What does transparency mean to you?

One week from Monday marks the start of Sunshine Week, a global recognition of transparency efforts and an opportunity for watchdog organization to issue scorecard reports on local municipalities, states, and countries. Examples are all around us as to why such a week is necessary. It's an ideal as a standard but the gap between desire and reality is quite large. Read More

Categories: Government, Accountability, Transparency

Should LAPD follow the footsteps of other cities toward more transparency?

Transparency has always been a big deal here at California Forward, but events over the last few days have turned our attention to the issue even more.  Read More

Categories: Transparency

City of Oakland jumps on transparency bandwagon

Oakland residents now have the city's data at their fingertips thanks to the recently launched Open Data Platform Read More

Categories: Transparency

The dynamics of governing Open Data

As public agencies are being pushed to release more data, a report from the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) looks at what governments should consider before implementing transparency initiatives to ensure efforts have a valuable impact on good governance and public utility. Read More

Categories: Government, Transparency

Video: Palo Alto continuing open data push for city government

The city is using technology to create a more inclusive form of local government. Months after its launch, we wanted to find out how if citizens are answering the call to become more engaged. Read More

Categories: Government, Transparency

CALPIRG transparency report raises broader questions on public access

Last week CALPIRG released a new report on Transparency in City Spending, evaluating transparency efforts in 30 of the nation’s most populous cities.  Read More

Categories: Government, Transparency

Lakewood organization demands transparency, accountability from local elected leaders

When we hear about citizens taking action, we want to share their efforts. The Lakewood Accountability Action Group is a nonprofit “holding elected officials accountable for their action or inaction.” Read More

Categories: Government, Transparency

California Democrats continuing march toward campaign transparency

It is only weeks into this new legislative session and Democratic state lawmakers have already introduced a handful of bills aimed at increasing campaign disclosure requirements and transparency in California’s elections. Read More

Categories: Government, Transparency

Taking year-end inventory of government transparency in California

Looking back over the past year, the citizenry of California scored some wins in government accountability with upgrades like citizen redistricting and online voter registration. But the halls of state government are still being obscured by dark campaign money and shady legislating, such as the infamous gut-and-amend. Will 2013 be the Year of Transparency? Read More

Categories: Government, Transparency

How do California’s accounting practices stack-up nationally?

The States Project was created to provide non-partisan and reliable information on states’ financial health in an easily accessed and digestible manner. Read More

Categories: Government, Budget Reform, Rainy Day Fund, State Budget, Transparency

New first for Vallejo: From bankruptcy to citizen budgeting

The Northern California city hopes, by getting citizens to dig into the budget process, it will help restore trust and confidence in local government, boost citizen engagement and make the whole budget process more transparent. Read More

Categories: Government, Civic Engagement, Transparency

Civic startup shows real-time performance of city governments

In a time of scarce resources and looming bankruptcies, cities are increasingly turning to Big Data to become more efficient. Into this space is where civic startups are putting some Silicon Valley innovation and know-how into making government work better.  Read More

Categories: Government, Accountability, Transparency

California state payroll transparency site reveals interesting city data

According to a completely redesigned website showing wage and benefit data for public employees across California, at an average annual salary of over $100,000, Indian Wells city employees have the highest average wages compared to any city in the state.  Read More

Categories: Government, Transparency

California elected leaders—not always open and transparent about their voting record

The Associated Press, this week, reported exclusively that it had analyzed every vote cast during the 2012 session and discovered California Assembly members changed and added their votes to legislation more than 5,000 times. Read More

Categories: Democracy, Elections, Government, Transparency

San Francisco getting on Open Data bandwagon

A government at your fingertips. That’s what leaders in the city and county of San Francisco hope with new legislation to strengthen the city by the bay’s landmark Open Data initiatives. Read More

Categories: Government, Transparency

City of Palo Alto takes another major step toward transparency

Have you ever blown out a tire due to an unfixed pothole and angrily wondered how much your city’s public works department actually spends on street maintenance? Or received a parking ticket that made you speculate as to how much revenue your city collects annually from parking enforcement? If you live in Palo Alto, answers to these questions and more are now just a few mouse clicks away. Read More

Categories: Government, Transparency

Task Force releases report on California budget

In June of 2011, Richard Ravitch, former Lieutenant Governor of New York, and Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, took matters into their own hands. They shared a growing concern over the financial trajectory of the nation and how this trickled down into state budgets in the form of continued structural imbalances and an inability to provide basic services or invest in the future of state residents. Read More

Categories: Government, Budget Reform, Rainy Day Fund, State Budget, Transparency

California Pensions: Lack of transparency mires coming reform

If you have been following the path of pension reform through the final few days of the California Legislature session this week, you might be scratching your head thinking you have walked into bizarro world Read More

Categories: Government, Transparency

Critical initiative focuses government on results

California once again finds itself in the vortex of a leadership vacuum. Public trust and confidence in government are at record lows – as is our performance in critical areas that matter most to Californians: education, job creation, and public safety. To fix our state, we must revamp how budgets and policy decisions are made and implemented and how leaders are kept accountable.  Read More

Categories: Governance Reform, Selected Blog Posts, Accountability, Transparency

AB109 offers significant state prison reform

AB109 is the unassuming name for the single most significant reform in a century to California's prison system and the state's approach to criminal justice. Beginning Oct. 1, anyone convicted of nonviolent, nonsexual and/or non-serious criminal offenses (a.k.a. triple nons) will head to county jail instead of state prison. Anyone up for parole on a similar offense will be supervised by county officials. Read More

Categories: Governance Reform, Selected Blog Posts, Accountability, Transparency, Restructuring

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