Code for America in Oaktown: The OpenOakland Brigade!

Today we’re launching the official Oakland Brigade: OpenOakland.

If you’re new to Code for America then you’ve been missing out. If you know them, you may not yet know about the Brigade teams. This is the start of a new brigade to create and redeploy civic innovations, liberate public data, spur innovation within government and bring the excitement of opensource tech to the east bay community!

What we’re looking for is a core group of software developers, engineers, designers and data hounds who see the power of open tech to solve civic issues in Oaktown. We’ll be setting up some goals for the next 12 months, and we need creative people to help lift up tech in our city and showcase the ways opengov can really transform this town. The expectations on Brigade members aren’t heavy, but we will need consistent efforts and communication- wasting our spare time is wack.

We’ll be supporting civic tech events, hackathons, government forums and more and will be meeting regularly to plan, scheme and develop key tools to bring civic change.

Our first challenge as a Brigade is to stand up CKAN– an opensource OPENDATA platform. We need to show the City of Oakland that this can be built in and for our community. We’ll also be using this platform as the data repo for the next Code for Oakland hackathon!

If you want to be a part of this, or just hit the first meeting to see if it fits your life then join the CfA Brigade here:

Email the group: openoakland at

Hit me @spjika or @openoakland to connect!

This will be fun.

This will be disruptive.

This will bring Oakland closer to truly Open Government, Open Data and innovation by default!

We will have beer at Brigade meetings.

Come and Code for Oakland in 2012!

It’s on again! We’re helping run the second wonderful hackathon for Oaktown: called Building Our Civic Web.

The focus of this year’s hackathon is on building apps, hacking public data and building tools to support economic development in Oakland, improve civic engagement, improve digital education and literacy in our residents and provide tools to attract and sustain local business in the town.

We’ve all seen ways that new businesses, local communities and the city itself could be massively improved through the thoughtful, creative use of good new tech solutions right? This is the perfect opportunity to show how the awesome developer community in Oakland and around can contribute in a powerful way to the improving and sustaining of our city. Coders matter.

As a lead up to the main hackathon our wonderful volunteers are running a month-long series of focused listening sessions to share your ideas, brainstorm community needs and help shape what is built at the hackathon. We want to hear from small business owners, community activists, teachers, city staff, nonprofit leaders and people from across the city- your ideas may just spark a great new app or tool to make positive change in our city!

I hope you will join Oakland’s community of civically engaged developers, coders, designers, entrepreneurs and innovators as we re-imagine ways in which collaboration and technology can help shape, grow, and sustain the healthy future of our City.

We think sustainable communities are important, and software needs sustaining also, so this year we’ll feature the great apps built last year and check in with the teams on how they’ve struggled or succeeded in getting their work into heavy adoption. We’re doing this to get real about how we as a community can better support any new apps built and make sure good ideas get more than just recognition and prizes- they get used and change our community!

Register now at

Follow the action with #CodeforOakland