What’s New in Civic Tech: What Do State Chief Data Officers Do?

Other efforts have included the governors of Montana and New York signing executive orders requiring Internet service providers to adhere to net neutrality principles in order to remain eligible for government contracts[10]; state legislatures launching bills to preserve net neutrality[11]; and even some cities — namely San Francisco[12] — working to create city-owned fiber-optic networks that require net neutrality.  

These efforts to combat net neutrality rollbacks also pre-dated the FCC’s action, with a number of municipal gov tech leaders going to Washington, D.C., in the lead-up to voice opposition[13].

Austin, Texas’ civic tech group changes meetup name to foster inclusivity

Would a weekly civic hack night be just as civic hacky by any other name?

Civic tech group Open Austin[14] thinks so. In fact, that Austin, Texas-based group thinks a different name could potentially foster more community inclusion and ultimately further its own goals of using tech to improve the quality of life in its community. To that end, Open Austin recently changed the name of its twice-monthly meetup from Civic Hack Nights to Community Action Nights.

Local civic tech stakeholders have taken to Twitter to praise the decision[15], noting that language and word choice can be vital in welcoming new participants. Austin is not the first place for this to be happening. In fact, last year’s National Day of Civic Hacking Events[16] placed an emphasis on being more inclusive, particularly on attracting participants who may not have a background in technology and might be put off by words like “hacking” all together.

Civic tech groups in locales from Portland, Maine, to Sacramento, Calif., have worked to entice participants who do not think of themselves as technologists. Open Austin is also not alone in taking the word hack out of its weekly meetup branding, with other civic tech groups across the country starting to do the same.

Indiana uses software to connect drug addicts with treatment

As state, county and city governments continue turning to tech to combat ongoing opioid[17] addiction crises in their jurisdictions, Indiana has now become one of the first in the country to use software to connect users with drug treatment.

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