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Strategic vision April 2011. Open Cook County Plan. www. Open Cook County Plan. What is open government?. Open government is making data accessible to the public in a usable format so citizens can make government better. Open Cook County Plan.

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open cook county plan

Strategic vision

April 2011

Open Cook County Plan


what is open government

Open Cook County Plan

What is open government?
  • Open government is making data accessible to the public in a usable format so citizens can make government better
what is government 2 0

Open Cook County Plan

What is government 2.0?
  • A definition from Stephen Goldsmith, former Mayor of Indianapolis and current Deputy Mayor of New York City for Operations:
  • 0.5 is putting information online
  • 1.0 is an electronic way to fill out a form
  • 1.5 is providing citizens with ways to complain to government about an issue
  • 2.0 is creating platforms for citizens to collaborate around information to improve outcomes
why should we open government

Open Cook County Plan

Why should we open government?
  • Opening government:
    • Increases public trust
    • Makes government more responsive, efficient, effective and fair
    • Breaks down silos within and across agencies
cook county s transparency problem

Open Cook County Plan

Cook County’s transparency problem

Many residents don’t know what County government is or what it does

Many residents don’t know how their tax dollars are collected or spent

Historical lack of transparency means many local citizen activists are disengaged and cynical

Lack of transparency breeds doubt, skepticism, inefficiency and corruption


Open Cook County Plan

The ordinance is Step 1 in our plan to bring open government to Cook County

Click on a button to learn more about each step

1: Ordinance

Cook County’s open data ordinance begins making data public. Agency heads partner with Board President and Commissioners to make initial high-value data sets public.

2: Data portal

County launches a single-site portal centralizing data in developer-friendly formats. Data offerings continuously expand.

3: App contests and data camps

County encourages developers and activists to drive new and improved government services through mobile apps and data visualizations.

4: Continuous improvement

County expands data offerings, provides ongoing incentives for developers and activists and opens a conversation about improving our government.



Open Cook County Plan

Step 1: Cook County’s open government ordinance

Click on a button to learn more (requires internet connection)

  • This ordinance formalizes our open government plan and changes the County’s data bias from private to public

Ordinance to be filed in April

  • Our ordinance considers best principles of open data, as well as the model of President Obama’s Federal Directive and the Local Open Government Directive created by representatives from Code for America, the Sunlight Foundation and others

8 Open data principles

Federal Open Gov Directive

Local Open Gov Directive

  • County leaders built our ordinance using model legislation from other municipalities like San Francisco and King County, Washington

SF’s ordinance

King County’s ordinance

Other model legislation

Back to contents


Open Cook County Plan

Step 2: Cook County’s open data portal

Click on a button to learn more (requires internet connection)

  • The County will create a single-site data portal that centralizes new and existing public data sets in machine-readable, developer-friendly formats

County portal will arrive soon

Federal portal:

  • Our portal will build on the success of the federal open data portal:
  • Our portal will build on the success of open data portals in other municipalities, such as New York City, San Francisco and Washington, DC

NYC’s portal

SF’s portal

DC’s portal

Back to contents


Open Cook County Plan

Step 3: App contests and data camps

Click on a button to learn more (requires internet connection)

  • In open government municipalities, data-enabled developers and activists have revolutionized government services using mobile apps

Apps in NYC

Apps in SF

Apps in DC

  • We will encourage and incentivize developers and activists to help us make our government better using contests, data camps and other programs

Philly data camp

NYC app contest

Baltimore hackathon

  • We will encourage and incentivize activists to find inefficiencies and to visualize data in ways that contribute to the policy conversation

Chicago bike crash map built by local developer/ activist

SF data-enabled activist IDs $3.5M in lost tax revenue

Back to contents


Open Cook County Plan

Step 4: Continuous improvement

  • Open government is a growing, maturing movement
  • Chicago’s developing technology cluster, anchored by companies like Groupon and Everyblock, drives leading developers and open government thinkers to Cook County
  • We will begin a running conversation with local thought leaders and activists to identify ways to improve our government and to bring new and more meaningful data to the public

Back to contents


Open Cook County Plan

The timelineWe can rapidly transform Cook County

March-April 2011

Summer 2011



Continue fostering developer community through data camps, and contests and conferences

Enact open data ordinance

Host launch party/

App contest

Use resulting information to improve government efficiency, effectiveness and fairness

Partner with vendor to create single-site data portal

Expand public data offerings

Invest County data owners

Back to contents