Policy Priorities

Tech & Innovation

Many City services are only available in person from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, which creates unnecessary barriers for people to access critical public services, especially those with disabilities. I am committed to making City services more accessible to all residents and businesses through modern and easy-to-use technology. My policies will improve service delivery, increase efficiency and transparency, and utilize the strengths of San Francisco’s technology industry and talent to help address and solve civic problems:

Make San Francisco Public Services Digital by Default Within Two Years

  • Farrell is committing to digitizing every constituent-facing service within two years of being in office, ensuring all city services are accessible online 24/7
    • Moving city government to digital by default will enhance the accessibility of City services for all constituents, especially for those who cannot physically visit offices during regular business hours and individuals with disabilities
    • Key services to be digitized include permit applications, bill payments, service requests, and more, with a strong emphasis on user-friendly mobile interfaces, accessibility, and the security of personal information
  • Farrell aims to prioritize delivering more mobile-friendly solutions for government services to increase convenience and ease-of-use for residents and businesses
  • By leveraging cutting-edge technology to implement Farrell’s bold vision, residents and business can expect improved service delivery, reduced wait times, and increased transparency for public services and outcomes

Reimagine the Civic Bridge Program & Reinvigorate the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation

Civic Bridge Program

  • San Francisco’s Civic Bridge program brings skilled volunteers from the private sector together with City staff and departments to co-design and implement solutions for critical public sector programs and services
    • Through Civic Bridge, private sector volunteers contribute approximately 20 percent of their time over a 16-week period, working alongside City staff
    • Mayor Breed has not provided a public update on the cohort or outcomes from Civic Bridge since 2021, when they had two cohorts
  • Farrell will reimagine and expand Civic Bridge to encourage private sector talent to partner with City staff and departments for in-depth and longer rotational shifts
    • Farrell has already conducted conversations with a number of leaders and companies in the private sector who have expressed interest in leveraging their talents for the public good
    • Instead of limiting the program to 16 weeks, Farrell is reimagining the program to provide longer rotations when necessary to incentivize more impactful projects and outcomes
  • Farrell is committed to launching at least six Civic Bridge cohorts a year as Mayor to better partner and utilize private sector talent to solve critical public sector problems
  • Farrell will prioritize bringing in talent and cohorts during his first term that are focused on utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve internal government processes and external public services and programs

Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation

  • The Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation was established in 2012 under Mayor Lee and focused on introducing new approaches, resources, and inclusive technology for citywide priorities through working with City departments and staff
    • Mayor Breed has let the office wither on the vine and it has not produced any public updates on their work since its 2021 impact report
  • Farrell will reinvigorate the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation by hiring a new Director with direct and demonstrated technology experience to better drive innovation across City departments and services
  • Farrell will once again empower the Director and office to carry the authority and weight of the Mayor while working with City departments and staff to improve internal processes and external facing public services

Expand Requests for Innovative Solutions (RFIS) Across All City Government Services & Projects

  • Farrell’s policy expands on Mayor Ed Lee’s pioneering Startup in Residence program beyond technology to any public sector challenge, project, or department that requires innovative solutions
    • RFIS are designed to significantly enhance procurement efficiency, catalyze innovation, and achieve superior outcomes
  • Farrell’s policy introduces a phased procurement framework for City services and projects through RFIS, emphasizing iterative development, pilot testing, and final implementation, ensuring that only the most effective solutions are ultimately deployed
  • Farrell will implement the ‘Proof of Concept’ phase, allowing vendors to demonstrate their solutions’ real-world effectiveness, fostering a collaborative development environment between city departments and innovators
    • RFIS are intended to make contracting more cost efficient for the City and reduce overall spending by not paying for the entire cost of project that may fail up front
  • These policies will streamline the contracting process, making it more adaptable and evidence-based, and simplify vendor engagement to encourage participation from a broader range of solution providers