Your Name:ElectionTimestampWhat is your general view on government open data and promoting the social and economic health of Minneapolis?What is your general view on government open data as it relates to government transparency, accountability, and public participation in Minneapolis?Based on your experience, does the City of Minneapolis currently provide enough open, standardized, digital data? What kinds of government information or specific data sets would you like to see made more available to citizens?Many datasets controlled by the city are made up exclusively of legally public data. Do you support making such datasets available online for public reuse the default transparency and openness policy for the city within one year of taking office?Comments:Do you support making city open data sets available in the most standard, non-proprietary, reusable, and machine readable format possible the default policy?Comments:What process will you uses to determine which city controlled datasets should not be shared with the public online in an open standard way (e.g. via a city open data online repository)?Are there specific data sets with only public data that you feel should not be made available to the public in downloadable formats or for direct public use at this time?If elected, what will your strategy be to implement the city open data policy that you envision and have described in your responses above?Statement
Andrew JohnsonMinneapolis City Council9/9/2013 13:57:08I am the #1 advocate of open data in the city's races this year. I have made this issue one of my top 3 priorities. I believe government data is the people's data. As an IT web developer, I have previously implemented a federal taxpayer receipt concept using federal budget data which makes it easy to explore and relate to federal spending (later Google reached out to me to partner on a project to create visualizations using the data). There is a ton of value in making data publicly available and easy to use. I am also a big fan of the book Citizenville.It increases citizen participation/engagement and holds our leaders and city employees more accountable. It also greatly increases public trust and enables residents to create useful/innovative tools.Absolutely not. I want to see us look more like

Account-level spending details, summarized council member voting information, landlord violations, permits, public safety, industry data, energy usage, restaurant inspections, GIS, traffic, public health, transit usage, and real-time data when available.
YesYes, this has been my proposal since I began the campaign.YesMultiple formats and APIs are very effective.If you can legally request the data, it should be available online.Not that I can think of.Create an Open Data Board to develop policy and appoint technology leaders to it. Work with the City's CIO to implement an open data portal.
Vincent CoffeenMinneapolis City Council9/9/2013 15:40:42Transparency is key to a trustworthy government. Transparency coupled with accountability and civic engagement is the best way to create a governing structure that is systematically less corruptible. This is a positive endeavor and should be handled with great urgency.A more easily accessible database of voting decisions from city council sessions and where each council person cast their vote would be a great thing to have.YesYesDetermining the legality of public datasets is really a case by case issue but I am of the opinion that city data gathered should be public unless there is a legitimate security risk to citizens.The location and identity of undercover police is the only thing that comes to mind right now. I would plan to bring up the issue in meetings with the public and make a motion in the council to form a committee to research and plan the implementation of this policy.
Matt SteeleMinneapolis City Council9/9/2013 21:22:06As a technology consultant, I've seen how new technology can be used to drive meaningful data-driven insight and lead to untraditional dimensions of analysis. New social technology is breaking down barriers between how people communicate, relate, and take ownership of the issues that intersect with their passion.

City Hall has a significant opportunity to move forward and bring information directly to the public. Technology will help tear down many of the traditional boundaries that keep departments in silos or committees far from the public eye. Technology will make a smarter Minneapolis, one where citizens can derive meaningful insights about their city, communicate with their fellow citizens and City Hall, and take action. To become a smarter city, we need to leverage existing tools which make data analysis intuitive. A prerequsite for that level of interaction is to make data freely available in open and digestible formats.

Open data is critical to the social health of our city, because it keeps our city's power in line with citizen expectations. For example, the recent license plate data fiasco was indicative of the tension and lack of trust which can result from anything less than transparency to the citizenry.

Open data is also critical to the economic health of our city. A fundamental rule of market economics is that all parties must have all information pertaining to a transaction for it to be efficient. More importantly, open data can be a competitive advantage for our city in relationship to other cities in our region and other regions in the world with whom we compete for businesses and jobs.
Open data is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to government transparency and accountability. Datasets are not political and are immune from spin.

Open data fosters effective public participation in our city. There are two ways to innovate: Orderly but dumb, or chaotic but smart. Too often, government has relied on an inefficient top-down decision-making regime which is certainly orderly but leads to ineffective outcomes. As a city, we have to be smarter than that. We need to give people the resources and means to effect ground-level change, and the city should offer encouragement rather than roadblocks. Government open data is fundamental to this concept.
We're absolutely lacking in this regard. There's no question.

The gaps are too numerous to list, and I think our analysis should look at everything captured within city government with the aim of making it accessible, rather than having politicos brainstorm data sets. I've seen this in my technology consulting career in large businesses as well: the best outcomes are achieved when stakeholders can look at a registry of all data. Then the lightbulbs start going off for how it can be used. After all, if citizens don't know what government data exists, how can we know to demand it becomes public?

That said, there are clear gaps that exist today which should be a high priority. The first should be a clear voting history for the council and all boards. Digging through PDF files and piecing together a story of a meeting does not convey a sense of transparency.
YesAbsolutely. The council should immediately commission an audit (ideally with citizen participation) to inventory all possible data sources. The city should work with the City Attorney to assess the legal nature of data and if it is public. We need to know where we're starting from if we're going to make this happen.

If other data is legally public but is unstructured, such as notes and other text, the city should make it clear that this data exists even if it is not yet in a consumable format.
YesI think there may sometimes be a place for specific vendors or proprietary formats to provide the city or its residents with supplemental tools to assist with analysis or insight. These could be dashboard generators or the like. But this is never a suitable replacement for open data in one or more standard formats.

As someone with enterprise experience with data modeling for large data warehouse initiatives, I see the opportunity to create an online repository that has all public data rationalized in to a data store with a clear and usable metadata registry.

I'd also like to see city data available in non-relational stores as well, since citizens (who aren't DBAs) would likely be able to derive more meaningful insight from data presented in a natural hierarchy. I have presented a metadata registry that represents tree-based data structures to the Twin Cities Open Technology User Group (OTUG), so I have a sense of what can be done. Additionally, I'd like to see some sort of API or object link that allows for citizen-led tools to connect to city data in realtime.

Finally, we need to constantly work towards structuring city information into usable data. I think this is oftentimes the barrier that keeps us from having truly usable and open data. It takes a combination of culture change and technical change. We need a culture in City Hall that has their eyes open to spot opportunities for structuring our city's information - they are the subject matter experts. We also need data analysts who will figure out how we can take messy information and apply sensible schemas. Then, we need to act on these schemas and data models so our systems and processes are data-driven.

We have a huge opportunity here: Organizations usually develop processes and systems based on structured data because it drives efficiency, and only recently have these organizations started to leverage the power of the data they've been accumulating. As a city, we will structure our data to make it more transparent, but a side effect will be that our city will see efficiency gains that will free up our limited budget and personnel resources to accomplish even more on behalf of our residents.
Right now, data is often assumed to be private until demanded otherwise. My view is that information should be assumed to be public unless there's a compelling reason to the contrary which has been explained to the public.

FOIA requests should be executed with due haste, and our concern should be serving the public interest and not simply complying with the letter of the law. FOIA requests should also trigger a process to analyze if requested data should be made publicly available in the first place.
I cannot think of any data sets which should be restricted. It is possible they may exist, but I think the city should set a high burden to justify restriction. These should exist in a public data dictionary, and the reason for restricting fields should also be explained. Furthermore, there should be a periodic review to ensure that any restricted data is still supported by a justifiable and publicly acknowledged reason.We will foster a culture of openness within city hall. We will never rest on our laurels, but we will constantly ask how technology can be used to better serve citizens.

We need to make it a simple affair to make data more public, not a drawn-out and burdensome high buck technology project. This will be an iterative process, but we will reach our goal through incremental changes at a brisk pace.

We will accept the assistance of eager citizens outside of City Hall who wish to serve the public interest through their technical expertise. We will actively engage with our citizens, technical and non-technical alike.

We will ask open data advocates how we can continuously improve our transparency. We will also ask open data advocates to reach out to non-technical citizens to see what they would like to know about city government, and we will empower Minneapolitans to help each other learn more about our city through data.

We will be the smartest city we can be.
Christopher ClarkMinneapolis Mayor9/11/2013 11:50:07 Some things should be kept quiet and other info should be available especially if it affects unexpected costs or violations of rights. Everyone should be given the same opportunities to exceed beyond their potential. An open and honest environment assist in getting there. I have mixed feelings. If it pertains to government spying on citizens who are not doing anything illegal, I am appalled. If there is a specific path taken with good reason and its a security threat and legit, I understand.
Compromises have to be made in specific cases. Surveying the general public is bad especially in this day and age. Afraid Big Brother lurks around every corner. The current city leaders don't always play by the rules. The trust is broken.
If they do, I am unaware of it. I'd love to have enough opportunity to expand my learning opportunities. The Hennepin County Library system offers mini courses, not the city. Almost like a secret society with the leaders of Minneapolis.
A real shame to the citizens. We no longer have NRP(neighborhood revitalization program) where resident input was the key before a project took off the ground. The tables have turned and residents left out.
Big Brother in city hall makes all the decisions and waste taxpayers money. Look at Uptown and Dinky town, these destinations are a mess. Its about building up the tax base because they don't have a grip on their wasteful spending.
Yes Why not? Unless an issue with hackers decoding into more private accounts. As mayor, you can't force the council members especially as they seem to have more power than the mayor.Yes My own personal advisors. I would rely on people on various political backgrounds. I work well with people in general. Look for the common approach and cause. I'm not sure. Some of the specific data sets might be more complex than a simple yes or no. I'd have to review each type rather than make a promise now. A mistake some politicians make before getting into their current offices or positions. Again, I'd have to review with a diverse group of individuals. This open data policy is not a simple black or white issue. Depends on each case. Thanks!!!
Stephanie WoodruffMinneapolis Mayor9/12/2013 16:14:00Open city data is an essential step to building a smarter Minneapolis.

In order to be a forward-thinking, 21st century leader, the City of Minneapolis must leverage technology to improve the way our city works. This process can be greatly accelerated by allowing access to government data for the purpose of collaborative problem solving. Doing so builds trust between citizens and local government, creates a low-risk setting for innovation in public services, and unlocks social and economic opportunity.

Turning our city data into useful information that improves the quality of life for all Minneapolis residents is a mechanism for sustainable growth and one that I strongly support.
Increased transparency and open data builds trust between residents and local officials, while giving residents a greater sense of ownership in our city’s future, both of which lead to better citizenship.

Transparency in government breeds trust, and trust is the foundation for great teamwork.
As the appointed Vice Chair of the City Audit Committee, I have seen inefficiencies and internal control issues within the city first hand. Professionally, as an accountant and technology entrepreneur, I make my decisions based on big data trends. In my experience, no, the City of Minneapolis does not currently provide enough open, standardized, digital data. This is not just my opinion. The City of Minneapolis recently received a D- rating by the US Public Interest Research Group. This is not acceptable.

There are many examples in cities across the country, and even globally, where open data has improved decision making in public transportation, public education, parking services, even access to flu shots. These are just some of the possibilities. Minneapolis could benefit from improvements in all of these areas.
YesYesI will seek input from the community, my colleagues, and leaders from other cities who have already established greater transparency in government data. Only if that data contained private information, as you describe with your example.I would first work collaboratively with the community and my colleagues to analyze the path to transparency that has been set by our counterparts in cities across the country and adapt those standards to fit Minneapolis. Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, and Kansas City all come to mind.
Mark V AndersonMinneapolis Mayor9/12/2013 20:14:50Minneapolis should treat all data generated by the city as available to the public, except when it is legally proscribed. And even the data that the city cannot provide to citizens because such would be illegal is a problem. The city is all too ready to make confidentiality one of the requirements in their legal agreements, such as when a major official is terminated. Minneapolis should not agree to any such restriction in their agreements, except in extra-ordinary events.Minneapolis seems to have a policy of not providing key information to its constituents. For example, during the debate about the Vikings stadium and the charter requirement for a referendum, several council members stated that they voted for the stadium due to advice received by the city's economic advisors. Why were the details of this advice not made public? The city seems to default to not providing data to its citizens.The city does not provide enough financial data. It does provide many different breakdowns of its financial data, but it never seems to break down the data in the way that I need when I look at the numbers. I am a CPA, and I would like to have the general ledgers of the city that shows every single transaction made by the city, so I can sort and organize it the way I want it. I believe this data should be available to every resident of Minneapolis, as long as it is not too expensive to provide it. I don't believe it would be very expensive at all, since these days it is very easy to download all financial data to an Excel spreadsheet.YesThis data belongs to the people of the city. The only reasonable excuse for not providing all such data to its citizens is one of excessive cost, and that excuse is now largely out-of-date.YesAs I said below, I wold like to receive all financial data on an Excel spreadsheet.All data will be available to citizens, unless staff make the standard of extra-ordinary reasons to keep them confidential.Perhaps payroll data or legal discussions preparatory to a trial should remain confidential. Even payroll data should be public information if possible. E-mails and memos may also have some exceptions, so that city employees feel free to discuss issues freely.I will ask every department head to provide all internal data to a database that will be available to all. Any withheld data must be explained. I would welcome any questions from outside city government asking for particular information we may not have considered.
Cam WintonMinneapolis Mayor9/15/2013 15:19:51Citizens who have better information can draw better conclusions about the health of our city. Accordingly, they can make better decisions about whom to elect and make more-informed judgments about the performance of their elected officials, appointed officials, and city workers. Without good data, though, citizens stay in the dark and can’t work effectively to improve the social and economic health of our city. So, in short: open data = strong city. I’ve come to learn much about open data through visiting with members of the open data community at two hack-a-thons and chatting with Alan Palazzolo and Bill Bushey. Citizens will participate more if they feel they know what’s going on and can impact outcomes. With open data, they’ll know what’s going on and can see more easily the causal relationships between, for example, adding more health inspectors and bringing down violation rates. To continue using that example, if the city isn’t using its resources well, though, and isn’t staffing the inspection force adequately, residents will see that violations increase and accordingly can hold the city accountable. No – not remotely. The city should provide everything and anything (except names and sensitive personal info of private citizens who are not suspected of crimes) in real time in all usable formats. Regarding scope of making info available, the question is really, what should we *not* make public? Social security numbers and names of private citizens with whom the health department has discussed their infectious diseases are two examples that come to mind of the type of info that we should keep private. Otherwise, we should make the data public. Yes I’d push for it immediately and one year would be the outside timeframe by which I’d expect to succeed. YesRecently when the Minneapolis Police Dept. took the position for about 24 hours that they would no longer release crime data in Excel but rather only in PDF, behind the scenes I reached out to contacts in the City to ask them to lean on the MPD to publish the data in Excel. I don’t know the extent to which it was my efforts that yielded the reversal of position by MPD, but I was glad to see the issue resolved so quickly. I raise this example because I have already demonstrated my commitment to seeing data released in easy-to-use formats.
I’d lead all stakeholders in writing a policy for disclosure. As I noted above, the only type of information I’d think should not be made public would be sensitive personal information such as social security information and personal health data.
No. Through words and actions, I’d prioritize open data. Specifically, I’d make sure that the City’s CIO shares my commitment to open data – and if not, I’d find a new CIO. I’d make sure that each department has a designated point person for open data. To the extent that departments need additional funds to convert data into different formats, I’d ensure that the departments have those funds. I’d convene an open-data advisory committee to provide insights and hold me and City Hall to account. (Given their leadership within the open-data community, I envision Palazzolo and Bushey being involved, among others.)
Kristina GronquistMinneapolis City Council9/15/2013 21:01:15It would be important to me to raise our dismal transparency rating from a D- to an A+. A high rating is very much connected to the promotion of our city's social and economic health!Open data is a high priority, but we also need to bridge the digital divide.To be honest, I do not have a lot of experience with requesting data, but I would like to see most data sets made widely available to citizens, especially data about police misconduct and the hiring, training, discipline and firing records of individual police officers when they are involved in killing citizens, racial profiling and brutality incidents. I'd like for communities to be able to have data available to determine if police are stopping/pulling over more non-whites than whites for minor traffic infractions, or , for no reason at all (a DWB).YesYesWorking with my fellow council members, IT experts, Mpls. citizens, and your organization I will proactively review what data is appropriate for online posting or not.Not that I am aware of at this time.I'll learn more about open data issues and seek the input of experts like yourselves. Also, I'll do research on what other cities have done and what we - Mpls. - can do to increase our transparency rating. In addition, I will more closely scrutinize the Green Party platform to make sure it is up to date on these important issues of transparency and public access.
Elizabeth GliddenMinneapolis City Council9/15/2013 21:16:46Open data allows for analysis by entities outside city government, which provides great exchange of ideas that would promote social and economic health of Minneapolis.Government open data is a critical component to transparency; depending on how used it can also lead to greater accountability and public participation.No, it does not. I would like to ensure data is available and accessible to residents (not just restricted to citizens as the question poses).YesI support making these data sets public; I do pose the caveat that I do not know what implementation issues may be involved, including budget implications, and these unknowns may pose a challenge to the one year proposed deadline.YesI support making data available in a usable formatOther than legal restrictions regarding private data, I do not know until I have better investigated this topic what process I would use to determine which if any city controlled datasets should not be shared with the public online.I have not yet seen analysis of the pros and cons of making certain data sets available to the public; more specific review of particular data sets would identify any specific issues that would help with my review. The job of the council is to set the policy priority that defines an open data policy and then directs departments to implement the policy. The council would also need to help analyze any budget implications of this policy. I would work to help draft and approve that policy direction and then assist in analyzing implementation issues, including budget impacts.
Christopher Robin Zimmerman (@CRZ)Minneapolis Mayor9/18/2013 1:04:04Providing as much data as is possible publicly, in as standard and readable a format as possible will allow exploitation of this data by the largest number of people. In this context, I'm using the word "exploitation" in its most positive terms - when armed with information, opportunities may more easily be identified and harnessed by a larger pool of problem solvers. The hopeful end result is everyone finds out that by taking advantage of an open data policy, suddenly everything is improving!Transparency should be our greatest ally, but lately it feels like at all levels our government has been treating it as a greatest fear. Minneapolis needs a mayor who can lead from the top, not only demanding transparency, but demanding that the people take advantage of the opportunities presented by that transparency and, if necessary, demand accountability based upon their findings. Is it then too idealistic to think that perhaps Minneapolis can set an example for Minnesota, and in turn for the entire United States, when it comes to transparency and openness? Maybe not!I believe the City is far behind where we should be. (I doubt/hope I'm not the only person who has said this.) We should be striving to be able to proudly boast that we have the most open, transparent municipal government in the entire world and to be able to point to our open data policies as a shining example. I would prefer to see as much data be made publicly available as is legal - and in cases where it's illegal, we may need to make some calls and visit the Capitol to change those laws unless we can be convinced there's a valid interest in keeping such data hidden.YesEarlier, if possible. This data comes from the people and it belongs to the people! There is no excuse for not allowing the people access. If the people can't have it, then why does the government have it?YesI would challenge everyone in the city to contribute to a culture of truly open data - available to all, exploitable by anyone... not just the technologically advantaged.The default should be "shared" and we can move from there. Let's get everything online and as consumable as possible as quickly as possible. There should be no valid reason we can't get everything nestled somewhere under Then, we need to get everybody in Minneapolis on the Internet... but we'll have to save that idea for another questionnaire.No - in fact I would like to revisit some of the data previously deemed private to see if either it could be made public immediately or whether it could be made public after a few simple common-sense redactions have been made. For example, one set of data I'd like to see made public right now: given recent news reports, how about the city makes available every single complaint registered against the MPD to the Office of Police Conduct Review? We've been given one very broad overview compiling some 400 reports (along with some confusing graphs) via a single report on the OPCR subsite - let's get really granular and put every individual report online for concerned citizens and outside agencies to audit, report, conclude, advocate, and hold accountable.I'm going to need some help - both from within and from outside. Hopefully, a new culture of openness would lead to initiative and quick action enacting reforms of any prohibitive policies currently preventing public access to data, but the stereotypical snail's pace of government is well-earned, and it will be up to the citizens and advocacy groups such as yours to work with me to hold some figurative feet to the fire. Even if I'm not elected - and I hate to admit it's a distinct possibility ;-) - I hope I can still help contribute to the forces of good when it comes to open data...not just in Minneapolis, but everywhere.
Abdul Rahaman The RockMinneapolis Mayor9/19/2013 10:21:28Public Information Like the "timely auditing reports" the FEDERAL RESERVE is supposed to issue.Apparently ii is not known or understood that all government workers, with any type of "authorization" take an oath to uphold " the Constitution for the united states of America". NoNoDid you know that the FEDERAL RESERVE, iniatialy LENDS the Treasury the money.NoIt's available now. And I would not be in any position to recommend a change until after I become Mayor and would know more about the ease of availability of this information. The people also have the right to "be secure in their possesions and personal effects..."I do not know at this time, not yet being the MayorAgain, I do not know.To make certain I checked with many more available sources of information on this subject, examining all of the different aspects of this policy.
Gregg IversonMinneapolis Mayor9/19/2013 11:52:43I support all plans to increase the social and economic health of Minneapolis.I support open data.I will survey this.YesGregg iverson seems the best candidate to open data.YesAbsolutleyOpen all dataOpen all data.Meet with the new city council.
Council Member Diane HofstedeMinneapolis City Council9/23/2013 14:55:48I am very supportive of open data for the City of Minneapolis especially in our era of ubiquitous information networks; I see it as a public resource to aid the research and creative endeavors of citizens and small businesses which consequently encourages the social and economic health of MinneapolisI am supportive of efforts to ensure government transparency, accountability and public participation. Government open data, especially accessible through computer networks, is a means to accomplish this.
Clearly, based upon the examples that you have provided, the City of Minneapolis is not sufficiently supportive of open, standardized digital data, but is moving in the right direction and has the potential to do more. I would be supportive of providing government information and specific data sets which are useful to citizens and research organizations such as documents developed in the implementation of public policy in the areas of economic development, health and the environment, education, infrastructure, etc.YesI support making transparent and open legally public data available online within a year of my taking office and as budgets allow. YesI support the city adopting a policy that city open data sets are to be made available in the most standard non-proprietary reusable and machine readable format as possible such as PDFs and web-enabled databases.Clearly compliance with Minnesota Government Data Practices Act would govern which data sets may be released and which may not. Clearly compliance with Minnesota Government Data Practices Act would govern which data sets may be released and which may not. I would ask the Minneapolis Chief Information Officer to implement the city open data policy.
Linea PalmisanoMinneapolis City Council9/24/2013This is critical to a vibrant city’s well-being. When citizens and residents have easy access to city information it increases their participation on a daily basis in community life. Being able to look up tax data, community meeting data, information on how to start a business, all contribute to citizen’s having faith and confidence in city government. There shouldn’t be anything to hide.Open data, at a local, state and federal level, can only be a good thing for increased transparency of government, public service improvement and public participation for the city of Minneapolis.Minneapolis still has a ways to go when it comes to providing open data to its residents. I would advocate for not only providing greater access to pre-formatted reports (which the city provides for in some areas of general public interest, e.g., traffic data, demographic data, air quality data etc.), but access to the actual raw data, so that people and groups can perform their own analysis. Holding back public data protects no one and the more data available, even if it means some of that data is not as organized as it could be, is a better alternative than to provide too little data.

I also believe that both the media and citizens shouldn’t have to submit a “data practices” request and wait months in order to get data from the city. The irony is that the city has spent millions of dollars in the IT department but accessibility hasn’t improved for citizens.
YesIf the data is legally public, then it should be readily available. Barring any unforeseen high costs it should be online and available to the public.YesNot all residents are tech savvy but they should still be able to have “useable” access. Making data technically difficult to access is just perceived by residents as government making it difficult to access. That can be very disheartening when you consider we pay taxes to create this information.Quality of data should be a key consideration in assessing whether a dataset should be shared or not. Various metrics should be used depending on the nature of the dataset to determine if the quality reaches a certain standard. Cost vs. utility is another consideration, but I would like to see Minneapolis set a timetable for when all public data sets are going to be released.NoI would implement a timetable for when datasets would be available.
John Leslie HartwigMinneapolis Mayor9/25/2013 10:48:41A saying of the 20th century is "books educate people, educated people ask awkward questions of people who govern them."* Therefore, the educated are considered ungovernable. Good for the ungovernable.

* In addition to the word books, we can not use the word data.
The more open data that the people have about all government the more sound decisions will be made by people considering their private, personal, and public lives. If push ever comes to shove in the 21st century (NSA and others) we can always live without government where as they can't live without us.In that at this time I do not own a computer my answer to this question would be at best a guess.YesYesAgain, the more information available 24 hours per day seven days a week the more profitable we will all be.The military, up and down the chain of command uses the term "need to know". In other words, does the PFC in an infantry platoon need to know the battle plan of his whole infantry division which will launch an attack against an enemy tomorrow at 0430 hundred hours? Probably not.Public data, that pertains to an ongoing criminal investigation should be held in reserve to such time that all concerned parties authorize its release. This also includes the courts. As stated, the more information we have the better our city will be run. We are moving fast forward into the 22nd century. We need all (and by we) all of us an all hands on deck to make sure our ship of state (country) arrives safely in the next century and in a much better condition than our city is today.
Dan CohenMinneapolis Mayor9/26/2013I support any and all measures that will simplify disclosure of and access to government data. I am told that major cities like Chicago and New York City have already adopted such measures and were I in a position to do so as Mayor, I would want to use them as a template for what we should be doing in Minneapolis.
Blong YangMinneapolis City Council9/26/2013 13:10:01I believe wholeheartedly in open data. Government must be transparent to garner faith from the public. The public must be given the opportunity to scrutinize its government.

Local government must play an important role in promoting the social and economic health of its residents.
Open data is critical to our democracy. The public must have access to public records / data from government. We must demand that our government is "of the people, by the people, and for the people." Our democracy is built on faith from the people in its government. Transparent government allows for the people to see that its government works or doesn't work. A transparent government is one that is accountable for its actions / decisions. It is one that allows for public participation and public scrutiny. It is a strong government that represents a true democracy. The City of Minneapolis needs to be better about providing open, standardized, digital data. Its response time must be improved dramatically. It needs to have processes in place for how the public can obtain the data and its processes must be posted for the public.

Any data not protected by law should be made available.
YesI believe that "legally public data" should be made available. If datasets can be easily posted online, they should be posted if they are legally public data. However, there should be exceptions for public safety or other purposes.

I would support a policy to make city government more open and transparent.
YesI support making city open datasets available in the most standard, non-proprietary, reusable, and machine readable format. It should be easier to obtain "legally public data." I'd used these criteria to determine what should and shouldn't be shared:
1. Whether the datasets are legally protected by law;
2. Whether the datasets would pose a public safety threat if shared;
3. Whether it would be cost-prohibitive to share; and
4. Whether sharing in another medium would be more appropriate.
Using the criteria mentioned above, I believe that there is a good balance between what should and shouldn't be shared. I would research the issue more. Once I feel comfortable with the issue, I'd discuss the issue with my colleagues on the City Council. Then, I'd draft an ordinance for consideration, if necessary, or I'd push the City Council to direct the departments in the city to develop their own specific open data policies.
Meg TuthillMinneapolis City Council9/30/2013YesYesTo be honest, I have not yet worked on open data issues other than responding to specific data requests made to the City. I strongly believe government has a responsibility to be open and transparent. Minneapolis needs to vastly improve accessibility to City data, especially when a data request has been made. Waiting over five months for information from a data request is far too long! I support releasing data in an common standard.

I am most interested in data that would allow the City to make progress in closing the racial employment and education gap. I would also like to know what information or specific data sets citizens are most interested in. A public private partnership working with the the data to find creative and innovate solutions to City issues is a win-win for everyone.

I think an advisory board of interested residents could work with City departments, including the City Attorney’s office, to determine what data could be released (so as not to violate privacy laws). The advisory board could also prioritize the order of data to be released. Some City data is in a format that can be released immediately. Some software the City uses is old enough that programs need to be written to convert the data to a common format. I would like to look at best practices information from other cities to learn how other cities have taken steps to release their public data.
John Charles WilsonMinneapolis Mayor9/30/2013 12:44:20I believe open data is a good idea.I believe open data would improve all these things.I don't have enough experience seeking City data to have an opinion.YesYesI don't know enough about this issue to answer.No.I will authorise any open data system that seems to work.
Ben GisselmanMinneapolis City Council9/30/2013 21:21:02I support the idea of most data being accessible by the public although I would exercise caution to ensure that some data is accompanied by context. Raw data all by itself can have the negative consequence of creating improper conclusions drawn by those who interpret data incorrectly, perhaps because they don't understand it. In short, I'm all for full disclosure of information but with some common sense discretion depending upon the data.Regarding transparency and accountability, I strongly believe that improper perceptions and misunderstanding can be dispelled by simply ensuring that underlying information is available for public view. Additionally, transparency has the effect to ensure better behavior by decision-makers. Regarding public participation, one of the most common complaints I hear from residents, especially about sensitive projects or City activity, is that they didn't know enough about it. This decreases participation not only due to simply not knowing, but also because people are less engaged when they don't understand. I have a small business that provides training to the restaurant industry. I have previously tried to access data from the City regarding liquor licenses in the City of Minneapolis. Although I could obtain that information at the State level (albeit in hard to use format), I could not obtain this data via any City source. This type of information should be more readily available. The existence of liquor licenses held in the City of Minneapolis and by who is an example of what I believe should be easily-accessed information. YesI have no problem supporting this kind of initiative knowing that I think it makes the City look more transparent as described above however, I do think that some data that could be viewed as sensitive or misinterpreted may need to be treated differently than other non-harmful data like the liquor license list mentioned in the example above. YesPerhaps an oversight committee made up of citizen members, members of the City's legal staff, and made part of City Council committee work.I am an attorney and have some experience particularly in criminal law. This experience has taught me that some data, especially that pertaining to crimes alleged to have occurred but not truly adjudicated, can have a very prejudicial effect on a person's reputation. Although some of this information is already publicly available in some formats, I'm not sure that I support making it any easier to obtain. Also, information that may need context-for example, the Mpls food code violation application that Tony Webster created. I'll admit that I went poking around that site for quite some time dialing in all my favorite or not so favorite restaurants. I was especially curious because of my restaurant business background. This is cool information but hey, I looked up my favorite Mexican restaurant and it had 10 critical violations on the same day in 2012. Now, most people would read that and never go there again. I on the other hand understand that there can be an overreaction by the City, in my opinion, regarding a bartender leaving the ice scoop in the ice bin. Point is, some data just may need more context-last thing I want is data released that causes an overly-adverse reaction on a local small business like a restaurant. Work to create an oversight committee/process of dissemination of various types of information, including helping to create a manner to get it into the appropriate form for dissemination to the public.
Missy DurantMinneapolis City Council10/1/2013 13:02:34I think that government open data can serve as an important tool for city residents. Greater transparency of our city’s governmental practices has the potential to ease public mistrust of the political system and make our leaders more accountable. I also believe that providing residents with resources and information to make informed decisions cannot help but improve the social and economic health of Minneapolis.Government open data is a critical piece in ensuring more government transparency and accountability. It also is clear that when Minneapolis residents have access to information, as they do now with resources like the website tracking city restaurant health code violations, they will use them. I think that government open data has the potential to make our community stronger on a number of different levels.I personally have not scoped out the full spectrum of the city’s standardized, digital data, so I can’t speak to specifics on which data sets should be made more available. That said, the more the City of Minneapolis can do to ensure greater transparency and accountability, the better.YesI support making legally public data available online, provided that the city has funding available for staff to put these resources together.YesNoneIt is my belief, on this issue as with many other issues facing the City of Minneapolis currently, that it is important to have experts at the table when making these types of important choices. Bringing people to the conversation who have a strong foundation on this topic will enable the City Council to determine which city controlled datasets should or should not be shared online.I am not aware of specific data sets that would be problematic at this time.As I said, bringing people to the table that have a passion and experience with working with open data issues will be essential in formulating and implementing a workable policy for our city. This is an important issue that has many implications for the health and well-being of our residents, and the civic well-being of Minneapolis.
Kris BroganMinneapolis City Council10/1/2013 16:21:09I believe all citizens should have the right to open data and that in itself will improve the social and economic health of the City of Minneapolis. Access to data is knowledge that can be used to understand how policy is created, how policy best works for the residents and businesses, and most importantly when policy needs to be changed to enhance our quality of life. Through transparency citizens can follow on going discussion, contribute ideas, and participate in an informed manner.I believe the City of Minneapolis is getting better BUT it often difficult to find information in a format that is easy to read, easy to find, and that can be followed.

The information that is missing is often the behind the scenes information - questions, follow-up, policy development. that is important in understanding policy.
NoI will begin the conversations, working with appropriate staff, getting public input on the most important information that is needed. The process in the City takes times with many competing interests. I will work with other council members to get more data available as quickly as possible.YesThe purpose is make information available to everyone, most people need easy access.I will want to hear from the City's departments on information that is currently shared, that which is not shared and why, and that information which is in the process of becoming more available to the public. I would also want to learn more about the City attorney 's perspective. With this knowledge and discussion and input from the broader community I support the most information on line that is important to the citizenry.I would want more information regarding crime statistics and learn more about what should be available, when it should be available, and protecting the rights of the citizens involved. I would not want information available that would stop people from reporting crimes or fear of retaliation.I would work with my colleagues to garner support to move this project forward. I would work with the appropriate departments to make sure the City has the equipment needed to make data available. I would work to make sure funding is available to increase and improve the availability of data.
Kurtis W. HannaMinneapolis Mayor10/2/2013 7:58:35I believe that government data should be free in the same way that the Free Software Foundation believes that software should be free. The FSF believes that software users should own their software and choose how it behalves instead of allowing the software to control the user. Information has become a currency of sorts in the Information Age. When government data is freely available and accessible, power remains evenly distributed, but when that data is not available and accessible, power becomes more centralized in the hands of the few that are “in the know” and in control. The free exchange of ideas by an engaged and informed citizenry makes our city's government healthy. Policies that contribute to our economic and social wellbeing simply can not develop naturally when the information that our city gathers is held in the hands of a select few that are working in the city. The citizens of Minneapolis are able to crowd-source the oversight of our municiple government when we have the ability to request and receive information related to the ongoings of our city's public employees and the private businesses our city enters into contracts with.In order to have a healthy and robust democratic Republic, citizens and elected officials must engage in the art of policymaking which necessitates giving persuasive speeches, having lengthy discussions, using diplomacy, debating colleagues, and learning how to compromise. It is impossible for these activities to lead to healthy policymaking when citizens and elected officials are denied proper access to the underlying facts on which they base their opinions. Open data allows citizens and organizations to more easily create visualized graphs, do investigative journalism, create smartphone applications, and understand the ongoings of their own city's government. If the Declaration of Independence is correct in the fact that the only legitimate form of government is one that is within the consent of the governed, and if people can't give their consent to things without access to all the facts, then the open data initiative is essential in order for our government to have legitimacy.I have made a number of data requests with state agencies and Hennepin county, but I have not looked very far into the ways in which our city offers its data. I would like to see all Minneapolis city data that does not contain private information about individuals made public in non-proprietary formats. This means that the data formats wouldn't include adobe (.pdf), microsoft office (.doc), microsoft windows (.exe), or other proprietary data formats.YesI would publish all of these documents as bittorrent files on and would encourage Minneapolis citizens to download the files to their own computers in order to create a decentralized backup system instead of only putting them on a city website where data could potentially disappear if it were politically convenient.YesAlso, asking this question in a Google Doc was somewhat humorous because Google is a proprietary company. As Mayor, I would force all Minneapolis employees to stop using proprietary software, including Gmail, Windows, iOS, Google Docs, and Adobe so that the data resulting from their work will already be non-proprietary and easily viewable on freely available Free Software so that no data format changes will be necessary before the data is published on The Pirate Bay.For any data that is deemed to be “nonpublic data”, lists describing what that information is will be made and published so that citizens can challenge the validity of withholding it from public view. An independent OpenGov board will oversee these sorts of challenges.The only information that I will deem to be nonpublic (in addition to the items laid out in Minnesota Statute 13.37 that all city agencies must follow by law) will be information that reveals data or metadata of private individuals.Convert all legally public city data that was compiled before I became Mayor to non-proprietary, structured formats and publish them all as Bittorrents once they are available. I will also force all Minneapolis employees to stop using proprietary software, including Gmail, Windows, iOS, Google Docs, and Adobe so that the data resulting from their work will already be non-proprietary and easily viewable on freely available Free Software so that no data format changes will be necessary from now on. I will also instruct all city employees to publish all nonpublic data within one week of its creation. In addition to this, all Minneapolis computers would operate as Tor relays and/or exit relays while running Tails in order to actively promote online privacy for both city employees and citizens.
Ole SaviorMinneapolis Mayor10/4/2013Open data - "No" Secrets:
The public right to know about issues in their government to improve Minneapolis.
Transparency, accountability concerns need to be the main immediate goal when representing the public.Minneapolis, along with many other cities in my opinion can do better. The Internet use should be made more available to everyone.YesOpenness should be in all government city, state and federal government.YesIn a reasonable manner.Truth is the most concern also important in government. Respect of others' rights to disagree and work together to solve problems of Minneapolis.Some issues can be sensitive to protect civil rights and constitutional rights etc. I will do as much as I can to be fair to everyone.Yes.
Bill KahnMinneapolis Mayor10/8/2013One of the few things the present administration of the City of Minneapolis improved on over predecessors was transparency on the web, but they did not go near far enough because transparency is necessary for the best, most effective citizen participation; that participation is ultimately what drives anything worthwhile in town.I don’t think we have near enough.No. I would like to see every city department make complete data sets available, everything they have that would not compromise security, to anyone online or printed on request for a reasonable fee.NoGiven that I am going to step down as soon as an amendment to change Minneapolis government to a council-manager system with larger wards and at large council members, this will not be a priority for me, but I do hope that it happens eventually. If I am unable to get the amendment passed, I will do my best to make this happen. YesSee comment in question 4Each department would circulate, internally and interdepartmentally, each of these datasets for evaluating what should not be readily available and a report made to the mayor and council to discuss and hear from staff before making a final decision, i.e., the decision would be made at the top.Aside from the private info, I think only those that would compromise the security of residents or public infrastructure would be unavailable for the general public, i.e., detailed waterworks info, various police procedures, and possibly others.Each department would coordinate with information technology staff to organize all datasets for inclusion on the city website and 311 system along with the more general descriptive reports now available.
Troy BenjegerdesMinneapolis Mayor10/8/2013 12:16:46Open data is critical to the functioning of a democratic government, period. These questions are actually really hard to answer because I completely support the goals and vision of the Open Twin Cities project.I think a lot of these questions are more looking backwards at data that has already been acquired, and we need to be looking forward, at how data is generated.

We should be having conversations about how to do engineering of major public works projects, like light rail, trolleys, and stadiums as a public process. See for some of my commentary.
Absolutely not.

When I first moved here I tried to find the information to perform an engineering study on if Minneapolis actually 'needed' a transmission line that Xcel was proposing to put above the Midtown greenway. I could not get the information.

I'd like to see the location of all 'franchise' utility right of way and easements on a city web site. I also think of someone wants to know how big the wires or the transformer on the utility lines in their backyard are, they should be able to look it up, or know exactly how big and where the buried gas lines in their neighborhood are.
YesIn principle, absolutely.

In reality, this is not going to happen until the data is *generated* using computer systems and software that meet the Debian Social contract guidelines .. see

I've spent most of my career working on open source software. And there's going to be a transition period where it's significantly more expensive to make public data accessible, because it will require lots of software development, and good software developers generally have bills they'd like to pay
YesI'll be spending lots of time with the city attorney and city staff asking why do we need to keep this private.

What it's probably really going to come down to is how much is it going to cost the city to implement. The more information we can get out, and software development we can do without having to expend city money to do it, the more data will be shared.
This is a question I really need to ask some computer security researchers. There will be something we want to release, and should be released, but it will end up proving to be very embarrassing and potentially dangerous to do so, because some malicious individuals or group found a way to exploit the information to take advantage of our residents.

I expect the only way I'll know what that will be is after we've made a mistake and released something we should not have.
You mention 'if elected'.

Well, there is no question I'm going to be implementing open data access by writing code and architecting open source solutions for Open Twin Cities, regardless of if I'm elected or not.

I'm depending on all of you to either elect me, or at least vote for me for number three so I have a very clear political mandate from you the people of this city to make it happen.
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