Last week at the Board of Supervisors meeting I was pleasantly surprised to see what has become a rather rare site in Santa Cruz politics – a sensible and constructive compromise. Even more astonishing considering the issue being addressed, the controversial (though some would disagree with this characterization) needle exchange program. For what has been […]

Scotts Valley City Council

What is public opinion worth? Civinomics conducts a public opinion poll of registered voters in Scotts Valley asking whether they would support a city-wide ban on plastic bags along with a fee on paper bags. Scotts Valley currently lags behind the rest of the county in passing a ban, so this seemed like an important local […]

The top 3 Finalists holding their winning checks, from left to right Bubblecoup, Top 5 and Project Slug

This past weekend was a turning point for local technology and the future of the Santa Cruz economy. In what can only be described as a wild success, UCSC students held their first ever hackathon and blew the socks right off their local mentors, teachers and community leaders. For those of you who don’t know, […]

Screen shot 2014-03-27 at 11.48.18 AM

Earlier this week the Malaysian prime minister announced that Malaysia Flight 370 had been lost in the southern Indian Ocean.  Authorities from Australia, the U.S., China, and Malaysia are continuing to look for any clues that will lead them to the missing airliner, with efforts focusing on an area roughly the size of Alaska in the […]

President Obama's Between Two Ferns appearance was aired March 11th.

Whether or not you agree with The Affordable Care Act, you have to give President Obama credit for using some pretty smart marketing strategies to get the word out to young people.  Last week a web video was released with the President being interviewed by comedian Zach Galifianakis on the internet show, Between Two Ferns, […]

The 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, a great example of a successful pedestrian mall.

Last week I posted an initiative to implement a pilot project that would close off part of Pacific Avenue to cars, once a month, for 6 months. The idea would essentially turn part of downtown Santa Cruz into a temporary pedestrian mall to see whether or not such an idea could be feasible, if not beneficial to […]


Last week I wrote about the January 14th ruling by the DC Circuit Appellate Court that struck down the existing net neutrality rules, arguing that such a move was a devastating blow to the free and open internet as we know it.  Without strong net neutrality rules, large telecommunications companies have the power, at will, to […]


I remember growing up when my family got our first PC – just like when families bought their first television sets in the 1950s, there we were, huddled around this magical and mysterious piece of equipment that supposedly had the power to revolutionize our way of life. Our astonishment and wonder quickly morphed, however, into, […]

Brookings recently released an awesome article on the role of civic engagement in government innovation. 2013 was a big year in civic innovation and at this rate, it looks like 2014 is going to hold even bigger changes in civic tech and innovation. They used a report by IBM Center for The Business of Government  […]

Source: http://www.flytobarcelona.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/San-Francisco-Fly-to-Barcelona.jpg

I’m sitting in a Philz coffee in San Francisco on Folsom and 24th street, the heart of the Mission District.  A hodgepodge of tables, chairs, and sofas of different sizes, walls painted with pictures of trees, various portraits of the founder, Phil, baristas who are as hip as they come, the calming slogan of “one […]

UCSC Science Library. Source: UCSC

This blog post was written by Melanie Fornes, a current UCSC undergraduate student who is very involved in UCSC campus sustainbility. Melanie has a Civinomics workshop on UCSC campus sustainability projects which you can view here: https://civinomics.com/workshop/4R7q/ucsc-sustainability-measures Moving up to Santa Cruz, I’ve learned a couple things about this city’s culture. For starters, I came from […]

Source: Wikimedia 
President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., Whitney Young, James Farmer.

Date: 18 January 1964
Source: Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. 
Image Serial Number: W425-21. http://photolab.lbjlib.utexas.edu/detail.asp?id=9853
Author: Yoichi R. Okamoto

Monday is a federal holiday dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. Now, what does someone have to do to earn a nationally recognized government holiday on our limited calendar of just 365 days? Martin Luther King is arguably the most important figure in American history with regards to ending segregation and championing civil rights. “Over an […]

You know how to whistle, right?

The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our […]


Haters and trolls are disruptive and destructive personality types which manifest strongly on the Internet. For some reason, people behave differently in different degrees in different communications mediums. Face to face, we comport ourselves one way which engages maximum native sensory input of visual and auditory, and at a deeper level, smell (pheromones, BO, etc). Humans are generally more civil […]

Bike Prom

Intro by Esther Kim This guest post is co-authored by Melissa Ott and Alex Hoffman. As two UC Santa Cruz undergraduate students, they have taken on transportation projects to empower and educate people in the Santa Cruz community. Melissa Ott also presented an initiative at Civinomicon 2013 which you can view here. M -  I’m Melissa, […]

Anti-apartheid leader and member of the African National Congress (ANC) Nelson Mandela salutes supporters while addressing on September 05, 1990 in Tokoza a crowd of residents from the Phola park squatter camp during his tour of townships. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years as a political prisoner in South Africa before becoming the country's first black president IN 1994. Mandela was a leading member of the African National Congress (ANC), which opposed South Africa's white minority government and its policy of racial separation, known as apartheid. AFP PHOTO TREVOR SAMSON (Photo credit should read TREVOR SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Sometimes I feel like we are wading into treacherous waters here at Civinomics. Our intent is to reduce the barriers to civic participation, and to galvanize people to take a more active role in their communities.  But there’s a reason why many of us avoid anything political: the civic process can oftentimes be downright unpleasant, […]

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.

Estonia and the Internet Revolution Estonia (nowadays considered E-stonia), a small country  historically known for medieval castles and pristine islands, had 25% of all electoral votes come from online. Not only that, this track record of online voting has seemed to prove itself very successful as they use the web to reach more of the […]


Most Santa Cruzans that know of Hilary Bryant know that she has a love of being outdoors– especially surfing. In the past, she was known to have one-on-one surf lessons as well as being spotted on West Cliff with her surfboard hanging off the side of her beach cruiser. But in this most recent term […]


We’re used to the superhero narrative here in America.  Hollywood reliably pumps out superhero flick after superhero flick, and audiences are taken on a journey watching the figure with prodigious strength, skill, smarts, or some combination of the three, virtually single-handedly foil the nefarious machinations of a well defined and thoroughly malicious foe.  Many of […]

By Jason Watson
Flickr: deviantmonk

It’s understandable that there should be a match between perception and reality. Every morning I wake up, brew a cup of coffee and, reassuringly, the coffee is hot as I pick it up. We are trained naturally to put our perceptions and translate them into reality. Still, in the time that I have been involved […]


I was having a discussion recently with a city council member about our Civinomicon event coming up in November. He was really excited about the event format, the whole idea of breaking off into small groups and pitching ideas seemed like a really important exercise to him. Unfortunately, he became dismayed when I mentioned who […]

For the full results, visit: https://civinomics.com/corp/caseStudies/techCommuter
For the full results visit: https://civinomics.com/corp/caseStudies/techCommuter

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