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Engagement Commons: A new tool to empower civic engagement

Crossposted on With the explosion of open data, we’ve seen a proliferation of civic software aiming to get community information on everything from road closures to restaurant inspections into people’s hands. The apps have great potential for engaging people in improving their communities. But often the people closest to the data — city leaders [...]

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Marketplace Demo: Video

During the first annual Code for America Summit, a major piece of the event was held for demos — quick, focused presentations of real-world examples of impact. Two Civic Commons team members, Nick Grossman and Jeremy Canfield, took to the stage to demo the CC Marketplace (then in closed beta, now open for business!). If [...]

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Civic Commons Marketplace: An App Store For Civic Tech

On December 20, 2011 the Civic Commons Marketplace opened to the public. Over the past two weeks it’s grown from cataloguing 193 in 58 cities to 220 apps in 86 cities. Though still in beta, the Marketplace holds the promise of a comprehensive catalogue where anyone, anywhere can find what’s out there and figure out [...]

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Now Recruiting: Spring Research Interns to Help Disrupt Government IT

At Code for America and Civic Commons, we’re a small team with a big mission: we’re trying to change the way governments work, the way they leverage technology, and the way they interact with citizens. We think central to that effort is developing a deep understanding of the current environment — specifically around their use [...]

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Civic Commons Marketplace Opens for Business

We’re happy to announce that the the Civic Commons Marketplace is now open for public use. The Marketplace has been in development for the past few months as our team worked to resolve bugs and polish the interface. Though still in beta, we invite you to come check it out: At its core, the Marketplace is [...]

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Marketplace Launches Publicly in Conjunction w/ GovFresh Awards

We are pleased to announce that the Civic Commons Marketplace, currently in private beta, will be open to the general public next Monday. The Marketplace will launch publicly in conjunction with the announcement of GovFresh award winners on December 19  – the Marketplace will display the award winners. If you haven’t already submitted your entries or voted in the 2011 GovFresh awards, [...]

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We interrupt this stream of civic tech nerdery to bring you a few bits of news about Civic Commons, the organization. In short, I’m moving on (to join Tumblr), and Nick Grossman is moving up (to be Executive Director). Since April, I’ve been serving as the start-up executive director for Civic Commons. When we kicked [...]

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Civic Engagement App, Change By Us, Enters the Commons

As cities are facing growing demands and shrinking resources, they have to find new ways of solving problems. Change by Us, a new digital platform that enables citizens to collaborate on projects for city improvement themselves, is a promising model of a new kind of civic engagement. Launched in New York City earlier this year, [...]

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Crowdsourcing Civic Infrastructure

Across America, the challenges facing city governments are growing ever more complex, while city budgets are tightening. At the same time, the internet has made it cheaper and easier for elected officials to communicate with their constituents. This made us think: What if cities started using the internet to organize citizen volunteers? If executed properly, [...]

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Budget Transparency & Visualization Tool, Look at Cook, Open Sourced

Earlier this year, Cook County released “Look at Cook,” a budget visualization tool to help citizens understand how the county spends taxpayer dollars. As the site says, residents “keep asking, ‘Where exactly does our money go?’” Look at Cook attempts to help answer that question with spending breakdowns by area and year, as well as [...]

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