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  • Allen Meyer

Code for San Francisco 2019 Year in Review

Updated: May 27

2019 was a year full of exciting changes for the Code for San Francisco community. We began the year in a new location at Code for America’s new headquarters on Mission Street in SoMa, after six years of calling 9th & Minna our home. The new location features lots more meeting rooms, providing space for multiple new projects to spring up and for our existing teams to expand. As core organizers, we focused on our mission of making Code for San Francisco a community space where civic minded individuals from all across San Francisco can come together to have a positive impact on community issues. Volunteers bring the enthusiasm, dedication and creativity. The core team makes sure there’s dinner.


Our activities for the year included some familiar events such as the National Day of Civic Hacking, but also some new experiments: data jams, panel discussions, project pitches from City of SF Govies, a fellowship program, and more.


Events: Our big events included:


Open Data Day: is an international annual event that promotes awareness and use of open data. Code for SF’s event this year was hosted MicroSoft at their Reactor event space. Our projects leads came together to showcase the data work they are accomplishing: https://codeforsanfrancisco.org/2019/05/01/open-data-day-2019-community-driven-hackathon/


American Planning Association data jam: focused on SF transit data, in collaboration with members of SF Transit Riders.


Caltrain data visualization challenge: A set of breakout discussions on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals with members of nonprofit organizations, co-planned between Code for SF, Ovio, Caravan Studios, and Kintone


National Day of Civic Hacking: our biggest annual event, featured local issues around San Francisco’s housing crisis, one of the Bay Area’s most challenging civic problems. The day brought community members and civic tech enthusiasts to Github’s San Francisco office to hear an array of speakers from the nonprofit and real estate sectors, as well as from academia. The event was designed to include opportunities to both learn and act: in the morning, participants heard from local experts and leaders in housing issues, and in the afternoon, they engaged in project sprints and functional workshops. (Read the full event report here)


RentCap, a new project, was born at our national Day of Civic Hacking event. The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 will restrict the maximum amount landlords can raise their tenants’ rents. RentCap is creating an informational site for tenants to learn more about their rights, and take action if needed.


San Francisco Gov events: The Code for SF community came together to support San Francisco government on several projects and events:


Office of Civic Innovation: OCI reps workshopped their Civic Engagement tool kit at Hack Night to collect citizen feedback on volunteer opportunities that support our local government.


SF Digital Services: To support the rapidly expanding Digital Services team, the Brigade hosted a recruitment event attended by nearly 100 people.


SF Civil Grand Jury: Brigade members have been working with a Grand Jury member to design a system for tracking Jury projects over time.


SF Public Utilities Commission: Rain Guardians: Members of our UX Research Team designed the Rain Guardians website for the SF Public Utilities Commission.


Adopt-A-Drain was finally adopted by the PUC! Volunteers had been maintaining the site for the last couple of years.


dev/Mission Fellowship: We partnered with dev/Mission to create a Fellowship Program to help mentor underserved young adults in San Francisco. The Fellowship, with support from Uber, is now on its second cohort, and the Fellows are hard at work on projects that aim to reduce waste at restaurants and expand college access for undocumented students.


Ongoing Projects:

Open Transit: puts real data and visualizations into the hands of everyone so that we can all truly understand how our transit system performs and have meaningful conversations about how to make it better.


NL Tweets: are building a user research pipeline tool that mines social media data via API using machine learning.


Lane Breach: released their iOS app on the Apple store


Twabler: was initiated to provide all Code for America brigades with a tool for labeling Twitter data for NLP as part of the NLTweets project, with a longer term goal of generalizing for any data type.


Data Science Working Group: primary purpose is to efficiently assess, inspire, and tackle Code for San Francisco’s data science needs, as well as to help the City and other brigades with their data science needs whenever appropriate.


Environmental Reporting project: monitors government websites within the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative to track changes in what’s being shared and represented, as well as preserve vulnerable sites from deletion.


W.O.M.A.N., Inc: Volunteers worked with a partner at W.O.M.A.N. Inc. to revamp their online hub for domestic-violence services.


And finally, a special thanks to MicroSoft who has been a generous supporter of C4SF for the last several years.


2020 is starting out with a bang! We have projects in the works with the Department of Public Health, the Fire Department and several events. Hope to see you there!

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