Local Voting, Event Santa Cruz, Gov 2.0 Updates and more from Civinomics
Voting in Santa Cruz: Board of Supervisors, Santa Cruz and Watsonville City Councils
It’s that time again! Every two weeks the County Board of Supervisors, and the Santa Cruz and Watsonville City Councils meet to vote on various ordinances, resolutions and reports. This week the County Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution authorizing a sliding scale fee structure for county clinics, an ordinance concerning state video franchises, and a report on narcotics enforcement efforts, among other things. The city of Santa Cruz will consider whether to approve the Neighborhood Grant Program Implementation Plan, a four year rate increase to wastewater users, and whether to move and build out the crematory at 1927 Ocean Street Extension. The city of Watsonville is still considering multiple designation changes to how they define reusable bags, including plastics ones, an update to their downtown master plan, and whether or not to reinstate city loans to the former redevelopment agency. So be sure to cast your vote as all these meetings are tomorrow!
Robert to Speak at Event Santa Cruz
If you haven’t been to an Event Santa Cruz yet then you are missing out! In what is now a monthly event, Event Santa Cruz showcases some of our town’s most innovative and unique people, talking about the things they’re passionate about and their love of Santa Cruz. From local musicians, artists and entrepreneurs; to university scientists and local chefs, Event Santa Cruz has something for everybody. However, this upcoming one is particularly special, as Civinomics co-founder and UCSC graduate Robert Singleton will be speaking. This time the theme is “Bridging the Gap”, and it will feature numerous UCSC professors and alumni (who have since become local entrepreneurs), telling their story about their companies and lives. Robert will be focusing on his experiences in college that helped prepare him for being an entrepreneur, and inform the Civinomics mission. The event is next week on the 19th – click below to learn more and buy tickets.
Code for America Releases their Annual Report for 2013
This past week Code for America released their annual report detailing all of the projects their organization has been working on all across the country. For those of you who don’t know, Code for America is a civic technology non-profit whose mission is to improve local government via some good ole fashioned hacker elbow grease. Every year they send out a legion of developers (fellows) to work with cities to streamline their services and make it easier for people to get involved. They also have an accelerator program for civic minded startups, one of which is OpenCounter, developed by Peter Koht after some CFA fellows spent a year in our very own Santa Cruz. OpenCounter helps business easily register with the city, and more effectively navigate the various rules and fees they need to pay. Check out their annual report below to see all kinds of cool civic projects.
Weekly Civic Hack Night
For those of you who haven’t heard yet, every Wednesday evening in Santa Cruz is Civic Hack Night, where we invite local developers, concerned citizens, and Civinomics members to meet up over pizza, work on projects and share ideas for improving their community. Last week we took a brief hiatus due to New Tech Meetup, but this week we are back! In a similar vein as civic hack nights in other cities (see San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose), our hack nights hope to blend together the talents, knowledge, and experience of as many people as possible to better address communal problems and build effective relationships. Our goal is to begin inviting local elected officials and city/county staff to give presentations on problems that they themselves are dealing with, in the hopes of bridging the gap between government and the community at large. Click below to learn more and RSVP for the next event.
Civinomics Tips and Tricks
This week, instead of touting some of our new features and bug fixes, we wanted to offer some basic tips and tricks for navigating the new feed. First of all, you can see the feed right when you log in, or by clicking the “home” button in the top bar from anywhere on the site. By default, you can toggle between a feed of all of the site activity on Civinomics; only the workshops and initiatives you have bookmarked and people you follow; or a default feed of all the activity going on within your home county (including all of the cities and zip codes within it), by clicking between the three rows on the top right hand side of the page (see above photo). You can also still use the zip code lookup feature, which is located right below the feed options. Remember, to take full advantage of the customizable feed, be sure to bookmark all of your favorite workshops and initiatives by clicking the “bookmark” button in the top right of each workshop, and right below the main photo in each initiative. You can also follow other citizens on the site by going to their profiles and clicking the “follow” button located to the left of their profile picture.
As always, if you have comments or feature requests, please post them in the How Can We Improve Civinomics workshop.