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Recap of the 2019 Houston Hackathon

Last month, we held the annual Houston Hackathon where hundreds of civic tech and data nerds collaborated on projects to see what they can do over the course of a weekend. When we started this event seven years ago, hackathons were relatively new. Since then, hackathons have become associated with swag, sleeping bags, and caffeine. We do things a little …

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Animal Tech Night Report: Puppies & Kitties Edition

Over the last nine months, we’ve been using themes to guide our monthly hack nights. We’ve had guest speakers talk about democracy, media, mobility, housing, sustainability, public health, and education. In September, we dove into the topic of animal welfare in the Houston area. This was the perfect topic for memes, for obvious reasons. Thanks to Jeff Reichman for these …

What are civic hack nights?

Civic hack nights are free, 2.5 hour events where people get together to work on projects for the public good. It’s part working, part networking, 100% good times. Here is a video from last October’s hack night. Who attends civic hack nights? The event is open to the public. Attendees include software developers, designers, academic researchers, data journalists, high school …

Early Voting Locations App

It’s voting season! Andrew Douglass put together Vote Harris County, a slick web app that helps you find a place to vote. If you use it, tweet to him at @ardouglass!

VIDEO: Mega Hack Night Recap

Last night, we held a hack night with The Hacker Society and Poetic Systems at The Iron Yard Houston. It was awesome! See for yourself:

Houston Hackathon Recap

Did you miss the Houston Hackathon? Over 400 people showed up to work on civic projects with the City of Houston. Video recap: Social media recap: [View the story “City of Houston Hackathon v3” on Storify]

Civic Hack Night Comes Back to Ft. Bend County

Open Houston is sprawling, just like our municipal namesake. We held our first hack night in Fort Bend County last month, and we’re coming back for more. Come join us at the second Fort Bend County Civic Hack Night on August 20.

Demographic Breakdown of Houston’s Elected Officials

Recently, Who Leads Us released a massive dataset that outlines the gender and ethnicity of elected officials across the USA, all the way down to the county level. I dumped that data into Google Sheets, filtered it for Houston (we span three counties!), and provided an overview. You can view the live data on Google Sheets and comment. You can …

Q&A with Sarah Rigdon

Sarah Rigdon is a former Delivery Lead for Code for DC, and she joined Open Houston a few months ago. We”re really happy that she”s here! Check out our Q&A with Sarah, and be sure to come by the civic hack night tonight to meet in person! How did you first get involved in civic hacking? My first hackathon was …

Sample Projects for Civic Hack Night

Our next civic hack night is Tuesday, July 29 (TOMORROW!) at Bouncing Pixel. If you have a civic project you”re working on, or you want to join one in progress, please join us! Here are some sample projects you might find interesting: Open Data Survey Publish candidates’ statements about open data and Houston. Project needs: Data gathering of candidate info, …