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California Common Sense in the news.
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Even Democratic pols avoid solidarity with BART workers
U-T San Diego on Aug 7, 2013
If BART gives in to the union, riders “will see more squeezing out of services and a reduced quality of services along with higher rider fares,” said Autumn Carter, the executive director of California Common Sense, a Los Altos-based research group founded by Stanford students. Researchers for the organization recently analyzed BART’s budget and found that the system’s overall spending on retirement costs nearly quadrupled over 11 years.
BART Compensation Levels Remain Higher Than Rest of Transit Sector
Fox & Hounds Daily on Aug 6, 2013
The report found that though BART’s compensation levels have declined as a portion of its operating budget since 2000, they have remained above those of most California public transit systems. While rising compensation levels have strained the system’s operating budget, rising retiree health costs, in particular, account for the greatest growth among the system’s personnel spending. We must recognize that higher compensation levels ultimately impact everyone – workers, retirees, the system, and riders. Retirement costs have already started to consume greater portions of the system’s budget. If collective bargaining drives up costs further, the natural outcome will be a decline in the quality of services BART riders have come to expect, increase in rider fees, or both.
Gov’t Data Opened Up by California Nonprofit
Socrata on Aug 5, 2013
California Common Sense (CACS), the non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to opening government data to the public, recently launched a Socrata-powered online transparency portal for its users. The portal offers citizens the unique opportunity to research and analyze the issues that matter to them, in an easily navigable format
What happened to once-thriving Detroit?
San Mateo Daily Journal on Aug 3, 2013
And the state of California has unfunded pensions totaling $222.2 billion, according to California Common Sense, a nonprofit and nonpartisan watchdog group. What’s the plan for coming up with this unbelievable sum?
Nonprofits and Big Data: Their Roles in Democracy
Nonprofit Quarterly on Aug 1, 2013
For the past two years, California Common Sense (CACS) has been packaging a lot of government-generated information into usable visuals for people to play with, but it hasn’t been able to put the raw data into a form that researchers can use. Now, the non-partisan nonprofit is opening aggregated government and public data to users, so they can download and manipulate the numbers themselves. The new format allows researchers to manipulate the numbers in order to find exactly what they are looking for, or to answer their exact questions. “We haven’t had an effective enough mechanism for users to use that data themselves,” says CACS’s executive director. She believes making such information available “allows for more people to join the civic table and promote effective governance.”
Legislative analyst says school funding to increase $18 billion annually under new formula
Ventura County Star on Jul 29, 2013
California Common Sense launches open data portal
National Freedom of Information Coalition on Jul 29, 2013
California Common Sense launches open data portal
CivSource on Jul 29, 2013
California Common Sense (CACS) a non-partisan non-profit founded by Stanford students and alumni to open government to the public, develop data-driven policy analysis, and educate citizens about how their governments work has launched a new open data portal. Data will include national Medicaid spending figures, along with several California specific spending datasets available as .xls, .xlsx, .csv, .pdf, and other files. - See more at: http://civsourceonline.com/2013/07/29/california-common-sense-launches-open-data-portal/#sthash.U2rIjLGf.dpuf
Nonprofit group cleans up unruly government data for everyone else
SF Chronicle on Jul 29, 2013
Government numbers can be tough to wrap the head around. For the last two years California Common Sense has been putting a lot of public data into nice visuals for people to tinker with — but hasn’t been able to really put that information — the raw metrics — in people’s hands. Now the non-partisan non-profit is opening aggregated government and public data to users so they can download and manipulate the numbers themselves. The idea is that if, say, a student is working on a social studies project on prison rates or a parent had been trying to understand nearby public school spending, now they can tweak the numbers to answer their exact question.
CACS FURTHER PROMOTES GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY, ENABLES DIRECT DATA DOWNLOADS
on Jul 29, 2013