SIPA: helping government go digital

Marybeth Van Horn accepted a $1,000 micro grant on behalf of the town of Moffat at an event Tuesday in Denver. With her are, left, Irv Halter, the director of the Department of Local Affairs, and to her right, Secretary of State Wayne Wiliams and state Sen. Dom Coram, R-Montrose. (SOS photo)
Jill Jolton, enterprise content management coordinator for the city of Arvada, and Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale. (SOS photo)

Government agencies big — the University of Colorado — and small — the town of Moffat, pop. 116 — rejoiced Tuesday night when accepting grants designed to help them put more information and services online.

CU received $3,000 to scan historic maps of the state published between 1880 and 1907 and put them online, and another $6,500 to digitize the state House and Senate journals back to the 1800s and make them available to the public.

The town of Moffat, located in Saguache County, received $1,000 to help update and maintain the town’s website.

“We are excited to use this SIPA grant to help increase communications, educate our citizens and create accessibility in our small rural community,” said Marybeth Van Horn of Moffat.

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Secretary Wayne Williams finds future and past in Little Rock

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in front of the iconic Little Rock Central High School.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams often tells the story of how the high school he attended once shut done rather than integrate, and during a technology conference in Arkansas this week he got to see where the public showdown first began.

At the conference, Williams also got to ride in a self-driving vehicle and heard from the “Elliot Ness of cyber crime.”

As for the school, a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling ordering the integration of public schools was met with hostility. In Little Rock, nine black students were denied entrance to all-white Central High School, forcing a very public conflict between President Eisenhower and the Arkansas governor.

Wayne Williams in high school.

At Warren High School in Virginia, where Williams graduated in 1981, the school board decided to close the school rather than allow blacks to attend, which is why there was no graduating Class of 1959.

Williams said the area was still mired in backward thinking when he first attended school, which created an economic decline in the town, which is why he first got involved in politics.

“When I was 17 years old I gathered a group of friends together and we passed out literature to everyone walking into a polling place,” Williams often tells young leaders. “And through that we were able to change the power in my area from one party to my party. So I understand the importance of youth involvement.”

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SIPA doles out micro-grants to help Colorado governments get online

Andrew Cole, who oversees the Go Code Colorado program and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, with their micro-grant.
Andrew Cole, who oversees the Go Code Colorado program and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, with their micro-grant certificate.

An app for anglers statewide, a GIS map for fire hydrants in the Le Veta Fire Protection District and scanning newspaper articles about the Chicano movement for Colorado State University at Pueblo — those proposals and more received micro-grants Tuesday night from a program designed to help government put more information and services online.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office also was awarded a grant, of $5,000, for its awarding-winning Go Code Colorado program, which helps make government data more easily assessable and understandable.

The grants were doled out from the Statewide Internet Portal Authority or SIPA, which explores how citizens can electronically access state government information, products and services. Williams serves on SIPA’s board.

More than $100,000 was awarded at the ceremony at the Ralph Carr Judicial Center, where Williams spoke to the crowd. Lawmakers, including Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, and Rep. Perry Buck, R-Windsor, were on hand to give out the awards.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, back right and to the right, and other members of the Statewide Internet Portal Authority after micro-grants were awarded Tuesday night.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, second row and to the right, and other members of the Statewide Internet Portal Authority after micro-grants were awarded Tuesday night.