County of Marin - News Releases - Digital Government Award

For Immediate Release
July 20, 2021

Marin Nets Top National Award for Digital Service

Center for Digital Government bestows honor for variety of innovations

San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin has scored the highest marks in the nation among government agencies for its use of digital technology.

Vinh Pham, the City of San Rafael's data and infrastructure manager, works on WiFi installation on the roof of a building.A partnership that boosted Wi-Fi service for residents of San Rafael's Canal neighborhood was one of the reasons why Marin County won a top award from the Center for Digital Government.

The Center for Digital Government released its list of top digital counties in the United States and placed Marin at No. 1 in the population category of 250,000 to 499,999. The organization noted, “The partnerships forged in the time of COVID-19 also extended past the pandemic, with IT partnering closely with other county departments on elections, cybersecurity and digital equity, especially in the county’s traditionally underserved Canal neighborhood (of San Rafael), where cross-sector partnerships helped get school students online via free Wi-Fi.”

Liza Massey, the County’s Chief Information Officer, said her Department of Information Services and Technology (IST) was notified of the Digital Counties Survey 2021 award on July 15.

“The challenges of the past year really fostered a sense of togetherness that permeated the entire IST team as well as the rest of the County government,” Massey said. In fact, County employees found themselves helping the community in many ways outside of their usual roles while deployed as disaster service workers.

Several collaborative initiatives were emphasized in IST’s award submission, including:

  • The County’s quick COVID-19 response, with the creation of new data systems and online dashboards to track the coronavirus and deliver messages to the community about testing and vaccinations
  • The development of Marin Compass, the County's performance management program designed to foster a culture of continuous improvement and learning
  • The County’s portal called Marin Open Data, where the public can examine datasets that reveal more about life in Marin
  • The County’s new Public Emergency Portal, where urgent information will be updated when a disaster unfolds
  • The switch to virtual meetings of the Board of Supervisors and other decision-making bodies
  • Cybersecurity enhancements to elections data and information sharing among County employees
  • Racial equity and “digital divide” response efforts such as Digital Marin that address access to high-speed internet, especially among less-affluent or geographically remote populations

“I can’t over emphasize the importance of technology to all our residents, especially our older residents for telehealth and our younger residents for going to school and doing schoolwork,” said Board of Supervisors President Dennis Rodoni. “Technology has proven to be a great friend of transparency and access to local government. IST, all our departments, and all of Marin should be very proud of this national recognition.”

Looking ahead, IST and other departments are eager to continue the collective recovery from COVID-19 and maximize the use of technology in ways that foster racial equity. Massey said more projects are in the works to help close the digital divide, enhance digital literacy, and develop datasets that document prevalent racial disparities in Marin’s neighborhoods.

“When you shine the light on things, they change,” Massey said, “and technology can make that happen.”


Liza Massey
Chief Information Officer
Information Services and Technology Department

1600 Los Gamos Drive
Suite 370
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7050
Email: Liza Massey
IST webpage