The Promise and Reality of Digital Water Meters

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is the first water department in the State of California to roll out digital water meters for every residential and commercial connection, all 180,000 of them. Digital water meters can update customers with their cumulative water usage in near realtime (every 24hrs). This information could radically increase conservation thanks to […]

Crowdsourcing California’s 2016 Ballot Initiatives: Transportation and Marijuana

Crowdsourcing California’s 2016 Ballot Initiatives: Transportation and Marijuana

The last few years have seen a fabulous rise in the collective understanding of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing, using the ideas, knowledge and funds of the public to solve problems, has been used to discover the structure of the aids virus and respond to catastrophic natural disasters like the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Now crowdsourcing California Ballot Initiatives […]

In Wake of Charleston, Amending the Constitution May be Our Only Hope

In Wake of Charleston, Amending the Constitution May be Our Only Hope

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.” You may have noticed the 2nd Amendment has been slightly, well, amended above. The new verbiage is the suggestion of retired Supreme Court Justice […]

Could Innovation Change Pompous SoCal Water Wasters into Water Producers?

Could Innovation Change Pompous SoCal Water Wasters into Water Producers?

It doesn’t take more than three minutes of being in Los Angeles to realize that Southern California is about luxury. There’s the cars, the billboards, the premium shopping experiences, and of course, the water. It’s green and lush all over the place, and it feels niiiiice. The warm breeze blowing through the urban oasis, picking up […]

Confessions of an AirBnB Kingpin

Confessions of an AirBnB Kingpin

Since February of this year (2015) we’ve rented first one then two of the available rooms in our house on AirBnB. In four months we’ve had over 120 bookings, earning us some kind of AirBnB rookie of the year award. However, this has not led to fabulous riches, just a more mobile lifestyle. The way […]

Opinion: Increasing California Oil and Gas Taxes Would Be a Good Idea

Last week’s Santa Barbara oil spill dumped approximately 100,000 gallons of oil onto the pristine California coastline. Compared to Santa Barbara’s 1969 oil spill, when a damaged oil rig leaked 3,300,000 gallons, the latest spill seems relatively small. However, it highlights the fact that spills happen and will keep happening as long as we have […]

civinomics 2.0

civinomics 2.0

Today we’re very excited to unveil an entirely redesigned civinomics. We first launched civinomics.com (also civ.io) on April 14th, 2013 and spent the next year and a half building out: more features for more users. Along the way, something incredible happened, a community formed. Like the radioactive tracer compounds in a PET scan, the community […]

One-Way to the Beach on Pacific Ave?

One-Way to the Beach on Pacific Ave?

The question of traffic flow on Pacific Ave is once again under consideration. This time the Downtown Commission is considering making Pacific Ave one-way going towards the beach by reversing the one-way North section from Church to Cathcart to be one-way South. This has the added advantage of providing an alternative to crowded Ocean St for visitors […]

Last Chance to Weigh In on SC METRO Fee Increase and ParaCruz Cuts

Local public transit operator Santa Cruz METRO is nearing the end of its public input process on proposed measures to close its looming budget shortfall. The proposals include increasing the fare for the Highway 17 bus from $5 to $7 and reducing ParaCruz service to the minimum required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The proposed changes would bring METRO’s […]

Keep an Eye On: Supreme Court Independent Redistricting Decision

Keep an Eye On: Supreme Court Independent Redistricting Decision

I’ve recently covered Rank Choice Voting and some of the potential reforms around the California initiative process. Well, the Supreme Court is about to issue a major ruling on independent redistricting committees, which touches both election policy and direct democracy. Redistricting commissions are one of the election reforms Californians have successfully passed. It has lead […]