Chattanooga was named as a Code for America (CfA) Fellowship City Tuesday. CfA will provide at least three fellows for a year, beginning in January 2014. City staff and local developers will work with the CfA fellows to develop and test open-source web apps to improve city services and the community around two of the City’s key priorities – safer streets and civic engagement
“City Government will collaborate with some of the top developers and designers from across the country, creating open-source web applications to help address important issues in our community - including public safety,” said Mayor Andy Berke. “I am committed to a more open, transparent, and innovative government – and opening up data is an important way to make government more accessible to our citizens.”
"We are thrilled to officially announce that Chattanooga will participate in our 2014 Fellowship program." said Code for America Co-Executive Director Bob Sofman. "Chattanooga has a remarkable commitment to innovation and is supported by forward-thinking and dedicated staff. This top-notch combination ensures a productive year.”
In addition to focusing on public safety and civic engagement, the Fellows will help to improve the City of Chattanooga’s internal processes, including the procurement process, by working with City departments to develop and determine effective solutions that use tax payer dollars responsibly.
Since 2009, CfA has paired leaders in innovation with local governments, using technology to promote openness and transparency, encourage participation, and solve problems in cities across the country. Together, CfA fellows (top developers, designers, researchers, and product managers) and local governments produce open-source web apps to improve city services. CfA also helps build relationships between City Hall and local technology talent.
“Having Code for America come to the Gig City makes so much sense. Chattanooga has a strong history of civic action and innovation, as well as a new Administration that understands how open data can benefit citizens,” said Tim Moreland of Open Chattanooga. “From the start, Mayor Berke has been supportive of Open Chattanooga's efforts to solve real problems using open data. So when Code for America arrives in Chattanooga, they will find a Mayor, a city, and a community ready to roll up their sleeves and make lasting change.”
Early this summer, the Berke Administration partnered with Open Chattanooga to apply for the fellowship for 2014 and the City of Chattanooga was named a finalist last month. The City secured $250,000 in private funds from the Benwood Foundation and Lyndhurst Foundation. Chattanooga City Council authorized the funding of an additional $180,000. Several private companies have expressed an interest in contributing to the project, including through both
in-kind and monetary contributions.
"We are thrilled to be named a Code for America City. This initiative asks the important question, 'How can technology make our community better?',” said Sarah Morgan, President of the Benwood Foundation. “When we inspire the brightest tech-minds across the country to focus not on the private sector but the public sector, we can address some of our community's most pressing issues."
“Chattanooga is a natural fit for Code for America. This opportunity will not only complement our city's focus on technology and innovation, it will more importantly connect developers with the resources they need to solve real world problems through open data and civic engagement," said Macon Toledano, Associate Director of Lyndhurst Foundation.
The 2014 class of Fellows will include 31 developers, designers, researchers, and project managers leaving private companies such as ZipCar, Intuit, and Lockheed Martin as well as government organizations such as NASA.
Over 50 cities across the country applied for the Code for America Fellowship this year. The 2014 Code for America Cities include:
Long Beach, CA
San Antonio, TX
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Warwick, RI (in collaboration with the State of Rhode Island)
Past CfA Fellowship Cities include Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and New Orleans.
To learn more, visit http://codeforamerica.org/2014