2013: Brigade By the Numbers

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Abhi Nemani

It’s the end of another year and that means it’s time for us to do the thing that everyone does…where they reflect on the year and report the numbers!

2013 was a stellar year for the Brigade.

By the Numbers

(Two year totals and deltas at the time of this writing.)

34

The number of Brigades lead by captains (+18)

2983

The number of members registered at brigade.codeforamerica.org (+1663)

75

The number of apps brigades have redeployed (+51)

Membership since April 2012

Stories

The best way to summarize the Brigade’s impact is to understand that we established a new form of civic engagement with government, one that didn’t exist before. Citizen and cities are coming together through civic technology and finding ways to work together at every government department and level. Oh, and we also went to The White House where our leaders were honored as “Champions of Change for Open Government and Civic Hacking“. Code for America Brigade organized one third of all events during the first ever National Day of Civic Hacking! Below are some highlights from individual Brigades.

Open Oakland

Launched an open budget portal and changed the way the City discussed the budget. Oakland’s initiative also sparked other brigade to pursue the same activity for their cities.

Code for Miami

Created Spanish versions of Brigade material and started translating county legal code into Spanish through State Decoded.

Code for Hampton Roads

Publicly launched their realtime, mobile bus app HRTB.us. They also logged 642 volunteer hours with City of Virginia Beach with an estimated value of $37,585.

Code for Boston

Showed Cambridge how to open data and made it easier for food banks to connect with people in need. Also, Harlan Weber got married!

Open Gov Chicago

Published a flu shot app that went viral. Developed during their pioneering weekly civic hack night, the app then spread to Boston and Philadelphia.

Open Twin Cities

Polled 93 candidates for office about their positions on open data.

Code for BTV

Civic hacked a 140 old library.

100% Volunteer

With all of our activity it’s easy to overlook one important fact about the Brigade. Each of these achievements (and so many more) are accomplished entirely by volunteers. This is what citizenship is supposed to look like. Clearly our governments cannot function without the dedication and skills of the dedicated public servants that keep our streets and government working on daily basis, but it’s just as important for every citizen to give of themselves in support of the common good. That’s what Brigade is all about and I couldn’t be more proud.

Brigade Captains’ Summit, October 14, 2013 by Code for KC captain Jase Wilson

Looking Ahead

The coming year promises to carry our momentum forward and on to bolder achievements. Right before the CfA Summit this year we held our first annual, on-site training for Brigade Captains. It was a powerful symbol of how we are coming together as a network and how we are working together to reach shared goals and common outcomes. Regional networks are forming both organically and by design. Special interest groups (SIGs) are forming around common topics like budgeting, transportation, public health, digital inclusion, open data, libraries, and other topics. Since September we’ve added more than twenty new Brigade Organizers (local leaders) who are getting started on plans to establish a more formal Captain-led Brigade where they live.

You can read more about what Brigade has done by following our tags in Kippt:

https://kippt.com/cfa/press

https://kippt.com/kmcurry/civic-hacking


Questions? Comments? Hit us up @codeforamerica.

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