Why the OpenGov Hub Matters: Our First Year

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

By Nathaniel Heller

Yesterday, we threw a small tenant-only party celebrating the OpenGov Hub's first year of existence. Hooray! Rather than the 200+ person bash we threw when first opening our doors, this was a more intimate affairs (though replete with killer fresh tacos).

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As OpenGov Hub manager Christina Crawley has chronicled on this blog and elsewhere for more than a year, the hub has been an even bigger success than I could have ever imagined. We are 100% full and boast an amazing collection of nearly 20 tenant organizations working in different ways to advance openness, transparency, and participation. We've hosted 97 public events in the first 12 months that brought nearly 3,000 public visitors and participants to our space. We haven't burned the place down, the internet works, and no fisticuffs have ensued. I'd call that a pretty terrific first year for what was little more than a promise and a vision 18 months ago. Thank you, again, to everyone who has helped to make it happen.

The irony surrounding our little party was that it took place on Day 1 of the US Federal government shutdown. I've lived in the DC area since I was three years old, grew up around legions of Federal employees, and remember the 1996 shutdown well. The acrimony amazingly seems worse this time around, and the hubris and egos that much more difficult to cope with. One little hub certainly won't fix those things. But it does show that people are generally good (HT @pierre) and that collaboration, compromise, and shared sacrifice are not only possible but can actually lead to more positive outcomes than what is often expected. If nothing else, we'll be doing our part over here at the hub to lead by example.

Here's to another amazing year.

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