City of Asheville to Partner with Code for America on State of Black Asheville

Code for America, the State of Black Asheville, and the city of Asheville will collaborate in a Community Fellowship Program designed to bring relevant criminal justice data to city residents, especially vulnerable populations.

The fellowship work will focus on issues underlying criminal justice racial disparities in Asheville and the creation of shared visual tools designed to identify these types of issues.

The Code for America fellows will spend three to six months collaborating with city staff, researching user needs, and meeting with key stakeholders. The process will drive change within city government by encouraging innovation and reducing risk through early user involvement, thereby increasing the capacity for serving the public.

One partnership goal is to enhance the State of Black Asheville site through interactive data visualizations and tools, integrated with open data from the city and other sources.

Asheville is one of four cities nationwide that were honored with this fellowship from one of the leading civic innovation organizations in the country. The other honorees are much bigger cities, including Honolulu, Austin, and San Jose.

Two Code for America fellows will work with the community, city staff, and community partners on an open data project that improves delivery of city of Asheville data at a fraction of what it would cost city government if it were to take on the project alone.

Their research will inform a data-driven visual online functional tool with a criminal justice focus to be used to enhance the State of Black Asheville resource. What will that look like? It could be a webpage with a data dashboard, an application, and/or it could connect to an existing city application, such as SimpliCity.

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