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Code for San Jose represents at the Civic & Gov Tech Showcase
Sep 21, 2017 • Emily Ramos
Code for San Jose was delighted to participate in the 3rd Annual Civic & Gov Tech Showcase, produced by Innovate Your State in partnership with the City of San Jose and Microsoft. Held at the beautiful Hammer Theater in downtown San Jose on September 13, 2017, the event brought together an impressive and diverse set of players from the civic tech ecosystem, including a newly-launched Code for San Jose project, the Renter’s Rights Guide.
Here are a few of my top highlights from the day.
Launching the Renter’s Rights Guide
In the morning pitch session, Code for San Jose volunteers Yan-Yin Choy and Julie Kim presented our team’s project to help San Jose renters understand the laws and programs in place to protect them.
Yan-Yin Choy and Julie Kim shared our journey doing user research and engaging stakeholders to understand how we might use civic tech to address the housing crisis through civic tech through user research and stakeholder engagement. Their presentation included a live demo of the web app. Questions, feedback or want to collaborate? Email us.
A series of pitches from different civic tech entrepreneurs were emceed by Code for San Jose’s fearless leader, Michelle Thong.
An impressive pitch came from a team of former Code for America fellows. Their project, RideAlong, focuses on getting relevant mental health information to first responders when resolving calls.
After working with the Seattle Police Department as Code for America fellows, they realized that 16% of first responder calls related to 3% of people. Officers often show up to a scene without knowing that the incident involves a mentally unstable person. RideAlong sends that information to the first responder in real time, which could prevent escalations and even unnecessary deaths.
Unleash Your Geek Winners Announced — With Drone Demo!
The most climactic moment of the morning involved a live onstage demo of a flying drone spraying a can of paint.
Mayor Sam Liccardo presented the winners for this year’s Unleash Your Geek Competition. The challenge was to find a cost effective way to clean graffiti on highway overpasses.
GRAD, a husband and wife team based in San Jose, demonstrated their winning prototype to all the viewers. Next, the winners plan on partnering with a Japanese company to create a drone that can climb walls.
Our final highlight came from the Awesome Foundation San Jose. The San José chapter of the Awesome Foundation is part of a global community “advancing the interest of awesome in the universe,” with grants of up to $1000 at a time, given out monthly. These micro grants come out of “trustees’” pockets, and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to awardees.
To encourage more civic innovation in San Jose, the Awesome Foundation announced a $1,000 special award for tech and civic engagement! You can go to sanjose.awesomefoundation.org to apply.