New Orleans a Finalist in Code For America Competition

Code For America, the non-profit that works with city governments to promote openness, participation, and transparency, has announced that the City of New Orleans is a finalist for its 2012 program.

Code For America recruits fellows and assigns them to a city for one year.  The fellow’s mission, with the support of Code For America, is to solve complex city issues with custom-built technology, encourage experimentation and transparency with city data, and expose the chosen city to best practices and collaboration with other innovative cities.

City applicants were asked to identify problems in their city “that our team of geeks could solve using light weight creative technology.”   The ten finalists will be narrowed down and 5-8 will be selected to participate in the program for 2012.

Code for America identified the following reasons for selecting New Orleans:

More than five years after the storm, neighborhood stakeholders in New Orleans have demonstrated an incredible capacity to contribute to the resilience of their neighborhoods.  Citizens keep close tabs on the properties in their area, and use their neighborhood information systems to deploy their limited, mostly volunteer, resources where they will make the most difference. They keep close watch for neighborhood properties coming up for public hearings, so neighbors can participate, and monitor neighborhood problems to make sure they do not fall through the cracks.

If selected, Code for America fellows would develop a light-weight application to allow community stakeholders to submit bulk information to the city about their neighborhood, view existing relevant city data, and receive status updates  for each of the on-going issues in their neighborhood.  Sounds like its objectives line up closely with a new startup that just launched, Neighborland.

Code for America is now accepting applications for Fellows.   Apply here if you are interested.