Casey Vaughan Leverage: Philly Campaign Finance Update #3

Leverage: Project Update: Fall 16/ Winter 17

Leverage kept warm and busy through the Fall of 2016 and Winter of 2017. With the added momentum of an award for “best Civic Tech Project” at #CaasH and the tangible progress of an API built by James Lott and other stalwarts of the technology team, the group had much to be proud of. Starting in November the team doubled down on their user centered design goals with several highly productive and well attended Hack Nights gathered round the hearth at “Local Host”.

Jacqueline Siotto lead a dive into the results of the roughly 100 surveys she gathered. The presentation summarized major findings as well as highlighted key takeaways. The team also dedicated a night to looking at campaign finance applications currently in use in New Mexico and Oakland. Chris Medykiewicz took note, gathered feedback and built out a wireframe that includes basic features and pages that the team agreed will be needed.

The strategy team carried out its first focus group with the help of the friendly staff at the Philadelphia Free Library Independence Branch and the generous citizens who participated. The focus group is part of a larger research plan the group is carrying out to better understand its stakeholders and users.

As all projects go through cycles of leadership, Leverage has been fortunate to have had new volunteers step up when others had to step back. While the core group has remained unchanged previous team lead titles: Data Analysis; Visualization ;Technology; Strategy; Project Manager; Project Coordinator have fallen to the side and a new formal structure has emerged.

The new structure is a Technology team coordinator, People team coordinator and overall Project Lead. Positions will be held for six month cycles culminating at either the spring or fall hackathon. The Project Lead will be responsible for quarterly reports summarizing the monthly feedback from the coordinators. The Technology team will encompass data, pipeline and UX while the People team will include research, strategy and recruitment.

We are especially grateful for the help of Chris A. Williams, Matthew Tomlinson and Montana Goodman in recent weeks. Chris teamed up with others focusing on data and pipeline efforts at #CELaunchpad providing valuable insights from his efforts building a campaign finance application for the state of Delaware (http://de2016.com/). Matt helped the strategy team to refine its focus group exercises and Montana provided valuable insights as a co-participant in the #CELaunchpad project design workshop.