by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
Jonathan Feldman replied to my inquiry yesterday about the City of Asheville’s exploration of consideration of a Code for America project. It is, I believe, the first time somebody with the city responded to me before my deadline. This is not a reflection on the sluggishness of city personnel so much as it is on my irrelevance. Anyhoo, Feldman, in not so many words, said, “Read the hyperlink, stupid.”
I did, and I liked what I found. These people speak of “good governance,” “government by the people and for the people,” and “citizen-centric techniques.” The outfit appears to be largely funded by private-sector donations. Its objective is to use technology to make government more accessible. This has tremendous potential for good, as in keeping welfare costs down by streamlining agency bureaucracies, letting citizens see every check a government writes, eliminating the need for freedom of information requests, cutting red tape, and leaving no excuse for losing and fuddling applications. Then again, all technology may be used for good or evil. A drawback, for example, would be, if these guys are as good as they say they are, they could make the Obamacare site work.