An Invitation to Capitol Camp

May 28, 2009

Earlier this month, the New York State Senate launched its new website: We have been gratified that the preponderance of public press coverage and private feedback indicates that the new website delivers on its key goals: dramatically enhancing the usability of the Senate website, increasing the transparency of the activities of the Senate, and opening a new channel of civic participation for New Yorkers in the work of their government.

But the new website is just the first step in a longer journey. As the Chief Information Officer of the Senate, it is my office's mission to leverage the power of technology  throughout the administrative and legislative activities of the Senate to help this institution serve the people of New York more efficiently, effectively, and transparently. To that end, we need YOUR input on how we should move forward. We invite you to share your thoughts with us in person at CapitolCamp, which will take place next Friday, June 5th, in the Capitol in Albany.

Our office, together with the New York State CIO's Office, is hosting this conference to come together with concerned citizens to share ideas about how technology can make government work better for all the residents of the Empire State across all of its branches of government. Our focus will be on using technology to increase transparency and participation in New York State government.

Here are the details:

CapitolCamp NY
Friday, 5th June 2009
From 10:30 am till 6:00 pm
New York State Capitol, Albany, NY
Proposed after party from 6:30 - 8:30 (Location TBD)
Register for free here.
Not An Alternative
, a Brooklyn-based 501c3, is chartering a bus to depart at 9:00 pm, after the after-party. A limited number of $40 tickets and can purchased here.

The format of the event will be a traditional “un-conference” where participants (not the organizers) create the agenda for the day’s events. To provide some structure, however, we have divided the day into three themes:

  1. Senate 2.0: Technology, Transparency, and Participation in the NY State Legislature
    We will begin with a discussion of the role that technology plays in the NY Senate, including a presentation of the "roadmap" for the NY Senate CIO's Office. We will also discuss the future of public access to State legislative data. The rest of these sessions will explore how technology can be leveraged to enhance public participation in lawmaking bodies.
  2. Empire 2.0: Help Us Develop the NY State Strategy
    We will begin with a discussion of the role of the Office of the State Chief Information Officer in developing the state strategy and roadmap for NY Executive Branch agencies. How can these agencies use web 2.0, new media, and social collaborative tools and technologies to better serve citizens and improve inter-governmental communications? This discussion will include a brief presentation of the current state and seek your input on how to answer this question and develop New York State's strategy in this area. 
  3. Web 2.0 for Government - Training Workshop
    Expert online organizer Beka Economopoulos will offer hands-on training about how citizens, elected officials, and civil servants alike can Web 2.0 tools such as the new website, Twitter, and Facebook more effectively.We invite you to propose sessions on the CapitolCampNY’s sessions page prior to the event by going here.


My team and I are thrilled to invite the public to share their thoughts, ideas, and solutions. We hope you will join us next Friday in Albany.

Contact us:

Twitter: Direct us a tweet via @CapitolCamp or use the hashag #CapitolCamp
Email: Email the NY Senate CIO’s office at

(image from NY State Senate stock image gallery.)