Thursday, November 4th

Dearest BetaFam members,

As the election season 2021 comes to a close, we want to reflect on the history that was made, and discuss the importance of having conversations around the future of tech policy.  

First, we want to congratulate Mayor-elect Eric Adams, who is the second Black man as well as the first COBOL programmer elected as New York City Mayor. We are hopeful the new administration will lead us boldly into a pivotal new era. While Mayor-elect Adams is far from perfect, we are excited for his agenda for a data informed government, not to mention he rides a bike! As a bike rider, you see how service design is fundamental to making streets safe for everyone. We hope the Mayor will experience the city and its services like the rest of us. We hope the Adams administration is more emphatic to user testing municipal services and delivers on his promises. 

We wish Mayor-elect Adams all the best and look forward to collaborating with him to ensure open data and government services work for all New Yorkers and not just the privileged.  

We also want to congratulate Public Advocate Jumaane Williams for his reelection and Councilmember Brad Lander for being elected Comptroller. Both men will do a great job creating a more effective government where everyone’s voices are heard.  

In the New York City Council history was made! We are thrilled that the first Muslim woman, Shahana Hanif will represent Brooklyn and we will have six council members who are LGBTQ. Lynn Schulman, Tiffany Cabán, Crystal Hudson, Chi Ossé, Kristin Richardson Jordan and Erik Bottcher — the most diverse LGBTQ caucus. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, Crystal Hudson and Kristin Richardson Jordan are set to become the first Black Queer women to join the council!    

For the first time in our city’s history, the majority of the City Council identify as female. It is wonderful to see our legislators reflect our city’s population - we strongly believe it is crucial for our elected officials to reflect the people they serve and we act on these beliefs each year when we conduct our community board analysis for Manhattan. It is inspiring to see the incoming class of council members represent the very people who are the fabric of our city. If you are interested in exploring the election night results, be sure to check out this cool map from The City.   

As a Public Interest Technology community, we can use the momentum from Tuesday night to improve the future. We need your knowledge and insight to improve our city’s systems. The NYC Peoples’ Tech Assemblies is derived from our 2013 Peoples’ Roadmap, which was a groundbreaking collaborative vision from hundreds of New Yorkers like yourselves. 

The Peoples’ Roadmap resulted in new government accountability laws, strengthened our municipal open data program, forced the city to publish audits of data, expanded participatory budgeting into the Municipal Budget and much more. 

With the Peoples’ Tech Assemblies, we hope to have a similar, if not better impact. In short, these Tech Assemblies are a series of engagements: a community survey, online forums, roundtable events and facilitated conversations for us to share our voices on intersectional issues. Join us in our biweekly office hours to learn more.

During our office hours, we’ll guide you through our recently launched at-home toolkit — conversations around the dinner table, at a cafe or even online — dealers choice! We will leverage your ideas to inform the incoming administration and Council. 

There are a multitude of feelings as we write this post. If you are someone who woke up Wednesday morning feeling hopeful, yet angry, we understand you. If you woke up frustrated, we empathize with you. It is important not to lose hope, let’s keep our heads held high and continue our work to fight for a better city.

Hope to see you at the Peoples’ Tech Assemblies, be well, and take care!

Gabrielle Langston & BetaNYC

Legislative Updates

Over the last month, we were in Albany (virtually) giving testimony to the New York State Assembly. Then, we were before the City Council talking about NYC 311.

  • MTA Open Data Act - We joined 18 advocacy groups asking Governor Hochul to sign a law passed on 24 May 2021 and codify EO 95 of 2013. Well, SHE did! Read the letter sent to the Governor as well as our thank you message

  • Assembly Hearing on Covid-19’s impact on open meetings law - we joined our open government friends detailing how beneficial virtual meetings have been. Warning, this hearing is over 3 hours long.

  • Annual NYC 311 Oversight hearing at City Council - you would think that the app that demystifies government service would be tested by New Yorkers, but it isn’t. Also, if you’re wondering why so many people are calling 311, well no one is QA’ing 

BetaNYC News

  • Save the date for Open Data Week 2022! This year’s festival is expected to take place from March 5th to 13th. We will put out a call for proposals so start thinking about events, workshops, talks, activities you want to propose. Subscribe to receive the latest on NYC Open Data Week here.

  • The Peoples’ Tech Assemblies is asking YOU to facilitate conversations and report back to us. Head to to download the toolkit and facilitate a conversation with friends, family, neighbors or colleagues. If you have any questions, join us at our biweekly office hours. Stop by and say hello! 

  • Read Power to the Public — We recently held a private event for New York City Council with Hana Schank and Tara Dawson McGuinness, authors of Power to the Public: The Promise of Public Interest Technology. 

What's up?

Here are some recent content picks from our team and community. Share yours in next month's newsletter here.

👀  Serving lewks...

We love this Newspaper Map that finds and translates local newspapers all around the world! 

Mobility and transport history friends! Explore Urban Archive’s map of The Rise And Decline Of New York City's Third Avenue Elevated Train Line and the story by Lawrence Stelter. 

Why me? is a data visualization by Kimly Scott that explores and calls on us to end the stigma of miscarriage. Nice work, Kimly Scott! 

How deep is the technology gap nationally and in your state and county? Check out US Technology Gap by Lovelytics.

Want to see how late and over budget some NYC’s capital projects are? Now you can with WeGov.NYC’s new Capital Project Directory. Learn more about it in this Gotham Gazette article

So Facebook got rid of facial recognition technology, right? Yeah, not so fast… 

📰 Recently in the news...

Capital Region: Here's how proposed redistricting would change election boundaries by Joshua Solomon

Henrietta Lacks, Whose Cells Were Taken Without Her Consent, Is Honored by W.H.O. by Maria Cramer

New Analysis Details Just How Late and Over-Budget City Infrastructure Projects Run by Samar Khurshid

PLATEGATE: Out-of-State Car Owners Owe City $300M in Unpaid Fines by Gersh Kuntzman

Re-Envisioning the Right-of-Way by the Regional Plan Association

The Demand for Money Behind Many Police Traffic Stops by Mike McIntire and Michael H. Keller

The Park Bench Is an Endangered Species by Jonathan Lee

The troubling tie between bigger cars and pedestrian deaths by Eric Jaffe

📚 Recommended reading...

Preserving Neighborhoods: How Urban Policy and Community Strategy Shape Baltimore and Brooklyn by Aaron Passell

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The Victory of Greenwood by Carlos Moreno  

The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory by David W. Blight

Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

The Digital Closet: How the Internet Became Straight by Alexander Monea

🎧  Listen on your commute...

FAQ NYC - Is There Life After Politics? 

The Brian Lehrer Show - Indigenous Peoples' Day: Spotlight on Lenapehoking

GovLove - #426 The Promise of Public Interest Technology with Tara Dawson McGuinness & Hana Schank

Tweet of the Month

Moving scenes indeed! These images are proof that we the people can make change happen. 

 🤩 Accounts we’re following

#️⃣ Hashtag Shoutout


November marks the 30 day map challenge. Join in on the fun every day throughout the month and be sure to use #30DayMapChallenge when sharing your posts. We can't wait to see your visualizations!


Upcoming Events


Nov 8-10 SCNY Urban Tech Summit at Cornell Tech 

Nov 9 Peoples' Tech Assemblies: Workshopping Clean Energy

Nov 9-11 Tableau Conference

Nov 10 S.T.O.P. x RadTech: Worker Surveillance in the Age of COVID

Nov 10 Data Driven NYC with Stemma AI& ClickHouse

Nov 11 Veterans Day

Nov 17 Peoples' Tech Assemblies: Fireside Chat on Democracy and Access

Nov 17-18 GIS Day 2021 | Racial Equity, Social Justice & Climate Change Gentrification 

Nov 23-24 EU Open Data Days: DataViz 2021

Nov 23-24 EU Open Data Days: Datathon 

Nov 25 Happy Thanksgiving!

Dec 2 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics - The Fight Against Surveillance State

Dec 8-10 Civic Design 2021

Dec 9 BetaNYC Holiday Party (Save the date!)

Mar 5-13 NYC Open Data Week 2022 (Save the date!)

Announcements and Opportunities

To contribute to our listings, be sure it is mission aligned and submit your announcement, job listing, opportunity or request here.

Data Through Design (DxD) is now accepting submissions for their 2022 exhibition, Ground Truth IRL. The deadline for submissions is December 1st.

The SCNY Urban Tech Summit at Cornell Tech will be held from November 8 to 10th. You can register for online or in-person attendance. Also, you can help spread the word with their social media kit

Start your tech career in government as a U.S. Digital Corps Fellow! GSA’s Technology Transformation Services will open applications this Monday November 8th.

The Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest at Villanova University invites institutions to participate in its annual Summer Internship Program. Apply by January 15, 2022 and learn more here!

Cornell Tech is seeking an Associate Director for the Digital Life Initiative (DLI).

NYC Planning is looking for an Associate Analyst for their capital planning team.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull has a series of Psychiatry Jobs.

Beeck Center is hiring a Community Manager. Apply by November 7th!

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is hiring a Market Analysis Analyst.

Center for Civic Design is looking for a 2022 Civic Design Fellow.

The Advocacy Institute is looking for a Systems Engineer.

CitizenLab has several open remote positions.

CARMERA is hiring (remotely) for a short term/part time "projectship". 

The Tech Talent Pipeline has open positions for an Instructor, Lead Teaching Assistant and Teaching Assistant for their upcoming bootcamp series.

Level 12 is seeking mid to senior level Python developers to assist with our web app development projects.

Civic Fact of the Month 

David Dinkins, in a tan coat and red scarf, stands at a lectern and in front of  American flags
Image Credit:  Gothamist and Frankie Ziths / AP / Shutterstock. 
Mayor David Dinkins at his 1990 inauguration.

Never forget our history...

On November 7th 1989, David Dinkins was elected as the first Black Mayor of New York City. During his historical tenure, he led the city during a financial crisis as well as heightened racial tensions. Mayor Dinkins inspired a new generation of Black leaders, laid the groundwork to reduce crime, created programs to help low income New Yorkers and much more. Mayor Dinkins passed away last November, but his legacy will never be forgotten. Read more about his political legacy and the barriers he faced as mayor. As we get set to welcome the second Black Mayor, let us never forget our history.     

Want to support the public interest tech talent pipeline in NYC!

Donate $21 to our 20$21 campaign to support employment opportunities for Civic Innovation Fellows and Apprentices to continue working and growing with us. Thank you!

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See you next month! Peace, openness and gratitude!

- BetaNYC 🗽
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