I was excited and humbled to be asked to help provide Newark with guidance, ideas and energy to help them plan for future IT innovations. It's a great opportunity to help a great city, and a chance to help create meaningful connections between Newark and South Orange. You can read the press release from the Village below:
On Wednesday, Newark Mayor-elect Ras Baraka announced his transition team for the City. Village President Alex Torpey was asked to serve on the mayor-elect’s Information Technology transition subcommittee, bringing to the table his range of experience with technology deployments in South Orange as well his private sector experience as a partner of Veracity Media, the digital consulting firm he founded.
“I’m humbled to be asked to join so many other local leaders in helping continue to move Newark forward. I think we all know that the future of any of our communities in New Jersey is reliant on more cooperation and collaboration across municipal boundaries. We all have a lot to learn from each other, and I’m excited for the opportunity to be part of that process for the City of Newark. And strengtheningSouth Orange's relationship with Newark, especially from an IT perspective can only yield positive outcomes for both parties down the road.”
South Orange has been steadily gaining recognition as an IT and digital leader, boasting a high-speed fiber network between its municipal buildings, public wifi access at multiple points including the public pool, platforms like a recently launched mobile application where residents can submit service requests from their smartphone, upgraded internal workflow procedures and platforms for village departments and staff and much more. This year, the Village even began providing IT Department services to other municipal governments, with neighboring Maplewood as the first customer - providing a cost-effective and high-quality IT department for the contracting town as well as revenue for South Orange to continue to scale its IT efforts.
The IT transition subcommittee will be reviewing and making recommendations on a wide range of media, technology and digital policies. For example, how to leverage Newark’s sizable broadband IT infrastructure, ways to continue to expand citizen engagement by connecting citizens to each other and the city in the aim of creating a more trusting and participatory governance environment and investigating opportunities on how to use IT to provide a stronger foundation for economic development in and around the city.
The subcommittee is being co-chaired by Newark Senior Technology Advisor Seth Wainer, and NJIT President Joel Bloom.