City of Macon Welcomes Code for America Fellows

Program to help identify innovative technology solutions that will better engage community

MACON, Ga. - During the month of February, three Fellows from Code for America – Nick Doiron, Jessica Lord, and Zach Williams – will work with the City of Macon to improve citizen engagement and government efficiency.  During their stay, they will live in the Lofts at Mercer Village in the College Hill Corridor, connecting them with our growing and vibrant community.

A press conference will be held on Monday, January 30, 2012, beginning at 11:00 a.m. in the Mayor’s Conference Room at City Hall with Macon Mayor Robert Reichert and Beverly Blake, Program Director at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, to introduce the Fellows.  Throughout the day Monday, the Fellows will be given a tour of Macon to help familiarize them with the community.

“We’re excited to bring this national program to Macon to identify innovative solutions that will improve our engagement with the public,” says Mayor Reichert. “Our citizens, businesses, and community organizations deserve user-friendly and efficient government services, and I look forward to the Fellows report on how we can make that happen.”

“At Knight Foundation we believe democracy thrives when people and communities are connected to one another and have open and timely exchange of information,” says Beverly Blake. “This project will enhance the City of Macon’s ability to connect with our citizens – and for citizens to participate in the future vitality of the city.”

“Our work with the City of Macon will focus around engaging residents, better connecting them with their government, and deploying techniques replicable throughout the country’s many Macon-sized cities,” says Jessica Lord, who spent the last several years working in city government.

“I'm looking forward to meeting with as many people in the community as possible; I really want to understand the issues Macon residents are currently facing,” said Zach Williams, a web developer.

Nick Doiron, a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professional, went on to explain, “Civic innovation is about using our newest technologies to revisit and redesign even our oldest institutions, including government and citizenship. For me, that means working with city hall to visualize and interpret data, using tools such as geographic information systems and social media APIs.”


Code for America will meet with department heads during the first week of their visit, make a presentation to the Community Resources and Development Committee on February 7, and hold a community forum in mid-February. Community organizations and people are invited to participate in this forum to discuss how the City of Macon can better interact with them to assist in providing quality services.

This program is funded by the Knight Foundation, at no cost to taxpayers, as part of its Technology for Engagement Initiative, which supports projects that help communities use technology for action. Support for the project is intended to increase the avenues for meaningful connections between Macon's citizens and their government.

About Code for America

Code for America helps governments work better for everyone with the people and the power of the web. Founded in 2009, Code for America held its inaugural fellowship in 2011 with 19 fellows and three cities. Through the Fellowship program Code for America makes it easy and attractive for the web generation to give back by connecting talented developers and designers with cities to work together to innovate. In 2012, Code for America has grown to connecting 26 fellows and eight cities. The Code for America Accelerator, launching late 2012, will support disruptive civic startups, and Brigade helps organize hackers locally to reuse and deploy civic software. Code for America is reimagining government for the 21st century.

About Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. 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 knightfoundation.org.

Contacts

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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.