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What's New in Civic Tech: National Day of Civic Hacking and 911

Plus, Bloomberg Philanthropies teams with the U.S. Conference of Mayors on new federal recovery dollars partnership, and more.

Dialing 911
Shutterstock/Simon Vayro
This year's National Day of Civic Hacking — an international civic tech event convened in large part by Code for America (CfA) — took aim at improving 911 and emergency response services, drawing participants the world over.

Code for America reports that the weekend saw volunteers join the work from 25 countries, as well as from 49 states domestically. In addition, there were 280 organizations represented, along with 48 Code for America Brigades, which are the organizations localized satellite groups. This, CfA noted in a press release, resulted in 2,500 hours of work.

And out of that work came a list of accomplishments, including 384 public service answering points (PSAPs) reviewed, 17 case studies, 16 data analysis projects and nine prototype projects.

To maintain the momentum and build upon this work, CfA will continue to coordinate volunteers around these efforts, including a National Action Team that numbers more than 750 participants, all of whom will continue to work on reimagining 911 services past what was started during the National Day of Civic Hacking event.

For those who missed out on the weekend's activities but still have interest, there are a number of ways to learn about it online. Interested parties can use the following links to learn more about the kick off discussion panel, actions, lunch-and-learn and closing remarks, all of which are now available on CfA's YouTube channel.


Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have a new partnership aimed at helping mayors find and ultimately receive federal recovery plan dollars, the groups have announced.

The idea is that it can be challenging for cities to navigate the rules associated with the multiple sources of federal funding, and in order to maximize the situation, they could use support. The main way this partnership stands to help local government is through a new COVID Federal Assistance e311 program, which gives cities a free searchable website related to the funding.

On that site, cities can find answers to many of their questions about rules and regulations related to this funding. Within this partnership, philanthropy is being leveraged to give local government access to a team of experts from emergency management firms who have deep expertise about how to facilitate the flow of resources.

Other topics in which the experts are providing assistance include how federal funds can help support vaccination efforts, economic assistance to underserved households, expanding broadband and more.


Finally, as Digital Inclusion Week approaches, the event is now getting some meaningful support, namely that of acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

Rosenworcel lent her support via a YouTube video. As we've noted in this space in the past, Digital Inclusion Week is just what it sounds like — a week of events aimed at bringing attention to digital inclusion work, convened largely by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. This week it will take place from Oct. 4 to Oct. 8.

Interested parties can learn more about Digital Inclusion Week through the National Digital Inclusion Alliance's website, which features links to register for related webinars, to act as a sponsor or to learn about the events happening in conjunction around the country.
Associate editor for Government Technology magazine