STATEMENT: Lt. Governor Newsom on Open Data Initiatives Launched Today by Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Attorney General Kamala Harris


(Sacramento) - California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom released the following statement on the separate open data initiatives launched today by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

"I commend the initiative of Secretary of State Padilla and Attorney General Harris to engage the collective wisdom of people outside government rather than relying, as we always have, on those within the monolith," said Lt. Governor Newsom. "Technology puts power in the hands of the people. We have the tools available right now to transform government, democratize voices, and bring our nineteenth-century government into the twenty-first century."

Secretary of State Alex Padilla today hosted a demonstration of an open source campaign finance search engine, developed in partnership with MapLight. Power Search allows anyone to swiftly and easily review the source, recipient and amount of state level campaign contributions. It also provides useful summaries of information at the contributor, candidate, ballot measure and campaign committee levels with options for sorting and further exploring the data.

Attorney General Kamala Harris today launched OpenJustice, a first-of-its-kind criminal justice open data initiative. The initiative consists of a Justice Dashboard that spotlights key criminal justice indicators with in-depth analysis, integration of other datasets, user-friendly visualization tools, and an Open Data Portal that publishes raw data from the Department of Justice's statewide repository of criminal justice datasets in an open-source and downloadable form.

In 2008, beginning his second term as San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom kick-started a two-year program to transform the relationship between the citizen and its city government.

Tech-transparency initiatives launched by then-Mayor Newsom included:

- Open 311, the first national Application Programming Interface (API) in government history, enabling people to communicate collaboratively and in real time about things going on in their streets, neighborhoods and cities.

-, a clearinghouse of raw and machine-readable government data for the public in an easily downloadable format that led to the creation of more than 50 applications enhancing interaction between the citizen and the City.

-, a website that made available policies learned and developed in San Francisco City Hall so that any interested city could replicate or adapt San Francisco's lessons in developing and improving healthcare, education, and economic development.

Earlier this year, working with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Lt. Governor Newsom launched Digital Democracy, a first-of-its-kind online and interactive video platform to empower advocates, journalists and citizens by harnessing the power of facial recognition software, language-processing technology, campaign finance databases, with video and social media.

Last year, Lt. Governor Newsom announced the launch of a new budget visualization website that presents the entire financial picture of the The California State Lands Commission, the first state agency in the nation to do so. The OpenGov platform allows users to see how the Agency manages its natural resources and nearly $500 million in revenue annually.

Lt. Governor Newsom is the author of Citizenville, an in-depth exploration of civic participation in the digital age.