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National Day of Civic Hacking 2013 Final Report

SecondMuse
September 26, 2013

National Day of Civic Hacking 2013 Final Report

The National Day of Civic Hacking was the largest hackathon in history, engaging more than 11,000 citizens representing government, businesses, nonprofits and individuals participated in 97 simultaneous civic hacking events in 83 cities across the United States. This report documents this historic event.

SecondMuse

September 26, 2013
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  1. National Day of Civic Hacking
    NATIONAL DAY OF
    CIVIC HACKING
    2 0 1 3

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  2. hackforchange.org
    SecondMuse
    Intel
    Code for America, Innovation
    Endeavors, Random Hacks of Kindness
    Rally Software, Edelman,
    Socrata, Elance, Code For Good
    STRATEGIC & OPERATIONAL LEAD
    HEADLINE SPONSOR
    ORGANIZING PARTNERS
    ADDITIONAL SPONSORS

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  3. National Day of Civic Hacking
    3 ..................................................... EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
    7 ... NATIONAL DAY OF CIVIC HACKING AT A GLANCE
    9 ............... A PUBLIC-PRIVATE-PEOPLE PARTNERSHIP
    17 ...................................................... AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
    23 ...................................................................... CIVIC HACKS
    33 ......................... CIVIC HACKING: LOOKING FORWARD
    37 ............................................................................... CREDITS

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  4. hackforchange.org
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
    03
    On June 1-2, 2013, more than 11,000 citizens
    representing government, businesses, nonprof-
    its and individuals participated in more than 95
    civic hacking events in 83 cities across the United
    States as part of the first ever National Day of
    Civic Hacking. The event succeeded in uniting
    the public sector, private sector, and individu-
    als to solve our country’s social challenges with
    innovation. This report attempts to capture the
    breadth of collaborations, stories and innovations
    that emerged to create this civic hacking move-
    ment.

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  5. National Day of Civic Hacking

    National Day of Civic Hacking
    demonstrates the value of public
    and private investment in civic
    hacking initiatives as effective
    means to spark innovation and
    foster economic growth.

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  6. hackforchange.org
    05
    hackforchange.org
    05
    National Day of Civic Hacking inspired
    unprecedented government participation
    at all levels. Twenty-one federal govern-
    ment agencies submitted challenges,
    released datasets and attended events.
    Six states joined as national partners, and
    even more supported individual events.
    Dozens of local governments - from San
    Diego, CA to Kalamazoo, MI to Asheville,
    NC opened data, proposed challenges
    and, in some cases, declared official days
    of civic hacking. Even the White House
    hosted an event, which focused on devel-
    oping the We the People petition plat-
    form.
    Bolstered with compelling challenges,
    new data and national partner support,
    motivated leaders across the country
    planned community specific events that
    were varied to say the least. Some cit-
    ies hosted their first ever hackathons
    while others leveraged the initiative
    to grow their already flourishing civic
    hacking communities. In Chicago, more
    than 300 participants attended mul-
    tiple coordinated events, and in Palo
    Alto a city-hosted event drew more than
    5,000 participants for tech and non-tech
    community-building activities.
    National Day of Civic Hacking demon-
    strates the value of public and private
    investment in civic hacking initiatives as
    effective means to spark innovation and
    foster economic growth. Local innova-
    tors used federal and local data to develop
    a myriad of solutions to 31 federal chal-
    lenges. Two standout projects utilizing
    federal data include Urban Fruit.ly, an
    urban forager app out of Los Angeles, and
    a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    complaint data visualization intended
    to aid businesses in understanding their
    markets. Standout projects that lever-
    aged local data include Keep Austin Fed
    from Austin, TX and Parks, Trails, and
    Waterways Mapping from Akron, OH.
    Increasingly, collaboration is both the
    goal and output for defining civic hack-
    ing successes, and National Day of Civic
    Hacking motivated many new, strong col-
    laborations. As examples, the Technol-
    ogy Association of Georgia coordinated
    the planning of seven diverse events
    across the state, and the organizers from
    Rockaway Beach, NY and Tulsa, OK

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  7. National Day of Civic Hacking
    connected through OpenFEMA to iden-
    tify needs and create tools for emergency
    search and rescue efforts. Some of the
    strongest civic hacks were those that en-
    gaged a diversity of people with different
    backgrounds, perspectives and expertise.
    Though decentralized at the event level,
    National Day of Civic Hacking had a
    cohesive national strategy determined
    and executed by a core team of organiza-
    tions active in civic innovation and the
    civic hacking space. This initiative was a
    public-private-people partnership whose
    operational lead was SecondMuse with
    organizing support from Code for Amer-
    ica, Innovation Endeavors and Random
    Hacks of Kindness. National sponsors of
    the initiative include Intel, Edelman, Co-
    deForGood, Rally Software, Socrata and
    Elance.

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  8. hackforchange.org
    NATIONAL DAY OF CIVIC HACKING
    AT A GLANCE
    SAN FRANCISCO
    DAVIS
    OAKLAND
    PALO ALTO
    With multiple events that
    had hundreds attending and
    one event with thousands,
    California had strong citizen
    representation. Not only did
    citizens participate - the
    Mayor of Palo Alto, the
    Mayor of Los Angeles, and
    the State Governor joined in
    the fun too.
    CALIFORNIA
    11,000
    P A R T I C I P AT I N G C I T I Z E N S
    $11,143,125
    VALUE OF PERSON-HOURS APPLIED TO CIVIC TECH WORK
    95
    NUMBER
    OF EVENTS
    TWENTY
    ONE
    PARTICIPATING FEDERAL
    GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
    SACRAMENTO
    MOUNTAIN VIEW
    LA JOLLA
    SALT LAKE CITY
    PORTLAND
    SEATTLE
    LAS VEGAS
    ALBUQUE
    LOS ANGELES
    PHOENIX
    CHANDLER
    ANCHORAGE
    HONOLULU

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  9. National Day of Civic Hacking
    Asheville, NC took a focused
    approach to NDoCH and ran a
    “Hack for Food”. Working with the
    Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy
    Council, Code for Asheville hosted
    an event that specifically targeted
    challenges to healthy food access
    in the community.
    After Hurricane Sandy, Jess Klein acted
    as an individual first responder for her
    parents and their neighbors in Rockaway
    Beach, NY. Jess founded an organization
    called Rockaway Help, which hosted an
    NDoCH event to continue building out
    emergency response apps for future
    disasters. OpenFEMA later introduced
    Jess and Scott (Tulsa) so their teams
    could collaborate.
    ASHEVILLE
    Garrett Wilkin planned NDoCH and
    met many individuals who were
    passionate about improving their
    communities. Following NDoCH,
    Garrett became a member of the local
    Rotary Club and was asked to join the
    Board of Directors for the Eastern
    Maine Development Corporation.
    BANGOR
    PHILADELPHIA
    BALTIMORE
    WASHINGTON
    DC
    ARLINGTON
    Georgia pulled together with the
    help of one central organizer
    who enlisted other organizers to
    create seven events spread
    across the state. No matter
    where you lived in Georgia there
    was a NDoCH for you.
    GEORGIA
    Scott Phillips, a Code for Tulsa developer, gave
    back to his neighboring town that was torn apart
    by tornadoes. He formed a team and created an
    Open Search and Rescue application that may
    expand to cities around the U.S.
    TULSA
    BOULDER
    DENVER
    NEW HAVEN
    NEWARK
    BROOKLYN
    NEW YORK
    CHARLOTTESVILLE
    ROANOKE
    BOSTON
    AMHERST
    PORTLAND
    NORFOLK
    VIRGINIA BEACH
    ROCKVILLE
    PITTSBURGH
    ALLENTOWN
    ALBANY
    ANNAPOLIS
    BOCA
    RATON
    ATHENS
    MIAMI
    ORLANDO
    NEW ORLEANS
    HOUSTON
    IRVING
    FORT WAYNE
    DETROIT
    ANN ARBOR
    ROCHESTER
    BURLINGTON
    IOWA CITY
    MILWAUKEE
    KALAMAZOO
    CHICAGO
    MINNEAPOLIS
    RQUE
    LEXINGTON
    SOUTH BEND
    MACON
    ATLANTA AUGUSTA
    DAWSONVILLE
    COLUMBIA
    NASHVILLE
    LOUISVILLE
    RED OAK
    AUSTIN
    CHATTANOOGA
    AKRON
    RALEIGH
    SAVANNAH
    COLUMBUS
    KANSAS CITY
    ST LOUIS
    ROCKAWAY
    PUERTO RICO

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  10. hackforchange.org
    A PUBLIC-
    PRIVATE-
    PEOPLE
    PARTNERSHIP
    09
    Many current social challenges seem insur-
    mountable, but when tackled by a public-private-
    people partnership, they can be solved, benefiting
    society as a whole as well as individual stakehold-
    ers. National Day of Civic Hacking is a compel-
    ling example of the success of such partnerships.
    GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION
    The first National Day of Civic Hacking provided
    a new, relevant forum for civic engagement with
    government, increased transparency, and infu-
    sions of innovation into real challenges faced by
    today’s government agencies. Forums such as
    this are critical given today’s White House

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  11. National Day of Civic Hacking
    Similar to the commonly referenced model of public
    private partnership, public-private-people partnerships
    engage masses of people in directly solving complex
    social challenges.
    21 federal agencies joined the partnership to form the
    largest civic hacking collaboration ever.
    Government and private partner contributions, such as
    offering data, challenges, and participating in events,
    varied based on the capabilities and interests of the
    organization.
    All partners - government entities, private organiza-
    tions, and communities - expanded their reach, gained
    societal insights, and were infused with creativity.
    National Day of Civic Hacking resulted in social and
    intellectual capital gains in addition to economic gains
    of more than $11,143,125 from volunteer hours worked.

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  12. hackforchange.org
    hackforchange.org
    11
    Digital Government Strategy that seeks
    to “unlock the power of government data
    to spur innovation across our Nation and
    improve the quality of services for the
    American people.”
    At a federal level, the National Day of
    Civic Hacking was the largest collabora-
    tion of agencies ever to have occurred,
    with 21 government agencies - from the
    state level to The White House, technol-
    ogy oriented and not - joining the partner-
    ship. They contributed by posing chal-
    lenges and opening up APIs. Many had
    representatives attend local events.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture
    posed a challenge to enhance the farmers
    market experience and resulted in seven
    creative projects. Some ideas were sim-
    ple and some complex. One team, Urban
    Fruit.ly expanded on the the challenge
    and created a network building applica-
    tion to enable peer-to-peer fresh produce
    exchange.
    The Department of Housing and Urban
    Development and the Environmental
    Protection Agency both made previously
    unavailable data accessible, and the EPA
    even made a “Quick Start Guide” to ease
    the learning curve on understanding the
    data.
    The U.S. Census Bureau went beyond just
    sponsoring challenges and providing data;
    they also sent representatives to multiple
    events to support civilian teams. In all,
    25 Bureau employees attended individual
    events, and some even attended multiple
    events over the course of the weekend. As
    a result, many projects, census sponsored
    and not, effectively utilized census data.
    Every contribution resulted in unique
    returns for the agencies and departments.
    Those organizations now have a direct
    connection with newly engaged citizens,
    and they’ve seen what citizens can and
    will do with their available data. The Na-
    tional Day of Civic Hacking demonstrated
    the ways in which government can par-
    ticipate in mass collaboration events to
    achieve purposeful innovation across our
    nation.
    PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION
    Private entities, unlike government agen-

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  13. National Day of Civic Hacking
    to civic hackers across the country in
    order to build more meaningful and ef-
    fective civic hacks. The results were
    profound: over half of the participants
    saw value in Intel’s approach and
    claimed their projects utilized their
    concepts.
    Code for America, one organizing part-
    ner, uses multiple programs to build
    bridges between citizens and govern-
    ment enabling active citizen participa-
    tion in the govtech marketplace. The
    large hacking community established
    around Code for America Brigades was
    excited to join the movement, and by
    supporting as a lead, Code for America
    reached new individuals across the na-
    tion, establishing new relationships in
    the public and private space.
    Edelman, a large, client-focused public
    relations firm with a global reach,
    cies, don’t always have a common goal, but
    the National Day of Civic Hacking brought
    value to each partner in unique ways. As
    with the government participation, pri-
    vate organizations joined the movement
    in different ways: some galvanized the
    national movement, others organized local
    events, and some offered challenges and
    data. In participating, each private sector
    partner had the opportunity to interact
    directly with innovators across the nation
    and join in the three-way knowledge and
    skill sharing initiative.
    Intel, the headline sponsor behind the
    initiative, realized a unique opportunity
    to bring value to innovators across the
    country. Intel Labs has been working on a
    platform called We the Data which seeks
    to realize the potential for personal data
    and large open data sets to be combined in
    meaningful ways that can benefit society.
    A framework they developed was offered

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  14. hackforchange.org
    hackforchange.org
    13
    partnered with SecondMuse to manage
    National Day of Civic Hacking commu-
    nications to launch the initiative into
    broad public view. The initiative allowed
    Edelman to foster innovation across of-
    fices and practices and, internally, was a
    testament to the power of their combined
    network through collaboration across of-
    fices, practice groups, and digital teams.
    The examples above represent of the
    variety of companies involved and how
    they participated. However, beyond the
    national participation, many more private
    sector companies made National Day
    of Civic Hacking a reality by sponsoring
    local events. Despite the wide range of
    company interests, National Day of Civic
    Hacking needed each of their competen-
    cies and served them uniquely in return.
    By participating in the multifaceted
    event, each company could easily access
    individuals across the nation, government
    representatives, and government data
    that were made available for the initia-
    tive.
    COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION
    The people are a key factor of a success-
    ful public-private-people partnership.
    Those involved brought their passion for
    giving back to their communities, their
    knowledge of local challenges and their
    varied skills – from software develop-
    ment to design - and they made positive
    change in their hometowns and across
    the nation. Many of the civic hacking
    communities were already established
    when National Day of Civic Hacking was
    conceived, and those communities fueled
    the movement early on and will continue
    to carry the innovations forward through
    the year.
    Minneapolis was one of many cities to
    develop solutions for public transporta-
    tion issues. In Tulsa, Rockaway Beach,
    and Boston, disaster response solutions
    emerged, and many cities from Miami to
    Oakland tackled educating the public on
    civic issues. In Austin, Keep Austin Fed,
    a grassroots nonprofit that distributes
    healthy food to those in need, expanded

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  15. National Day of Civic Hacking
    communication skills gained. While
    difficult to quantify network connec-
    tions, participants did indicate that
    they felt their networks had increased,
    they had built trust with their new
    team-members, and they intended to
    continue working with their teams.
    The benefits of mass collaboration to
    individuals and towns are as varied as
    the communities themselves. Overall,
    those involved in National Day of Civic
    Hacking realized value on the days
    of the event, but will continue to see
    value as the project teams continue
    their work and challenge solutions are
    implemented. Public-private-people
    partnerships result in unique and
    powerful social and intellectual gains.
    its online presence and developed plans to
    expand to new cities.
    Some even felt the positive impact of Na-
    tional Day of Civic Hacking at a personal
    level. One example, Garrett from Maine,
    was asked to join the Board of Direc-
    tors for the Eastern Maine Development
    Corporation after his local event was so
    successful.
    The largest hackathon ever hosted, Na-
    tional Day of Civic Hacking resulted in
    economic, intellectual and social capital
    gains for the more than 95 communities
    across the nation. The value of volunteer
    hours realized was at least $11,143,125
    over the course of the two days. In a
    follow-up event survey half of responders
    indicated that they had made connections
    with sponsors. Participants also saw value
    in collaboration, project management, and

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  16. hackforchange.org
    The Birth of National
    Day of Civic Hacking
    The National Day of Civic Hacking was born when some of the nation’s
    leaders in civic engagement decided to rally around a common goal on one
    weekend.
    Inspired by the success of the first International Space Apps Challenge in
    2012, the NASA Open Innovation team wanted to see how mass collabora-
    tion could go even further than NASA’s challenges. How could it be used to
    solve the challenges of the nation – communities and their governments of
    all levels? In June of that year we discussed the idea of NDoCH with the Of-
    fice of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the biggest supporter of the
    Space Apps Challenge, and they immediately supported the idea. They saw
    15
    An excerpt from Nicholas Skytland,
    NASA Open Innovation Program Manager

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  17. National Day of Civic Hacking
    potential for mass collaboration to further implement the President’s Inno-
    vation Agenda and promote Open Government, Digital Strategy, and Open
    Data Initiatives.
    We knew that the civic hacking space was near saturated with strong lead-
    ers and organizations and so we chose to leverage those rather than dupli-
    cate efforts. It was not long before we had aligned three strong leaders with
    National Day of Civic Hacking: Random Hacks of Kindness,Code for Amer-
    ica, and Innovation Endeavors. The Hackathon, Brigade, and Super Happy
    Block Party models were perfect for the NDoCH vision, and the combina-
    tion of the three really ignited a movement for civic hacking at a national
    level. A leadership team was convened that included SecondMuse, other
    Federal Government Agencies (Census Bureau and FEMA), local leads, and
    other interested parties. The event was officially announced at the Champi-
    ons of Change event at the White House in September and publicly released
    for interested hosts and participants in early 2013. From there the idea
    unfolded into the movement that it is today. It has been amazing to see the
    vision take root and grow into a national event.

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  18. hackforchange.org
    AT THE
    LOCAL LEVEL
    17
    Individuals and teams of local event organizers in
    83 communities across the US served as the bed-
    rock for National Day of Civic Hacking and civic
    hacking more broadly, and the 95 events were
    diverse in design, focus and reach. An education
    hackathon in Brooklyn aimed at getting parents
    more involved, while a write-a-thon in Oakland
    focused on completing a wiki page to answer
    commonly asked municipal questions. Event or-
    ganizers had the option of choosing from existing
    models such as the Super Happy Block Party or a
    Random Hacks of Kindness event or to propose
    an event of their own design.

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  19. National Day of Civic Hacking
    Individual organizers and teams of local organizers
    in 83 cities across the US hosted more than 95 diverse
    events.
    National Day of Civic Hacking leveraged the talent and
    energy at the grassroots level to source innovative solu-
    tions to social challenges posed from the local to the in-
    ternational level.
    Local organizers were fundamental to the success of Na-
    tional Day of Civic Hacking. Communities decided what
    event structure best suited local interests and which
    challenges to tackle and solve.
    Featured challenges from the 21 federal government
    agencies were welcomed, and dozens of solutions were
    built to address them.

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  20. hackforchange.org
    hackforchange.org
    19
    National Day of Civic Hacking provided
    a national platform to support local
    innovation. San Francisco organizer,
    Mike Zuckerman, hacked National Day
    of Civic Hacking with his event called
    [freespace]. He leveraged the weekend to
    kick-off a month-long cultural hack that
    utilized an abandoned warehouse he’d
    temporarily procured for only $1. He and
    fellow organizers invited the commu-
    nity to determine how best to utilize the
    space and revitalize the area. Gardens,
    bike shares, murals, classes, and com-
    munity dialogue are just some examples
    of what emerged from [freespace]. The
    benefits to communities were very much
    dependent on local organizers putting the
    sweat equity into creating opportunities
    for others to participate.
    Leading up to National Day of Civic
    Hacking, local organizers spent months
    planning, seeking local sponsorship and
    spreading the word about their events
    and the national efforts. As the lead oper-
    ational partner, SecondMuse supported
    local organizers with biweekly planning
    calls that were a mechanism for local
    leads around the country to connect,
    share and learn from each other. Addi-
    tionally, SecondMuse provided adaptable
    PR materials, planning resources and any
    other assistance the organizers required.
    SecondMuse supported and built on the
    commitment, knowledge and energy of
    the organizers at the grassroots level to
    support the unprecedented mass collabo-
    ration success of National Day of Civic
    Hacking.
    The types, sizes, and goals of the 95
    events were organic. Some cities hosted
    their first ever civic hacking event, draw-
    ing between a handful and a few dozen
    novice civic hackers. Some local govern-
    ments even declared June 1st an official
    day of civic hacking in their city. Still
    other cities had embraced civic hacking
    early on; one of those cities, Philadel-
    phia, teamed up with Baltimore to tackle
    shared urban challenges and test the
    validity of shared challenge solutions.

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  21. National Day of Civic Hacking
    5,000 participants. The event show-
    cased an inspiring array of civic in-
    novations around science, technology,
    engineering, art and math.
    All of the event examples in this sec-
    tion illustrate how local events re-
    flected the individuals that planned
    them, the people that participated and
    the landscape of the communities in
    which they took place. The same can
    be said of the challenges posted and
    tackled as part of National Day of Civic
    Hacking.
    SecondMuse worked with each federal
    agency to identify and craft its chal-
    lenge so that it met their internal goals
    while appealing to civic hackers more
    broadly. A well-defined challenge
    statement is more than just a concept
    - it should have all the information a
    Locations known for having strong tech
    and civic hacking communities also
    participated by leveraging the weekend to
    build awareness and grow their already
    established communities. In Chicago, a
    city known for strong government support
    of civic hacking, the Smart Chicago Col-
    laborative supported three coordinated
    events, each targeting a different audi-
    ence. Events ranged from a Migrahack
    focused on solving challenges facing the
    immigrant population to a youth-focused
    hackathon at Adler Planetarium that
    looked at innovation in science education.
    All together, the events in Chicago reached
    more than 300 participants and augment-
    ed regularly scheduled meetups between
    the city and civic hackers. In Palo Alto,
    known for it’s tech and startup communi-
    ties, the city’s Chief Information Officer
    hosted a block party that drew more than

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  22. hackforchange.org
    21
    ground running when the event begins,
    from summary and background, to re-
    quirements, use cases, restrictions and
    well-organized data. The Census Bureau
    challenged hackers to leverage statistics
    about every neighborhood in the nation
    to create useful tools that looked at ev-
    erything from commute times to median
    income to poverty rates. The EPA posed
    a challenge to develop an application
    that helps citizens locate their drinking
    water system, discover any historical
    or pending violations, and understand
    any potential health effects associated
    with potential violations. Additional
    local challenges emerged at events as
    well, based on specific interests and the
    personal experiences of civic hackers.
    The collaboration between Tulsa and
    Rockaway Beach around creat ing more
    efficient volunteer and relief service
    deployment following a natural disaster
    emerged out of specific local needs and
    knowledge, but it has a universal applica-
    bility.

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  23. National Day of Civic Hacking

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  24. hackforchange.org
    CIVIC HACKS
    23
    At the core of National Day of Civic Hacking are
    the civic hacks that are produced. What is a civic
    hack? As it turns out, it can take on many forms.
    The most common is a software hack - an appli-
    cation for a mobile phone, a desktop, or the web
    that solves a civic challenge. But what about other
    kinds of civic hacks? A civic hack can also be the
    creation of a new community space to address
    unmet needs in an urban neighborhood. A civic
    hack can be the engagement of youth around
    science education in an innovative, community-
    driven way. A civic hack can be the emergence of
    a community of tech do-gooders who engage with
    their city government for the first time.

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  25. National Day of Civic Hacking
    Hundreds of projects were created in response to a
    range of local, regional and national challenges.
    23 of these projects were invited to a an event at the
    White House where the some were highlighted as
    Champions of Change in Open Government and Civic
    Hacking.
    National Day of Civic Hacking weekend provided an
    opportunity to rapidly prototype solutions to
    challenges which can then be developed to a point
    of maturity following the events

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    25
    Following the National Day of Civic
    Hacking, participants all around the
    country were asked to keep working on
    whatever civic hack they came up with
    for an entire month. At the end of that
    month, they submitted their work to the
    White House who then selected a variety
    of projects to feature at an Open Govern-
    ment and Civic Hacking Champions of
    Change event to highlight “extraordinary
    leaders in transformative civic hacking
    and civic engagement.” Below are a selec-
    tion of these projects that represent the
    innovation, passion and diversity of ideas
    that emerged from National Day of Civic
    Hacking.
    CHICAGO COUNCILMATIC
    Chicago, IL
    City councils shape nearly every aspect
    of city life, and yet it is often hard for
    citizens to know what their city council
    is doing and how their representatives
    are voting. The Chicago Councilmatic,
    modeled after the Philadelphia Council-
    matic developed in 2011, aims to ease the
    difficulty of understanding legislation
    impacting citizens of Chicago. With the
    Chicago Councilmatic, citizens can track
    items of personal interest, see how ac-
    tive their local leaders are, and in general
    browse, search, and subscribe to pieces
    of legislation. The team is continuing to
    work this summer during Code for Amer-
    ica’s Great American Civic Hack to make
    the Councilmatic even easier to deploy in
    other cities.
    KEEP AUSTIN FED
    Austin, TX
    Keep Austin Fed began as a grassroots
    movement to feed those in need through
    collection and redistribution of unused,
    consumable food. The complex network
    of food donors and distribution volun-
    teers was managed through phone calls,
    but recent growth of the program made
    the logistics of those phone calls ineffi-
    cient and difficult to manage. At National
    Day of Civic Hacking, the Keep Austin
    Fed founder worked with a team of de-
    velopers to created a suite of online and
    SMS products and services to support
    the continued growth of the organization.

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  27. National Day of Civic Hacking
    through crowdfunding to keep the proj-
    ect alive moving forward. [freespace] is
    located in San Francisco’s Central Market
    District, an area of revitalization focus for
    the Mayor’s Office of Economic & Work-
    force Development (OEWD) since Janu-
    ary 2010. On June 1, 2013, [freespace] was
    a blank canvas in every sense; participants
    were invited to fill the walls with art, and
    fill days inside the building with events,
    activities, and programming for long-term
    projects. Since [freespace] opened its
    doors on June 1, there have been events
    scheduled every day (109 events as of
    June 30th), ranging from yoga to lectures
    on civic engagement to creative reuse
    challenges to documentary + discus-
    sion nights to potlucks to beta testing for
    environmental games. The organizers are
    helping projects born inside [freespace]
    to exist beyond the walls of the building
    and continue beyond the month of June.
    The developers will continue to work with the
    Keep Austin Fed founders to build their prod-
    uct beyond its beta testing version and they
    are developing a transition plan so that the
    final product can be owned and maintained
    internally. Additionally, Keep Austin Fed
    is working with the City of Austin’s Health
    Department to ensure all food meets code
    requirements as the operation grows. They
    intend to expand to other cities.
    [freespace]
    San Francisco, CA
    [freespace] is an experiment in cultivating
    civic hacks. Inspired by the National Day of
    Civic Hacking, and wanting to provide civic
    hackers a longer timeframe to seed and grow
    projects, organizers initially secured a one-
    month lease of a 14,000 square-foot San Fran-
    cisco warehouse for just one dollar, in coordi-
    nation with the Mayor’s office and a real state
    development agency. They went on to secure
    an additional $25,000 from the community

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    27
    They recently secured funding to keep the
    space open through the month of July.
    SHELTR++
    Baltimore, MD
    Sheltr.org is a website and SMS service
    that provides people with information on
    how to access basic needs such as food,
    housing, and healthcare; and up until
    National Day of Civic Hacking the ser-
    vice was only available in Philadelphia.
    The cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore
    sponsored an App Sharing Challenge
    to test out the other city’s civic hacks in
    their own and a team in Baltimore chose
    to bring sheltr to their city. In addition to
    expanding the service to a new city, the
    combined Philadelphia and Baltimore
    teams expanded Sheltr’s current func-
    tionality. The combined teams achieved
    three objectives during National Day of
    Civic Hacking: The service was expanded
    from Philadelphia to Baltimore through
    strong event collaboration, a new SMS
    request interface was added, and the web
    interface was updated. Currently they are
    building out the database of information
    for Baltimore and creating the team that
    will sustain Sheltr’s service over time.
    WHAT’S GOING ON
    Philadelphia, PA
    As in many other cities across the nation,
    the budget in Philadelphia for out-of-
    school-time activities is dwindling in the
    face of overall fiscal struggles. Despite
    these struggles, there is still high demand
    for afterschool and summer programs,
    but up-to-date information on such pro-
    grams is difficult to find. What’s Going On
    is a crowdsourced, then verified, one-
    stop-shop for all information on these
    programs. By collecting all information at
    one central hub parents can find informa-
    tion on what they’re seeking (arts, STEM,
    or athletics) quickly; the team recognized
    that the many Philadelphia families
    without access to the internet at home are
    restricted to time-limits on public com-
    puters and cannot waste time filtering
    through outdated information. What’s
    Going On plans to continue to build out
    their site and provide information on safe,

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  29. National Day of Civic Hacking
    New Orleans, LA.
    In New Orleans, over 50% of the murders
    with known causes happen as the result
    of conflicts - conflicts that may have been
    squashed if someone had known of and
    mediated the issue. There is a proven,
    existing phone service that matches
    respected community individuals (by
    slang known as “OGs”) with the people
    in conflict to mediate the dispute, and
    at National Day of Civic Hacking, one
    of the OGs shared his story of stopping
    a conflict (known as stopping the beef)
    before it resulted in violence. He was a
    local restaurant owner/rapper that had
    been alerted of a conflict and was able to
    mediate before the situation escalated.
    This resulted in the National Day of Civic
    Hacking challenge to create an online pro-
    gram that would supplement the phone
    reporting / matching program. During the
    hackathon and in the weeks following the
    productive activities that will keep kids off of
    the streets.
    GRUBB.IO
    Denver, CO.
    The idea for Grubb.io is to assist people to find
    locally produced, high quality food. The app
    includes: a farmer’s market search, a business
    planning tool, a food seasonality database,
    and the ability to find healthy recipes for the
    local, seasonal foods. Grubb.io creates a direct
    connection between growers and consumers,
    small producers can expand their reach and
    deliver more high quality food to their com-
    munities. Since the hackathon, the team has
    continued to expand and improve Grubb.io.
    Within the next few weeks, they plan to de-
    liver a world class product that will change the
    communities everywhere by making locally
    sourced food accessible, marketable, and easy
    to find.
    STOP BEEF

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    29
    e team created a website where “beef” can
    be reported, a web location where “OGs”
    can register, and they integrated a system
    that searches individuals’ social networks
    to find the best mediators for the reported
    dispute. The team worked with New
    Orleans Ceasefire, the phone service/
    system, and the Mayor’s Office during the
    weekend to build and troubleshoot the
    app. They also attended a basketball tour-
    nament to get input on customizing the
    app for the targeted audience. The team
    is now seeking a grant to continue build-
    ing and promoting the project.
    MSPBUS.ORG
    Minneapolis, MN
    This website was developed in Minne-
    sota because there was a need for people
    to better understand bus schedules. The
    team lead had lived previously in Seattle
    and was eager to bring public transporta-
    tion solutions to his new home in Min-
    neapolis where public transportation is
    not as popular. Due to extreme winter
    weather, long waits at the bus stop are
    enough to deter public transportation use
    and can even be deadly if cold enough.
    The team developed a working website
    in the course of the weekend and have
    since expanded the capabilities. More
    than 1,100 unique visitors have visited the
    site, and the team is in discussions with
    the Minneapolis CIO to integrate the site
    with the Metro Transit site.
    PARKS, TRAILS, WATERWAYS
    MAPPING AREA
    Akron, OH
    The team members on this project rec-
    ognized that in their Ohio County there
    were many parks but there was no single
    resource for finding local hiking trails.
    They discovered that this information
    did exist in an electronic format for the
    Cleveland MetroParks and so they col-
    laborated to make the work open source
    and added other Ohio regions. During
    the National Day of Civic Hacking the
    team established a prototype for Sum-
    mit County, Ohio that allows users to find
    parks and trails based on a number
    of filters including distance, feature,
    activity, and featured routes and places.

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  31. National Day of Civic Hacking
    ship with government.
    OPEN SEARCH AND RESCUE
    Tulsa, OK
    The Open Search and Rescue app was
    built with input from OpenFEMA in the
    weeks immediately following the tragic
    tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma. Tulsa
    civic hackers shifted the focus of their
    event for National Day of Civic Hacking
    to use their software talents to benefit
    Moore following the deadly tornadoes.
    They coordinated with an OpenFEMA
    representative, representatives from the
    Tulsa Fire Department, the Oklahoma
    All Hazard Incident Management Team,
    and the leader of Oklahoma Task Force
    1 - the first Urban Search & Rescue team
    deployed to Moore to build the app. In
    the course of the weekend they developed
    prototype web applications for automati-
    cally notifying and mobilizing task forces,
    and electronically mapping searched
    Once the user chooses a destination they can
    get directions by car, transit, or foot to the
    location, and share that map with friends via
    email or social media. The team is going to
    continue to work with the Cleveland Me-
    troParks to keep the databases consistent and
    to continue to develop the content and capa-
    bility of the site.
    REWRITE OAKLAND
    Oakland, CA
    Oakland Answers is based on a prototype
    developed in Honolulu originally, but Oakland
    found a need that this app would address. The
    task was to build a new website for the city
    that gives people a simple way to find answers
    to common questions for city government.
    Future plans for the site include giving citi-
    zens the ability to contribute to the site. 25%
    of participants were city employees including
    city staff, librarians, tech developers, design-
    ers, retirees, and local advocates. It demon-
    strates that great civic hacks are in partner-

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    hackforchange.org
    31
    and electronically mapping searched ar-
    eas to avoid duplicating efforts. The proj-
    ect evolved after the National Day of Civic
    Hacking when OpenFEMA connected
    the Tulsa Hackers with the Rockaway
    Beach, NY hackers who had developed a
    similar tool following Hurricane Sandy.
    The teams merged their efforts and are
    now using the strongest work from both
    locations. Development is ongoing as the
    teams are working with weather stations
    to incorporate data, and discussions are
    happening to potentially incorporate
    drones that will provide aerial views of
    emergency areas immediately after disas-
    ter strikes.
    URBAN FRUIT.LY
    Los Angeles, CA
    Urbanfruit.ly was designed in develop-
    ment with the city of Los Angeles. The
    website and mobile application will
    facilitate neighbors exchanging fruits in
    a peer-to-peer network. Linking urban
    gardeners in a local exchange network Ur-
    banfarm.Ly will reduce the carbon foot-
    print of food delivery, and support healthy
    food choices for local citizens. The web-
    site was scheduled to go live on June 30,
    but as of now is not.
    In the spirit of open innovation, the civic
    hacks that have been submitted were
    encouraged to release their work under
    an open source license and to be available
    online for public access. The projects here
    are intended to be iterated upon,
    redeployed, and constantly improve as
    other civic hackers pick up and adapt
    these ideas and tools for their own
    communities, but as of now is not yet up
    and running

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  33. National Day of Civic Hacking

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  34. hackforchange.org
    CIVIC HACKING:
    LOOKING FORWARD
    33
    Solving the myriad of complex civic challenges we
    face requires collaboration between governments,
    private companies, the nonprofit sector and, most im-
    portantly, the communities who ultimately face these
    challenges. Civic hacking represents collaboration in
    action. We have seen the impact that National Day of
    Civic Hacking can have, so what does the future bring
    for solving complex challenges with civic hacking?
    National Day of Civic Hacking demonstrated that
    collaboration on a mass scale can be achieved and to
    great effect, engaging thousands of individuals at al-
    most one hundred events around the country. Though
    this mass scale represents an unprecedented accom-
    plishment in the civic hacking space, it is important
    to remember that civic hacking can be adapted to a
    variety of scales and purposes.

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  35. National Day of Civic Hacking
    Collaboration between government, private compa-
    nies, and communities is essential in order to solve
    the complex social challenges we face.
    Civic hacking benefits greatly from coordinated
    hacking events and will reach the next level of im-
    pact by leveraging opportunities to sustain, mature
    and accelerate the high potential projects emerging
    from such events.
    This model for civic hacking and engagement can be
    replicated by organizations and communities both
    large and small.

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    hackforchange.org
    35
    Government agencies have engaged com-
    munities of innovators through focused
    initiatives relating specifically to their
    interest and expertise, such as NASA’s
    International Space Apps Challenge.
    Companies, such as Intel, have also cre-
    ated their own civic hacking programs.
    Intel’s CodeForGood initiative engages
    employees with nonprofits to solve social
    impact challenges pertaining to educa-
    tion.
    Organizations like Code for America con-
    tinue to work with cities to reinvent how
    municipal governments can collaborate
    with the citizens they serve to solve local
    civic issues. These examples and more
    demonstrate that this model for civic
    hacking is one that can be replicated to
    the benefit of a wide range of communi-
    ties, organizations and governments.
    It is also important to recognize that civic
    hacking events in and of themselves don’t
    solve these challenges. Civic hacking is a
    tool that can be employed in a process of
    change and innovation, one that is bol-
    stered by effective partnerships, strong
    understanding of problems, and meth-
    ods to sustain and accelerate ideas that
    emerge from civic hacking events.
    Looking forward in civic hacking also
    means looking at the hackathon as just
    one tool for innovation. The majority
    of events during National Day of Civic
    Hacking were hackathons that produced
    exciting prototypes of solutions to im-
    portant challenges. To have sustained
    impact, these prototypes must grow into
    mature projects with established users
    and developers, and resource stability.
    The projects detailed in this report show
    a great deal of promise in these areas.
    Taking civic hacking to the next level
    of impact, however, means supporting
    efforts to sustain, mature and accelerate
    these high potential projects that emerge
    from civic hacking events and
    communities.

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  37. National Day of Civic Hacking

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  38. hackforchange.org
    CREDITS
    37
    This report was written by SecondMuse.
    The design and layout was created by the Phuse.
    National Day of Civic Hacking was made possible by:
    National Sponsors: Intel, Rally Software, Edelman,
    Socrata, Elance, and Code For Good.
    Strategic and Operational Lead: SecondMuse
    Organizing Partners: Code for America, Innovation
    Endeavors, Random Hacks of Kindness
    We would also like to acknowledge the hundreds of
    event organizers, local sponsors, volunteers, local
    governments and participants that made this event
    possible.

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  39. National Day of Civic Hacking
    Bureau of Economic Analysis
    Census Bureau
    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    Department of Energy
    Department of Labor
    Department of Transportation
    EPA
    FEMA
    HHS
    HUD
    IMLS,
    National Archives and Records Administration
    NASA
    National Endowment for the Arts
    National Science Foundation
    Peace Corps
    State of Maryland
    State of Nevada
    State of New York
    State of Washington
    United States Patent and Trademark Office
    USAID
    USDA
    Veteran Affairs Center for Innovation
    White House Office of Digital Strategy
    White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

    GOVERNMENT
    AGENCIES

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  40. hackforchange.org

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