Hack for LA 2016 Schedule

Saturday, June 4th 2016 Hack for LA Schedule

Saturday's Agenda

8:30  Registration & Breakfast
9:00  Introductions and Welcome Keynote
9:15  Panel 1: The Los Angeles Promise Zone, and the National Promise Zone Challenge

 Workshop Sessions 1

  • Track 1: Civic Hacking 101 w/ Travis Korte, Product Lead Hack for LA
  • Track 2: Tracking Down Spatial Data w/ Esri team
  • Track 3: Intro to Tableau and Data Visualization
  • Track 4: Open Hackspace/ Work on your own
11:15  Panel 2: Data & Policy: Designing and Tracking Metrics for Success
12:00 Lunch by Chinese Laundry

Workshop Sessions 2

  • Track 1: A Story of Promise: Applying Best Practices in Data Storytelling to the LA Promise Zone w/ DataScience Inc
  • Track 2: Analyzing Data Using Maps and Sharing Your Work w/ Esri team
  • Track 3: Open Hackspace/ Work on your own
2:00 All presenters must sign up here by 2 PM: http://www.hackforla.org/2016present
3:15 Participant Presentations
4:00 Closing Remarks
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LA Promise Zone Info

The LA Promise Zone Initiative is a collective impact project to fight urban poverty.  It provides resources and leadership to public, non-profit, and community-based organizations that are committed to making Central Los Angeles a better place to live, work, and play.  The City of Los Angeles is the lead agency in this initiative, and the LA Promise Zone Operations Team is housed within the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

The LA Promise Zone was established in January 2014.  Since then, we have forged powerful partnerships and developed best practices in aligning federal and local funding to create better lives for the students and families who call our city home.


Our Promise Zone is located in Central Los Angeles, covering the diverse communities of Pico-Union, Westlake, Wilshire Center, East Hollywood and Hollywood. These five neighborhoods lie just west of downtown Los Angeles. The area is one of the most densely populated in Los Angeles — housing 34,000 people per square mile, compared with an average density of 8,000 across the city.

The LA Promise Zone is home to over 165,000 residents, with a population that is 60% Latino; 4% African-American; 16% white; and 20% Asian-Pacific Islander.

Tackling the challenges facing these communities begins with leadership that brings people together. This work would not be possible without the dedication and generous support of our partners in this initiative. They represent the diverse makeup of the LA Promise Zone, and provide the services necessary to meet the needs of the area’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and Limited-English Proficient (LEP) populations.

Initiative Goals

In the LA Promise Zone, we are dedicated to boosting quality of life for our residents, and improving the places they call home.  Our partnership goals center on economic development, education, public safety, and sustainable neighborhoods. We spent a year developing the Partnership’s Strategic Plan, which was adopted in January of 2016. Partners like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the County of Los Angeles, and First 5 L.A. — along with our social sector partners — are actively engaged in our efforts. 

For this National Day of Civic Hacking event, we have developed a series of data visualization challenges/ questions and one app challenge. 


Data Challenges

While we know a bit about the basic demographic composition of the communities we serve, there many aspects of community life that we don’t know enough about.  We’ve assembled a series of questions in each policy area that would greatly enhance our knowledge of the existing conditions in the LA Promise Zone, and help us better serve our communities. 

These data visualizations and maps may be used as a baseline from which to judge the future impact of Promise Zone activities.  If we can show where we are now on these key metrics, we can help the Promise Zone teams understand their impact and effectiveness visually.


We believe that education is a catalytic agent for improving not only a child’s future, but a whole neighborhood.  

Strategic objectives: To improve school readiness, grade promotion, graduation rates at all levels, student prep for college & career, college readiness, enrollment, and graduation.

  • What are interesting and useful ways to visualize educational achievement and/ or educational challenges within the Promise Zone?
  • How many child care providers are located in the LA Promise Zone?
  • Determine which neighborhoods are centers for recent immigrants by mapping “language spoken at home” to the census tract or census block level.

Economic Activity

We believe that a thriving Economy is one where people have the opportunity and resources to move up the economic ladder.

Strategic objectives: To support small business and entrepreneurs; to employ innovative economic development strategies, to strengthen job training and placement; and to support family success.

  • How can we visualize productive economic activity and job growth in the Promise Zone?
  • How many banks do we have in the LA Promise Zone?  How many credit unions?  How many ATMs?  Where are they located?  Are there any neighborhoods that are not adequately served by financial institutions in the LA Promise Zone
  • Determine the number and types of small businesses in the LA Promise Zone.  For the purpose of this exercise, small business is defined as an establishment that has less than 25 employees.
  • How many individuals have bank accounts in the Promise Zone?
  • How many individuals are supported by WIC, CALWORKS, SNAP or other forms of public assistance?

Public Safety

We envision neighborhoods where everyone feels safe at all times. This vision is possible when we develop community partnerships based on trust and cooperation between safety officials and the public.

Strategic objectives: To address public safety and quality of life concerns, provide gang intervention and prevention services; and to promote safe routes to school.

  • How safe are our Promise Zone neighborhoods?  Are there areas within the Promise Zone that require special attention from law enforcement?  Are these areas getting more or less safe over time, relative to the rest of the City?
  • How many collisions occur in Promise Zone intersections which are in considered to be in the City's High Injury Network? (Vision Zero)

Equitable, Livable and Sustainable Communities

We believe that all residents should enjoy livable communities where they have access to affordable housing, diverse transportation options, improved streets and sidewalks, green public spaces, and community assets and culture.

Strategic objectives: To reduce and end local homelessness; to preserve, maintain and supply of affordable housing; and to focus resources on sustainable neighborhood infrastructure.

  • Can we visualize gentrification or displacement within the Promise Zone?
  • What is the utilization of public transportation and other forms of active transportation within the Promise Zone?
  • What are the obesity and asthma rates in the LA Promise Zone?  For Adults?  For Children?
  • How many grocery stores are located in the LA Promise Zone?  How many corner markets?  How many liquor stores?  Are there any neighborhoods that do not have access to healthy food?
  • Determine if there are any neighborhoods where housing overcrowding is evident. Map data to the census tract or census block level.
  • Create a story map to illustrate how our LA Promise Zone school children face dangerous street conditions when they walk or ride bikes to school.

Application Challenge

The Promise Zone team is fairly early in its development of technology tools and strategies to achieve its goals.  One identified need is to better connect the organizations active inside the Promise Zone.

App for Outreach and Connection

In order to fully achieve collective impact goals in the ten year duration, partners need to be on the same page. One way to accomplish this is created an app specially designed for partners to connect via smartphones. Whether posting about job opportunities, grant collaboration opportunities, events, program updates, and needs for volunteers, some system to prompt programs to share data, and to allow stakeholders to see the breadth of activity within the Zone, could facilitate better collaboration. Could partners have the opportunity to get updates on whatever topics interest them? We find this to be useful because at many partner organizations there are staff handling different matters which can lead to varied interests. This prospective app could be a step into the future of seamless communication and collaboration between agencies and organizations.

If you're planning to join us at Hack for LA 2016 to work on these Promise Zone challenges, be sure to register for the event!


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Q & A with Scott Christman, CIO of OSHPD

Cross posted from the California Health Data Blog.

One of the opportunities afforded as a Health Data Ambassador is the opportunity to interact and learn from health experts from the local, county and state level. This past month, I had the pleasure of chatting with Scott Christman CIO of California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).

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City of LA Open Sources Web Style Guide

Hack for LA works with the City of Los Angeles to identify civic tech needs and opportunities for collaboration.  We're really excited that the City's Information Technology Agency has reached out to the Hack for LA community for feedback and participation in the new citywide web style guide.  This style guide/ design template will be used to transition more than 20 City department websites off of obsolete platforms and onto Drupal - and it's giving the City the opportunity to rethink its visual identity online.  We want the design to be functional, beautiful, and prioritize accessibility and usability.  LA has some of the best designers on the planet - and we want our City websites to be the best they can be - to do that, we need your input!

Here's the style guide: http://contact.lacity.org/style/.

Here are ways you can participate in this process

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Three Years and Running with Open Data...

Cross posted from the California Health Data Blog.

Three years running we’ve celebrated Code for America’s National Day of Civic Hacking in Los Angeles with a two day hackathon, “Hack for LA.” This year, like each year before, we had hundreds of participants from across Los Angeles compete for cash prizes by building apps as solutions to solve problems in our local community. This year we engaged in several new partners including the California HealthCare Foundation’s California Health Data Project.

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Third Annual Hack for LA June 6th-7th


Third Annual Hack For LA Event To Tackle City Solutions:
Water Conservation, Health, Transportation, and Immigration

Thousands of Developers, Designers, Civic Hackers, Government Staff and Community Organizers to Descend Upon Los Angeles on June 6th and 7th to Solve City Challenges

WHAT:  The largest civic hacking organization in Southern California, HACK FOR LA, is bringing together big names in tech, government and entertainment to create innovative solutions for challenges in Los Angeles. The two-day event, beginning on June 6th, National Day of Civic Hacking, and continuing through June 7th, will feature innovation workshops and solution-development geared toward water conservation, health, transportation and immigration.

This year the event will be hosted at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where participants will congregate with their laptops, skills, ideas and commitment to innovate. A host of esteemed judges will award a selection of winners for their solutions in health, drought, transportation or immigration, amounting to a $3,500 in cash prizes.

WHO:  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will keynote the event in addition to an extensive line-up of sponsors and partners including will.i.am’s i.am.angel Foundation, Futurethon, ESRI, Deutsch, Gimbal, Compiler LA, Los Angeles Information Technology Agency, Control Panel LA, Hub LA, CTRL CollectiveCalifornia HealthCare Foundation and California Health & Human Services Agency

WHEN:  Saturday, June 6, 2015
8am - Doors
9am - Kickoff with Mayor Eric Garcetti

Sunday, June 7, 2015
8am - Doors
4pm - Submissions due
5pm - Best in competition presentations
6pm - Winners Announced, Closing remarks

WHERE: Department of Water and Power, 111 N Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

More information can be found at hackforla.org. HACK FOR LA is on Twitter and Facebook

Media Contact: Mark Havenner
(310) 556-4443

Event Contact: Anthony Rollins
(310) 801-8036

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Announcing the Winners of Hack for LA 2014!

Hack for LA at City Hall Draws Over 500 Participants to Make Apps for Civic Good

It's been an honor to bring Hack for LA to City Hall this National Day of Civic Hacking weekend.  Over 500 Angelenos participated, 200 of which were middle and high school students from across the city.  Check out the LA Times coverage of Hack for LA’s role in an epic weekend of technology and civic engagement hosted by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Over $15,000 worth of prizes were issued to a diverse group of winning apps, including top awards presented by Google and Socrata.  Out of 30 submissions, here are the winners of Hack for LA 2014:

1st Place Overall, Winner of $3,000Shelter Connect

ShelterConnect is a free and open-source platform that connects homeless shelters with restaurants and volunteer organizations.  ShelterConnect was created in 24 hours at Hack for LA by a group of four high school students! It consists of a backend API server written in Go and Postgres.

2nd Place Overall, Winner of $1,500:  Report LA Water Waste

This simple mobile website is a place where people can report water waste (broken sprinklers, leaking pipes, improper lawn watering, etc) to the city with one click!  A double-winner, this app also received the top Esri Prize for best use of Esri Mapping Technology.

3rd Place Overall, Winner of $1,000Call a Coach

Call a Coach enables the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to certify and manage volunteer coaches across all Los Angeles communities.  Using Google App Engine, Google+, Google Search and Google Maps, it provides proximity and rating based coaching inventory in real-time.

The ESRI Prizes for Best Use of Esri Mapping Technology
Esri 1st Place for $1,500: Report LA Water Waste

Our only double-winner, Report LA Water Waste also won 2nd Place Overall.

Esri 2nd Place for $750: MuraLAfi

The muraLAfi platform connects both experienced and aspiring artists with local businesses and property owners while creating public goods in the process!

Esri 3rd Place for $250: LA Linguistic

LA Linguistic is an experiment in visualizing real-time linguistic data.  Data on tweets in languages other than English are visualized based on their location.

Cornerstone OnDemand Prize for Jobs and Economic Development, Winner of $1,500: VAssist

Veterans have technical skills in areas of critical importance, discipline, loyalty and many also already have security clearances required for some positions in many departments. VAssist service provides a means for veterans to continue their honorable and noble service to this country. Use of APIs include VA.gov - VA Facilities Data API, Available Jobs API from api.usa.gov, and Esri.

SAS Prize for Public Safety, Winner of $1,250: Secure LA

SecureLA is an interactive map of violent and non-violent crime across Los Angeles, using Socrata crime data from the LAPD Crime and Collision Raw Data 2014 at data.lacity.org to show citizens where crime occurs throughout the day.

SAS Prize for Public Opinion, Winner of $1,250: Listen2LA

#LISTEN2LA is a simple, responsive web app that connects community stakeholders at the local level (i.e. neighborhood council representatives) to their constituents. Utilizing keywords to scrub social media for relevant tweets in their district, council members can better identify community issues as they arise.

i.am.angel Foundation TRANS4M Prize, Winner of $2,000: Help the Homeless

This is an app to help locate services helping homeless people get their lives together and back on track, built using the Intel xdk platform.

Congratulations to all our winners!  This year, Hack for LA aims to further our winners' projects by helping to connect them with ongoing mentorship and resources from city agencies and tech professionals. Code for America, who was proud sponsor of our Hack for LA Afterparty, has big plans for expanding their push into Los Angeles, and will be a welcome force for furthering tech and civic innovation. 

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Media Alert For Hack For LA


Mayor Eric Garcetti to Host Latest Hack For LA Event
at City Hall to Support Local Efforts for Civic Innovation 

The Largest Civic Hackathon in Southern California Will Serve As A Key Activity
Amid Various City Hall Efforts To Address Timely Civic Innovation Challenges

HACK FOR LA, the largest civic hackathon in Southern California, announced today Los Angeles City Hall as the location for its third and latest event taking place this May 31st – June 1st.  The event will call to action government agencies, businesses, nonprofits, software developers, web designers, students and civically-engaged thought leaders to address complex local problems through technology innovation workshops and application development.  Following significant back-to-back events in various LA communities, HACK FOR LA has garnered significant community, civic and tech industry attention and continues to receive the support of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and returning sponsor and musical entertainer will.i.am.

The hackathon will coincide with the #techLA conference celebrating the launch of the City Of LA’s Open Data Portal wherein city datasets are made available online in downloadable and shareable formats. The conference will also feature panel discussions on civic innovation and technology, the first convening of the Mayor’s Council on Technology, a technology products expo, and a tech jobs fair.  

Presenting partners and sponsors include: Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, will.i.am's i.am.angel Foundation, Google, ESRI, SAS, Cornerstone OnDemand, Socrata, Verizon, Intel, the Los Angeles Information Technology Agency, Control Panel LA, Supermasv, Code for America, Technovation, Girls in Tech LA, WhizGirls Academy, New Economy Campaigns, Sealight Enterprises, SignatureCreative, Code for LA and The Pollack PR Marketing Group. The event features prized challenges on topics including ‘Best App for Public Safety,’ ‘Best App Using LA City Data,’ and a total prize pool valued at more than $14,000.

Mayor Garcetti’s support for Hack for LA is aligned with furthering city technology innovation efforts and events, and complements the newly created LACity.gov portal and the "Entrepreneur in Residence" program. 

“It's inspiring to see LA's tech and creative communities coming together with civic agencies at this summer’s Hack for LA event. This event shows that City Hall can be a catalyst for innovation to solve current issues for local businesses and residents. The apps and ideas that come from Hack for LA help move LA forward,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

At the event, Mayor Garcetti will meet with high school students who are making innovative apps to help their local neighborhoods.  Students from Boyle Heights supported by will.i.am's i.am.angel Foundation will present their app projects to the Mayor.

Celebrity entertainer and President of i.am.angel Foundation, will.i.am, added, “Everything we can do to engage local communities, especially our young people, in technology and innovation helps us to create a stronger LA and a stronger America.” 


8:30 am – 7:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday, May 31st-June 1st, 2014

Kickoff: 9 AM Saturday

Team Presentations and Awards: 4-7pm Sunday

Los Angeles City Hall

200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012


For press registration, please contact:

Daniel Atwater/Stefan Pollack
The Pollack PR Marketing Group
Daniel Mobile: 323-841-3500










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Be a mentor!

Hack for LA needs mentors for our May 31 - June 1 event.  Can you help as a mentor during the weekend? 

Mentors set the tone for the hackathon. The role of the Mentor is to be a resource for the teams during the duration of the hackathon. Help teams define workflow, generate relevant ideas, problem-solve, understand open datasets and develop final pitches. Most importantly, be helpful and encouraging!

Ideally mentors have minimum 2-3 years experience on a software development team, have mentored other developers, are familiar with open data and technologies and have participated in at least one hackathon.  We are looking for mentors that are software developers (mobile, front-end, back-end), visual designers, UX designers, Quality Assurance testers and product/marketing experts. Mentors should be able to participate in both days of the Hackathon (May 31 - June 1st, at City Hall in LA).  Some of our mentors from Hack for LA 1 and 2 found new developers for their teams, so think of it as a great way to meet good people in tech!

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Think Green at Hack for LA/ Public Allies Panel


Please join us during our Winter Hackathon on Sunday, December 8th for THINK GREEN: the panel discussion for Civic-Hackers, Community Activists, and Public Allies Alumni on current Environmental, Urban Agriculture, and Food Justice data-driven projects in Los Angeles. Our goal is to spark conversation between Angelenos committed to find innovative solutions for our current environmental issues.

The panel will feature Clare Fox, Policy & Innovations Director for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC) and Omar Brownson, Executive Director of LA River Revitalization Corporation -- moderated by Luis Sierra Campos, former Hack For LA winner and co-founder of the White House-recognized hack Urbanfruit.ly.

Date: December 8th

Time: 2:00pm

Location: Variety Boys and Girls Club Community Room - Boyle Heights, 2530 Cincinnati Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90033

Please RSVP for the panel here - select "Nontechnical" if you will only be attending the panel.  And please stay for our Hackathon judging session after the panel!


Clare Fox is the Policy and Innovations Director for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC), an independent non-profit created by the City of Los Angeles. She collaborates closely with a large network of food advocates, government representatives and businesses to catalyze projects and build leadership capacity for a sustainable and equitable food system. Her policy advocacy focuses on urban agriculture, street food vending, and community economic development that creates equitable access to healthy food and promotes social justice. In this work, Clare runs business and leadership trainings and provides one-on-one consulting for neighborhood markets in low-income communities across the city who desire to sell more fresh and healthy food, and she project manages several corner store "conversion" projects. Previously, Clare worked with a wide range of community, environmental and labor organizations as a research, strategic planning and facilitation consultant, including projects for the UCLA Labor Center, the Los Angeles Community Garden Council and Green for All. For several years, Clare produced and taught radio production to young people throughout Los Angeles and the U.S. for Youth Radio and National Public Radio. Clare has a bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College and a Masters in urban planning from UCLA. All her work is informed by over a decade participating in grassroots movements for social and racial justice.

Omar Brownson is the Executive Director of The LA River Revitalization Corporation, an independent non-profit organization focused in revitalizing the Los Angeles River. Omar leads the organizations strategic vision, and oversees operations.  His job involves building a broad coalition of businesses, community and civic leaders, and environmentalists to champion the LA River Greenway. He's been described as having the heart of an activist and the mind of a capitalist. Omar's entrepreneurial spirit is rooted in private enterprise, private equity investment in mission-driven real estate, and sustainable project finance.  He holds a bachelors degree from the University of California Davis and a joint-Masters in Public Policy and Urban Planning from the Harvard Kennedy School and Graduate School of Design. Omar is a proud Public Allies Alum Class of 97' and most recently a recipient of the Stanton Fellowship by the Durfee Foundation (2014-15).


Luis Sierra Campos is Public Allies Los Angeles alum Class 01, Social Entrepreneur, and Co-founder of Urbanfruit.ly - the mobile app and website platform where urban farmers can exchange their excess harvest through a peer-to-peer network. The mobile app and website platform allows Los Angeles urban farmers the ability to diversify their fresh food surplus; reduce fresh food waste; and build an online bartering community. Urbanfruit.ly was developed in Hack For LA's 1st hackathon this past summer.

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