July ACT Newsletter: Writing our values, Code for Boston's MAPLE Launch and the Florida Resource Map

Code for Boston meeting around a conference table.
Code for Boston meeting in person. Read more about their Maple Testimony app in this newsletter.

Welcome to the ACT July Newsletter! We’re hoping that everyone is staying safe and cool during the extreme weather we’re having.

Writing out our values

After a few weeks of reviewing what volunteer groups put together in 2017, we now have an initial draft of our mission, values, and operating principles. Thank you to everyone who contributed their feedback!

The next step will be to share the draft document with our delegates for feedback. We’ll meet at a delegate-only meeting on July 27th to review the proposal and possibly vote for its approval. In the meantime, you can read and comment on the proposed document here!

Code for Boston’s MAPLE Testimony goes live in Massachusetts

As mentioned in the Boston Globe and Commonwealth Magazine, Code for Boston’s MAPLE app - the Massachusetts Platform for Legislative Engagement - aims to make it easy for MA residents to submit testimony to the state Legislature on the bills that determine the future of the Commonwealth. MAPLE will launch their v1 app on Thursday, July 20 after a year of amazing work by a dedicated team of Code for Boston volunteers, led by Matt Victor, in partnership with the NULawLab at Northeastern. Learn more about the project (and check out the code!) on Github.

Florida Resource Map

In recent months, student interns and the developer team at Florida Community Innovation (FCI) have been creating version three of the Florida Resource Map. The Map is a tool for Floridians to find social services (food banks, job resources, healthcare, etc.) near them on a unified digital platform. Our tool is also designed so social workers can customize suggestions of resources for their clients. The Map will compile a database of resources gathered from our nonprofit partners across Florida.

ACT reaches twenty members

ACT continues to grow, with three more members signing on and bringing our total number of members to twenty. We were recently joined by Code for Atlanta, Code for Hawaii and OpenSTL (St Louis). 

Does your local civic tech organization have a story to tell? Want to be featured in our next newsletter? Reach out to us at hello@civictechnologists.org

Thanks for all you do!

Thanks again for all of your support and everything you do.

– ACT Comms Team 

ACT June Social Hour

Happy Friday! The Alliance of Civic Technologists would like to invite you to a virtual social hour on June 29th at 8:30 PM EST / 5:30 PM to celebrate our filing as a 501c3!

This is our first step in becoming a fully-fledged non-profit. We’ll be filing in Illinois on Thursday and we’ll work with delegates from member organizations across the county to write our bylaws and continue the work supporting the civic technology volunteer network.

You can register for the social hour here!

Thanks so much for all you do,
Christopher, Jill, and Harlan

ACT June Newsletter

Hello! Welcome to our first newsletter! It’s been a month since we first launched the Alliance of Civic Technologists and we wanted to give an update on our progress and what’s next.

But first we wanted to give a big thank you to our initial volunteers and donors. Our launch would not have been possible without people raising their hands to help us stand up the network! Thank you! 🎉

Our First ACT Meeting

We’re giving former members of Code for America Brigades and interested local civic tech organizations until Friday, June 16th to sign their letters of intent and name their delegates. On Monday, June 19th we’ll send out a pool asking delegates to indicate their availability for our first meeting. If you are a local leader and haven’t received your letter of intent, please email hello@civictechnologists.org.

New Logo!

If you’ve visited our website, civictechnologists.org, in the last week, you may have noticed that we have a new logo! The connected star logo was inspired by Code for Australia’s original ‘network’ design with ACT taking a page out of Canada’s book and using the flag star to represent the US. Our colors are Old Glory Red and Democracy Blue. We wanted to give a big shout out to Molly McLeod (https://www.mollymcleod.com/) for the design.

Call for Feedback on our Vision, Mission and Values

In 2017, the civic technology organizations came together at Code for America’s Brigade Congress and drafted a Mission/Vision/Operating Principles document that reflected the values of the Brigade network. Since that time, Code for America has taken the finalized document off their website. However, this document was preserved in Github and ACT has forked it as it’s a useful starting point for setting our own vision, mission, and values. You can comment and suggest changes here. We’ll keep the comment section open until we formally adopt our governance structure.

Stay in touch via Discord

If you’re interested in chatting with the community in real time, we have an open discord server at https://discord.gg/EM6ywtMhkP

Thanks so much,
The ACT Comms Team
(Christopher, Brianda, Ben and Jill)

Does your local civic tech organization have a story to tell? Want to be featured in our next newsletter? Reach out to us at hello@civictechnologists.org