Last month, we hosted a one-day workshop with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer‘s office called Speak Up, New York. The purpose of the event was to bring together NYC community groups and “civic hackers” to discuss how community groups are using technology to organize and engage. With a keynote from Deputy US CTO for Open Government Beth Noveck, presentations from E-Democracy, Neighbors for Neighbors, Transportation Alternatives, and others, and representation from many NYC community boards as well as projects like Localocracy and SeeClickFix, it was a great opening discussion.
In the spirit of building community, our first step is to continue to bring together the people who are interested in these issues, to see what kinds of things we can do together, starting right now. Long term, OpenPlans and the MBPO are also interested in building a series of web tools to empower community organizing in NYC, but the more important step is to build connections among the community of people we intend to serve.
With that goal in mind, we are kicking off a series of monthly meetups, where we’ll work together to develop tools and resources to empower local community organizing in NYC. The next meetup is this coming Monday, July 26th, 6:30-8:30pm, here at OpenPlans. Projects for Monday’s meetup will include (please click through to vote or leave a comment on each idea):
- Mapping out the communication tools that community groups are using today
- Creating a “how to guide” for starting a community group
- Creating a Public Registry of Community Organizations
To join the group and to RSVP for next week’s meetup, check out the meetup group here:
We are excited to move forward with this great group of people, and we hope you can join us!
// Photo from the June 11 Speak Up, NY workshop by Robin Smith