Sunday, September 01, 2013

10 Ways to Collaborate w/ Gov

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From: "Steven Clift" <>
Date: Aug 29, 2013 2:17 PM
Subject: [DW] Fwd: Blog CFA: 10 Ways to Collaborate w/ Gov
To: <>

Lots of thought went into this:
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From: "IFTTT Action" <>
Date: Aug 29, 2013 1:06 PM
Subject: Blog CFA: 10 Ways to Collaborate w/ Gov
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   [image: Team
with local government is one of the defining criteria of a Brigade. To
build the most impactful solutions, both government and citizens must have
a seat at the table.

But collaboration isnt always easy. It takes commitment from both parties,
time, and a willingness to walk the proverbial mile in one anothers shoes.

To help citizens get started in their community, weve put together the
guide How To: Collaborate with
We wanted to share a list of 10 tips for reaching out and collaborating
with government.
10 Ways to Reach Out & Collaborate with Your Local Government

*Get to Know Your City & Local Government*

   - The best way to get started working with the local government in your
   city is by getting to know it. Do some research, either by yourself or with
   your Brigade at a hack night.
   - Some useful questions to answer include: Does your city have a strong
   mayorcouncil system, a weak mayorcouncil system, or a council-manager
   system? Who is the mayor and who is on the city council? Are there any
   departments or government employees that would make good allies for your

*Attend City Council Meetings*

   - Send a representative from your Brigade to each city council meeting.
   They can take notes and report back to your Brigade on the meetings
   outcomes, city priorities, and any opportunities for overlap with current
   Brigade projects or opportunities for new projects.
   - City Council meetings are also great places to advocate for policies
   your Brigade would like to see, such as open data or procurement reform.
   Theyre also great venues for you to show support for the work your local
   government is doing. Its important to recognize when your city does great
   work in addition to advocating when you want to see something change.

*Start a Conversation*

   - Once youve gotten familiar with your local government, youll
   probably get a sense of the department heads, councilors, or executives
   whose interests or areas of expertise overlap with your Brigades.
   - Ask these folks to meet up for lunch or coffee. Understand what
   theyre passionate about. See if theres any overlap with what you want to
   do and with technology. The more you meet with members of your local
   government, the faster you can learn about their processes, systems,
   constraints, intentions, and desires.

*Extend An Invite *

   - One of the most important and productive interfaces for collaborating
   with local government is being in a room together, collaborating on solving
   problems face-to-face. Local government staff might not know about your
   group or how they can participate.
   - Ask them to come to your meetup or hack night. Invite them to
   participate in a Q&A or give casual presentation on their department to
   your group.
   - As Raleigh, N.C. Brigade Captain Jason Hibbets says, [Having local
   government at our events] makes it so much easier because we can eliminate
   a lot of assumptions we have about data or programs or how things work in
   city government that can help us move the needle faster.

*Find a champion(s) in City Hall*

   - As you meet with folks in City Hall and as they come to your hack
   nights, its more likely that theyll become engaged and enthusiastic about
   your group and the work its doing. As these champions emerge, make sure to
   find ways to keep them in the loop on what youre doing and let them know
   how they can help.
   - As Hibbets also says, Youve got to find the champion. Youve got to
   find your city councilor or department head whos into technology, whos
   into this stuff. Thats been pretty critical to our success.

*Find quick wins*

   - Is there a city project that has an easy technical solution? Are there
   city officials or departments interested in learning more about open source
   and open data?
   - Finding quick ways to prove your skills and the value your group can
   bring, whether theyre developing technology or helping your local
   government better understand your community, is one of the easiest ways the
   garner support from them.

*Meet in City Hall*

   - If 80 percent of success is really just showing up, showing up and
   meeting at City Hall can go a long way. Brigades such as Open Oakland
   (Calif.) and Code for Kansas City hold meetups in City Hall. In Virginia
   Beach (Va.), the Captains have earned a hall pass  badges that let them
   meet with city staff where they work on the municipal campus.

*Collaborate On A Project or Co-host An Event*

   - Once youve established relationships with those in your local
   government, start working on something together. Whether its collaborating
   on an app or co-hosting an event, producing something together is rewarding.

*Keep the Dialogue Going*

   - As you build more and more relationships with local government, make
   sure to keep your contacts in City Hall in the loop. Continue to invite
   them to your meetings, make sure theyre aware of whats happening and of
   your objectives.
   - And dont get discouraged if you hit roadblocks or go through periods
   where there are lulls. As Raleigh, N.C. Brigade Captain Chad Foley says,
   Be patient. Its going to take time to establish and build those

*Join Citizen Advisory Councils*

   - If there are commissions or councils in your city that overlap with
   areas your Brigade is working on, join them! In Austin, Texas, Brigade
   Captain Chip Rosenthal is the Vice Chair of the Community Technology and
   Telecommunications Commission.
   - Conversely, invite interested local government employees to be your
   Brigades municipal sponsor or co-captain. Open Asheville, N.C. is lead by
   city staff in the GIS department with the support of the CIO. Code for
   Raleighs (N.C.) Chad Foley works for the city and co-captains the Brigade.

Do you have tips from experiences collaborating with your local government?
Share them with us! Hit us up @codeforamerica<>

via Code for America

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