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About hmdynak

writer, non-profit consultant, civic hacker, mother, yogi, guitar dabbler, arm chair poet, photo blogger

Countdown to #CodeAcross 2016

On Friday, March 4th, beginning at 5pm at the Matheson Courthouse in SLC, Open Salt Lake is pairing up with #CourtHack to launch our 2016 #CodeAcross event.

We’ll spend 22 hours hacking on challenges facing the court system — tackling issues like court date notifications and emergency protective order filings.  More info and registration details are here.

Not sure whether you should join us?  Use the handy flowchart below to decide.

Is Code Across For Me?
Is Code Across For Me?

Hope to see you there!  Questions?  Hit us up on Meet-up or post a comment here.

#CodeAcross meets #CourtHack for a weekend of civic hacking

The weekend of March 4-6th marks Code for America’s fifth annual Code Across event where developers, designers, local government employees, community organizers, and storytellers from around the world come together to make communities work better.

This year in Salt Lake, Open Salt Lake is connecting our Code Across with CourtHack for a 22 hour sprint to solve challenges in the court system.

The event will take place at Matheson Courthouse (450 State Street, SLC). Onsite registration opens on Friday (3/4) at 5pm followed by a panel presentation at 6pm where field experts will share some of the challenges participants can tackle. Technical, business, and legal mentors will be on hand to support teams with project development throughout the hackathon.

While the opportunities to improve the court system are constrained only by the creativity and innovation of participants, projects might include:

  • mobile apps that streamline individual court transactions (looking up a court date, paying a fine, or scheduling a hearing)
  • a tool to enable remote filing of emergency protective orders
  • an online repository or portal offering plain language information about jury duty requirements, dispute resolution options, or how to get help if you have legal problems.

Join us for this opportunity to create real change in the US justice system right here in Salt Lake City. Bring your ideas, your energy, and your skills (whatever they are–everyone with an interest in the issues is welcome).

Two things for you to do beforehand:

  1. Register for the event via:
  2. RSVP via the Open Salt Lake meet-up so we know to expect you.

Look forward to seeing you there!


CfA Fellows coming to Salt Lake!

We thrilled to share that Code for America fellows will be in Salt Lake next year. Salt Lake County is one of six 2016 government partners selected for the prestigious CfA Fellowship program. A team of three fellows will work with the County Mayor’s office to design technology solutions that make public services smarter, simpler and easy to use. They’ll focus on the criminal justice system, helping safely reduce re-arrest rates.

Salt Lake County is struggling with having to re-arrest people for not showing up to a court appearance or to court-ordered treatment. That is expensive, inefficient and—most of all—doesn’t help address the reason behind the original arrest. We’re excited to work with Code for America to find the right technological tool that people can use to avoid being re-arrested. That should help ease overcrowding at the jail and help put individuals on a more constructive path.

—Mayor Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County, Utah

Read more about the 2016 class of fellows and government partners in this Code for America announcement and stay tuned for project updates!  We can’t wait!


Updates from the Field

A few of us from Open Salt Lake are in Oakland this year to participate in the annual Code for America Summit.  We’re meeting up with other Brigade chapters from around the country (and world), sharing projects and lessons, and getting excited about the many ways digital services and user centered design are helping government work for and by the people in the 21st century.  Watch from home with the live stream and Twitter feed (#cfasummit).  We’ll share more info when we get back to Salt Lake City about the ideas and energy we’re bringing home.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 9.42.00 AM

Code Utah: Last Call for Submissions

A final reminder that the open submission period for Code Utah ends Friday, 8/29.  Make sure to notify us by leaving a comment below if you’ve got a project to share.

Also, mark your calendars, and  join us for a lunch meet-up next Tuesday 9/1 from 12-1pm at Salt Lake City Hall (451 S State St.).  We’ll discuss Open Salt Lake fall projects and events and do a debrief on Code Utah. Look forward to seeing you there!

Code Utah is Underway

Code Utah, Open Salt Lake’s Summer Open Data Coding Competition is underway, but it’s not too late to get in on the action.

We’ve got teams working on air quality, food deserts, and bike lane applications all using data from the State Open Data Portal. We’re hoping more teams will form to demonstrate that open data is a valuable resource for developers and that public information can help solve local problems.

  • Need inspiration for a project?  Check out our Ideas page.
  • Want to connect with others already working on something? Join our Slack Channel to find a group.
  • Starting a team?  Leave a comment with your plans.

All projects must be submitted by August 29th. Winners will be announced (and prizes awarded) in early September.

Joining Forces – Building Momentum: 4/22 Hack Night with GDI-SLC

Open Salt Lake is in build mode — growing both our membership and our impact. By creating partnerships with the local developer community, we’re bringing greater attention and talent to civic hacking for public good.

This Wednesday, at our April Hack Night, we will join forces with Girl Develop It-SLC for an evening of open source activity.

Amanda Walter, one of Open Salt Lake’s newest additions and a long-standing GDI member, will kick things off with a brief intro to open source development and civic hacking resources.

Several OSL members will do lighting presentations on open source civic tech project opportunities for folks to hack on, and we’ll break into groups to move these forward. (You can always take the time to work on your own projects as well.)

Bring your tech skills, meet some new folks, and help make a difference.

Look forward to seeing you there.

April 22, 6-8pm
Instructure, 6th Floor (take elevator to 7 and come down stairs)
6330 S 3000 E #700, SLC, UT
Food and Drinks provided

RSVP via Meet-up here.

Code Across 2015: Join Us

This week, Code for America will host the 4th annual Code Across — an organized set of civic hacking events hosted across the word. The goal is to activate the Code for America network of volunteers and inspire people everywhere to get involved in making their communities better.

In Salt Lake City, OpenSaltLake, will partner with Hack Night SLC to grow the community of technologists, designers, organizers, and committed residents working together to bring new technologies and design thinking into the way the public sector delivers information and services.

OpenSaltLake members will demo civic tech applications that other cities have built and share examples of the local open data available to work with as inspiration.

Participants can:

Event Details and Registration:
Hack Night SLC
Thursday, February 19th, 6-10pm
Church & State
370 S 300 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Wondering if this is for you?  Check out this handy flowchart to decide.
Hope to see you there!  Click here to RSVP.

Copy of CodeAcross Flowchart 2015 - Template

About the Partners

  • Hack Night SLC is a gathering of students, business people, software developers, server admins, and others in tech related fields to build a close-knit community and support and encourage local startups.
  • OpenSaltLake is a Code for America Brigade created by local technologists, open government advocates, and data geeks with an interest in supporting and educating government staff and deploying technology tools to open, improve, and engage local governments.
  • Code for America is a national nonprofit working toward a government of the people, by the people, in the 21st century through building open source technology and organizing a network of people committed to making government services simple, effective, and easy to use.