Code Island is the Rhode Island brigade of Code for America. Code Island is a new effort and is in the process of building a website. In the meantime, you can learn about how you can contribute at the Code Island Meetup page or visit the main site Code Island main site
In the past, all CfA brigades have focused on a city, like Chicago or San Francisco. Code Island is the first CfA brigade to work at the state level; we are their test case.
In this work, we are fortunate to have the support and direct participation of Thom Guertin, RI's first Chief Digital Officer and leader of the Office of Digital Excellence. Through Thom, Code Island has access to many of the department and agency leaders who make critical technology decisions. For this reason, we expect Code Island to have a meaningful, positive impact on how our state uses technology to provide information and services to residents.
Code Island Fellows
Code for America's methodology is to send fellows into a city (or state, in our case) for one year to work with government and the volunteer brigade members. The fellows bring the experience and training from previous brigade launches and help the new brigade build on, rather than replicate, the work of existing brigades.
Code Island enjoys the presence of three CfA fellows -- Andrew Maier, Jeff Maher and Anne-Marie P.
Code Island Local Organizers
Code Island enjoys two co-organizers with complementary skills and experience. Ryan Kelly is Urban Information Specialist at The Providence Plan (ProvPlan), a non-profit organization that helps cities and towns in RI as well as the state as a whole make better decisions about planning, development and the application of resources to meet specific challenges. David Johnson is an information security expert who has worked with corporate and government clients over many years.
Code Island Projects
In addition to this community wiki, Code Island has launched projects and inquiries into these topics:
Budget Visualization Tools - This project seeks to develop tools to let residents examine state finance information at the "checkbook register level", comparing expenditures to planned budgets. This is extremely complicated work for many reasons, so the project team is focusing on expenditures related to transit as the initial scope-of-work. Eventually, the brigade hopes to integrate municipal spending as well.
Unemployment... Can Data Help? - Everybody in Rhode Island is concerned about our persistent unemployment problems. The Code Island project seeks to help the various agencies that deliver job training services streamline and coordinate their efforts, making available options easier to understand and access. The community wiki project is supporting the unemployment project by consolidating basic information related to Job Training Resources.
RIPTA - Code Islanders have great affection for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority and want to help them move more quickly to get real-time bus location information into the public space. This project team is working with RIPTA to improve the accuracy of their GPS information and create a smartphone app to publish bus location information.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors - At present, this project stands as an inquiry into web applications that help neighbors exchange value-for-value in ways like shoveling snow or fixing a broken fence. The project team is currently researching the specific factors that make some systems successful (that is, used) while others never gain traction.