• Priorities Podcast

Driving innovation in the hub of Silicon Valley

On this week’s episode of the Priorities podcast, San Jose, California, Chief Innovation Officer Clay Garner explains how he’s trying address digital equity and emerging tech in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Garner, who started in the role in January, says his top priorities are bridging the digital divide, thinking about how technology can improve public safety and embrace new technologies for traffic safety and transportation.

As part of that focus on traffic safety, the city is experimenting with lidar on its roadways in an attempt to calm a recent uptick in pedestrian deaths. Garner says the city is using the sensor technology to identify near-misses, a “crucial” data point as the city attempts to solve a fatal problem that’s been exacerbated nationwide by the pandemic. The innovation lead says the near-miss data point helps round out the picture of what’s happening on city roads between actual collision data, as well as its camera-based road monitoring systems. 

In the news this week: 

Virginia has a new CIO. Bob Osmond, previously the IT lead for the state Department of Transportation, will take the helm of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency. Osmond comes to the job after the abrupt departure of Phil Wittmer, who stepped down after less than a than a month in the role earlier this year.

Texas’ Department of Information Resources has named Angelo State University as the first of several regional security operations centers around the state. The SOC will provide network monitoring and incident-response services to local governments and other entities around West Texas. The regional SOCs were part of sweeping cybersecurity legislation that Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law last year.

California’s Department of General Services added GitLab to the state’s software licensing program. GitLab is a publisher of software-development tools that check individual lines of code for known vulnerabilities in near-real-time instead of waiting until an entire program is completed. 

StateScoop’s Priorities Podcast is available every Thursday. Listen more here.

If you want to hear more of the latest across the state and local government technology community, subscribe to the Priorities Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Soundcloud, Spotify and Stitcher.

Priorities Podcast


Each week, the Priorities Podcast will take you through the latest in state and local government technology news and analysis. The program will explore trending stories throughout the week, as well as feature conversations with top executives across government and industry on things like modernization, emerging technology and digital services.

Hosted by Jake Williams

Jake Williams is the vice president of content and community for StateScoop and EdScoop. He's spent nearly a decade in the government IT market, covering the ins and outs of state and local government, as well as higher education. He started his journalism career in his native Pennsylvania and has also worked as a reporter for Campaigns & Elections magazine.