February 7, 2013 By News Staff
On Feb. 7, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Code for America announced the launch of the Citizenville Challenge -- a call for local government leaders to commit to working toward a government for the 21st century.
“There is huge potential to use technology to transform the way government and citizens interact, communicate and solve problems," Newsom said in a press release. "During my seven years as mayor of San Francisco, I learned firsthand how important it is to have local government committed to driving this change. We are challenging local leaders across the country to push the boundaries of innovation to advance government to work for the citizenry of the 21st century."
Already, Austin, Texas; Fresno, Calif.; Oakland, Calif.; Philadelphia and San Francisco have accepted the challenge, and they urge other cities to do the same.
City leaders who accept the challenge can opt to do one or more of the following to advance their governments:
"The Citizenville Challenge highlights the incredible work cities and citizens are doing to make government work for the 21st Century,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “I encourage other mayors to take the challenge ... to institutionalize entrepreneurial civic innovation by advancing more open, participatory and transparent government in their cities and collaborate with the broad network of cities working in this space.”
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.