This first-ever Sacramento County civic-tech challenge was hosted to engage the community and to connect people and skillsets with those who have IT and coding knowledge. The ending products resulted in apps that “do good” for the community by affecting change and making County services more accessible through the use of open data.
This hack-a-thon, done over 6 weeks, was different from the typical one or two day events and has led to solutions rather than just concepts. The teams tackled issues such as connecting surplus equipment with organizations, polling place accessibility, and a location-based guide to food, shelter and other services for those experiencing homelessness in our community or who need assistance with services.
Sacramento County CIO Rami Zakaria said, “We really didn’t know what to expect, but I’m thoroughly impressed with the quality submissions. At the kick-off, we thought we might get a handful of submissions, but instead we got 13. I think this event has been really outstanding and has done what we set out for it to do – we engaged the community.”
Along with Zakaria, the competition judges, Timothy Potter, an open source advocate and senior software engineer at Lucidworks, and Todd Sander, VP of research and executive director at e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government were truly impressed with the community participation, creativity and quality of the applications. Prior to announcing the winners, Sander praised the participants, and said that out of all the contests he’s seen all over the country that Sacramento County stands out both in engagement and quality. The solutions presented were judged on: innovation/creativity, usability/accessibility, feasibility/sustainability, and use of SacCounty open data sets.
Participants saved their open source code used to create their apps on GitHub – a web-based repository platform that allows collaboration and place to host apps.
A big thank you goes out to the winners and to all participants. The County’s Department of Technology plans to make Hack4Sac an annual event and looks forward to refining and supporting as many of the submitted apps as possible.
Let’s take a look at what the participants presented on closing night!
TOP PLACING PARTICIPANTS
1st Place and Audience Choice Award:
SacHomeless Team – SacSOS mobile site and website
Concept: SacSOS is an aggregate of resources available to those experiencing homelessness or in need of Sacramento County human assistance services – from mental health, medical care, shelter options, youth resources, and food resources – including hot meals, food pantries, EBT and WIC merchants. The mobile site uses geo-location to sort nearest services and the desktop website allows for printing accurate, up to date, “street sheets” that list services. This solution is built on the existing open source Ohana API developed by Code for America in San Mateo County.
Team members: Joanne Werneke, Captain; Kevin Fries; Jeff Roush; Hillary Gaines; Kayla Granderson; Michael Tel; Emily Quinn Finney
Link: http://sacsos.org/; Mobile version http://m.sacsos.org/
Polling Place Accessibility App
Concept: This web-based app allows voters with specific needs to identify accessibility barriers at their assigned polling place and identify alternative voting options.
Team Members: Rasheed Bustamam, Captain; Hans Chun; Nate Cornell; Brooks Newberry
Share Human Assistance Resource Exchange
Concept: This website connects organizations with surplus equipment eligible for donation and organizations or individuals in need of resources. Using this platform, an organization can make an account and then post an inventory of surplus equipment that would otherwise be scrapped/destroyed. Individuals or organizations that are in need of donated resources can also make accounts and then apply/request the available surplus.
Team Members: Christine Feaster, Captain; Koni Davies; Neal Fennimore; Erik Olson; Joanne Wu
Sac County Food Safety Inspection – Yelp Integration
Team Members: Joseph Lei, Christine Feaster
Sac County Free Flu Shot Text Notifier
Team Members: Joseph Lei
TEKPartner – Polling Place Accessibility visualization
Team Members: Chandra Gaajula, Aravind Karnam Rajendraprasad; Bhushan Ladde
Team Members: Peter Hitchcock
Team Members: Peter Hitchcock
311 Service Request
Team Members: Matthew Merrill, David Judilla, Brandon Sherman, Varun Ved
County Road Rewards, ClaimUrCounty Check, SacCounty Connect
Team Members: Nilesh and Samaira Shah
Team Members: Shira Lane, Johnathan Levy
WINNERS GO TO THE BOARD'S MEETING
On Tuesday, May 10, watch online or come in person to the public meeting in the Board Chambers to see the three Hack4Sac winners presented to the Board of Supervisors and receive their winnings. First place will be awarded $5,000; second will receive $3,000; and third will get $2,000.