Citizen Engagement

We at Hack for LA are volunteers that believe in building technology and analyzing data to make it easier to participate effectively in your community.

Below are our products that are making that happen. If you have a new idea, want to submit feedback that will guide the next iteration of an existing tool, or want to start working on a project team with us, please contact us at [email protected]

Read more about LA’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Image of people together in community

Current Projects

311 project card

311 Data

Problem

The city produces a data set from all the 311 tickets placed. This data is useful if you are a data scientist, but for citizens without this training it has little value.

Solution

We partnered with the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and LA Neighborhood Councils to co-create and iterate analysis and tools (see 311-Data.org) to provide neighborhoods with actionable information at the local level through real time visualizations and comparison tools.

Impact

Neighborhood Councils are able to use visualizations to demonstrate and discuss the city service levels with constituents and determine where to send mailings to target information to those parts of their community not availing themselves of specific city services.

Sustainable Development Goal

peace justice bottom sustainable dev goal

16.8: Broaden and strengthen the awareness and participation of City and local communities, especially those traditionally underserved and marginalized, in the institutions of local and global governance.

access the data project card

Access the Data

Problem

Policies that impact the public are increasingly advised by surveys and other means of data collection. To ensure that citizens are empowered advocates of their community, we are looking to identify the areas where data literacy education within our communities is needed most.

Solution

Hack for LA’s Access the Data team, in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, Neighborhood Councils, and the Los Angeles Mayor’s office, will be developing modules to address those areas.

Impact

Citizens will be empowered to advocate for change in their communities by using publicly available data and asking for data to be made available when it is required for advocacy.

Sustainable Development Goal

peace justice bottom sustainable dev goal

16.8: Broaden and strengthen the awareness and participation of City and local communities, especially those traditionally underserved and marginalized, in the institutions of local and global governance.

engage project card

Engage

Problem

Everyone should be able to have a voice in their community’s issues, but not everyone has access or is easily able to follow an issue’s details. For example, not everyone has time to attend a city council meeting!

Solution

On Engage, all users can view, read, and comment on agenda items their city council is currently debating. This makes it much easier to participate in discussions on government policies.

Impact

Our platform will make important local conversations much more representative of the actual community, boosting the representation of the most marginalized and underserved members. Being able to hear their perspective will lead to more inclusive, considerate decision-making that will truly benefit all of us rather than just some.

Sustainable Development Goal

peace justice bottom sustainable dev goal

16.8: Broaden and strengthen the awareness and participation of City and local communities, especially those traditionally underserved and marginalized, in the institutions of local and global governance.

open community project card

Open Community Survey

Problem

Most Neighborhood Councils do not have access or resources to hire technical experts necessary to create a citywide survey so that they can use the data to create inclusive websites targeted towards the needs of their specific communities.

Solution

The Open Community Survey project creates transparent reports supported by a direct collection of personal perspectives from LA residents to help The LA Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (empowerla.org) and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils to understand how constituents are interacting with, and what they need from, their websites.

Impact

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Sustainable Development Goal

peace justice bottom sustainable dev goal

16.8: Broaden and strengthen the awareness and participation of City and local communities, especially those traditionally underserved and marginalized, in the institutions of local and global governance.

lucky parking project card

Lucky Parking

Problem

Parking citations are distributed unevenly across different socio-economic strata of the cities residents as they use public parking during the course of business or because enough off-street parking is not provided at their residence. The current publicly available Los Angeles parking citation dataset can be used as a basis for discussions about this disparity, but the unwieldy size and inconsistency of this data has been enough of a barrier to make it inaccessible to non-researchers.

Solution

Hack for LA’s Lucky Parking project seeks to map the 12.5 million parking citations on a webapp that is easy to use yet powerful enough to make meaningful insights about parking citations accessible to the public at large.

Impact

Our project seeks to educate and inform city leaders and the community about the effects of Los Angeles’ parking policies, hopefully serving as a tool in discussing more equitable solutions to our transportation problems.

Sustainable Development Goal

sustainable cities bottom sustainable dev goal

11.2: By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.

Organizations We Work With

None of what we do would be possible without the generous support of many organizations throughout out our communities. A big thank you to:

code for america logo neighborhood councils empower LA: department of neighborhood empowerment logo palms neighborhood council logo echo park neighborhood council logo county of los angeles open data logo voices of neighborhood council logo MINC mid-city neighborhood council logo Join Us! marvista.org | mar vista community college logo