With Revamped Code Website, Chicago Tackles ‘Ridiculous’ Municipal Problem

Source: Michael Grass, Government Executive, March 18, 2015

In many state and municipal governments, the general public must pay to access legislation, laws and regulatory codes. That’s often because, as GovExec State & Local detailed last summer, many governments don’t actually host their own public information and instead have contracts with companies to host that information on proprietary information platforms. Chicago has been one of a handful of municipal governments trying to change that and give the public easier access to public information. …. On Wednesday, ChicagoCode.org, which had been in beta testing since November 2013, was officially re-released. Since the beta site was released for public consumption, 45,000 people have accessed its information, according to the OpenGov Foundation, which worked with Mendoza’s office, the city of Chicago and its codification partner, American Legal Publishing, to execute the digital transformation of the city’s municipal code as part of The State Decoded project. That project, spearheaded by the OpenGov Foundation, has helped a handful of state and local governments create more accessible code websites, including the cities of Baltimore and San Francisco and the states of Florida, Maryland and Virginia….