July 19, 2011: Why Chicago is a Place to Watch Right Now

By Blagica Bottigliero, The Daily Blagica

“Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey is an avid open data supporter and is the man behind the Open Cook County Plan. I met Commissioner Fritchey at an open government meetup and was happy to see his passion for the effort.”

The City and the County Get Open

Yes. Open. Not just open from the perspective of walking into City Hall and saying ‘Howareya’, but a bonafide effort to hire individuals who come from niche sectors of information technology. Our CTO is John Tolva, a former IBMer. The CDO (yes, we have a Chief Data Officer) is Brett Goldstein, once part of the Chicago Police Dept. Brett used predicting modeling to assist the CPD in getting better versed into the world of crime behavior. John and Brett are  on a mission – giving anyone who has an interest to look at public information. From who’s lobbying the city to who’s getting paid what, I’ve never seen this city so open to spreading information to its citizens.  Anyone with an Internet connection can look up reports on parking tickets or see which journalists filed FOA (Freedom of Information Act) requests. The City also appointed a new Social Media Director.

Cook County is sharing its love of open as well. New Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, is in full support of  the Apps for Metro Chicago contest (disclosure: Motorola Mobility Foundation is a sponsor). 175 data sets open to anyone with coding skills and the motivation to make a difference. Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey is an avid open data supporter and is the man behind the Open Cook County Plan. I met Commissioner Fritchey at an open government meetup and was happy to see his passion for the effort.

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