Session Brainstorm

What issues, topics and ideas do you want to hear discussed at TransparencyCamp 2016? This is your space to suggest sessions (that you either want to lead or see others lead) and to vote for your favorites. Although the majority of the schedule will still be created on site during TCamp, the most popular events may get guaranteed slots.

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    Submitted on 10/13 6:42 p.m. by Gilder E. Malone |

    How the public can be heard at a city council meeting. Set up a format as to submit a form and state your concern and be given a time limit and your concerns be address in the form of a letter and be a part of the records of that official meeting City Council Meeting to show the city do know the concerns of the citizens of the city Cleveland. At this point this does not happen in the City of Cleveland. This must change ASAP


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    "Call me maybe". Tried emailing your public officials?

    Submitted on 10/06 noon by Fran Mentch |

    Local public officials' emails are subject to public records requests. But many of these officials do not have an email address that goes through the public entity's server. There is quite a brouhaha over Hillary Clinton's email server, but your city council members probably have their official email sent to their private accounts on Google, Yahoo, ATT, etc. Emails to each other may never go through the city server, so are not going to become public records, even though they should. Let's talk about some simple ways to change this.

    Hashtag: #callmemaybe


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    Cities, Procurement, and Open Data to improve Competition

    Submitted on 10/06 11:54 a.m. by Rahul Sinha |

    Open Data initiatives tend to focus on the benefits of these efforts for accountability, transparency, public trust, and civic engagement. Those benefits are real, and compelling rationale for pursuing open data programmes. However, in the procurement space, open data can achieve another public interest beyond these: promoting the interests of government by reducing the barriers to entry for companies to compete for government contracts.

    Government contracting has generally been a special niche, populated by firms whose comparative advantage revolves more around relationships and knowledge of the arcane procurement process than better/cheaper goods and services. Open data programmes hold the promise ... READ MORE

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    Creating Opportunities for Education and Input in Budgets

    Submitted on 10/06 1:17 p.m. by Kelsey Foster |

    A long history of opaque spending and mismanagement has created a deep divide between New Orleanians and their city government. Two new websites ( and created by a local non-profit, the Committee for a Better New Orleans, have begun to teach residents how their tax dollars are spent for the first time in city history. See how these interactive sites are building civic and financial literacy and giving residents a say in the city budget. (The Big Easy Budget Breakdown was funded by the Sunlight Foundation.)

    Hashtag: #budgetgames


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    Design Your Own Legacy.

    Submitted on 10/06 12:07 p.m. by Rev. Joe Cherry |

    More than merely being creepy, this session asks to you look at end of life issues in a spiritual, but not necessarily a religious perspective. Join an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, Rev. Joe Cherry, to learn about the things no one likes talking about: hospitalization, naming a designated person to make decisions for you when you can't. Also we'll talk about how to think about and through a memorial service that can reflect your values and your philosophies, all the while easing the burden of those you love as they try to figure out just how to speak about your ... READ MORE

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    How to Build a Performance Dashboard in 90 minutes or Less

    Submitted on 10/06 12:02 p.m. by Vyki Englert |

    Open Data is only the first step in achieving information transparency for government, but what are steps two, three, and four? How do you get from a JSON or CSV file to an accurate understanding of the actions your government is taking? How do you build a data-driven performance dashboard for a city?

    In this 90- minute hands-on session we’ll help participants establish relevant goals, develop an informed metric, and create a sample plan for a performance dashboard.

    We’ll start by examining what exactly the difference is between data and metrics. From there the workshop activities will help participants ... READ MORE

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    Making Data Truly Open, with DigitalC Open Data Portal

    Submitted on 10/14 12:44 a.m. by Cherie Chung |

    Open data is not truly open if it is strewn across multiple websites and download links and is not easy to analyze. Open data portals are designed to solve this problem, but they are only the beginning of the journey to making data truly open. DigitalC is leading an effort in the Northeast Ohio region by capturing, curating, and making available data from a variety of topics and organizations on the DigitalC Open Data Portal. The portal will launch in the fall and in this session, participants can preview the portal, learn about the process of creating an open data ... READ MORE

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    Making Space for Transparancy

    Submitted on 10/06 11:55 a.m. by Adam Dunn |

    What role does physical space and existing ecosystems as platforms for education and transparency in open data efforts serve to support the open data and transparency movement? We will talk about this and related concepts, as we look at how the current information gets out to the public. What issues we must be cognizent of as we move forward?

    Hashtag: #datatransparancyspaces


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    New Level of Government Transparency with

    Submitted on 10/06 12:09 p.m. by Frank Kohstall |

    Ohio is now leading the nation in government transparency with the launch of By utilizing technology, taxpayers can access over $500 billion in public spending information in an easily accessible, searchable and user friendly format. U.S. PIRG has ranked Ohio #1 in transparency for two straight years in their annual Following the Money Report. The Ohio Treasurer's office has continued to set new standards in government transparency by offering the same checkbook level spending website to all Ohio local governments at no cost. To date, over 800 communities have joined the program.

    Hashtag: ... READ MORE

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    No political leadership? No problem!

    Submitted on 10/09 8:01 p.m. by Jill Miller Zimon |

    Seems like the most well-known examples of open government include a mayor or even a governor who championed it. But that leaves out thousands of towns, cities & villages in need of change. This session will trace the history of how Northeast Ohio developed the civic critical mass that got it so much attention we're hosting Transparency Camp, and then brainstorm how your communities can have the same success, and go beyond.


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