LDieringer's blog

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Los Angeles Leads Open Data Innovation with the GeoHub

August 9, 2016 5:56 PM

Earlier this year, the city of Los Angeles launched GeoHub, an ambitious map-based portal designed to improve communication across city departments, spur innovation, and increase community engagement. GeoHub, powered by Esri’s enterprise location engine, connects citywide location-based data to plan for and support city operations efficiently across diverse residents. The GeoHub’s repository supports interactive maps that can be created and modified in real-time to engage Angelenos and expedite cross-departmental decision making. Read more »



Lawmakers dissatisfied with UVa’s response to Strategic Investment Fund inquiry

August 9, 2016 5:28 PM

State legislators are accusing the University of Virginia of dodging a request for records related to its $2.3 billion Strategic Investment Fund.

A letter signed by 11 lawmakers claims the university’s records dump last week included many omissions, such as responses by UVa President Teresa A. Sullivan. Continue... Read more »



Political Transparency: Strong Disclosure Laws Help Keep Elected Officials Accountable

August 9, 2016 5:14 PM

The past year has seen no shortage of political scandals involving state officials. Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard was convicted on 12 felony counts connected to using his office for personal gain. New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos were convicted on corruption charges. Five Pennsylvania state representatives were convicted on bribery, corruption, extortion and conflict-of-interest charges. And Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty to wire fraud, bribery and filing a false tax return. Read more »



Op-Ed: Is Data Undermining Our Democracy?

August 8, 2016 3:18 PM

In this year’s election cycle, the restless, anti-establishment anger is palpable, and shared by voters on the left who felt the Bern and on the right who love the Donald. Both are animated by a conviction that the moneyed class and corporations have hijacked our democracy. Emerging from their conventions, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will vie to win over these disaffected voters. Right now, both candidates are missing a potent opportunity to publicly recognize that it is not only money producing outsized influence in our democratic system. It is data. Read more »



Oregon attorney general proposes fixes to state open records law

August 8, 2016 3:10 PM

Oregon's open records law should be updated to include deadlines, a strongly worded commitment to government openness and better tracking of the many exemptions that allow public agencies to keep some records confidential, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said Friday.

To that end, she submitted proposed legislation intended to accomplish all three of those changes. Continue...

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Texas High Court Carves "Monstrous Loophole" for Government Secrets

August 8, 2016 2:58 PM

Thanks to the Texas Supreme Court, McAllen taxpayers cannot find out how much their city paid Enrique Iglesias to belt out his Latin pop lyrics at a holiday parade.

And Houston cannot release, among other information, how many driver permits it has issued to ride-hailing giant Uber. Read more »



Reclaim the Records: WE WON! The New York City marriage index 1930-1995 will be free and open data!

August 5, 2016 5:58 PM

Reclaim The Records has done it again. We are proud to announce that our Freedom of Information lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York, fighting for the right to a first-ever public copy of the New York City marriage index, has been successful! Read more »



Texas: Silencing the public? City removes comments

August 5, 2016 4:23 PM

Citizens aren’t being allowed to speak up at City Commission meetings.

At least not until officials review alternatives to the public comment period, or citizen communication, which allows citizens to speak before commissioners for up to two minutes. Continue...

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Hearings Begin In Journalist's Freedom Of Information Lawsuit Against DEA

August 5, 2016 2:28 PM

A judge in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island began hearings Wednesday in a lawsuit against the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, spurred by a local journalist.

Providence-based writer Phil Eil, says he’s fought for more than five years to obtain access to thousands of pages of public evidence from a pill-mill trial, about which he plans to write a book. Continue...

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