NYbudgetideas.org, 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, NYBudgetIdeas.org 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 PhoneTag.com 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!