On Libraries

On Libraries

From the windows of my office in downtown Santa Cruz, California, I enjoy an excellent view of the main branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library. Every morning, in the minutes before opening at 10AM, people start congregating outside. It’s been instructive, over the years, to watch the patrons going in and out. There are […]

Recap of 2015 Code for America Summit

“Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.” There, I did it. This may be the first time a Berkeley grad started a blog post by quoting Ronald Reagan. Yet, it encapsulates the general sense I took away from the Code for America Summit last week. Don’t worry, this isn’t a doom and gloom post. […]

Can Jerry Brown Save The World?

    Jerry Brown was livid. The four term governor is not used to losing. Last week he had to swallow the bitter pill of defeat when a central part of his environmental legislation, SB 350, was taken out. The abandoned provision called for a 50% reduction in petroleum use by 2030. That part of […]

Our Cities are Slime Mold, Can We Zone for Something Better?

Slime mold is an informal name given to several kinds of unrelated organisms that can live freely as single cells, but aggregate together to form multicellular reproductive structures. When they band together they pass resources around in vein like structures. They were classified with mushrooms for a long time, but they are not mushrooms. However, like […]

A New Model of Local Entrepreneurship

I am standing at the corner of a bustling intersection surrounded by a sea of young professionals and curious tourists of all ages. Buildings of 10 stories and more extend into the sky all around me, boasting small shops on their ground level with apartments layered in the floors above. The line at a nearby […]

What to Expect Next from Civinomics

As many of you may have been noticing, Civinomics has been going through some changes recently. Specifically, we have taken to rewriting a huge portion of our internal code, while also fixing some user interface problems. This hasn’t been for nothing, and has actually been in preparation for a whole new product that we are […]

More Regulation for Uber?

It appears that the ride sharing taxi application, Uber, is once again facing regulatory hurdles, this time from the biggest regulatory agency in the State – the California Public Utilities Commission. Normally this agency is better known for rules governing our water rates and power supply, but in the case of Uber it comes down something a […]

A Salute To Pride

A Salute To Pride

Pride this year was special. The annual celebration in San Francisco is one of the city’s most joyous, colorful, delightfully cringe inducing, and important events of the year. Every year thousands upon thousands of revelers descend on the city of Harvey Milk and countless other gay rights pioneers to celebrate their legacy. But with the […]

In Wake of Charleston, Amending the Constitution May be Our Only Hope

In Wake of Charleston, Amending the Constitution May be Our Only Hope

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.” You may have noticed the 2nd Amendment has been slightly, well, amended above. The new verbiage is the suggestion of retired Supreme Court Justice […]

On Governance

On Governance

The Knight Foundation just released a report titled “Why Millennials Don’t Vote For Mayor”, examining why younger voters don’t vote in local elections. “Millennials” is the label foisted by the labelers upon people born between the early 80’s and the early 2000’s. You should download and read the report if you haven’t already, it can […]