California Common Sense (CACS) and Phil Ting’s Reset San Francisco presented San Franciscans with a new tool to explore, analyze, and visualize city government data, providing transparency for taxpayers to see how their money is spent. Earlier this summer, CACS launched California’s first-ever interactive data transparency portal, and now with the help of Reset San Francisco, the Stanford student team has done the same for San Francisco. This marks the beginning of a year-long process in which CACS will release visualizations of government data for every city and county across California.
Not only does the San Francisco data transparency portal allow city residents, journalists, and elected officials to better comprehend city government, this new tool is also already revealing interesting stories and facts about San Francisco governance. For example, the data visualizations make it clear that the city’s per capita debt has doubled over the last twenty years, even adjusting for inflation. Also, the portal reveals that general administrative spending has decreased substantially as a percentage of the city’s budget. Over the coming weeks, Reset San Francisco and CACS will post a series of blogs with more findings from San Francisco’s first-ever data transparency portal.