The Left Foot January 14
By Vincent Smith, The Left Foot Host
On this week’s edition of The Left Foot, hosts Vincent Smith and Zach Herbster discuss Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak’s Open Data Ordinance. The Ordinance will allow Pittsburgh residents to view “financial and operational data owned by the City via an online portal,” said Ashleigh Deemer, Rudiak’s chief of staff. The bill was enthusiastically backed by Mayor Peduto, who hopes that the information will spur innovation in Pittsburgh’s tech industry, eventually leading to the creation of helpful applications to further integrate citizens with city developments. The announcement of the bill was made early in the morning on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
So what does this mean going forward? Well, Vince and Zach first discuss how this is a welcomed initiative that should ostensibly lead to more open and transparent city government, which was certainly lacking under the Ravenstahl administration. As a mayor who campaigned on the idea of honesty and transparency among city officials — just think back to Peduto’s victory speech where he playfully swung a broom around claiming to “clean up city government” — Peduto seems, early on, to be holding to his word. In addition, the city government’s move towards making Pittsburgh a more tech-savvy place — and not to mention more accessible — is, again, a welcomed initiative. At face value, this law is a true early success for the Peduto administration.
But Vince and Zach also touch on how the implementation of this bill is going to be felt in a practical sense. How quick can residents expect the posting of government documents online? Should we be expecting a new website in the near future? Also, is an app that literally tracks Port Authority buses – so that residents do not have to follow the agency schedule, which is usually remarkably inaccurate during rush hour – a pipe dream or something that is actually attainable in the near future? These questions and more are discussed on this edition of The Left Foot.