise to those whom are acting in an open manner.
⇒ 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?
I would support requirements for Open Data in any new software purchases by the city. We must have transparency. We must also have the appearance of transparency. If departments are allowed to purchase software without oversight it is harder to trust the true level of “openness”. There must be total transparency.
⇒ 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?
The primary focus should be to put the right technology in place so as to make this as painful and inexpensive on taxpayers and departments as possible.
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?
I would propose working with the top people in Austin for consulting and design and reaching out to citizens about what features they would find useful. With as much information as possible we can make this website a true asset.
⇒ 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?
I would support an effective way for citizens to issue feedback and report problems.
⇒ 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?
Again, technology is the answer. Computer prices have dropped and technology for the blind has improved. We can certainly improve people’s access to computers through public libraries and programs. With new tools such as tablets we can access the internet in different ways. I would support finding the funds to improve and increase access to computers city wide.
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 would propose a bond to finance the website and get the information needed to complete its overhaul. I would propose an ordinance to require that city officials information be made part of the open government and open data portal.
⇒ 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?
I will publicly post my receipts and expenditures online within 30 days of filing a report with the Austin City Clerk.