Image from Pixabay.
Image from Pixabay.

Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin and the City Council recognized Friday as Open Data Day, a celebration of the use of data to create more transparency in government.

Galperin has been a big proponent of using data-driven tools to increase transparency, and along with Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez recognized the group Data + Donuts and the Southern California Association of Governments for encouraging the use of data within government.

“I believe in open data because I’ve seen it work,” Galperin said. “Open data is powerful; it fosters transparency and is a key building block in helping to sow faith in our public institutions. Open data improves the relationship between public institutions and the people we serve — for it lays open all that we’re doing for all to see.”

Data + Donuts is a collaboration between the city, county and the local civic technology community. The group convenes morning speaker series’ and networking events focused on changing local government by using technology and data.

SCAG is a regional association of local governments and agencies that voluntarily convenes to address regional data issues.

“I’m proud to celebrate Open Data Day in the city of Los Angeles,” Rodriguez said. “As chair of the city’s Information, Technology and General Services Committee, I am committed to creating a culture of accountability at City Hall. Our work begins with sharing resources and empowering our communities to engage with local government, and I look forward to continuing efforts to increase transparency and promoting civic innovation.”

In January, the What Works Cities initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies rated Los Angeles as the only city in the country to receive Gold status for its work in using data.

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office at the time pointed to a half-dozen programs that demonstrated how the city uses data to make improvements, including the Pledge to Patrol program and CleanStat.

In response to a data analysis that found a need for greater diversity among recruits, the city last year created the Associate Community Officer Program — or A-COP, which offers training and paid civilian employment to young people who have participated in LAPD youth programs and are interested in joining the force when they become eligible at age 21.

The initial class was more than 50 percent female and represented 22 communities across Los Angeles County.

In 2016, the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation began regularly collecting data to measure street cleanliness levels for its CleanStat program, which Garcetti’s office said allowed the city to more “proactively and equitably” clean the city’s streets and place thousands of new public trash bins in areas with the greatest need. The program led to an 82 percent reduction in streets previously rated as “Not Clean.”

–City News Service

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