1. Encourage open data

Will you encourage City departments to place useful data on the open data portal on a timely basis? If so, how will you do this?

Yes, I will encourage City departments to post their data information in an open portal whenever information is made accessible to the public in print form. We can accomplish this initiative by adopting a city policy that department data be released online and made available to the public in this format as soon as data is compiled and approved by the department.

2. Social media

How do you and/or your staff view the value of social media in promoting citizen engagement and service delivery? What has been your experience with social media?

As a citizen activist and a candidate for Mayor, I have used social media as a means to promote the message of limited and responsible government and inform fellow citizens of the actions of our city government. I see it as a powerful tool in connecting our elected representatives to the people and allowing more channels for communication. In the past I have created City Council Preview videos on Youtube for upcoming Council meetings to rally the public to give testimony on what I've viewed as major agenda items that need to be addressed. As Mayor, I would continue the practice so citizens can listen to and understand my views on certain policies before the City Council meets to vote on these important decisions.

3. Website usability and content

What steps (if any) will you take to address the needs of community groups and concerned citizens seeking to improve website usability, identify missing content, and enhance the information richness of the City’s website?

I would like to sponsor a city-wide forum to take input on the City's new website and facilitate a discussion around the means we can enact to improve usability. Many people I've talked to on the campaign trail have complained that the new website is difficult to navigate and documents are harder to find than on the former site. We must address these concerns directly and provide greater accessibility on our City's website; it starts with taking seriously our citizens' recommendations and implementing them as directed.

4. 311 Services

Do you support studying whether Austin should join cities such as Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. in pledging support for a publicly-accessible open-standard protocol for 311 services, such as the currently proposed Open311 API specification?

From what I have read on adopting an Open 311 system, it sounds like an excellent idea to make public more information on citizen concerns. I would have to see more specifics of the costs of the proposal before I can pledge support, but am generally supportive of the idea and would be willing to seriously consider adopting Open 311 if it is a cost efficient program.

5. Director of Digital Innovation

Do you support the designation of a Director of Digital Innovation to be accountable for innovation with the City’s digital portfolio (e.g. website, open data, civic applications, open government technology)? Please consult the following article for further information of this type of public servant position.

I think it is an excellent idea which certainly deserves consideration. Again, I would need more information on the cost of creating a director for these concerns but am open to the idea and would be willing to work with digital innovation groups to take their suggestions on how it could be achieved.

6. City strategy for digital innovation

San Francisco and Philadelphia have Innovation Offices led by a Chief Innovation Officer. Boston has the Urban Mechanicsprogram. New York City has a Chief Digital Officer and a Digital Roadmap. Which of combination (if any) of these organizational approaches do you believe will best encourage digital innovation for Austin?

I think we do need to consider having a Digital Officer to better manage how our information is made available and accessible to the public. I would work with our current IT department to try to arrange reassignment of an existing employee to serve in this role. Having a chief officer handling these issues will provide a targeted focus to make our city's data more readily accessible to the public.

7. Budgetary resources

Do you believe the current level of budgetary resources allocated towards City information technology is sufficient? What should be the City’s IT priorities?

I think the current level of resources allocated is sufficient considering our City Council's massive spending on wasteful city projects and the large sums in corporate welfare we give out in the form of incentive packages. If we end corporate welfare at City Hall, we could then look at allocating more resources to the City's IT department. However, if we are able to accomplish that I think we need to make sure that funding for IT centers on providing open source data systems like an Open 311 system.