Driverless What?

Welcome robot apartment/hotel room/office overlords; when climate change disappears from gov't websites; & more.


  • Data warriors: EDGI, the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, a volunteer coalition that sprouted last year to protect government environmental data, reports that nearly a year into the Trump administration, mentions of climate change have been systematically removed from government websites. These changes matter, the report’s authors say, because they “Make it more difficult for the scientists, policymakers, historians, and the public to access the results of years of scientific and policy research funded by tax dollars…Make it harder for state, local, and tribal governments to access resources designed to help them adapt to and mitigate the harms of climate change [and they] diminish our democratic institutions, such as notice-and-comment rulemaking, which depend on an informed public.”

  • Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation mourns the passing of his former colleague James Dolan, one of the co-creators of the whistleblowing platform SecureDrop.

  • Future thinking: Forget driverless cars. Nathan Waters writes in Hackernoon that we are heading rapidly toward an era of driverless rooms that can function as offices, gyms, cafes, and hotels.

  • This is civic tech: The city of San Antonio has announced seven city challenges as part of its 16-week civic tech residency program, reports Jason Shueh for Statescoop, including solutions for stray pet notifications, transit payments, low-income utility assistance, and waste management.

  • Ben Miller offers a comprehensive update on investment in the field of govtech.

  • Related: The most prominent words to show up in the just-released 2018 GovTech100 list of company names are “civic” and “city,” Noelle Knell notes.

  • In the International Journal of Communication, Stephanie Schulte takes a close look at the rise of the United States Digital Service, with a focus on the idea of it as a “government start-up.” (h/t Andrew Schrock)

  • Miguel Gamino, New York City’s CTO, explains in Medium why he’s pressing so hard for the restoration of net neutrality. For starters, 20% of New Yorkers don’t have internet in their homes, and “they don’t have the luxury to upgrade service.”

  • Attend: Early-bird tickets are available for the Code for America Summit, taking place May 30-June 1 in Oakland.

  • Apply: The Democracy Fund is looking to hire a Communications Director, as well as several other positions.