Technology has changed how we live our daily lives. But the government must both utilize tech in smarter ways to serve the people and also do more to protect us from its consequences.
Technology and Government Transparency
For generations, American city and municipal governments have fostered corruption and ineptitude that prevent our cities from reaching their potential. These local governments have been allowed to operate in the shadows because they have no transparency into their financial mechanics.
It’s time to open up the books on local governments as well as state and federal governments so that all voters and taxpayers can see where their tax dollars are going.
The Modern Cities Act (MCA) includes a provision requiring all tax-collecting municipalities, state governments and even the federal government to cooperate in the construction of a government transparency phone app. All government budgets, spending, contracts, payments, fee schedules, recipients, and transactions will be mapped on the app in an understandable and accessible way.
The MCA will further utilize technological advances by applying an AI accounting software to existing municipal, state, and federal budgets to look for waste, inefficiencies, and redundancies. It’s estimated that more than $230 Billion can be saved by taking this step with the federal government’s spending alone.
Imagine the informed voters that will be created by full government spending transparency. It’s time to step into the future we all deserve.
What Tech Policy is in the Modern Cities Act:
- 1. Create and Implement a phone app that tracks government spending at all levels – town, city, county, state and federal.
- 1a. Make government spending information easy to view and understand for all users.
- 2. Implement AI software to find instances of waste and redundancy in government budgets to maximize savings.
Technology for Good
Partnering with the Technology industry to improve our quality of life.
Private + Public Partnerships that Invest in People
The East Bay, California, and the U.S. are home of some of the greatest technological companies in the entire world. These companies have been scrutinized for monopolizing business, inappropriately using our private data, and not paying their fair share of taxes. Tech jobs, which are usually provide the highest paying best benefits, are also some of the least diverse, meaning job creation in this industry doesn’t extend equitably across our community. In addition, technological advances actually often stymie other industries’ job growth, and with the rise of AI, people are more concerned than ever about how tech will impact their job security.
All of these concerns are real. But our country has much to gain from developing responsible partnerships with tech. By partnering with tech, we can tap their resources, talent, and innovation to lift up our communities, modernize and grow our economy, and strengthen our consumer protections. By rethinking what is possible in a public and private partnership, we’ll build into the tech and other commercial industries’ DNA that responsible service to the greater community is good for business.
There are many examples of private/public tech collaboration across the country:
- In New York, the City University of New York is partnering with Fortune 500 companies, Amazon Web Services, and local government to redesign IT curriculum
- Many companies like FedEx and IBM have diversity pipeline programs to support underserved areas and create pathways to good jobs in the industry
- Tech companies like Google already offer free or discounted versions of their tech services for nonprofits and small businesses.
My plan to partner with Tech to Invest in People and Our Communities is as follows:
- Partner with tech companies to solve the problems that government is not equipped to answer including reasonable privacy and data protection laws or modernizing government technology to withstand cybersecurity risks
- Incentivize more government-backed partnerships with tech companies, first in the East Bay and then nationally, to create job opportunities and training to our community, particularly in low-income communities
- Make technology more equitable – create legislation that requires tech companies working or offering their services in the U.S. to offer free versions of their software and support to small businesses of a certain size, nonprofits, and public sector industries, especially our people-centered industries like healthcare, child and senior care, and social work.
What informed this plan?
The Modern Cities Act
In Dr. Tran’s first 100 days in office, she will introduce legislation to Congress called the Modern Cities Act. This legislation will encode these policies into federal law to create the future we all deserve.
Help us achieve this vision.
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