October 1, 2008 By Andy Opsahl
As CIO of the city and county of Denver, Molly Rauzi coordinated government IT supporting the August Democratic National Convention (DNC). Government Technology spoke to Rauzi shortly before the convention about her role in the event.
What role are you playing in the upcoming DNC?
There are three roles the CIO of Denver plays -- one is supporting the host committee, which is a separate organization for the city that hosts the convention. We also support the individual agencies within Denver -- our normal customers -- in providing security [and] communications through the National Incident Management System. A lot goes toward improving our facilities for 911, the Office of Emergency Management, and shoring up our Web site because we really hope people will come and visit Denvergov.org to learn about the convention and the activities associated with it. Third, I was also invited to be on the DNC Technical Advisory Council. We got to help plan some of the technology that will support the event.
What types of technology will support the convention?
It's an enormous media event, and we want to make sure the media have access to the technology they need. There is a lot of audio/visual. We're beefing up a lot of the communications on the private side. AT&T is the sponsor, so we're making sure their cell-on-wheels [mobile cellular network] and improved infrastructure are put in place.
What are some specific projects your staff is executing to support the convention?
"We created a backup 911 center. It's been a matter of putting in the computers and telephones and things like that for the new Office of Emergency Management. A lot of these are things the city needed to do anyway. We have a long election cycle this election year, so we had some early voting and then a primary at the same time. Provisioning all of the support for the election is something we've been very focused on.
Did you have to get extra funding for your preparation efforts?
The things that were specifically related to the DNC, that were security-related, were funded by a federal grant. We had a process where we applied internally for those monies against the grant. Where we had things that we needed to improve, we used 911funds, and there were some general-fund dollars expended to support the elections.
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