Open Data for Cities

I was just reading ReadWriteWebs post on City of Portland, Oregon Officially Backs Open, Structured Data. As a data professional and politically minded individual I feel this is a huge step. Especially since it is in my home state.

I firmly believe that transparency and sharing of data by city, state and federal government is true democracy. It puts the data into the hands of citizens who can crunch, repurpose, and mashup the data showing summaries and patterns that the government may not be able to see.

This kind of transparency ensures that our money is being used wisely by the government. I do not object to paying my fair share of taxes if it is being used properly and in line with my goals (education, infrastructure, etc.)

This helps us get one step closer to my dream of having a budget checkbox form that I can select where I want my tax money spent. As I stated before, I know this is is a long ways off, but I think I will see it in my life time.

I don't mind paying 30-40% of my income in taxes if I see a return on investment both nationally and locally. And it doesn't go to corrupt corporations and politicians.