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Process and Products Around the Chicago Municipal Code

November's meetup centers on the code by which our city functions. Speakers are as follows:

• Susana MendozaCity Clerk of the City of Chicagowill talk about her office's key role in the complex task of maintaining the Municipal Code and their efforts to modernize the process of keeping it current

• A representative from American Legal Publishing Corporation will talk about the process of codification, where they do the hard work of making sure the actual proceedings of City Council are recorded into the journals and injected into the Municipal Code

• Carl Malamud, President and Founder of Public.Resource.Org, will talk about his work to get all the quarterly releases of these codes back to 2008 and publish them here

Waldo Jaquith, an Open Government Technologist who is leading an effort to test the Open Data Institute model for open data standards in the United States

• Seamus Kraft, Executive Director of the OpenGov Foundation, will talk about the Chicago Decoded website they created using existing Municipal Code PDFs from the City. He'll also cover their plans for the product to make our existing laws more searchable, and linkable, and sharable

Besides the great lineup of relevant & authoritative speakers, this is going to be a very special meeting of OpenGovChicago, for a number of reasons.

First, the venue will be different than our usual location at the Chicago Community Trust. Due to scheduling issues, we will have this meeting at the Millennium Room of the historic Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington Street. We will be sure to send reminders on this one-time location change as we get closer to the event.

It will also be special because of the visit by Carl Malamud, one of the pioneers of the Internet & the open data movement and something of a guidestar for us here at OpenGovChicago. More than five years ago, I helped Carl hold the Independent Government Observers Task Force meeting here at the Gleacher Center. Some OpenGovChicago members attended this meeting, included our founder, Joe Germuska, who was inspired to create this group and turn his career to these concepts. 

Lastly, we're honored to have the City Clerk, Susana Mendoza at our meetup. We appreciate the commitment of the Clerk and her office and it is great to have a citywide elected official participate in our gatherings.

We're super-excited about November 14, and we hope you'll join us.

UPDATE: We're working the announcements that we have at the beginning of every meeting. Brett Goldstein will talk about the new Master's Degree Program Merges Public Policy and Computer Science and David Moore of the Participatory Politics Foundation will demo AskThem.

Have an announcement? Add it to the agenda

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  • Edward B.

    This was a great meetup. Sorry, I had to leave a bit early, so I missed the very last talk. I did kind of wish there was an opportunity for questions, but its understandable given the number of speakers. If I could have, I would have asked:

    1. Why doesn't the city outsource codification in the first place? I work at a publisher, where we codify the laws of all 50 states (with a relatively small staff), so customers can get amended versions of statutes before official codifications are available - I can't see why the city feels the need to outsource this function when it takes months to get the finished product back anyway.

    2. What is the clerk's office doing to get away from the legacy process in which the creation of a print product comes before turning the content into useable data? I appreciate that the clerk's office is supportive but was frustrated to hear her claim they couldn't possibly make the code available themselves. Really? Why not?

    Maybe questions for "Ask Them"

    November 22, 2013

  • Hugh D.

    Each speaker would have been a worthy individual for an eventing.

    3 · November 15, 2013

    • Seamus K.

      Ahhhhh. You missed the best talk! :) take care and thanks for coming out, Randall.

      November 15, 2013

    • Randall B.

      Hopefully I can catch it online.

      November 15, 2013

  • Archana

    These are conversations I have pointed out for some time. It is so good to see that many are working on shifting the unserving tendencies imbedded thus far. We got work to do...And the shift is on.

    1 · November 14, 2013

    • Seamus K.

      Amen! Thanks for coming and hope you'll stay in touch: [masked]

      November 15, 2013

  • G G.

    All-Star lineup. Craftfully emceed. Thank you everyone.

    1 · November 15, 2013

    • Seamus K.

      Far too kind! Thanks G. Hope you'll stay in touch: [masked]

      November 15, 2013

  • Sherry S.

    That was amazing. Thank you everyone.

    1 · November 15, 2013

    • Seamus K.

      Thanks Sherry! Hope you'll stay in touch: [masked].

      November 15, 2013

  • Archana

    Thank you for organizing this necessary, very useful event. Every presenter's commitment is valuable at this time. Open Government is doing a much needed, long-overdue, service to people that will make a difference now and in the future. I didn't know codes cannot be accessed by public. Everything that's made into and written as Law, should be public knowledge, public property. That must change.

    1 · November 14, 2013

  • Archana

    A useful conversation. Can the speakers stand where they are visible? It helps when you see who is the voice coming from, if possible.

    November 14, 2013

    • Christopher W.

      Sorry, that was on my end - should be visible now. I've got the camera on a swivel

      November 14, 2013

  • Archana

    oh 6:15, got it. look forward to participating in the event remotely. Have another web event at 7.30 then. Driving wasn't going to work today. Next time...

    November 14, 2013

  • Archana

    I am sorry, what is 4:15?

    November 14, 2013

  • Christopher W.

    Sorry, 6:15

    November 14, 2013

  • Christopher W.

    No live stream yet - probably 4:15

    November 14, 2013

  • Archana

    No livestream yet!! Hope it starts soon. Its past 6 now....

    November 14, 2013

  • Seamus K.

    Excited to come visit and meet you all tomorrow!
    Love,
    Team OpenGov

    November 13, 2013

  • Seamus K.

    Here's a short blog post on ChicagoCode.org and open law's benefits to everyday Chicagoans: http://opengovfoundation.tumblr.com/post/64037690036/chicagocode-org-upgrading-access-to-chicagos-laws-for

    I can answer any questions you might have ahead of time: Seamus (at) opengovfoundation (dot) org

    1 · October 17, 2013

  • Lola C.

    Yep, Changing arcane ordinances is the way to bring lasting progress to the City of Chicago. Lots of the ordinances are not up to the standards of todays' technology. The ordinance to make the POLICE BOARD transparent helped wipe out an infamous heroin district at Wilcox/Francisco; The ordinance giving 30 days to report retaliation from city workers; both give citizens more TEETH to go after corruption within the ranks of civil servants who abuse power or do a bad job. THANKS for this serious effort towards REFORM so Chicago can move out of the disinvestment cycle where the welfare industry has control. The entire south side and west side will benefit greatly from REFORM of ordinances that keep inefficiency alive. THANKS FOR THIS FORUM.

    1 · October 14, 2013

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