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Can L.A.'s New Mayor Drag the City's Operations Into the Digital Era?

With a goal of improving the quality of life for the city's residents, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is embarking on a titanic task: using technology, transparency, and accountability to transform the city's "lumbering" bureaucracy.
September 27, 2013, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Michael Finnegan describes new Mayor Eric Garcetti's "signature initiative: a top-to-bottom modernization of an often-lumbering, 50,000-person bureaucracy that controls the critical machinery of daily life in Los Angeles, from the water supply and power grid to the police and fire emergency dispatch system."

"Garcetti's goal is to develop a finely tuned data system that will track key measures of performance for every city agency — how many miles of streets get repaired, how long it takes to pick up bulky items of trash."

The first step in this transformation has been a three-month-long review of the managers of each city agency. Essentially, each manager has interviewed for his or her job again, in order to weed out the ones who don't embrace his agenda.  

"The L.A. project is integral to Garcetti's political fortunes," adds Finnegan, "because the core of his agenda is to make City Hall more responsive in delivering basic services."

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Published on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 in Los Angeles Times
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