Our engagement with Code for America provides a unique opportunity to directly support and quickly demonstrate Charlotte’s emerging strategy for citizen engagement.

CIO Jeffrey Stovall, City of Charlotte

The 2014 Fellowship in Charlotte

The Code for America team in the City of Charlotte is working to increase citizen engagement by providing citizens with access to relevant and accurate information. By helping citizens better understand what’s going on in their neighborhoods, when it’s going to happen, and why, cities can build trust through transparency and proactively incorporate constituent feedback.

The City of Charlotte currently pursues various methods of communicating civic information to its residents, such as sending out flyers, emails, brochures, and even tweets. However, these methods don't always adequately convey the most crucial details to whom it's most important. Jessica P., a Charlottean, told us that she arrived home one day to a door hanger on her front door informing her of upcoming construction on her street. She woke up the next morning to a construction crew tearing up her driveway. Jessica and other residents, such as Geoff Y., want more personalized information from the city, as well as a way to engage rather than being passive recipients of information. By interacting with and seeking feedback from community members, the 2014 Fellows have assembled a framework of the type of civic information citizens want to be able to access, as well as the ideal ways to get that information.

Enter Citygram, a geographically-relevant notifications platform powered by open data. It delivers notifications to citizens via SMS and e-mail based on the areas and topics of interest (e.g. traffic, public meetings, rezoning, etc.) that they've chosen. Citygram aims to serve two goals:

  1. to share relevant information that people want
 in a simple, elegant way.
  2. to make raw data not only open, but also meaningful to people.

Check out the Fellows' mid-year update to learn more.





Meet the team:

  • Andrew Douglass

    Charlotte Team

    Andrew is a web developer and designer from Houston, Texas, where he worked as a web developer for the University of Houston and assisted in operations at RED Labs, the university's startup accelerator. He enjoys exploring problems related to transportation and human equality. He holds a BBA in Management Information...

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  • Tiffany Chu

    Charlotte Team

    Tiffany is a designer, user researcher, and urbanist. Prior to CfA, Tiffany was a product manager at Zipcar and an innovation consultant at Continuum. She’s also mapped 100 street vendors in Vietnam, crafted 3D models at Pixar, and written for Dwell. With a background in architecture and urban planning from MIT...

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  • Danny Whalen

    Charlotte Team

    Danny is a web developer from Phoenix, AZ. His passion is building communities around open source software. He maintains and contributes to a variety of open source projects and helped run his local Ruby user group. Most recently, he crafted web applications at Integrallis Software. Danny studied finance…

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Team Leads: Twyla McDermott, Corporate Technology Program Manager; Jeff Stovall, Chief Information Officer
Community Partners: Knight Foundation

Follow the Fellows' progress on their blog Team Charlotte

Contribute to Citygram on Github.

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