Specific Solutions

I can’t solve all the problems, but I can promise to deliver some very specific solutions: the best social service referral directory in the city, a USDS-style digital transformation agency, a world-class digital democracy app and more.

NYC’s Missing 2-1-1 System

It’s an absolute travesty that New York City still doesn’t have a publicly accessible directory of all health, human and social services available in the area. Almost every other city in the US has one!

I build open source social service software for clients in New York City and around the world.

A Technology Transformation Service

Cities around the world are leveraging technology to provide residents with services faster, better and cheaper than ever before. Meanwhile, our city’s leaders drags their feet to appease bureaucrats and bosses.

I’ve helped city agencies use technology to improve their operations and founded WeGov.NYC to support civil servants the open source way.

Sensational Civic Engagement

Cities around the world offer online decision-making systems to their residents. We don’t because our politicians are scared of a public that can organize solutions better than they can.

I’ve done projects with civic engagement pioneers in the Netherlands, Taiwan, Spain, the USA. I can bring best practices here.

Better Organized Open Data

New York City maintains 4000ish open datasets. The Public Advocate should be organizing that data so New Yorkers can use it to better understand their city and improve their lives.

The Public Advocate’s Office is obligated to do this work as described in the City Charter. Devin’s already doing it at WeGov.NYC.

Hi, I'm Devin

I’m a software producer and people organizer who’s been working for years to make New York the world’s best run city.

News & Media

DEVIN BALKIND RUNS FOR PUBLIC ADVOCATE WITH A FOCUS ON PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS.

Devin Balkind is a technologist who spent the last decade working with nonprofits, governments and businesses to improve people’s lives.  He says: “I’m concerned that the Public Advocate’s office has become a venue for political provocation and propaganda, instead of what it was intended to be — a way to make government more transparent and […]

Disaster Preparedness Requires a 211 System; New York City Still Doesn’t Have One

Over the last few years, New Yorkers have watched with great anxiety as Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, among many other places, were pummeled by massive hurricanes. Whenever we see storm destruction, memories of Sandy re-enter our consciousness; as does the question: Is New York City significantly better prepared for the next big one? My […]

Real Solutions the Public Advocate Should Deliver for New York City

The New York City Public Advocate is a poorly defined position that, over its 30 years of existence, has often been used to advance the political interests and status of career politicians. I’m running for Public Advocate because I want to do something very different with the office: turn it into a “startup” working in […]

It’s Time for a “Participatory” Democracy Instead of our “Consumer” One

Democracy in the United States was established nearly 250 years ago when news traveled at the speed of a horse and real-time collaboration required sharing a physical location. Today, ubiquitous internet access, smartphones, social media, and online collaboration tools have transformed how we work, play and consume, but the basic structure of our politics remains the same.

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