A new group called Code for BTV — the local arm of Code for America — is launching an effort to bridge the gap between tech enthusiasts and the people who run our cities, towns and nonprofits. This weekend, June 1 and 2, they're hosting a civic hackathon at Burlington's Maglianero Café.
Writer Ginger Vieira previewed the event in this week's Seven Days:
“Civic hacking,” explains Amy Kirschner, founder of the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Marketplace, “is a way for people to get involved in government and their communities using technology.”
The idea is simple: Citizens work together with their local, state and federal governments, as well as with private-sector organizations, to solve problems. More than 5000 people — some professional coders, some techy dabblers, some hacking virgins — are expected to participate throughout the country in the first-ever National Day of Civic Hacking this weekend.
Kirschner and Bradley Holt, cofounder and web developer at Found Line, a Vermont-based communications firm, are collaborating with Vermont music promoter Big Heavy World to bring this national event to Burlington’s Maglianero Café on June 1 and 2.
So what will participants actually do all day — actually, two whole days? Working in teams or individually, they’ll build prototypes for civic apps, such as an app that can be used to preserve and promote local music. They’ll also likely repurpose civic apps that have been successful in other cities, and brainstorm new uses for open data from municipal governments.
Read the rest of Vieira's story, which includes a Q&A with Holt, here.
Check out the full schedule on the Code for BTV site here.
Start here to find out how the heck to get to Maglianero.
Image: Bradley Holt and Amy Kirschner, courtesy of Jim Lockridge.