Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government

February 26, 2013

4:15pm - 6:00pm

Santa Monica


Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California
Moderated by Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Editor of AllThingsD



More Californians are on Facebook than voted in the general election. If the government could tap into that social engagement, governing could grow more collaborative, open, accountable and transparent.

Creating a digital town square is the concept behind "Citizenville," a new book by California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. At this Milken Institute Forum, Moderated by Kara Swisher, co-executive editor of AllThingsD, Newsom will discuss how to draw on this digital revolution to make government more user-friendly.


Named the "Most Social Mayor in America," Newsom knows what he's talking about. He has more than 1 million followers on Twitter and 108,000 Facebook friends, and is active on Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr. For the book, he interviewed dozens of innovators, including Yelp co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman, new-media expert Arianna Huffington and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.

Newsom's fan base extends beyond the digirati. President Clinton said, "'Citizenville' makes a fascinating case for a more engaged government, transformed to meet the challenges and possibilities of the 21st century, and where technology brings the critical tools of our democracy closer to its citizens than ever before."

Gavin Newsom
Gavin Newsom
Kara Swisher
Kara Swisher

Gavin Newsom was elected California's 49th lieutenant governor in 2010. Previously he served two terms as mayor of San Francisco and sat on the Board of Supervisors. As mayor, he led the way on gay rights by allowing same-sex couples to marry despite state law. He worked to provide universal health care with no new taxes. Twice named the nation's greenest mayor, Newsom made San Francisco an environmental leader with the highest rate of recycling and waste diversion in the nation, thanks to mandatory composting, banning plastic bags and Styrofoam, and establishing the most stringent green building standards in the U.S. He also led the drive to host the 2013 America's Cup.

Kara Swisher is co-executive editor of AllThingsD. She started covering digital issues for The Wall Street Journal's San Francisco bureau in 1997 and also wrote the BoomTown column about the sector. With Walt Mossberg, she co-produces and co-hosts D: All Things Digital, a major high-tech and media conference.