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Want to Know What's Going on in Your Community?

You've come to the right place. Below you'll find stories and resources on best practices in the communication of government activity in CA cities, counties and school districts. You can also find data on key metrics such as graduation and poverty rates for every CA city. Find out what's going on in your city by entering its name here

Stories & Case Studies

Transparency Tools

Special District Search

California Forward and the California Special Districts Association have launched a first-of-its-kind Portal for data and information on California’s Special Districts.

Case Study

REPORT: Rebooting Campaign Finance Disclosure in California

CA Fwd produced “Rebooting Campaign Finance Disclosure” in consultation with numerous technology consultants, as well as public agency professionals from state and local agencies in California and across the U.S. California Forward (CA Fwd) presents this work in response to the Governor’s SB 3 veto message and in the context of the FPPC’s efforts to modernize Form 700 filings, as well as a contested race for California Secretary of State and numerous current legislative proposals to expand campaign finance transparency.

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story

Portal Exclusive: Interview with Chris Emami, Author of Anaheim Campaign Finance Report

Less than 10 percent of California cities make campaign finance and candidate filings available online. Now the standard for state and federal government, this is an issue that the Transparency Portal is increasingly focused on, and has profiled California-based firms such as Netfile that provide cost-effective vehicles for disclosure at the local level. Ultimately, though resources are a consideration, California residents deserve ready access to information on who is influencing their local elections. A report out of Orange County, produced last month by blogger Chris Emami, has started on that just that path.

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Case Study

Roundup: State of Transparency Report Garners Widespread Media Attention

California Forward's 'State of Transparency' Report proved a media darling in Sunshine Week, and spurred numerous opeds from Editorial Boards and local elected officials alike.

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Case Study

The State of Transparency: 2013

Released during 'Sunshine Week' in 2013, the State of Transparency, examines some of the key issues facing our state and who is striving to improve them. We hesitate to call it a report, because it isn’t. We think of it as a conversation among Californians who want and deserve open and accountable governments.

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Transparency Reports

CALPIRG Report on Local Government Transparency Raises Broader Questions on Public Access

Last week CALPIRG released a new report on Transparency in City Spending, evaluating transparency efforts in 30 of the nation’s most populous cities. While this report is to be lauded for its well-designed rating system and for calling attention to the key tools employed by the best performers among its sample group, it is equally important to note the larger questions it raises for the current and future state of transparency at the local level.

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QUIZ

Sunshine Week Quiz

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Events

Sacramento Joins Cities Around the World for International Open Data Day

On Saturday, February 23, hackers across the world united for International Open Data day. The 2013 Open Data Hackathon played host to gatherings of developers, coders, statisticians, data geeks, and other interested people who organized to write applications, promote open data ideas, create open data platforms, and discuss all things open data-related.

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Case Study

New first for Vallejo: From Bankruptcy to Citizen Budgeting

Why would Vallejo, the first large California city to declare bankruptcy, agree to hand over the reins of the city budget to members of the community?

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Technology

California—A Laboratory for Innovation, Technology and Government Transparency

The Transparency Portal looks at the latest in technology and transparency trends across California cities.

Technology

California—A Laboratory for Innovation, Technology and Government Transparency

The Transparency Portal looks at the latest in technology and transparency trends across California cities.

Toolkit

Transparency in Local Government Processes