A quick update for everyone on our plans for 2017. At our March 14 planning meeting we identified three key priorities:

  1. Build a solid monthly community night program,
  2. Improve communications with members and fans,
  3. Do a better job inviting interested members to participate.

Jesse Michel and Jim March are working on the community nights program. Beginning in April, each event will be built around an invited speaker from some community organization or government agency. This will allow us to learn what is happening with different issues and to explore ways we might contribute. Topics will be guided by the results of our January brainstorming session.

The primary vehicle for improving communications is this newsletter, which will come out every other Tuesday. Eric Jackson will act as overall newsletter editor, but check out the Help Wanted section below for easy ways to participate.

Figuring out how to plug interested members into projects and activities is an ongoing effort. CfA activities fall broadly into three areas: projects arising from our interactions with community groups and agencies, facilitating data-driven conversation in the community, and general brigade development and operations.

Most projects are likely to come out of our community night conversations. Some will be very short-term and don’t require much organization, but we are exploring the idea of having local organizations “adopt” projects, much as PRC Applications and DemocracyApps have done (more on that next issue).

Facilitating Data-Driven Conversations
Community groups often recognize the value of data for advocacy and problem-solving, but lack the know-how to use data effectively. Code for Asheville members can be a resource to help facilitate these conversations, give guidance on obtaining and working with data, etc. Eric Jackson is organizing a team to figure out how to do this better and more sustainably – email Eric if you are interested in participating.

Brigade Development & Operations
The co-captains coordinate this area, but we welcome help. If you are interested in helping with community-night planning, newsletter prep, social media sharing, creating resources for new members, or anything else, email us at code4asheville@gmail.com, talk to us at a community event, or come to a planning meeting (the 2nd Tuesday after each community night, so the next one is Tuesday, April 25 – more details here).

We will try to highlight opportunities to plug in in our Help Wanted newsletter section as well.

This article is from the semi-weekly Code for Asheville newsletter. See the rest of this issue here. Sign up for future mailings here.