Specific Solutions

I can’t solve all the problems, but as Public Advocate I can deliver specific solutions: the best social service referral directory in the city, a world-class digital transformation agency, an engaging civic engagement app and more.

NYC’s Missing 2-1-1 System

Almost every major city in the US has a publicly accessible directory of all health, human and social services available in the area. NYC does not and we suffer everyday because we don’t have it.

Professionally, I build social service software for clients all over the US. As Public Advocate, I’ll use my skills to get it done for New York City.

A Technology Transformation Service

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

I’ve helped government agencies improve their performance the “open source way.” As Public Advocate I’ll pressure city agencies to do or die.

Sensational Civic Engagement

Cities around the world offer online decision-making apps to their residents. NYC doesn’t because our politicians are scared these apps will take away their power and give it to the public. I want that!

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

The Most Transparent City Government

The Public Advocate should be organizing and improve the nearly 4000 datasets NYC government publishes every year so New Yorkers can use it that information better understand their city and improve their lives.

In 2017 I said I wanted to do this. And I have. Check out databook.wegov.nyc and imagine how much more we could do.

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 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.

Contact Us

You can reach me on social media, phone and SMS.