Wednesday, September 15th

Hello everyone!

As the summer winds down, we want to take the time to reflect on the past month and the importance of the upcoming year. So much has happened around the world and in our city since our last newsletter. With Hurricane Ida, a new school year, the end of the war in Afghanistan, a new Governor, the anniversary of September 11th and upcoming elections, we have certainly had a lot to process… and a lot to work on.    

Hurricane Ida was the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy. We lost 13 of our fellow New Yorkers - 11 of them were from basement apartments that experienced flash flooding. We cannot let these tragedies be in vain. We need to make decisions now to create infrastructure that protects residents against future storms. Climate change is here and is not going away. It is also important to note this event coincided with a new school year, and has caused many hardships in our communities that will last a long time. If you’re able, please consider donating to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Ida and reach out to local mutual aid groups in your community to learn how else you can help. Another useful resource is the Department of City Planning’s NYC Flood Hazard Mapper, which lets you explore coastal flood hazards by NYC addresses. If you are in NYC and need assistance check out NYC’s Post-Storm Resources. We send our condolences to the families, friends and loved ones in New York City, the tri-state area, Louisiana, the Gulf Coast and elsewhere impacted by the storm.             

With Hurricane Ida also came the end of the war in Afghanistan and an entire generation has grown up with war being normalized. How does that impact the future? How will we use our power to be sure history is accounted for and accessible to all?  Twenty years ago on September 11th, our lives changed forever and in an act of symmetry, COVID19 has impacted our world. We face a new reality and a new “normal”. Considering how we responded twenty years ago, how would you like to re-emerge today? Today’s grievances present an opportunity to listen more, make decisions together and take actions to shape a better society for everyone.         

At the state level, we welcomed Kathy Hochul, New York’s first female governor, last month. Although we are saddened history was made by disgraceful acts, we welcome the Governor and look forward to how she will transition New York with us into the next era. There is a lot more history to be made in New York! When the clock strikes twelve on December 31st, we will have entirely new leadership in nearly all parts of city government. Midterm and gubernatorial elections, both of which will have massive impacts on our city, will take place next year. Keep your eyes on the races! Elections are our opportunity to bring new perspectives to the table and make our society more equitable and representative of all.

With change on the horizon, we hope our fellow New Yorkers are more willing and excited than ever to participate in shaping the future. With that assumption, over the next two months, we are running The Peoples’ Tech Assemblies, a joint-effort led by The New York City Office of the Public Advocate, The Office of the Manhattan Borough President, BetaNYC, New America’s Public Interest Technology team, the Urban Tech Hub at the Jacobs Cornell-Technion Institute, the College of Staten Island, CivStart and a collection of individual advisers and facilitators. Through it we are gathering your perspectives, views and opinions about how the City of New York (our government) uses technology to serve the public and govern into the future. NYC residents! We invite you to share how technology plays a role in your daily life as you live, work and play in our five boroughs and ideas for how your community could be best served. By using multiple formats and engaging many organizations, we hope this process is inclusive to anyone who wants to participate and the information collected is available to all. Furthermore, we hope to pave a path for your voices and your insight to more easily reach the tables of citywide decision-makers in a more transparent and accountable way. We would be delighted if you would follow along and participate at  

The topics discussed here are overwhelming for such a short period of time, and we acknowledge that they deserve more airtime with deeper conversations. Nonetheless, we keep them in mind and not on the sidelines. We wish you a Fall filled with happiness; we miss you all dearly and hope to see you soon.

With hope and gratitude,

Gabby & Kate 

Recent News

The Peoples’ Tech Assemblies launched, now join us!

We kicked off the Peoples' Tech Assemblies in the end of August with NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Manhattan Community Board 1 District Manager Lucian Reynolds; and Founder of BK ROT and Mayday Space, Sandy Nurse. Learn about it in the session recording above or on Facebook or YouTube.

Now... we're running round-table events, online forums, and asking you to have conversations and share your insight throughout the Fall. Weigh in on how the City of New York (our government!) uses technology to serve the public and govern into the future. Our goal is to understand what opportunities and challenges for technology NYC community members perceive across the following topic areas: Infrastructure & Environmental Justice; Justice, Health Equity & Safety; Housing Equity; Civic & Community Empowerment; Education & Opportunity; Smarter Communities; Effective & Open Government.

We started this project with a question. How can we listen at a greater scale to the communities we don't hear? Help us account for your perspectives. We are documenting issues you have experienced, insights you have gained, and proposals you have. And, we are charting a course for new formats of civic discourse in NYC. We aim for the process to be inclusive to anyone who wants to participate and to make the information collected available to all. Sign up at
RSVP to these upcoming virtual round-table events:

Discover NYC Open Data and some of our favorite civic tech tools...

We hosted a 3-part learning series in August that introduced NYC Council staff to NYC Open Data and a variety of civic tech tools. We held one class and two office hour sessions where we answered questions and talked about NYC Open Data.

Need a refresher? Watch the three video recordings in our YouTube playlist!

CUNY Service Corps' matching fair is coming up!

Are you a CUNY Service Corps student? Check out our Civic Innovation Fellowship and apply to join us this year! Email to to learn more. We look forward to seeing you at the CUNY Service Corps Matching Fair later this month!

What's up?

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

👀  Serving lewks...

First Interactive Map Shows How Primary Votes Moved Across The City by Brigid Bergin

Check out these series of visualizations regarding vaccination rates in Neosho, Kansas. Thank you Jason Forrest for sharing!

Enjoy classic novels? You have to see these visualizations regarding punctuation in novels, courtesy of Adam J Calhoun.

The U.S. Census Bureau has a series of interactive charts illustrating the change in demographics from 2010 to 2020.

How has the median annual salary for registered nurses in all 50 states changed over the past 20 years? Here’s an interactive dashboard courtesy of Nick Adams.

📰 Recently in the news...

The Right Direction for Transit by Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04)

Watchdog Report: MTA Needs Congestion Pricing Money Now, Not in 2023 by Reinvent Albany

Meet the New Yorkers Mapping the City’s Heat Islands by Chelsea Harvey

Time for a Reset for New York City Food Policy; Here’s 6 Key Steps by Nicholas Freudenberg, Katherine Tomaino Fraser & Yvette Ng 

Time to shine sunlight on public authorities by Elizabeth M. Marcello 

How Should We Meet? And Who Decides? By Priya Parker

COVID-Concerned Community Boards Ready to Break State Law to Keep Online Meetings by Gabriel Sandoval

Economics in Brief: College Has Made the Racial Wealth Gap Worse by Next City

Hochul Pledges to Speed Up Rent Relief, as $115 Million Contractor Struggles to Hit Benchmarks by David Brand

Puerto Rico’s Journey After the Storm by Cecilia Aldarondo

NYC Basement Apartment Storm Deaths Renew Housing Advocates’ Calls for Legalization by Christine Chung and Allison Dikanovic

📚 Recommended reading...

Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez

Data Feminism by Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren Klein

Cloud Ethics: Algorithms and the Attributes of Ourselves and Others by Louise Amoore

Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence by Kate Crawford

🎧  Listen on your commute...

Data & Society - Episode 3: Data, AI & Automation 

FirstMark - Fireside Chat: Abe Gong (Founder and CEO of Superconductive) with Matt Turck (Partner, FirstMark) 

FAQ NYC - Who by Water and Who by Fire

Spectrum News NY1 - You Decide with Errol Louis

City Limits - The Max & Murphy Show

Civic Tech Chat - Volunteering the Valley

School Colors - Power to the People

Tweet of the Month

Travel back in time to 1899 and venture across the Brooklyn Bridge (and be sure to ride the new Brooklyn Bridge bike lane that opened yesterday!).



 🤩 Accounts we’re following














#️⃣ Hashtags we're watching













Upcoming Events

Sep 13-17 The Creative Bureaucracy Festival 

Sep 16 at 10:30am Practical Open Source Information hosted by Open Source Initiative

Sep 18th at 12pm Reimagining 911 on National Day of Civic Hacking

Sep 20 at 4:30pm The Peoples' Tech Assemblies: Education

Oct 11-17 LatinX in CV (LXCV) Research at ICCV 2021 hosted by LatinX in AI

Oct 18-22 New York FinTech Week hosted by Empire Startups 

Oct 25-28 Spatial Data Science Conference hosted by CARTO  

Nov 17-18 GIS Day 2021 | Racial Equity, Social Justice & Climate Change Gentrification hosted by The College of Staten Island Tech Incubator  

Nov 23-24 EU Open Data Days: DataViz 2021

Nov 23-24 EU Open Data Days: Datathon 

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 is calling for organizers to join their 2022 committee! Be sure to submit your information by September 17th.

Share your "back to school" photos and memories with Urban Archive. Submissions will be accepted through October 1st, and added to a compilation story that captures the varied spirit of New York City schools throughout the years.

Register for the Creative Bureaucracy Festival, where you can view more than 150 sessions and 400 speakers. It takes place from September 13th to 17th.

Register for the College of Staten Island's GIS Day 2021: Racial Equity, Social Justice & Climate Change Gentrification. On November 17th and 18th speakers from across the country will share how they use GIS tools to analyze climate change and racial and socioeconomic disparities to address climate gentrification.

The United States Digital Corps is launching a new fellowship program.

The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is hiring a Field Research Assistant.

Greenhouse is looking for a Data Scientist.

CTData seeks a Data Engagement Specialist and a Senior Research Associate.

Teachers Pay Teachers is hiring for positions in Business Operations, Design + UX, Engineering & Data Science and Product among others. Check them out.

Trestle Collaborative is looking for a Senior Engineering Fellow and a Senior Product Management Fellow.

The College of Staten Island Tech Incubator seeks a Business Development Manager.

Civic Fact of the Month 

Image Credit:  The Sandra Day O'Connor Institute for American Democracy

Never forget this trailblazer…

On September 25, 1981 Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female Supreme Court Justice. Appointed by President Ronald Regan, she would serve until 2006, and during her tenure she played a crucial role in key decisions. As we approach the 40th anniversary of her appointment, we should take the time to acknowledge there is still a need for representation across all sectors of government. Be sure to learn more about Sandra Day O’ Connor courtesy of the Sandra Day O'Connor Institute.  

Like what we do? Support the public interest tech talent pipeline!

Donate $21 to our 20$21 campaign to support employment opportunities for Civic Innovation Fellows and Apprentices to continue working and growing with us. There's lots in store this next year!

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See you next month! Peace, openness and gratitude!

- BetaNYC 🗽
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