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New America Launches the California Civic Innovation Project

Published:   April 4, 2012

The New America Foundation today announced the launch of its California Civic Innovation Project -- a new initiative to help local governments throughout California better serve and engage their communities. CCIP will be directed by Alissa Black, who for the last two years has been Code for America’s Government Relations Director.

“The intersection of technology, policy and civic engagement is increasingly central to making local governments work for everyone,” Black said. "I’m excited to lead this project because local governments are at critical point in history -- they are making difficult trade offs that impact the quality of life for residents. I believe there is an enormous opportunity to share the best thinking from the public and private sectors so that our municipal decision makers are better informed and make equitable decisions for our communities. CCIP helps bridge the information gaps among municipalities by enabling governments to learn from one another and from outside technologists in the commercial and non-profit sectors.”

“Civic innovation is important everywhere, but the needs in California are especially acute,” Troy K. Schneider, New America’s Director for Media and Technology, said.  “There are more than 5,000 local governments in the state, serving an almost-unbelievable range of communities.  Solutions must be developed at the local level, and in fact they already are -- our goal is to encourage those efforts, and then help spread the best ideas to other communities across the state.  It’s a huge undertaking, and we’re thrilled to have Alissa leading that effort.”

"Alissa Black is a true visionary with long-standing connections spanning municipalities, NGOs, and Silicon Valley," stated Sascha Meinrath, Director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative. "Alissa's leadership and the resources she has amassed are both critically important -- especially given the growing prominence of open technology in local governments' work."

The New America Foundation has long been active in California, particularly in the areas of asset building, education, health policy and political reform.  CCIP is the organization’s newest California initiative, and reflects New America’s growing emphasis on technology’s role in public policy.  Based in the Bay Area, and supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation, CCIP will be active throughout the state. 

To learn more about the California Civic Innovation Project, please visit http://ccip.newamerica.net.