Well, we had our first meeting yesterday, and I've gotten too excited already, and so have you.
Note the responses to the first report, below. There are some people who really want to help out.
I've also been told by reliable sources that Newsom is very serious about the Citistat project, and that it has a lot of real support. (Hey, I said "reliable sources" just like a real journalist.)
People are strongly encouraging me to get behind this, not only in the citations above, but privately.
I'm learning a lot fast, in part, due to my participation in the Workforce Investment Board and the fact that people are full of hope for new city administration, including Gavin and Matt.
The team is very good, with complementary skills including how budgeting works and how the local civil service works. I've apologized in advance for my tendency toward impatience, and told folks that I'm available ever day 'til the report is due, on January fifth.
All this is to say that we got off to a really good start.
Note some significant press.
In one break from political culture, Newsom named Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.com, to help with a customer-service team designed to implement Newsom's 311 plan. The telephone number would provide a single access point for all city services, with high measures of accountability and follow-up efforts to make sure taxpayer's concerns are addressed.
Newmark, who spent 17 years at IBM before founding his internationally known Web site about nine years ago, said he not only wants to see 311 make the government more responsive but allow for bottom-up input.
"The culture of the Internet is such that large organizations can start listening to their customers and that department heads will start listening to their line workers," Newmark said. "It's the line workers who know how to run an organization."
Newmark said he is committed to creating a Web-based interface for the "tens of thousands of people around here who prefer the Internet" over the phone. Leading Newmark's team is Wade Randlett, head of the downtown civic group SFSOF, which has used the Internet to allow citizens to more easily lobby City Hall.
More to come …
(If you see two copies of this, well, a bug in the blogging tool, I'm trying to circumvent it.)