Jill Bjers of Code for Charlotte launches the June 2016 weekend civic hacking event.

Civic hacking keeps the heart of the community pounding

By and

The Code for Charlotte organization celebrated the National Day of Civic Hacking with a weekend Hack-a-Thon on June 3-4. Starting with an analog night on Friday, the event had community members kicking it old school – using sticky notes and discussion groups to brainstorm ideas.

On Saturday, around the country, numerous Code for America organizations gathered to collaborate on volunteer efforts to improve their communities. The Charlotte event garnered the attention of the White House, which sent DJ Patil, Deputy Chief Technology Officer and Chief Data Scientist, to participate.

Jill Bjers, executive director of Code for Charlotte, explained that the group “is a civic organization that bridges the gap between residents and local government.”

“[We do this by] creating a space using technology to advocate for open government, open data, and more transparency,” Bjers said, explaining that community work can be accomplished through collaboration and coding. “Civic hacking is taking the minimum amount of resources and the maximum amount of effort and [applying it to] your city, your community, your neighborhood.”

The rest of the weekend included discussions and the Hack-a-Thon, the main event encouraging community members to collaborate on projects and to start working.

For more information on future Code for Charlotte events, check out their website and stay tuned to Digital Charlotte for more digital inclusion resources and stories.

Citizens at the June 2016 National Day of Civic Hacking event, organized by Code for Charlotte.

Top photo – Jill Bjers, executive director of Code for Charlotte, launches the National Day of Civic Hacking event on June 3. Photo following story – About two dozen Charlotte-area residents participated in the local event.