Hi all, Rachel Stone here. I care about how civic tech works for public good, and thought Open Salt Lake had gone quiet for too long. After great conversations with its founders, I’m pleased to report we’re in for a reboot.
The weekend of March 4-6th marks Code for America’s fifth annual Code Across event where developers, designers, local government employees, community organizers, and storytellers from around the world come together to make communities work better.
This year in Salt Lake, Open Salt Lake is connecting our Code Across with CourtHack for a 22 hour sprint to solve challenges in the court system.
The event will take place at Matheson Courthouse (450 State Street, SLC). Onsite registration opens on Friday (3/4) at 5pm followed by a panel presentation at 6pm where field experts will share some of the challenges participants can tackle. Technical, business, and legal mentors will be on hand to support teams with project development throughout the hackathon.
While the opportunities to improve the court system are constrained only by the creativity and innovation of participants, projects might include:
mobile apps that streamline individual court transactions (looking up a court date, paying a fine, or scheduling a hearing)
a tool to enable remote filing of emergency protective orders
an online repository or portal offering plain language information about jury duty requirements, dispute resolution options, or how to get help if you have legal problems.
Join us for this opportunity to create real change in the US justice system right here in Salt Lake City. Bring your ideas, your energy, and your skills (whatever they are–everyone with an interest in the issues is welcome).
We thrilled to share that Code for America fellows will be in Salt Lake next year. Salt Lake County is one of six 2016 government partners selected for the prestigious CfA Fellowship program. A team of three fellows will work with the County Mayor’s office to design technology solutions that make public services smarter, simpler and easy to use. They’ll focus on the criminal justice system, helping safely reduce re-arrest rates.
Salt Lake County is struggling with having to re-arrest people for not showing up to a court appearance or to court-ordered treatment. That is expensive, inefficient and—most of all—doesn’t help address the reason behind the original arrest. We’re excited to work with Code for America to find the right technological tool that people can use to avoid being re-arrested. That should help ease overcrowding at the jail and help put individuals on a more constructive path.
A few of us from Open Salt Lake are in Oakland this year to participate in the annual Code for America Summit. We’re meeting up with other Brigade chapters from around the country (and world), sharing projects and lessons, and getting excited about the many ways digital services and user centered design are helping government work for and by the people in the 21st century. Watch from home with the live stream and Twitter feed (#cfasummit). We’ll share more info when we get back to Salt Lake City about the ideas and energy we’re bringing home.
A final reminder that the open submission period for Code Utah ends Friday, 8/29. Make sure to notify us by leaving a comment below if you’ve got a project to share.
Also, mark your calendars, and join us for a lunch meet-up next Tuesday 9/1 from 12-1pm at Salt Lake City Hall (451 S State St.). We’ll discuss Open Salt Lake fall projects and events and do a debrief on Code Utah. Look forward to seeing you there!
Code Utah, Open Salt Lake’s Summer Open Data Coding Competition is underway, but it’s not too late to get in on the action.
We’ve got teams working on air quality, food deserts, and bike lane applications all using data from the State Open Data Portal. We’re hoping more teams will form to demonstrate that open data is a valuable resource for developers and that public information can help solve local problems.
Need inspiration for a project? Check out our Ideas page.
Want to connect with others already working on something? Join our Slack Channel to find a group.
Starting a team? Leave a comment with your plans.
All projects must be submitted by August 29th. Winners will be announced (and prizes awarded) in early September.