New Workshops: Improve Downtown Watsonville, Civinomics at TEDX Black Rock City and More… August 26th

1. New Workshops: Improve Downtown Watsonville and Campaign Reform in California


Watsonville is a unique city with an under utilized downtown area. As of late, the commercial center for the city has seen less foot traffic and higher overall unemployment. That’s why we have teamed up with theSanta Cruz Business Council (SCBC) and the city to imagine how we can Improve Downtown Watsonville. Joe Foster, executive director of the SCBC, and Kurt Overmeyer, economic development coordinator, will be listening in on your ideas and discussion, so make your voices heard.

Now, we all know that our political system isn’t perfect, and our state’s elections are no exception. Whether you believe that special interest groups have too much power, or that our politicians spend too much time fundraising, chances are you want to some kind of Campaign Reform In California. Civinomics member, Oscar Morales, wants you to weigh in on the discussion.

2. Civinomics Live at TedX Burning Man

That’s right, Civinomics CEO Manu Koenig will be giving a live TED Talk from Burning Man on Thursday August 29th about how we can use software to improve democracy. As many of you know, Burning Man is an annual festival that draws in over 60,000 people to the Black Rock Desert every year for a week long celebration of human expression. The event is home to some of the world’s most amazing artists, innovators and leaders, who among other things, want to share their experiences and have a great time. You can catch Manu’s talk here:

3. New Features and Bug Fixes

It’s been a quiet week for the developer team, who have hunted down and squashed a number of bugs. Work continues on the photo uploads, as well as a new, enhanced search UI.

Updates Since Last Newsletter:

  • Bug fixes
  • UI tweaks

Still working on:

  • Photo uploads

4. Facilitators Meetup: From Framing to Flagging

Civinomics will be hosting another facilitator meetup in our continuing series “From Framing to Flagging.” The next meetup is scheduled for Wednesday, August 28th from 6:00 to 7:30pm at CruzioWorks. To learn more and RSVP, visit
Beer and snacks shall be provided. Also, any attendees who volunteer for a user test afterward will receive their choice of an iTunes/Amazon gift card or a Civinomics t-shirt!

5. A Lesson in Civics: Why Members of Congress are Shying Away from Town Halls

An interesting article came out in the SF Chronicle on Saturday talking about the reluctance of Bay Area members of Congress to have open town halls. Some members, like Congressman Eric Swalwell (D, Livermore), believe that open town halls are a necessary part of the civic experience, and that people have a right to talk to their elected representatives. And while we are inclined to agree, the article points out that many constituents use these town halls to harass their reps, oftentimes out of frustration. To us, it’s not that these meetings are a bad thing (quite the opposite actually), but that we need a more structured space for dialogue to supplement these forums. We welcome your opinion in our ongoing workshop How Can We Improve Congress More Effective?

1 Comment

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