Code for Philly

Bringing Philadelphians together to upgrade our city

Code for [My Town]


Civic Engagement Launchpad

Code for Philly is excited to announce our next event, beginning March 24th through April 24th. We’re switching from calling it a hackathon to a launchpad. Find out why, and where to sign up

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Want to share your thoughts, but you prefer to keep anonymous? You can fill out this form to provide feedback on our programming and leadership without needing to provide a name.

Latest Project Activity

Jess Mason Megalithic Timeline OpenSource Project Update #2

Were Hosting a 2nd meetup This sunday @ Indy Hall Coworking space.

Meetup Link: Sunday Morning{Open-Source­­} Community Project - Megalithic Timeline (Part-1)

The Idea:

Megalithic Timeline is an open-source project I want to build in order to convey a better history of Human made megalithic structures and an anthropology of humans throughout history. I've been fascinated with uncovering the anthropology of the people who built these unbelievable monuments which have withstood the test of time and forces of nature to give us a glimpse back in time.

Build Goal:

My goal with this project is to help bring together people who are interested in discovering Science & History through coding together. If we are successful at building this dynamic app, we'll help reach broader audiences to further convey the ideas outlined above.

Part 1 of the sunday morning coding session will be to discuss the different parts of the app to be built and collaborated on. Thereafter we will break off into groups and begin architecting and designing the Back-end & Front-end parts of the app. After allotted time we'll group back together and Review.

This app will be developed using:

Front-End: ~Angular 2 ~HTML ~CSS ~Javascript

Back-End: ~Neo4j virtual graph database & companion Cypher graph query language. ~Node.js ~MongoDB NoSQL

Hosting: ~Heroku



~Pocket API

~Wolfram Alpha API

~Google API

Trello Board: Trello Board

Event: There will be food and drinks provided by our sponsors for the event.

~Pizza ~Beer ~Snacks & More


We will be meeting in the Art Gallery of Indy Hall’s Co-working Space on the 3rd floor of the Colonial Penn building which is on the corner of Market st. and 4th.

Front Doors Lock after 12:00 PM < Call or text > (267) 393-0910 and someone will be down to let you in. TuneIn online: We're setting up a Zoom­ Conference call in case you want to attend but can't make it here physically. I'll be posting a Link here when we start casting the meetup so you can join in from the Technium.

Aaron Long CELaunchpad's Problem Statements

Adopt a Project:

In addition to starting new projects, Launchpad participants can decide to support these open-source projects and deliver an even greater impact!

Problem Statements

For an idea on what we are looking for with project ideas, check out our Project Idea blog post.

You can submit your ideas using our Project Idea Submission Form.

Improving Citizen Engagement with RCOs

Idea & Opportunity

Registered Community Organizations (RCO’s) have a critical role in the development process in the City of Philadelphia. Many are robust volunteer organizations that perform important civic work. With over 190 (RCOs) in the City, as a citizen it can be hard to identify who does what, where they do it and how someone can get involved. Currently, very limited information about these RCOs is publicly accessible and in most cases the information is dependent on each individual RCO making it available themselves.

This would be an opportunity to expand what data is publicly available and aggregate in one central location. The City has already provided the submissions and supporting documentation from the 192 RCOs that were granted status.

Who benefits if we take action?

Citizens looking to learn more about the work their neighborhood RCO is doing or who want to join their RCO, but don’t know how to become members or how to run for the board.

Community Based Policing

Idea & Opportunity

Using publicly available data, machine learning algorithms, and communication technology can increase citizen awareness and preparation of predictable crime. Breaking & Entering, Theft from Vehicle, even traffic accidents seem to follow a particular pattern. For example, there are more auto accidents on Friday afternoons, and Breaking & Entering show repeats about a month or two in the same area.

The idea is to get programmers and data analysts to create predictive models with raw data, then score these models against future projections. Findings should be easily shared using social media and other digital communication channels. OpenDataPhilly has crime data going back to 2006. What’s missing is a public space for people to create models. A running beta site has been setup at

Who benefits if we take action?

Both local citizens and Philadelphia police

Open Seat Finder - 2017 Board of Elections

Idea & Opportunity

While there’s been a lot of excitement about the 2018 ward elections next year, there are another 1,600+ hyper-local offices on the ballot in 2017—the Board of Elections! These are tiny, division-level seats that are also a good entry point into local politics, and who occupies these seats matters for whether polling places are well-run. Typically only about 60% of these seats get filled in any given election cycle. After March 18th, we’ll know who all filed petitions to run for the Board of Elections seats, and we’ll also know which seats are still open.

An interactive Open Seat Finder map would be of great practical value for getting information about open seats out to people who might be interested in waging a write-in campaign. A similar effort in 2014 promoted a map of open ward committee seats, and resulted in a wave of successful write-in campaigns, and the same could happen in 2017.

Who benefits if we take action?

People thinking about running for their first local political office; voters who will enjoy a well-staffed polling place and speedy voting experience if more Board of Elections seats are filled.

Get Out the Vote Block Captains

Idea & Opportunity

Similar to what’s done with the Streets Dept, create a non-partisan “get out the vote” Block Captain program for Philadelphia neighborhoods to encourage voting in upcoming elections. Block Captains would help register new voters, provide non-partisan sources of election information, and encourages actual participation.

A tech platform could support Block Captains receiving occasional “best practices” training about increasing voter participation, allow captains to sign up for push reminders via text messages and receive small get out the vote marketing materials prior to registration deadlines/election day. Not to vote for a specific candidate, but just to register, be informed and then just to go vote on Election day. Donations could be accepted to support the materials and perhaps even compensate captains in poor neighborhoods for their work.

Who benefits if we take action?

Blocks will benefit by building community and increase their voice by displaying that their constituents care. Citizens learn more about elections. Philadelphia contributes more voters to statewide elections and national elections.

Viral Social Campaign

Idea & Opportunity

Let’s create a viral social campaign that encourages local civic engagement here in Philly. Imagine a platform and message similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The platform would encourage the community to volunteer and nominate others to do the same. Idea is based on something similar in Calgary.

Sample: do 3 things for your community, share it on fb/instagram/twitter (photos & videos preferred), and then nominate 3 more people to do 3 things. Homepage has a list of all completed activity and perhaps a list of “things” that need to be done. Preferably includes a mobile component to make sharing easy.

Who benefits if we take action?

Broadly, the City of Philadelphia. Specifically it would encourage all local citizens to get engaged in making Philly a hotbed of engaged citizens.

Visualizing the Anti-Gerrymander: Help Fair Districts PA map its assets so that it can defeat gerrymandered political maps in Pennsylvania

Please checkout District Builder and consider adopting it

Idea & Opportunity

There is growing momentum across the country against gerrymandering, the process by which politicians draw their district boundaries to obtain an unfair advantage for themselves or their political party.

In Pennsylvania, the all-volunteer organization Fair Districts PA (FDPA) was founded in January 2016 to bring form and action to this movement. (See for details.) FDPA membership has grown dramatically in recent months, but it now needs the technological capacity to better deploy volunteer and financial resources coming in by the day — and to spur activism where there is currently no or limited FDPA organizing.

We propose creation of a geographical information system tool to help FDPA organizers visualize areas of strength and weakness so as to effectively organize resources to the most critical areas. The initial version of the tool would be developed and tested within Philadelphia; when proven we hope to scale it to cover the entire state.

The tool would begin with a map of conventional political and geographic boundaries (municipalities, counties, state legislative districts, etc.) and then add layers representing information relevant to FDPA organizing. A layer could illustrate the energy behind FDPA, including where meetings have taken place. A layer could show key districts that have decision-makers/persuadables - highlighting districts represented by party leadership, key committee members, members who will be targeted by the opposing party’s outside money in 2018, etc. Another layer might be useful in soliciting and targeting donations for key actions of the campaign. Furthermore, different segments of a given layer could be coded by color or other means to represent important metrics. For example, a zip code layer could show density of FDPA membership and outreach activity by local organizers. The legislative district layer might have multiple codes for degree of support or hostility from a given legislator, degree of influence that legislator has on others, margin of victory in their last election, proximity of a legislator to their next election, amount of outside money flowing to that legislator, etc. Essentially, the layers of this map would develop a Call to Action - donating, starting a working group where there is a void, contacting legislators, eventually completing a Draw the Lines map, etc.

Who benefits if we take action?

The initial beneficiaries would be the local leadership of FDPA, at both the neighborhood and city-wide level. If scaled to cover the entire state, the tool would be of tremendous value to all FDPA leadership at the county, region, and state levels.

Aaron Long CELaunchpad's Speakers

March 24th

Dawn McDougall

Executive Director, Code for Philly


Dawn took leadership at Code for Philly in early 2015, shifting the focus of the community towards developing solutions collaboratively with government and other civic-focused organizations. This approach starts a conversation around social issues and builds both digital and civic literacy in the process. By day, Dawn is a Operations Manager at Prompt Works.

David Gould

Deputy Director of Community Engagement and Communications at Rebuild, City of Philadelphia


David Gould is the Deputy Director of Community Engagement and Communications for the City of Philadelphia’s Rebuild initiative. Rebuild is an investment in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. Through public, private, and philanthropic support, Rebuild will make significant investments – up to $500MM over 7 years – in Philadelphia’s community parks, libraries, recreation centers, and playgrounds with the goals of expanding educational opportunities for children, supporting healthy lifestyles for all, improving public safety in our shared spaces, and creating jobs across the city.

March 25th

Stephanie Monahon

Chief Service Officer at City of Philadelphia


Stephanie Monahon serves as the city’s chief Service Officer, leading the Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service. She oversees the city’s various volunteer programs, such as AmeriCorps VISTA and the Foster Grandparents program. She came to public service by way of advocacy and political activity, previously working at Organizing for Action and President Obama’s campaigns.

Aaron Ogle

Director of Product, The OpenGov Foundation


Aaron is currently the Director of Product for the OpenGov Foundation, a nonprofit using technology to help reconcile constituents and their democratic representatives. He was formerly the Director of Civic Technology for the City of Philadelphia where he built and guided the team that is redesigning to be simple, crisp, respectful, and delightful. Prior to joining the City, Aaron was CTO of OpenPlans, a non-profit that built open-source software for cities, primarily focused on urban planning and community engagement. He was also an inaugural fellow with Code for America.

April 25

Panelists for Project demo

Christine Derenick-Lopez

Chief Administrative Officer, City of Philadelphia

Alison Perelman

Executive Director, Philadelphia 3.0

Alison Perelman is the Executive Director of Philadelphia 3.0, a nonprofit organization committed to reforming the city’s political system. 3.0 supports independent-minded candidates running for municipal office, with a principal focus on City Council, and advocates for good government and reform legislative initiatives, with a bias for data and best practices.

Patrick Morgan

Philadelphia Program Director, Knight Foundation


Prior to joining Knight, Morgan held leadership positions in Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s administration, including chief of staff to the deputy mayor for environmental and community resources and assistant managing director. He has helped to develop innovative public initiatives to increase the urban tree canopy, promote an equitable food system, create new public parks and play spaces, as well as advance workforce development, digital literacy and community engagement.

Aaron Long CELaunchpad's Sponsors

Thank you!

This Launchpad wouldn’t be possible without the generous financial support of our sponsors who believe in our mission. We are also grateful for our community partners who contribute valuable datasets, problem sets, and offer expertise as professionals working in the field.


This hackathon couldn’t exist without out our sponsors and their generous donations, everyone from Code for Philly would like to extend our deepest gratitude for helping us with our mission.

General Sponsors

Civic Tech Supporter

See what help they’re looking for.

Civic Tech Champion

See all the opportunities at Prompt Works

Media Sponsor

A Better Philly through Technology, Technically Philly

Food Sponsors


Philadelphia Brewing Co., Brewed with Local Flavor

Hello Insomniacs, Insomnia Cookies


Center City’s Finest Bagels, Chestnut Street Philly Bagels

Taste the goodness @au bon pain


THE EXPERIENCE OF COFFEE, ReAnimator Coffee Roasters


LIFE, LIBERTY, and YOU, Philly.Gov

Aaron Long CELaunchpad's Mentors

The Civic Engagement Launchpad is happy to announce our highly qualified mentors providing both insight and industry experience to each group. Feel free to get into contact with them anytime during the month long event.

If you would like to be a mentor please fill out this form.

Mentor Job/Title Speciality Contact
Chris Alfano CTO web/development @slack, twitter
David Farkas Associate Director, User Experience Design design/ux @slack, twitter
Kathryn Killebrew Software Engineer web/mobile/GIS @slack
Andrew Madonna Data Engineer web/back-end @slack
Yigal Ron design/back-end/development @slack
Dane Troup UX Design and Strategy Lead design/ux @slack, twitter
Ray Zane Software Engineer design/web/development @slack

Aaron Long CELaunchpad's Volunteers

Code for Philly is dependent upon its volunteers to make events like Launchpad happen. We encourage everyone to get involved despite their professional experience or technical ability to help make Philly a better place.

We would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their dedication and efforts in keeping Code for Philly’s mission in our latest event:

Aaron Long CELaunchpad's Schedule

As with all of our events, we expect participants to follow the Code for Philly Code of Conduct.

Project Brainstorm

Friday March 24th (Project Brainstorm)

@City Hall, Caucus Room

*Project Brainstorm is free but requires an RSVP.

The fun begins with the Friday night Project Brainstorm. Bringing together Philadelphians from all over the city, coders and non-coders alike, we’ll put our heads together to create and discuss project ideas.

Project Day

Saturday March 25th (Project Design and Development; Team Hacking)

@City of Philadelphia Municipal Innovation Lab

*Project Design and Development is a ticketed event

After sign-in, breakfast and opening remarks, Saturday morning will feature a structured, but hands-on Project Design Workshop. Great projects begin with a great understanding of their problem space and their stakeholders. Led by the City of Philadelphia’s Innovation Management Corps, Launchpad teams will participate in a workshop designed to facilitate innovative thinking, stakeholder awareness, and a collaboratively-developed project solution strategy.

Project Demo Night

Tuesday April 25th (Project Demo Night)

*Project Brainstorm is free but requires an RSVP.

Demo Night is the culmination of the hard work teams have devoted to developing their civic tech project. Teams have an opportunity to present their results to a panel of experts.

All teams are encouraged to come and present at the Project Demos and to attend the weekly Code for Philly Hack Night. Every Tuesday Code for Philly organizes an open space for project teams to meet and work together in-person. As with all of our events, we expect participants to follow the Code for Philly Code of Conduct.