Monday, May 20, 2013

Thwarted

Trying to make time to get up early, meditate, exercise, eat breakfast, make my lunch and wash my hair, I went to bed as soon as I was tired. 

That was two hours ago. Unfortunately, I woke up with heartburn about 30 minutes ago, refreshed from one full 90-minute sleep cycle, and can't get back to sleep. Since I didn't make progress on a project this weekend, I'm taking advantage of this insomnia to do so now. 

I've been doing a fair amount of reading lately in preparation for an event I developed with my alumni association chapter and California Forward. I'm pretty proud of the effort; it's part government 2.0, part austerity response, part new civic engagement, and it uses the ideas in Gavin Newsom's new book, Citizenville, as a jumping off point for exploring these topics. 

I always wanted to study and directly improve government in some way, so this seems like a good step towards getting my feet wet. I helped develop a pretty awesome panel of discussants, including the Lt. Governor, the mayor of Santa Monica (which recently won a finalist prize from the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge), Code for America's chief of staff, and a certain Sacramento City Councilmember. It's going to be moderated by political reporting veteran John Myers. 

At the moment, I'm reading Citizenville. It's funny, because my career and the Lt. Governor's seem to have followed a similar trajectory, albeit unintentionally. Because of the nature of my job at the state, I see a lot of high-profile projects and problems. And because of my interest in government innovation, I'm always advocating for trying new things, or a least highlighting best practices for the legislature to consider. Furthermore, I couldn't be a bigger proponent of transparency and accessibility. So far, Newsom has mentioned open data in the context of a project I worked on at the state lands commission and one that involves the San Bruno pipeline explosion. 

It will be interesting to see where else our activities intersect. I'm really looking forward to the event. 

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