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Big data in the ‘Bold New City’ of Jackson, Miss.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 6:26
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(Before It's News)

By The Sunlight Foundation

In April of 2014, Mayor Tony T. Yarber was placed in the seat of leadership for Mississippi’s capital and largest city, Jackson. He did so with the intent to foster more accountability and transparency in the city’s government practices. After a little over a year in office, Yarber is making good on his promise by establishing the use of data and evidence as the status quo in his administration. From revealing his “Bold New Vision” for the city of Jackson to the signing of an executive order to create an open data policy, the mayor has committed to bringing big data to the “Bold New City.”

Jackson’s selection as one of the first cities to participate in the What Works Cities initiative has helped to solidify Yarber’s implementation of data and evidence in the city of Jackson. The What Works project is specifically helping Jackson open up datasets throughout every city department for public consumption, reshape and streamline data-sharing processes, and establish a strong performance measurement program for improved accountability. These efforts will ensure that Jackson makes strides to be the Bold New City the Yarber administration believes it can and will be.

What does this mean for the citizens of Jackson?

The city’s dedication to the use of data and evidence will usher in an unprecedented era of transparency and accountability in Jackson. Citizens will have the ability to track the administration’s progress toward its outlined priorities. They will also have access to information from various departments to stay engaged, informed and in control of city government in Jackson.

Yarber has stated, “Progress is a 24-7, 365 day per year job that requires the diligence to stick with and through the process of betterment.” As Jackson continues down the road of betterment, its citizens and leaders are devoted to advancing measures that help make the city more accountable to its citizens. Although big data in the Bold New City will not happen overnight, the sentiment of change is already sweeping through Jackson — and the future certainly looks bright.

WATCH: Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber signs the city’s first-ever executive order on open data.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Sunlight? Email us at [email protected]

The Sunlight Foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency, and provides new tools and resources for media and citizens, alike.


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