by leah on October 18, 2013
On Monday, October 14th, I organized the Code for DC Shutdown Hackathon for Furloughed Feds and Friends at 1776, a local coworking space for startups. Twenty-five civic hackers from the federal government and open data communities attended. Coders, researchers, graphic designers, and digital strategists worked on a lot of different projects, including:
- ANC Brigade: Nine hackers worked on ANCBrigade.com, a Code for DC project that aims to bring attention to DC’s unique, hyper-local form of government called Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs). The hackers beta-tested the site’s document upload capabilities, added new data to the site, and planned community outreach. One hacker was an ANC transportation committee chair, and he added information about his ANC’s committees to the project.
- Code for DC’s Education project: This is a long-running Code for DC project. At the hackathon, the group made great progress on their project to display school boundaries as distinct from neighborhood boundaries on the map and they pulled data from the OpenDataDC CKAN site to a MongoDB, which they’ll eventually use as the source for all the data displayed on the site.
- Snapfresh.org: The group worked on maintenance and updates to this project, which is a Code for America Rails app that allows users to search for places near them that accepts food stamps.
- Raise the Debt Limit: This project worked on organizing and agitating to convince Congress to raise the debt limit and prevent economic disaster. They also deployed an app on GovTrak to simplify calling your representative in Congress.
- Learn more! Check out our hackpad.
Special thanks to 1776—especially Ashley Summers, Sherouk Omara, and Garret Johnson—for donating space and helping coordinate the event; Rebecca Williams and Gray Brooks for helping to organize and run the event; and our Code for DC brigade captains Justin Grimes and Matt Bailey for helping with planning.
You don’t need to be a developer to attend hackathons and Code for DC. Developers of course build the foundation of these projects, but anyone who loves the web and learning new tech is welcome. We are building databases, websites, and apps, so we need everyone who typically contributes to these projects: project managers, UX and data visualization experts, digital strategists, comms folks, etc.