Implementing CA Public Technology Principles -- Alpha Workshop Template


This post provides an alpha template for local brigades in California (and beyond!) to have a 90 minute strategic planning workshop on implementing those public tech principles in 2019.


On December 15th, 2018, leadership from Open Oakland, Open Fresno (tbd), and Hack for LA met at the LA Clean Tech incubator to plan out California wide activities in 2019. Notes are available here.

That workshop built on quarterly calls attended by leadership from the CA Gov Ops agency, CfA HQ, and brigades across the state (San Diego, SF, Oakland, Sacramento, LA, etc.).

Those discussions informed the development of a set of Public Technology Principles, whose authorship was led by Patrick Atwater, Executive Director of ARGO.

Workshop Template

  1. Prioritize 1-3 principles PRIOR to the workshop

The goal is to find 1-3 principles that resonate most closely with your local civic tech community and use those to prioritize resources for implementation.

Attendees can use a google form or other tool of the organizers choice to have attendees read the latest version of the Public Tech Principles prior to the workshop.

  1. Develop Implementation Strategies for YOUR Brigade

The California-wide implementation strategies on were developed in collaboration with key allies like California Forward.

The goal of this workshop is to identify implementation strategies (including already existing strategies) that align with the goals and values of your community.

Example implementation strategies

Strategy One – Data sharing for research For example, <Open Anytown, CA> may prioritize principle four for honest government on streamlining data sharing for academic research and develop a plan to collaborate more with their local universities.

That collaboration could build on resources provided by California–wide activities including templates for successful university partnerships such as CA Policy Lab.

Strategy Two – Open data on procurement Anytown might also prioritize the pinciple two for effective government on making data open and machine readible by default. That principle also explicitly includes procurement data on the dollar amount of contract information.

That localized implementation strategy may include a citizen review of prospective local government technology RFPs prior to publication. That strategy may also be informed by resources provided by CfA HQ.

Strategy Three – Outreach to allies in the community Anytown’s brigade might also outreach to allies in its community to build support for better public technology in California. Those groups may include Anytown’s local League of Woman Voters organization, Chambers of Commerce, union locals, and other civic organizations.

Anytown’s brigade can attend meetings to better understand those organizations civic technology needs. Anytown’s brigade may also ask for the ally organization add their logo to the brigade’s website as a collaborator and to the Public Tech Principles website at

Follow up actions

  • Include your implementation strategies on the Future of California GitHub Repo in the Issues here
  • Share your brigades activity on twitter #californias_future
  • Add your brigade logo to the Public Tech Principles
  • Encourage your civic tech community to sign up for updates at
  1. Collaboration with other brigades and civic tech allies in CA and beyond

The team at the 12/15 workshop developed a plan to launch an Open California Collaborative to build partnerships and catalyze action to implement the Public Technology Principles.

That team is planning regular in person activities in addition to the quarterly call conducted in 2018. The goal is to coordinate on California-wide projects like the water data challenge, educate policy makers on public technology issues and uplift our common work.

Future update of the Public Technology Principles

The Public Technology Principles are a living document and intended to serve as a resource for the civic technology community.

At the 12/15 workshop, the team discussed having a session at Brigade Congress in 2019 to celebrate successes and update the Public Technology Principles.

For example brigades could submit a pull request with substantive additions or amendments to the Public Tech Principles.

Those could be reviewed and incorporated at Brigade Congress.

Further reading:

@tdooner @ramymik @ninakin am I missing anything?