Tech giant Google has awarded a $1.5 million grant to a startup nonprofit aimed at building a community of Web developers and designers around the country to bolster civic e-government initiatives.
Code for America will use the grant money to expand its Fellowship program, according to a blog post by founder Jennifer Pahlka. The money from Google also will help Code for America develop two new pilot programs: the Civic Startup Seed Accelerator, and the CIA Brigade.
Google's backing gives weight to the organization's vision for creating a new technology paradigm for city government, Pahlka said in an e-mail interview Wednesday.
"Companies like Google have changed the world by leveraging the Web as a platform, she said. "We think we can remake our relationship with government by helping government function as a platform, and having Google validate that vision is huge for Code for America."
Code for America's Fellowship program is a 12-month internship of sorts for Web developers, designers and entrepreneurs to team up with city leaders to create new civic technology.
"We're looking forward not only to great new apps and stories of innovation, but to reuse of the 2011 apps by our new city partners and others," she said.
In addition to Google, the John S and James L Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations also funded the Fellowship program, which is taking applications online.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.