An Interview with the Office of Budget Management and Evaluation

In Guilford County, North Carolina, the Office of Budget Management and Evaluation (BME) wanted to leverage their Stae open data hub (launched last February) to support a more transparent budget process. Stae worked with BME staff to surface the county’s historical and current budget data on two new dashboards: one showing historical trends in Guilford County’s budget over the last ten years, and one showing the evolving state of the budget in the current fiscal year.

Stae sat down with BME Director Alex Smith and BME Analyst Daisy Mills to talk about these data: what they are, how they assist…

Our urban main streets face unprecedented economic and social challenges, from the urgent call for racial justice in public space to the recovery of small retail businesses in the wake of COVID-19.

Against this backdrop, THINK.urban, Connect the Dots, and Stae are thrilled to announce today that we have been awarded the Knight Foundation’s Data For Civic Engagement grant for our proposal to take on the challenges faced by main street as part of a new vision plan for the South Street Headhouse District in Philadelphia, PA. Our project “Edit the City!” …

A new COVID Open Data Hub on Stae provides easy access to COVID-related datasets to help civic leaders manage and improve response and recovery efforts.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has required state and local governments to address some of the most complex public policy challenges of the last century. We at Stae want to help government leaders navigate these challenges, by making all forms of civic data more portable, interoperable, and usable.

As a first step, we have collected a variety of datasets related to emergency response — including COVID-19 reported cases and deaths, vulnerable populations, and medical facility locations and…

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5 Stories from our first Stae Civic Sandbox cohort
by Stephen Larrick, Adriana Valdez Young, and Ann Martin Skelly

How might civic data—and better tools to manage and share it—help achieve community goals? Back in the spring, we started the Stae Civic Data Sandbox with this one question, five local government partners, and six months to experiment. Our goal was to explore how this inquiry-based approach to using the Stae platform could help inform decision-making, build technical capacity, and enhance civic participation in local government, all while informing our product roadmap with feedback from users. …

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At Stae we believe that civic data is a key public asset that can be put to work to improve urban communities for everyone. We also believe that democratically accountable institutions — namely our local governments — need to play a leading role to make that happen.

Empowering local governments is exactly what we had in mind when we first started building Stae’s platform, and it’s why, from the start, we’ve worked alongside city officials — from department staff delivering services to citywide innovation officers managing enterprise data — to develop and iterate on our tools.

We want to…

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The kind of sword we have in mind is the kind made of felt, not the violent kind (Source: Snapshot from episode of where cities come from).

“Cities need a sword with which to defend themselves against Silicon Valley.” This, to my surprise, was one of the first things that John Edgar told me when I asked him why he started Stae, a new data management platform for municipal governments. Having experienced both the potential and the potential risks of urban tech while working for and with cities — first in government as a city planner in Central Falls, RI and most recently as an open data advocate directing the Sunlight Foundation’s Open Cities Team — I couldn’t agree with John more.

Though not the metaphor I…

Stephen Larrick

People-centered cities/urban tech/open gov. currently: @staehere, formerly: @SunFoundation, @SunlightCities, @CentralFalls_RI. Would love to be your friend.

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