Blogging for America

Boots on the Ground

Community as capacity is one of the founding principles of the Brigade. We believe governments work better when cities and communities collaborate. But organizing a community is hard work. In fact, our most frequent requests at the Brigade throughout 2012 were for advice around best practices for this.

Luckily for us, we have an unbeatable resource: Brigade Captains. Spread across a diverse range of municipalities throughout the United States, we asked these local leaders to share some tips and tricks for getting things done in 2013 (in 140 characters or less, of course!).

  • “Strive to be only a conduit and catalyst, becoming gatekeeper is a trap that takes special effort to avoid. In other words: connect people and ideas, then GTFO of their way:)” —Chris AlfanoCode for Philadelphia
  • “Civic hacking is more than just being good at code – it’s also being good at talking with the community & finding way a fix the problems.” —Christopher WhitakerOpen Government Chicago-land
  • “Bring the people together, give them a little structure and magic can really happen very fast – networks of people drive civic innovation.” —Jason Lally,Open Colorado
  • “Concrete examples are powerful. It’s great to see someone’s face light up when they realize the potential of civic technology in their own city.” —Jonathan PichotFriendly Code
  • “Weekly hack nights are the best way to build momentum and keep it going. I look forward to them every week.” —Kevin CurryCode for Virginia Beach
  • “People have a strong pent-up desire to affect positive civic change. When our message resonates with them, it’s like a key turning in a lock.” —Harlan WeberCode for Boston
  • “We have a lot of energy behind us, I think we have to make sure we use this window of opportunity wisely because we won’t be cool new kids forever.” —Eddie A TejedaOpen Oakland
  • “Look at the impact we’ve had in in a short amount of time. Many local governments will never be the same. Now imagine what we’re going to do in the next five years… Gives me goose bumps.” —Bret FisherCode for Virginia Beach

For more advice from these captains or to connect with local leaders in your area, check out our connections page!

 

Questions? Comments? Hit us up @codeforamerica.org.

Code for America Labs, Inc is a non-partisan, non-political 501(c)(3) organization. Content is licensed through Creative Commons.