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Welcome back to Data First

Life is starting to turn around a bit. We are all thrilled about that. As governments seek to build back better, we look at how the pandemic accelerated technological modernization and demonstrated the weaknesses of outdated processes. We reflect on the near past and consider a more innovative future in which a Data First approach to legislation and regulation is essential.

In this issue, we feature Illinois State Representative Will Guzzardi's views on recent changes in state legislative practice. We get in-depth with one of the leading voices for democratic engagement in the U.S. over the past 15 years, POPVOX founder and CEO Marci Harris.

As always, if you have feedback or questions about Data First, please don't hesitate to reply directly to this email. We'd love to hear from you.

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Legislative Tech in the Time of COVID-19: An Interview with Illinois Rep. Will Guzzardi

HData CEO Hudson Hollister recently interviewed Illinois State Representative Will Guzzardi, who represents northwest Chicago and has been a champion for modernization in the Illinois State Legislature. Representative Guzzardi described challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, technology remedies (and their pitfalls), and a business transparency proposal under consideration in Springfield to fix Illinois’ restrictive data practices.

Read the full interview

Optimism for the Digital Future of Legislation: An Interview with POPVOX Founder Marci Harris

Marci Harris is the founder and CEO of POPVOX and has been one of the leading voices for democratic engagement in the U.S. over the past 15 years. HData CEO Hudson Hollister caught up with Marci for a recent interview. The two reminisced on their time as staffers on Capitol Hill pushing for the use of technology for better and more effective governing. Marci described the connection between constituent-oriented platforms like POPVOX and a Data First approach to congressional modernization and why, currently, she is optimistic about the more mature discussion around the role of technology. Conversation shifted to the future with a discussion outlining a “Star Trek” future vision for digitizing policymaking.

Read the full interview

Opportunities for the Digital Transformation in the Legislative Process

In this Bússola Tech episode, Xcential’s Mark Stodder shared his insights on the opportunities for digital transformation as applied to the legislative process. He provided examples of the best practices in the field and variables that should be considered during the process of change.

Bússola Tech’s series is free but you have to create an account to access LegisTech episodes.

Watch Mark’s LegisTech episode


The International Conference on Legislation and Law Reform
October 21-22, 2021 | Washington, D.C.

National Association of Legislative Technology Virtual Meetings Series
A continuing series of webinars from the National Association of Legislative Technology, replacing NALIT’s in-person gatherings. The sessions feature legislative technology experts from statehouses around the U.S., focusing on current issues from the latest in bill drafting technology to cybersecurity.

RELACS Virtual Meetings Series
RELACS professional association – a wing of the U.S. National Conference of State Legislatures – is presenting a multi-part series of interactive webinars and virtual meetings geared toward legislative staff who conduct research, draft and edit legislation, examine legal issues, and staff legislative committees. A big focus has been on the transition to remote working for legislative drafters, editors and support staff.

Making Laws in a Post-Modern World: Are You Ready?
The 20th Annual Legislative Drafting Conference of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice this fall focused on the changing technology of legislative drafting and its impact on lawmaking.

LegisTech for Democracy
Bússola Tech, the legislative technology incubator based in São Paulo, marked the International Day for Democracy by gathering presentations from more than 20 Parliament houses around the world, focusing on the rapid technology and legislative data transformations forced by the Covid pandemic.

The Data Coalition
A busy calendar ahead of webinars and online gatherings focused on government data policy, from regulatory and legislative data standard to best practices for government transparency and reporting.

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