CapitolCamp – This un-conference is about convening a trans-partisan group of citizens and civil servants (and perhaps even elected officials?) to come together and share ideas about how technology can make New York State Government work better for all the citizens of the Empire State.

This first CapitolCamp is sponsored by the New York State Senate, and will include a session track about how the Senate is using technology to reinvent itself, and to brainstorm on the road ahead.

Another session track, with participation by the New York State Office of the Chief Information Officer, will focus on how technology is being used to transform State Agencies.

A third session track will focus on comparing and contrasting New York State’s use of technology in its government with that of other States.

Follow @CapitolCamp on Twitter and join us on Friday, June 5th at the New York State Capitol for the inaugural CapitolCamp.

Want a ride? – register at and leave us a note

Questions?  Comments?   Please email us at

YESTERDAY morning, Virginia politicos caught wind of a rumour that one of the Democrats in the state Senate was about to switch parties. Because the Democrats had a 21-19 majority, that shift would have flipped control over to the Republicans. Then Jeff Frederick, the chairman of the state Republicans picked up his smartphone and sent out a tweet.

“Big news out of Senate: Apparently one dem is either switching or leaving the dem caucus. Negotiations for power sharing underway.”

And that’s how the Democrats found about about the plot. They adjourned business, cornered the rogue senator, and browbeat him out of his big plan.“Be authentic on Twitter,” texted Patrick Ruffini, a Republican web guru. “But still keep a frickin’ secret when you need to.”

NY State Senate is looking for geeks!

The NY State Senate is looking to hiring one drupal ninja, a systems engineer / integrator and graphics designer.

From Andrew Hoppin, the NY State Senate’s new CTO… “The New York State Senate is back in Democratic hands for the first time in 43 years, and there is an immense amount of new technology-driven government transparency & efficiency work underway.  I’ve taken on a newly created position as CTO, and we’re hiring asap in Manhattan, Albany, and around the State.

Specifically on the geek side of things, they are looking for three or four full time people in New York City.

  1. A Drupal Ninja – this developer knows the LAMP stack backward and forward.
  2. A systems engineer / integrator – who knows the in’s / out’s of the latest technology and can whip up software as a service (SaaS) systems at the drop of a hat (aka LAMP, Ruby, *NIX, etc.)
  3. A graphics designer – with experience in “web 2.0” information architecture, PHP, CSS, etc.

If you know of anyone who might be interested, they should contact Andrew Hoppin directly at < >. Candidates should also include resume / portfolio and salary expectations.

Just the messenger.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a number of avenues for governments, organizations and other entities to receive funding for programs meant to create jobs and boost the economy. If you are interested in receiving funding for a program and would like to submit a proposal please fill out the form below., crowdsourcing the NYS budget and the tech tools behind it

NYBudgetIdeas, Version 1

yesterday at noon, the NY State Senate launched it’s first step in making NY’s government more transparent and accessible to all. while the site doesn’t feature rounded corners, RSS feeds, or other wizz-boom-bang web 2.0 features, offers THE WORLD access to the NY State budget and four ways for you to suggest ideas to close the budget gap – text messaging, 800 number, webform, email.

for those of you who are wondering about the geek tools – note, this site is super simple. first, the landing site is a basic webform that captures – first & last name, phone, zipcode and comment. the 800 number is connected to which translates a voice mail and then emails us text. as for text messages, i have to credit to Nathan Freitas for building out the TextMarks backend. Using a simple PHP script, we get an email that captures the time submitted, cell phone number and comment.

while some might see this as trivial site, it is not. THIS IS ONE BIG BABY STEP. the vision set forth by State Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Malcom Smith, resonates with the Brennan Center for Justice’s report on the dysfunctional nature of NY State Government. his goal – our goal – is to find new ways to bring greater transparency and accessibility to State Government.

if you have any suggestions, we’re all ears!