This guest blog is by ELGL member and OpenCities director Luke Norris. Luke is also a Code for America alum.
A few weekends ago I was scrolling through Twitter, feverishly swiping through the #factsmatter and #wall posts and I came across the following couple Tweets which made me start thinking – what should we expect elected officials to know about technology; what should leaders in government know about technology?
When I’ve had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of ELGL members over the past several years – from management analysts, grant administrators to IT Directors and ACMs , one thing has stood out to me – ELGL members who work in cities are aligned in their belief and desire to challenge the status quo.
As a city leader you may not need to know what an API actually is – but you do want to understand how user-centered design, agile and iterative approaches to building technology and how to ensure you’re procuring technologies that are forward compatible and won’t leave you hands tied in the future and unable to effectively deliver policy initiatives.
This is why I think each of you will meaningfully connect to and enjoy the Code for America Summit. It’s inspirational. Informative. Transformative. I encourage all of you to not only find your way to Oakland to participate in the event May 29-30 — but get your City Manager, your IT director, your peers to join you.
Together, you’ll walk away understanding why technology isn’t just something that your IT teams should be concerned about.
Jen Pahlka, my former boss and Executive Director of Code for America, has often said:
“The only scalable way to have an impact on peoples lives is through government and technology”.
If we believe this to be true – we must all continue to learn about new principles and practices in government, use those to challenge the status quo and show what’s possible.
As a participant in the Summit you’ll have your mind blown about the real impact technology are having in peoples lives, but also see and learn how governments are making commitments to new practices in how it builds and buys technology — and how you can do the same.
I’ve continually heard from folks who leave the Summit comments like the following “Wow – if they’re doing this [At the State of X, City of Y] we can do this too.”
Continually the Code for America content strikes the right balance of aspirational and how-to. This content will be shared from government veterans who have a track record of innovation like Maribel Batjer – here’s what she shared last year.
Finally – no matter your role, tenure or whether you’re a tech adopter or a follower, you’ll have a peer group at the Summit. One of the most amazing parts about the Summit is everyone will find others to relate with.
From civic hackers, to 20+ year tenure bureaucrats, to health department workers, to sheriffs, everyone will benefit from attending and find peers from across the country eager to share ideas and best practices
ELGL is a proud partner with Code for America on the #CfASummit. Learn more:
It’s up to us to design better government! Join members from local, state, and federal governments, technologists, and entrepreneurs and walk away feeling energized, with the right tools in your pocket to help improve government in the digital age.
Join us on May 29-31 in Oakland, CA at the Oakland Marriott City Center. RSVP and join us at #CfASummit!