Snow wasn’t the only thing that descended on our nation’s capital at the end of January - CTCL’s Civic Data Team also blanketed the city for a flurry of events designed to improve America’s civic data infrastructure.
On January 29th, CTCL hosted a convening of stakeholders from organizations who produce or consume ballot data - standardized information related to the contests and candidates that will be on voters’ ballots. The convening was sponsored by the Democracy Fund, and hosted at Google’s DC office. Nearly 40 individuals from 30 different organizations attended, including representatives from technology companies, civic engagement organizations, and government agencies.
The meeting focused on detailing the landscape of organizations plans for the use or collection of ballot data in 2016, as well as fostering greater collaboration in the space. The full-day convening focused on challenges and solutions in the areas of data collection, data standards, and use of the data in civic education. Participants analyzed both issues involving ballot data in the upcoming election and looked ahead at how ballot data can be improved by 2020.
The conversations had at the convening were just the beginning, and CTCL looks forward to continuing our efforts in facilitating coordination between groups, with the ultimate goal of increasing both the quantity and quality of tools that use ballot data to drive civic participation. Thanks once again to both the Democracy Fund and Google for making this meeting possible, and to all those in attendance for your hard work!
CTCL Urges Investment in Local Government at the GSA
The day before our ballot data convening, CTCL was invited to participate in a similarly themed meeting being hosted by the US General Services Administration (GSA). Rather than elections, however, the meeting focused on collaboration in the field of elected official, electoral district, and other government-related data.
CTCL’s Director of Civic Data, Donny Bridges, was invited to give a brief presentation to the group, which can be found below. The presentation focused on how investing in people at the local level is key to creating a sustainable civic data infrastructure. CTCL was honored to be invited to participate and looks forward to being involved with the continued efforts of the technologists, policymakers, and advocates that were in attendance!