Zack Quaintance

Staff Writer


Zack Quaintance is a staff writer for Government Technology. Prior to that, he spent five years working in daily newspapers, and another five years working in the tech sector. He lives in Northern California.

September 15, 2017

Seattle Looks to Tech to Make Life Better for Aging Citizens

City officials will work with the Age-Friendly Seattle Initiative to create a hackathon with a specific focus for technologists to address.

September 14, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: Top 10 Most Popular Types of Open Data

Plus, Next Century Cities releases best practices for leveraging civic engagement with tech; Louisville, Ky., continues to embrace Amazon’s Alexa by offering mayoral podcast through the platform; and Baltimore Innovation Team’s First Assignment is Police Recruitment.

September 13, 2017

Report: Governments Should Adopt One Unique Non-Proprietary Identifier for Companies

Supporters say nonprofit identification system would increase transparency and make government more efficient in several areas, including procurement practices.

September 8, 2017

Major City Tech Leaders Fight for Net Neutrality, Other Issues in Washington, D.C.

A coalition of CIOs and CTOs from New York, San Francisco, Austin and Seattle presented a letter supporting net neutrality rules currently under consideration for rollback.

September 7, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: Amazon Seeks Proposals for Where to Build Its Second North American HQ

Plus, Grand Rapids, Mich., shares wide-spanning tech progress update, and Baton Rouge, La., Launches GiS Web map to monitor heavy rainfall.

September 5, 2017

Are SuperClusters the Future of Gov Tech Collaboration?

A growing number of stakeholders are participating in a new concept aimed at sharing solutions to common governmental challenges.

September 1, 2017

Tech, Open Data Are Crucial in Long-Term Recovery Following Hurricane Harvey

Data possess a number of useful functions for non-profit and government groups, from determining where to deploy anti-mosquito measures to helping assess how many people still need aid.

September 1, 2017

Charlottesville, Va., Launches Its First Open Data Portal

New platform features more than 70 data sets, integrated city planning goals and a capacity for expansion.

September 1, 2017

Getting Smarter about RFPs

We look at a few companies working to help government get better at purchasing.

August 31, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: SF Mayor Encourages Cities Nationwide to Apply for Expanded Startup in Residence Program

Plus, Philadelphia becomes first U.S. city to map urban trails via Google Street View, Code for America developer emphasizes importance of design for the public good, and Uber begins sharing some transportation data with cities.

August 25, 2017

Tech Tools, Dashboards Help Boston Spark Citizen Interest in Open Data

Future efforts may involve predictive analytics as city contemplates the future of putting public information to work for a better quality of life.

August 24, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: NYC Looks to Fill Two Data-Related Leadership Positions

Plus, Louisville, Ky., hosts its first internal hackathon, Peoria, Ill., hosts its first ever hackathon period, and 30 jurisdictions join a nonprofit aimed at increasing connectivity rates inside HUD housing.

August 22, 2017

‘Imagine Boston 2030’ Dashboard Seeks to Bolster City Government Accountability

Platform condenses 472-page plan into simple progress metrics that cover all of the goals within Boston’s first citywide project in 50 years.

August 18, 2017

Austin GigaTECHs App Competition Bridges Gap Between City and Local Innovators

Judges announce list of 11 finalists as Aug. 31 end-date approaches.

August 17, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: Hawaii Launches Month-Long Innovation Competition

Plus, Arkansas' governor announces actions aimed at fostering tech employment growth in state, and judge dismisses AT&T lawsuit against Louisville related to clearing city infrastructure for broadband providers.

August 17, 2017

Los Angeles Launches Cybersecurity Lab to Aid Local Businesses

The city aims to share its extensive cyberdefense efforts with businesses throughout the region.

August 15, 2017

Seattle Increases Financial Commitment to 20-Year-Old Digital Equity Program

Now in its 20th year, the city's Technology Matching Fund will receive $430,000 this year.

August 10, 2017

Chicago-Based Civic Tech Fellowship Gives Fledgling Government Data Scientists a Head Start

The beyond.uptake program pairs service-oriented data scientists with industry experts for a six-month course of learning.

August 10, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: California DMV Kiosks Now Available in Los Angeles Grocery Stores

Plus, San Leandro, Calif., STiR participants seek residents to test tech, Massachusetts’ comptroller expands transparency and open finances efforts, and Cincinnati launches a series of new dashboards.

August 4, 2017

Rise of the Government Chatbot

Increasingly diverse group of public agencies are deploying automated chat platforms to assist users online.

August 3, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: DataSF Updates Long-Term Plans, Reviews Annual Achievements

Plus, Congress seeks to establish basic IoT security standards, and Boston introduces Snapchat filters to show off city landmarks.

August 1, 2017

Philadelphia's Procurement Overhaul Includes Reverse Bidding, Open Data Practices

The new system is rife with enhancements that also include fully automated processing procedures, among other things.

July 27, 2017

San Francisco’s Startup in Residence Program Seeks to Expand Across North America

If the program continues its successes, it could change how startups and government work together, leading to an increase in civic innovations. All interested cities must RSVP before Aug. 4 to be eligible to apply.

July 27, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: Washington, D.C., Forms New Data Science Team

Plus, Bloomberg Cities offers 10 tips for innovators, Syracuse launches city’s first open data portal, and Boston’s City Hall lobby renovation features self-service kiosks.

July 26, 2017

Las Vegas Looks to Expand Computer Vision Technology Pilot Program

Potential benefits for the city include reduced traffic fatalities, increased walkability and more efficient use of services.

July 25, 2017

Louisville’s Award-Winning Redlining Map Helps Drive Digital Inclusion Efforts

The map visualizes instances of systematic oppression through history, drawing correlations between neighborhoods that lack digital equity.

July 25, 2017

Austin Uses 'Speed Dating' with Summer Interns to Spur Innovation

Teams of high school students develop tech-based solutions for city government problems with help from local tech companies.

July 20, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: Seattle Wins National Awards for Digital Equity Efforts

Plus, Code for America brings Californians human-centered access to food assistance, 18F and the FBI build Crime Data Explorer, and Austin, Texas, donates used government computers to underserved residents.

July 19, 2017

Digital Counties Survey 2017: Winners Focus on Knowing When, How to Introduce New Tech

The first-place winners in this year's survey don't deploy technology for technology's sake.

July 13, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: Harvard Students, U.S. Government Partner to Address Digital Skills Gap

Plus, Chattanooga joins Kansas City in adopting a Facebook chatbot, DARPA invests $65 million in developing two-way brain-computer interface, and NYC launches a pair of tech initiatives in Brownsville.

July 10, 2017

Hawaii Plans Prize Money, Tool Enhancements to Month-Long Annual Hackathon

Now in its second year, the Hawaii Annual Code Challenge looks to build upon 2016's success.

July 6, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: ‘Why I’m Staying at 18F’ Author Departs Over Concerns About Direction Under Trump

Plus, Georgia lays out online content strategy advice for state agencies, Pittsburgh debuts online database of for-sale city properties, and Naperville, Ill., launches new open data portal with police incidents and other info.

June 30, 2017

Louisville, Ky., Looks to 'IFTTT' as Future of Open Data, Among Other Services

The model creates simple conditional statements called applets, which the city is using to create warnings about poor air quality and other emergencies.

June 30, 2017

New Resident-Facing Platform Seeks Public Input, Minus the Trolls

PlaceSpeak, a location-based civic engagement tool, is designed to prevent interference from bots and trolls that have plagued online discourse as of late.

June 29, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: Washington, D.C., to Publish Traffic Crash Data Daily

Plus, Atlanta CIO to deliver keynote about strategic partnerships in innovation, Kansas City launches open data Facebook chatbot and a new handbook details mayors’ roles in the rise of innovation districts.

June 23, 2017

How 3 Jurisdictions Are Using Tech to Bolster the Health of Trees in Their Communities

Civic innovators find diverse applications for using technology to care for street trees.

June 22, 2017

What’s New In Civic Tech: Code for America's Jennifer Pahlka Attends Trump’s Tech Meeting

Plus, Boston adds broadband access to its development review process, What Works Cities releases report about tangible ways local governments are changing lives, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture uses tech to improve service.

June 20, 2017

NYC Looks to Make Its 911 System Fully Digital

The city has issued an RFP for its Next Generation 911 project, while installing interim text-to-911 capabilities slated to go live in early 2018.

June 15, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: Amazon Announces ‘City on a Cloud' Innovation Challenge Winners

Plus, 12 cities join Chicago's effort to preserve deleted federal climate change research data, Seattle's open data portal gets a new look, and the FCC weighs whether to strip local governments of siting authority as 5G tech becomes more common.

June 13, 2017

Cities Turn to Public Input to Shape Open Data Policy

Transparency advocates hope tech-based collaborations will become a permanent part of the lawmaking process.

June 9, 2017

How Tech Helped Bergen County, N.J., Become First Jurisdiction to End Chronic Homelessness

The tech platform used is not only comprehensive, it’s also ideally suited for use in the field.

June 9, 2017

Gilbert, Ariz., Capitalizes on Viral Innovation and Justin Timberlake

The chief digital officer in Gilbert, Ariz., is using digital media savvy to communicate with citizens and show the world what the community has to offer.

June 9, 2017

Aurora, Colo., Deploys New Tech to Get More Accurate Homeless Population Count

The county tagged at 526 individuals in January, up from 420 at the same time last year. The difference, officials say, was likely not as much in the actual population as it was in the technique used to collect data.

June 8, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: App Fosters Support for Kentucky Fiber Initiative

Plus, Chicago expands beach data in time for summer, LA maps its marijuana dispensaries, and Alaska's data goes to the dogs.

June 1, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: U.S. Drops in Worldwide Open Data Rankings

Plus, Boston mayor hosts city’s first innovation courtyard festival, and NYC Civic Hall adds a new managing director.

June 1, 2017

Jurisdictions Can Work with Entrepreneurs — But the Process Isn’t Without Hurdles

These efforts increasingly fuel hopes that private-sector expertise can truly impact government.

May 31, 2017

Cross-Departmental Collaboration Increasingly Vital to Digital Inclusion

From Austin to Kansas City, an increasing number of governmental agencies are incorporating digital inclusion into their services.

May 26, 2017

Louisville, Ky.’s Gigabit Experience Center Brings Fiber Connection Speeds to ‘Network Connectivity Desert’

The center seeks to provide a comfortable coffee shop experience for the Russell neighborhood, where residents often lack access to high-speed Internet.

May 25, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: Center for Data Innovation Details Federal Steps for Accelerated Innovation

Plus, Portland, Ore., leaders sign an open data ordinance and the FEC launches a new website.

May 23, 2017

NYC's 2017 BigApps Competition Announces Winners

DollarVan, OnBoard, nesterly and PASSNYC capture various prizes during the eighth year of the innovation competition.

May 19, 2017

South Dakota Becomes First State with Online Pardon Application

New site stands to make process easier for both applicants and state workers reviewing applications.

May 18, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: Bi-partisan Senate Bill Would Require FCC to Collect Data on Wireless Broadband Coverage

Plus, Louisville plans to expand fiber network, and Missouri centralizes flood relief efforts online.

May 17, 2017

Kansas City, Mo., Maps Data Related to Digital Inclusion

Visualization shows poverty rates along with available Internet speeds.

May 12, 2017

National Digital Inclusion Week Helps Build Nationwide Momentum for Digital Equity

Local governments are taking an increasingly active role in providing equitable tech opportunities to all citizens.

May 11, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: Facebook Preps UK Users for Fake News Spotting in Advance of Election

Plus, Chicago posts removed federal climate change data online, and Austin hosts competition for app builders with $38K of prize money.

May 11, 2017

West Virginia State Auditor to Combat Budget Deficit with Financial Data Transparency

The new platform being used is modeled after Ohio's recent budget transparency work.

April 21, 2017

New Orleans Uses Targeted Approach to Spread Tech Awareness, Improve Digital Equity

Often the people digital equity programs were designed to help assumed the initiatives were for someone else. So officials reached out to underrepresented populations and spread awareness that they, too, deserve a place in tech.

April 20, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: Philadelphia Blog Captures Stories of Residents Who Used Its Open Data Portal to Do Good

Plus, San Francisco's STiR director leaves for NYC, and Chicago's new open data portal keeps user-friendliness front and center.

April 18, 2017

'Listen Up Long Beach' Map Uses Crowdsourced Data to Update the City's Noise Element

After 42 years, officials are turning to tech-based solutions to address the city's noise element update. They are also hopeful the approach will bring new voices to the local conversation.

April 13, 2017

'Textalyzer’ Prototype Could Make Texting-While-Driving Laws Easier to Enforce

Advocates voice support for legislation in New York state to combat the distracted driving epidemic.

April 13, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: Open Gov Groups Voice Concern Over Removal of Trump Transition Data

Plus, San Francisco looks to hire project manager for voting system overhaul, Hawaii launches new geospatial data portal and Indianapolis County emphasizes commitment to better digital services.

April 11, 2017

Americans Say Government Should Invest in Stronger Cyber Defenses of their Data

Seventy-nine percent of those polled in a recent survey are worried about the security of their personal digital data.

April 6, 2017

What’s New in Civic Tech: NYC Funding Program Boosts Health Tech Startups

Plus, San Francisco enhances its Crime Data Portal, and Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority prepares to distribute 22 micro-grants.

April 5, 2017

Former Intel Exec Ready to Help Bring Broadband to Rural Colorado

Tony Neal-Graves talks about his plans for the state's broadband office and how he spent the first three weeks on the job.

March 31, 2017

Philadelphia Makes Innovation Academy Graduates Available as Consultants

Innovation Consulting program joins the city's Innovation Academy, Innovation Lab and Innovation Fund initiatives to encourage new ideas for civic tech.

March 30, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: Will USDS, 18F Be Charged with Helping Gov Agencies Limit Cyberthreats?

Plus, a pair of reintroduced bills seek to bolster federal open data and transparency, and Baltimore puts its building permit application process online.

March 23, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: Baltimore Innovation Team Looks to Hire Tech Talent

Plus, Philadelphia renames annual civic tech event to broaden engagement, and Boston makes its new open data portal official.

March 22, 2017

Data Can Help Local Governments Fight Corruption, Study Says

A data-driven approach can serve as an efficient and expedited starting point for agencies to identify and investigate fraud.

March 16, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: Sunlight Foundation Guide Seeks to Improve Open Data Practices

Plus, Democracy Works increases efforts to connect voters with election info, and Syracuse partners with Code for America to launch new info portal for businesses.

March 14, 2017

Report: How Governments Could Benefit by Coordinating the Data Structure They Use

The Netherlands and Australia created common guidelines to report government financial regulation compliance to save on costs — and U.S. governments could benefit by doing the same.

March 14, 2017

Sacramento, Calif., Will Be First of 11 Cities Nationwide to Test 5G Wireless Connectivity

Sacramento’s active efforts to streamline installation of 5G networks was likely part of the reason Verizon choose the city for its pilot.

March 9, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: NYC Releases RFP for First Publicly Funded Virtual Reality Lab

Plus, a new initiative commits to powering 100 million connections between politicians and constituents.

March 8, 2017

States Unconcerned About 18F's Previous Disregard for Security Procedures

The GSA's Office of Inspector General found that 18F disregarded several security rules and other governmental procedures, but the states it has recently contracted with say they're not concerned about similar issues.

March 7, 2017

Culture Shift Sparked by Government Agencies Involving Users in Redesign Process

Directly involving users with the creation of better digital services is fostering an atmosphere of customer service.

March 6, 2017

'Analyze Boston' to Expand Data Sets, Enhance Data Literacy

Boston's chief data officer talks about the second iteration of city's open data platform.

March 3, 2017

Code for America Increases Recruitment Efforts to Meet Post-Election Demand

Now that Code for America has so much company in the civic tech space, the group is calling upon those who have voiced interest to get to work with them.

March 2, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: 18F Disregarded IT Security Requirements

Also, the Defense Department launches an open source initiative, and Los Angeles creates a dashboard to visualize homeless shelter demand.

February 23, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: Sunlight Foundation Launches Open Data Policy Wizard

Wheaton, Ill. becomes first city in state with an open data portal for its park district; Seattle Public Library releases data about checkouts.

February 21, 2017

Third-Party Software Verifies Tickets Issued by Red-Light Cameras

A UK-based company is bringing added accuracy to tickets issued in Winter Park, Fla.

February 16, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: White House Removes Open Data Info, Internet Archive Offers to Host PACER Data

Plus, Kansas City, Mo., and Fargo, N.D., both make significant strides in open data and civic tech.

February 15, 2017

U.S. Court Ruling Sparks Debate Over Access to Laws in the Digital Space

Civic technologists say copyrights for technical standards incorporated into law create unfair barriers between the public and regulations.

February 9, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: U.S. House Approves Email Privacy Protections, Seattle PD Deploys Data Analytics Platform

Plus, DataRescue SF Bay event strives to preserve publicly accessible data resources from the federal government.

February 8, 2017

Pittsburgh Hits the Streets for Resident Feedback on Data Mapping App

Burgh's Eye View analysts and developers will conduct meetings about their work in 14 neighborhoods, hoping for ideas to enhance the platform.

February 7, 2017

Digital Democracy Brings Legislative Transparency to New York

Plans include expanding to Florida and Texas by early 2018.

February 2, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: Activism Sites, Apps on the Rise Under Trump

Plus, Marin County, Calif's new data portal seeks to fix challenges by improving open data.

February 2, 2017

Miami Website Redesign Puts Users First

The city is currently testing an alpha version of the website, preparing for a larger overhaul of its municipal online presence.

February 1, 2017

Seattle RFI Seeks Ideas for Providing Public Wi-Fi

City leaders want private companies to collaborate with the public sector as part of another effort to provide Internet access to all citizens.

January 26, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: USDS Is Here to Stay, NYC Council Email Alerts Now Available

Plus, a philanthropic foundation plans to help continue the Obama administration’s Data-Driven Justice Initiative.

January 20, 2017

For Civic Tech, Hope and Fear in the Age of Trump

Will government tech advancements progress under President Donald Trump? Few answers, many questions.

January 19, 2017

What's New in Civic Tech: GovLab Pushes Data Collaborations, Trump Names Federal Chief Digital Officer

Plus, a sneak peek at the new federal Web design standards and further efforts to encrypt government Web domains.