DC has two ways to get involved in the National Day of Civic Hacking - Technical.ly DC

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Sep. 20, 2017 12:33 pm

DC has two ways to get involved in the National Day of Civic Hacking

Dig into health data on the local level, or help take a new approach to national issues.

Held at Chief's Massachusetts Avenue offices in June, 2015, the National Day of Civic Hacking focused on data for small businesses.

(Photo by Lalita Clozel)

Challenging issues don’t respect labels.

“The most significant problems we face today do not respect the boundaries we’ve so cleanly drawn between the public and private sectors,” said Todd Khozein of SecondMuse, an organization that aims to help introduce diversity of thought to the world’s problems, in an interview with The Huffington Post. “Rather they are often messy, requiring diverse thinking to even understand their complex nature.”

Second Muse understands the importance of technology and data in attempting to solve some of those messy problems, and it teams up with Code for America to host the National Civic Day of Hacking, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 23, and turns coders loose on problems faced by city and national governments to come up with new solutions.

There are two major events in Washington D.C. that will give coders the chance to tackle civic problems.

One is the D.C. Government Health and Human Services Hackathon, which will be held at Optoro’s offices at 1001 G St NW from 9:30 to 5:30 and will attempt to improve city services. Innovative coders there can work on providing more reliable transportation to seniors and those with disabilities, help work through the data on homelessness in the city, look at why retail restaurants close, or puzzle through how to better deliver family services.

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Many of the issues being tackled by the Federal Community for Open Data seem to come right from the headlines. The organization will be addressing issues including suicide prevention, the opioid crisis, hurricane-relief effort, Lyme disease. It will also seek input into creating a National Action Plan that would increase citizen involvement and government transparency. The event will last from 10am to 4pm. It will be held at the Johns Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub.

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Grace Ballenger

Grace Ballenger is a recent graduate from Wellesley College who has written for Slate and The Tempest. She enjoys writing about technology, language and culture.

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