Ten Leaders In the Civic Space
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned performance reivew? ELGL loves them so much that we’re embarking on a “360 Review of Local Government.” We’re going to evaluate every single inch of the local government arena by talking to ourselves (a.k.a: other local government professionals), tech companies, journalists, professors, and anyone else who hasn’t blocked our email address.
Katie Babits, City of Veneta, OR and Shawn Ahmadi, Socrata kicked off our new series. Today we hear from Ryan Mannion, See Click Fix – Government Partnerships.
Ryan (LinkedIn and Twitter) spent three years working with local governments in Sub-Saharan Africa. After returning, Ryan became Regional Account Manager at SeeClickFix, developing and managing partnerships with city governments.
SeeClickFix is a communications platform for citizens to report non-emergency issues, and governments to track, manage, and reply–ultimately making communities better through transparency, collaboration, and cooperation.
No one can question the brilliance of SeeClickFix as they tabbed ELGL as one of the top leaders in the civic space. If that doesn’t convince you, check out their presentation which is in our webinar library.
Your hometown? What is it best known for?
The Office, Joe Biden, Jane Jacobs, Coal Mining, peaking in the early 1900s and aggressively proud former residents
Which bands would play at your retirement party?
Not sure Millennials are going to retire…
Best part of working in the local government arena. Most frustrating?
- Local governments have a profound and direct impact on citizens.
- There is a strong culture of fear around innovation and risk taking that uses “bureaucracy” as a shield.
Describe the current state of local government.
There is a lot of change happening in pockets around the country. Boston is lauded for introducing the Office of New Urban Mechanics, a program being replicated across the country. The new “Chiefs” (Chief Innovation Officers, Chief Data Officers, Chief Resilience Officers, etc.) are a sign that local government is catching up with the times and has a desire to not only better manage the current but plan for the future. There is a lot of work that still has to be done but I think local gov is at a tipping point.
Give us three areas in which local government is succeeding.
- Advancements in more people friendly infrastructure innovations (bike lanes, public transportation, housing, etc.).
- Technology is getting cheaper and more efficient leading to wide spread adoption.
- Transparency and accountability went from buzz words to official programs.
Give us three areas in which local government needs improvement.
- Instilling and promoting the entrepreneurial spirit into public servants
- Communications: Local government needs to adopt new communication platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, etc.) with enthusiasm and explore it’s marketing potential.
- Transparency: A lot of work is going into the programs but we are still in the very early days of the open government movement.
Evaluate local government’s willingness to embrace new technologies.
The majority of local governments (in my experience) approach new technology with considerable fear and hesitation. Most do not adopt new tech, preferring to stay with the current process in place.
For local government, was there any good that came from the Great Recession?
Interesting question. I think it might still be too early to tell.