Interview with executive director of betaNYC, Noel Hidalgo on civic technology and NYC

I’ve been spending some time in NYC recently and thought it worthwhile to check in with some civic technology friends and ex-colleagues. Noel was kindly open to an interview on the state of open government specifically in NYC.

0:14 — Introductions Noel Hidalgo — executive director beta.NYC
1:16 — How Noel became an open data advocate / his history
2:00 — beginnings of NYC civic hacker community
3:21 — Haley Cooper Rider — meet up based around question of what is open government ?
3:58 — Open NYC Meetup becomes Open NY Forum
4:28 — Kind of people getting involved
5:15 — Rebranded as Beta.NYC — betanyc.us/
5:24 — Beta NYC helped create city’s open data law
6:00 — BetaNYC — joins Code for America — Brigade Program — discussion covers BP
8:10 — Hurdles, challenges, wins
10:00 — Peoples roadmap for digital NYC
12:25 — City’s analytics officer redefines data as being human readable
13:37 — Tools developed by community getting most use/reuse
Data.beta.nyc
talk.beta.nyc — community
www.citygram.nyc/
15:58 — Citygram in the perspective of Everyblock, Fixmystreet, SeeClickFix types of services. 311 services.
18:50 — Data found at 2 repositories: data.beta.nyc + data.cityofnewyork.us
19:30 — Data advocacy program
21:10 — Teaching internal government to use civic tech platforms
22:10 — Community boards, land-use decisions, licensing and permitting
23:45 — NYC Civic Innovation Fellows Program — undergraduates taught civic tech, data and design and then embedded in community boards
25:15 — What are community boards?
26:35 — Do community boards have gender/age balance? Are new members voted in frequently?
29:00 — Manhattan recent call to change/redesign concept of community boards vs Brooklyn
30:25 — Are community boards the same model in different US cities?
32:57 — How are you funded?
34:02 — Final thoughts — influencers coming into civic tech. space in NYC. NYC BigApps bigapps.nyc/p/, co-working specifically for civic tech. activistis, civic hall — civichall.org/, center for social innovation — nyc.socialinnovation.org/, transition towards civic tech. entrepreneurs , data & societywww.datasociety.net/