New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Free Law Founders

Free Law Founders Freeing NYC’s Laws by Ben Kallos

Freeing NYC’s Laws

New York City recently took exciting steps to free our laws and public information. Two bills, Open Law (prime sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander) and City Record Online, which I sponsored, were recently signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio into law. Now, the City’s law, the best versions of which have been inaccessible on for-fee sites, and New York’s City Record, a complete version of which has only been in print and distributed to a set group, will be open to the public and easily accessible.

“Open Law” requires the city to post a continuously updated version of the charter, administrative code and rules of the city of New York, while “City Record Online” will put the paper City Record on a public website. New York City plans to go even further than the law requires, and will unlock past City Records in a machine-readable format. To do this, New York City will leverage public-private partnership with civic technologists BetaNYC, Civic Technologists, Dev Bootcamp, Ontodia, Socrata and the Sunlight Foundation.