Gavin Rozzi

Gavin Rozzi

Pushing the boundaries of data, technology & public policy

Rutgers Urban & Civic Informatics Lab

Stockton University

Biography

Gavin Rozzi is an award-winning researcher, former journalist, web developer & technology professional who has created several successful local news websites and civic technology platforms serving New Jersey.

From early 2016 - 2019, his political news website Ocean County Politics quickly became a “must read” for its in-depth reporting about local government, campaign finance and investigations of public officials in Ocean County, NJ. Stories first broken by Gavin on Ocean County Politics were frequently cited by larger media outlets, including NJ.com, POLITICO, InsiderNJ and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show.

In 2017 he launched OPRAmachine, a statewide freedom of information portal that automatically publishes public records requests & responses, the first website of its kind to serve New Jersey. The website, which is active in all 21 counties, allows anybody to easily request public documents from state and local government agencies under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA). It was the first production deployment of the open-source Alaveteli platform that targeted a single U.S. state rather than an entire country.

In 2019, he received the “Excellence in Local News Award” from the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair University in the “Innovate Local” category for his work modernizing public records with OPRAmachine.

Gavin has been recognized as an authority on government transparency and open data in New Jersey as a result of OPRAmachine’s impact. Most recently, he has appeared in court as an expert witness in OPRA cases, testifying in cases involving the production of digital data held by government agencies.

Interests

  • Linux, open source software
  • Public policy
  • Data science
  • Civic tech
  • Python & R development

Education

  • M.S., Data Science & Strategic Analytics, 2020

    Stockton University

  • B.A., Political Science, 2018

    Stockton University

Skills

Public records & research

As the creator of New Jersey’s largest public records research platform, Gavin is deeply familiar with the public records request process. With a journalistic and academic background, he is comfortable researching and synthesizing information from various sources.

Web & technology

Gavin is comfortable implementing and working with modern web, desktop & mobile technologies, including Linux & open source software and web development tools. His work as an IT solution provider allowed him to develop significant experience in this realm.

Media & communications

In the course of his work as an independent journalist, Gavin has produced and edited written reports and editorials as well as videos & audio podcasts. He also has experience writing press releases.

Accomplish­ments

Excellence in Local News 2019, Innovate Local

Received for my work with OPRAmachine
See certificate

Student Leader of the Month

See certificate

Readers’ Choice Best Computer Repair 2012

Recent Posts

Your questions answered on 3D-printed PPE for healthcare workers

Your questions answered on 3D-printed PPE for healthcare workers

I’ve heard from quite a few of you interested in my work 3D printing masks and face shields for healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic, so I wanted to write this blog post to cover some of the most frequently asked questions I am getting. Also, I am very grateful to Governor Phil Murphy for his recognition of my work during his April 13th, 2020 press briefing. I have heard from many of you across the state and out of state since then and am truly humbled at the outpouring of support I have received!

911maps is now open source!

911maps is now open source!

I am open-sourcing the codebase for 911maps, the web app I have been building since early last year. 911maps is my vision for creating a framework that allows the public to map and analyze emergency incidents and responses, using data obtained from public safety authorities. The inspiration In 2018 I saw a few tweets posted by a local police chief from Ocean County that included a heatmap generated by his department’s computer aided dispatch (CAD) system about trends in his jurisdiction’s calls for service - and whether the data supported conventional wisdoms held by certain residents within the community.

Building a digital, interoperable radio system for Lacey Township

Building a digital, interoperable radio system for Lacey Township

When Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012, power, internet and cell phone service were knocked out for many across the Jersey Shore. I first obtained by amateur radio license from the FCC after passing the technician exam the summer prior to Sandy hitting, earning the callsign KD2CXZ. It proved to be a worthwhile endeavor, as during and after the storm my home was without power and cell phones lost connectivity. For me, the only way to obtain and relay information or hear what was going on in the community was via the single handheld radio I owned at the time.

Mapping Philadelphia's Bike Sharing Data

Mapping Philadelphia's Bike Sharing Data

Indego operates a bike sharing network in Philadelphia. They also publish anonymized data detailing usage of the service. As a part of my coursework for the Data Science & Strategic Analytics masters program at Stockton University, last semester I was tasked with creating a visualization that told a data story regarding the bike sharing program using the Python library matplotlib. Here’s how I solved this project and produced the following animated visualization.

Asbury Park Press Interview

Asbury Park Press Interview

I was interviewed by the Asbury Park Press regarding my work creating the OPRAmachine freedom of information portal

Projects

911maps

Map and analyze 911 call data

OPRAmachine

New Jersey’s first statewide freedom of information platform

Ocean County Radio Live

Online SDR trunked radio scanner & archive for Ocean County, NJ

Ocean County Politics

Political news and commentary for the Jersey Shore

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Using Data and Emerging Technologies to Improve Urban Life

The Rutgers Urban and Civic Informatics Lab (RUCI Lab) was recently founded at the Bloustein School, with the mission of using new …

Guest Speaker: Democratic Club of Waretown

I will be giving an overview of my recent work with government transparency and how the OPRAmachine platform works and our advocacy …

A data-driven approach to combatting addiction

I will be speaking about how the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA) can be applied to researching the opiod addiction crisis. …

Reimagining the police scanner in the era of the software defined radio

Recorded video of talk: I will be speaking about my experience implementing open source software and working the RTLSDR platform to create an online timeshifting police, fire & EMS scanner that outperforms commercially availalble hardware scanners in many respects. Use the video link above to watch this talk live on the date of the event. The time of this event has been changed to Eastern Standard Time for its posting on this website due to the difference in timezones.

Using OPRAmachine to file public records requests without the hassle

I will be presenting an in-person and webinar event about OPRAmachine, my statewide freedom of information platform serving New Jersey.

Recent Publications

The Underground Construction Economy in New Jersey

Working with state labor leaders, the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University was contracted to study the …

Municipal Tax Abatements Policy Brief

I present a summary of some of the current issues involving the administration of state & local tax abatement policy and its effects on revenues of taxing entities within the municipality.

Contact