The year we give up on government

As the debt ceiling continues to rise and schools across the country continue to grapple with budget cuts. Chrystia Freeland declared that 2011 will be .” Her article reinforces economist Albert O. Hirschman’s conclusion that as frustration with a company. Organization, or country grows, there are two ways to respond: quit or speak up. Jen Pahlka, founder of Code for America, challenged this conclusion yesterday in her post “Quit or Speak Up? Neither?” She argues that there is a third option: stick around. As one of the inaugural 20 Code for America fellows, and a graduate of an institution focused on developing active citizens, I couldn’t agree more with Jen.

There is a small but passionate

Group of people whose purpose is not to yell or leave, but to make a difference. Look to Boston, where I spent a few weeks working on the Code for America project, and you can see this movement within the city. Mayor Menino india phone number  who calls himself “the city mechanic,” has assembled a small innovation team called the New City Mechanics. The name itself speaks volumes. The team’s co-chairs, Chris Osgood and Nigel Jacob, pilot “municipal innovations that have the potential to radically improve the quality of city services.

Phone Number List

Jen with fellow Code for America members at Boston City Hall

An example might be an iPhone app that lets you share problems in your city, or software that uses the accelerometer in your smartphone to automatically identify and report potholes you encounter while driving. While these early success Australia Phone Number stories in Boston are exciting and even sexy, they’re just the beginning. The real challenge is finding ways to institutionalize this kind of innovation within government. With that in mind, one effort Chris and Nigel launched this year is the Code for America project.

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