Catherine Geanuracos
September 7, 2019

CityGrows and National Day of Civic Hacking 2019

The 2019 National Day of Civic Hacking is coming up on September 21, 2019! This is the 7th National Day since the program began in 2013. CityGrows grew out of the enthusiasm and connections created by the early days of Hack for LA.

We've gotten involved locally in previous years - helping LA's Promise Zone create grants management and reporting workflows, and developing application review workflows for a homeless service organization. This year, Code for America is managing the National Day program, and is theming the events nationally (a first) on criminal justice, with a focus o record record clearance. The event is taking place during National Expungement Week.

Code for America Brigades and criminal justice reform groups nationally are coming together to conduct user research on record clearance processes, develop journey maps of the clearance process, and develop "Know Your Rights" websites.

Here are CityGrows we've been debating how to best support those efforts, and we thought the best thing that we could do was to make our software available to any Brigade or National Day event that finds it useful. From now through the end of National Expungement Week on September 29th, we'll donate a minimum of one year's worth of CityGrows platform access to any project, government, or organization working on a record clearance/ record expungement workflow.

Here are some ideas for ways to use CityGrows to support the goals of this year's National Day:

  • If there's a point in the record clearance "journey" where a user will need to petition a local criminal justice system via an existing paper form (such as this one from Massachusetts or this one from Pennsylvania) and you believe creating a digital/ online workflow could improve participation or completion rates, you could show how a digital version of that type of workflow could exist via CityGrows. Here's a sample of how a record clearance request and approval process could work for reference. (And any workflow on CityGrows can be "cloned" and then customized easily, it's part of how we encourage governments to repurpose each other's work).
  • Use CityGrows for rapid prototyping of potential new workflows, intake processes, or other activities that criminal justice or other organizations might need during the process.

We'll have our staff available for customer success/ online support all day on Saturday, September 21st for any groups working on National Day. Sign up for a CityGrows account and message us via our online chat if you'd like us to clone a version of this workflow into your account as a starting point.

And whether or not you use CityGrows as part of your National Day Activities, thanks for getting involved in civic tech in your community!

Catherine Geanuracos

CEO and Co-Founder of CityGrows. Dedicated to transforming government technology and helping local governments provide better service and do more with less. Former VP of City of Los Angeles Innovation and Performance Commission, co-founder of LA's Code for America Brigade Hack for LA. Catherine is the Chair of the Board for CicLAvia, north America's largest open streets bicycle events. She's based in Silver Lake in Los Angeles.

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