What I learned at CityCamp Raleigh

There is a growing connection between open source geeks, programmers, and local government activists. I love it. One of the great things to come from this is a series of events called CityCamp all around the country. These are well-organized unconferences that bring people together to share ideas, learn about local government, and come up with projects to make their communities better. Last year's CityCamp Raleigh led to the city adopting a formal open source policy. So I thought I'd check it out this year and see what Raleigh has going on.

One of the things they had going for them was Raleigh City Council Member Bonner Gaylord helping to organize the first CityCamp. This year, all 8 Councillors as well as they Mayor attended at least part of CityCamp Raleigh! They are also clearly working with a very supportive staff such as panelist Gail Roper, Chief Information and Community Relations Officer for the City of Raleigh, who spoke clearly about not just open data and open source but truly open access to the processes of government.

I also learned that many Raleighites think of the Triangle area as a large suburb of Raleigh. Even though we may be the same size as some singular metro areas in other places, Orange, Durham, Chatham, Alamance and the other areas that make up the large Triangle region are distinct communities with our own histories, cultures, and obviously very different governments. That said, there is certainly room for much more collaboration on the many issues where we obviously and unavoidably overlap such as the economy and transportation. Either way (local or regional) the first step is to start having this coversation here in Orange County. I hope that OP can help to bring together some of the people that are concerned about open government issues in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and especially our County government.

I've collected a set of just some of the great tweets about the event. If you don't see them embedded below, visit http://sfy.co/12o5

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