StateScoop: A new website matches cities with pandemic help, but many aren’t ready for partnerships

StateScoop: A new website matches cities with pandemic help, but many aren’t ready for partnerships. “Jay Nath, co-CEO of the San Francisco-based civic technology nonprofit CityInnovate, was one of many last week to lend his services to local governments dealing with the spread of the novel coronavirus. But as Nath and his team quickly found out, some cities are spread too thin to even consider third-party solutions to resource shortages or technical assistance during the pandemic, which has so far killed more than 4,600 people in the U.S.”

Route Fifty: How to Understand Your State’s Coronavirus Numbers

Route Fifty: How to Understand Your State’s Coronavirus Numbers. “The main thing to do is orient yourself, so you know where to find the numbers. It’s different for every state. Most post a table, some write them in text, still others generate a PDF, as Massachusetts does. We’re encouraging states to publish and update a table of data, and have seen promising changes from many states, including New Jersey, Louisiana, and Colorado.”

New York Times: Legislative Tracker Sounds Alarm on Anti-Transparency Bills

New York Times: Legislative Tracker Sounds Alarm on Anti-Transparency Bills. “The National Freedom of Information Coalition is launching a bill tracker that aims to find, in real-time, all pieces of legislation that affect government transparency in state legislatures. On its website, the coalition is releasing dashboards of pending or recent legislation in all states for Sunshine Week, an annual celebration of open government that runs from March 15-21.”

NiemanLab: Newsrooms increasingly lack the legal resources to fight the “culture of secrecy” in local governments

NiemanLab: Newsrooms increasingly lack the legal resources to fight the “culture of secrecy” in local governments. “The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press released a report today that summarized the biggest legal challenges that newsrooms face and how additional legal support would help them pursue more investigative journalism. The report found that journalists are being stymied by ‘a culture of secrecy that is pervasive in local and state governments’ while reporting on a wide range of topics.”

The Star (Canada): How well are women represented on your local city council? Search hundreds of cities in our exclusive database to find out

The Star (Canada): How well are women represented on your local city council? Search hundreds of cities in our exclusive database to find out. “One hundred years ago, on a winter day in 1920, Constance Hamilton, a suffragist, social activist and talented pianist, took her seat on Toronto city council, making history as the first woman elected to municipal office in Ontario. A century later, and despite a decades-long push to get more women into municipal politics, gender parity remains elusive in city and town councils across Canada.”

Rutgers University: Rutgers Law Professor Authors Algorithm Database for Public Research

Rutgers University: Rutgers Law Professor Authors Algorithm Database for Public Research. “Rutgers Law School Professor Ellen P. Goodman, the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law (RIIPL), and MuckRock have launched a new, open database of automated decision systems and algorithms used in city, county, state, and other public entities across the United States. The database, which is open to the public, is the result of a yearlong reporting and research project conducted by RIIPL and MuckRock into more than 200 instances of algorithmic policy being instituted across America.”

Bloomberg: When Big Tech Goes Green, Taxpayers Help Foot the Bill

Bloomberg: When Big Tech Goes Green, Taxpayers Help Foot the Bill. “Google is hardly the only company to shield its identity as it negotiates with local governments and utilities. The practice is becoming standard among the technology industry’s biggest companies. As it builds out its data center footprint, Facebook consistently conditions potential deals on the utmost secrecy.”