Open Collective
Open Collective
Update - First Half of 2023
Published on August 18, 2023 by jennifer @ Code for the Carolinas

As promised, here’s an update on our activities during the first half of 2023, a little later than planned. 

First, an update on our projects.

Shortly after the first of the year, we handed off the Open Meeting Toolkit to Sunshine Labs. While the project did not wind up achieving its original goals of reactivating local Brigades through observing local government meetings and replicating the Asheville Open Meetings Policy proposal throughout the state, it did have some positive outcomes. It was an honor to participate in the Code for America Impact Sprints. Our participation helped sustain civic tech volunteer activity in North Carolina–we estimate that 50 volunteers contributed to the project. Volunteers learned about access to local government meetings, including technical aspects of accessibility. This included two service learning State and Local Governance students from UNC-Chapel Hill. Our use of a Google Form and recommendation of a feedback mechanism as an alternative to policy change have also been adapted by Sunshine Labs and are helping to improve meeting access in Asheville. 

We also started two new projects, both inspired by Impact Sprint projects undertaken by other Brigades:

Inspired by Code for Hawaii, we started a partnership with the National Zoning Atlas. For this project, we plan to complete the jurisdiction work for North Carolina and South Carolina. 

Inspired by Open Columbus, we started an Open Sidewalks partnership with the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology to map pedestrian accessibility features of Downtown Raleigh.

During the first half of 2023, we had approximately 40 volunteers contribute to these projects!  

Next, for a brief recap of some administrative details.
During the first half of 2023, Code for the Carolinas was fiscally sponsored by Code for America as part of their Brigade Network. Code for America announced that it was discontinuing support of the Brigade Network effective June 30th. We held meetings to explore various options, which we referred to as Go Big, Go Forward, Go Our Separate Ways, and Go Home. In the end, we decided on the Go Forward plan–essentially, continuing on our current trajectory but with Open Collective as our fiscal host. However, there was a bit of a plot twist–both Code for Greensboro and Code for Greenville decided to become part of Code for the Carolinas. Code for Greensboro even transferred in slightly over $2,000 in budget! 

Somewhat surprisingly, Code for the Carolinas is headed into 3Q with more reach and activity than ever. We look forward to providing our next update on project progress in October. 
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