Help improve RVA by contributing to a civic hacking event this Saturday

Come work on civic hacking projects intended to help city government and citizen services run more smoothly and be more accessible.

If you’re all about new approaches to age old problems and enjoy employing ‘civic hacking’ to make Richmond a better place, an event taking place this weekend in Scott’s Addition is the place for you.

On Saturday, the Code for RVA brigade will hold its second annual CodeAcross event in celebration of ‘Open Data Day,’ which encourages citizens to pitch in and help with civic innovation projects.

Anyone and everyone is welcome–even the non tech-savvy. “You don’t need to be an expert in technology, you just need to care about your neighborhood and community,” as organizers put it.

The CodeAcross RVA event is a local node of the national Code Across America civic hacking day, an initiative of Code For America intended to “take data beyond transparency” and use it to empower citizens, make government more effective, and solve complex problems.

The Projects

Throughout the day, participants will be working on a number of civic innovation projects, a few of which are listed below.

  • RVAnswers: A new approach to a city website, designed to make it easier for people to find city information and services quickly.
  • SeeClickFix enhancements: A communications platform for citizens to report non-emergency issues, and governments to track, manage, and reply–ultimately making communities better through transparency, collaboration, and cooperation.
  • Balance: Lets anyone check their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) balance with a text message. Nearly 50 million Americans receive SNAP (Food Stamps), and we want to give them an easier way to check their balance.

Skill Sets Sought

CodeAcross is seeking the following folks with specific skill sets to contribute to the day’s projects.

  • Community members of all ages with local knowledge
  • Software developers who want to visualize data and build apps
  • “Data geeks”
  • Writers, content strategists, and social media experts
  • Civic leaders, community organizers, and activists
  • Transit enthusiasts, city planners, and urbanists
  • Elected officials and government staff

What to Bring

  • A laptop or tablet
  • Information/data or community projects you would like to share
  • Any projects you’re currently working on, with Github locations if applicable
  • An open mind

What’s Provided

  • Fast wired and wireless Internet access
  • Plenty of outlets to juice up all of your devices
  • Large space for open collaboration
  • Breakfast, lunch and snacks

The event venue is INM United, located at 1805 High Point Avenue in Scott’s Addition. CodeAcross kicks off Saturday, February 21st at 8:30 AM and runs through 5:00 PM.

Tickets are free; click here to snag yours.

For more information, check out the event website.

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Trevor Dickerson

Trevor Dickerson loves all things Richmond and manages RVANews’ West of the Boulevard and West End community sites.

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