Politics & Government

The Buzz: Tech leaders to talk up government innovation at conference

‘Innovation Week’ kicks off

with a Monday tech forum

Step aside, Silicon Valley. On Monday, high-tech leaders will hook up with political jefes to talk government and IT to kick off a regional “Innovation Week,” a series of events hosted by nonprofit CALinnovates, IT industry publication Techwire, the University of the Pacific and local tech investment firm Velocity VC.

Government headliners include Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and state Technology Department honcho Carlos Ramos. On the private side, Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino and Velocity partner Jack Crawford will talk about technology’s promise for government. A Wednesday session at Velocity’s Folsom facilities will highlight promising tech startups.

The whole thing launches Monday at 8:30 a.m. in the secretary of state’s office auditorium at 1500 11th St.

The location is ironic, given that Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office still processes paper business forms.

After embarrassing news surfaced that the department had a backlog of 123,000 forms to process – many with checks attached – the Legislature gave Bowen more money to catch up until an Internet-based filing system launches in 2016.

– Jon Ortiz


Hate crimes in California fell 12 percent in 2012, according to new state data, dropping from 1,060 reported in 2011 to to 930 last year. Crimes committed due to bias against a victim’s race, ethnicity or national origin decreased 10 percent but still accounted for more than half of all hate crimes in 2012. Incidents involving sexual orientation bias fell 3.7 percent while crimes with a religious bias component fell nearly 28 percent. Hate crimes, which are defined by the FBI, have fallen nearly 38 percent in the last decade.

– Jon Ortiz