The California Exposition and State Fair has named Alameda County the winner of its 2015 Excellence in Technology Award for numerous initiatives the County has launched that embrace the use of technology in building new avenues for citizen engagement.
The State Fair launched the Excellence in Technology Awards in 2014 as a way to honor individuals and organizations committed to advancing technological innovation and creating a better way of life for California residents. Alameda County was named the top entry in the 2015 competition’s Project/Organization category.
The Award will be presented to Alameda County at the Annual State Fair Gala in Sacramento on June 25.
“For several years now, we have pushed ourselves to be leaders in the way local government leverages technology to encourage citizen engagement through innovation and creativity,’’ said Susan S. Muranishi, Alameda County Administrator. “Not only is it a tremendous honor to be recognized for our “Excellence in Technology” by the California Exposition and State Fair, it reaffirms the County’s statewide leadership role and celebrates the successes of our dedicated employees.”
The award honors numerous initiatives launched by Alameda County under the direction of its elected Board of Supervisors, which challenged Muranishi and Chief Information Officer Tim Dupuis to develop strategies promoting open data and transparent government through technology. In response, Alameda County launched its Open Data Initiative in 2012. The multi-pronged initiative prompted the County to create data.acgov.org, a repository of County data made easily available to the public. The portal includes more than 200 data sets – including crime reports, health data, and renewable energy information – presented in formats to encourage the public to integrate the data in web and mobile applications.
“It’s really about using technology to expand on the dialog we have with our residents about Alameda County government and the role it plays in protecting and improving the quality of life in this community,” said Scott Haggerty, President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
The initiative has resulted in the development of several new digital tools designed to make County services more accessible and user-friendly. These include apps allowing residents to check all aspects of their voter status; to access information about any property in the County; and to locate all public parks and filter them by amenities such as tennis courts, hiking trails and picnic areas. Over the past two years, Alameda County has engaged in a progressive redesign of its main website, acgov.org, in order to leverage social media, mobile apps and other emerging technologies to more actively engage our residents and more effectively deliver County services. In 2013, the redesign helped acgov.org win the Top County Website in a national competition of government websites.
“We are using high-tech innovation and technology to create a more accessible and transparent County government that can respond quickly to our residents’ changing needs,’’ said Dupuis, Alameda County’s CIO. “Citizen Engagement through technology has proven to be a powerful way to strengthen ties with our residents and provide them with information about Alameda County services. It’s something that today’s tech-savvy constituents have come to expect.”