Highlights by Month
JANUARY: We supported the Transportation for Seniors Hackathon.
FEBRUARY: We learned about ourselves by working on our website. It was a fun and engaging meeting, our best for the year, during which everyone participated. Through our discussion, we learned about ourselves, what we cared about, and what we were committed to doing.
MARCH: In the most powerful and inspiring meeting of 2018, we decided to do something in response to the leaked video of the Rush police beating, spearheading a petition to the Asheville City Council to get more transparency from the police department.
Using our knowledge of technology, the value of open data, and the power of social media, we launched a petition that quickly got over 1,000 signatures, and the endorsement of some 30 community and national organizations. We presented the petition to City Council in April. Kudos to so many of you members, who worked hard to get the word out, showed up at City Council meetings, and worked with the City! A special acknowledgment to Patrick Conant and his considerate patience working with the police department.
The fruits of our (and many other organizations’) labors was the agreement of City Council and, over the next several months, the slow and steady release of nearly every data set we asked for. Congratulations, one and all!
APRIL: Babysitting became available for community night meetings! Melanie Mazanec took over new member voice responsibilities.
MAY: After a survey in March, and a search for a new Brigade Co-Captain, we said thank you to Eric Jackson for his exemplary tenure as Co-Captain, and welcomed Jim March.
JUNE: Code for Asheville was asked to present at the Code for America Summit in Oakland, California. Sabrah n’haRaven and Eric Jackson did a wonderful job talking about our ongoing efforts to work with the City for more open data and community engagement.
At the Summit, it was announced that State of Black Asheville 2.0 was awarded a Code for America Community Fellowship. Congratulations to Dr. Dwight Mullen, Patrick Conant and Jesse Michel!
We also had Eric Jackson and Christiana Tugman talk on the radio about the Reentry Resources Hub, a project that is still slated to be released state-wide, following the example set by Eric in Buncombe County.
JULY: We welcomed Sabrah n’haRaven as the second new Co-Captain of Code for Asheville.
We heard a presentation by The Real Asheville Initiative. We continue to explore ways to be involved with their work.
Amy Cantrell of BeLoved Asheville and Eric Jackson were part of a panel for the Code for America Brigade Housing Projects Workshop.
AUGUST: We hosted Asheville’s National Day of Civic Hacking, including sessions on using public data, visual presentation of data, and mapping community resources.
SEPTEMBER: In response to ongoing investigations of Buncombe County staff, we discussed the timing of a recommendation of an open data policy at the county. This is a project for 2019, too.
We also heard from Kelley Klope of the Asheville Fire Department about their hopes that a better database might improve emergency response.
OCTOBER: We were visited by Code for America as part of a follow-up on the Community Fellowship. There is more work to be done in 2019!
Eight of us attended the Code for America Brigade Congress in Charlotte. Sharing information and knowledge between Brigades has the potential of getting us a jump-start on ideas our community might have.
NOVEMBER: The new Code for Asheville website launched! Thank you, Alyx Perry!
DECEMBER: Code for Asheville was part of the Open NC annual gathering. Working with other North Carolina Brigades might facilitate supporting communities around the state that don’t have a brigade.