Since 2014, I have served as a public member on SF's COIT (https://sfcoit.org). COIT sets the City's technology policy. If any city should be able to leverage technology in new ways to help people, it's SF. And as a native that works in civic technology, the wasted opportunities for San Francisco are baffling, heart wrenching, and frustrating. We can do so much more.

So I'm going to start by posting information I want people to know about, starting with The City and County of San Francisco's Information and Communication Technology (ITC) Technology Plan FY 2020-2024.

The ICT plan is a five year plan that sets out #SF's ITC strategy. This should be a defining blue ribbon document for the City of San Francisco. But for many reasons, it's just another document that's published and often ignored.

There's a lot I can share about in terms of how SF is approaching (or not, as the case may be) technology to deliver equitable services better, while getting our taxpayers dollars worth.

But I want to focus on one part that I think really scopes the City's failure to appreciate technology to build a better SF. This is from the Executive Summary from last year (there was a change in City Administrator in the midst of this year's drafting).

"The proposed FY 2020-24 ICT Plan recommends $233.3 million in General Fund support to improve City services. Although the demand for technology investment continues to outpace available resources, the City is well positioned to invest in technologies with the most impact."

Two quick points.

1/ The ICT budget proposes $233.3M. To put that in perspective, the City of Oakland's *total* General Purpose Funds is about $544M. So there is a lot money there, which begs the question –Whether that money is being spent well. Spoiler alert, it's not.

2/ The Summary misses (or surfaces, depending on one's perspective) a critical problem by the City's leadership: Technology is recognized as an investment but being treated philosophically as a cost center. There are many ways that technology in San Francisco can be used to improve services to those that most need it and to reduce the costs of government operations. But we need a vision for SF that leverages technology, and our local resources (human and financial) to build the platforms, tools, services, and community we want.

I'm going to talk more about that going forward.


RESOURCES
SF ICT Plans:
https://sfcoit.org/sites/default/files/2021-03/FY%202022-26%20ICT%20Plan_FINAL.pdf

https://sfcoit.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/FY%202020-24%20ICT%20Plan_Web.pdf

Oakland budget: https://cao-94612.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/Budget-Basics-FY21-23-17.pdf