Helping Hands

GoGetta Launches in NYC; Finding Grounding During COVID; Lessons From Sanders 2020; and much more.


OOPS: In case you missed last Thursday’s First Post, which seems to have gotten ensnared in Mailchimp limbo, here it is.
 
Civic tech responds: Huge congrats to longtime Civic Hall member Adam Bard, whose organization Streetlives has just launched GoGetta, an open-source community-built mobile website that provides real-time, peer and provider validated social service information during the pandemic. The platform is working with the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center’s data from the Center’s neighborhood food guides. It is also collaborating with the City’s Senior Advisor on Youth Homelessness and various agencies and service providers serving communities considered vulnerable in New York City. Adam adds, “Our data gathering team are four young people of lived experience of homelessness, and the project has been design from inception to delivery through co-design (previously in-person but now remote sessions) with people from communities considered vulnerable and social service frontline staff (and execs).”
 
Here’s our Fiona Teng with a host of helpful advice about “Finding Grounding During COVID-19.”
 
Newly released city data shows the stark differences in COVID-19’s impact in New York, Yoav Gonen, Christine Chung, Rachel Holliday Smith and Clifford Michel report for The City. One housing development in Brooklyn has lost the equivalent of 612 people per 100,000 residents, while two neighborhoods in downtown Manhattan—southern Battery Park City and the Financial District—have had no fatalities.
 
This comparison by ProPublica’s Joe Sexton and Joaquin Sapien of how California and New York handled the emergence of the crisis is sobering and necessary reading.
 
Say hello to the COVID-19 Community Data Lab, a new project of Boston Indicators in partnership with the Center for Housing Data at the Massachusetts Housing Partnership and with contributions from the Economic & Public Policy Research Group at the UMass Donahue Institute. The Lab is focusing on to analyze how communities have changed since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in early March, with a focus on non-health impacts like demand for social assistance, housing, mobility, and participation in the census.
 
How anonymized cell-phone data is helping Ghana fight the COVID-19 crisis, by Sarah Burns of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.
 
Attend: Tomorrow, May 20 at 2pm EDT, “How COVID-19 is Impacting the 2020 Census,” hosted by the National Conference on Citizenship.
 
Privacy, shmivacy: Anonymized cell-phone location data shows that demonstrators attending anti-lockdown events are often traveling hundreds of miles to get to them, potentially helping to spread the coronavirus, Jason Wilson reports for the Guardian.
 
Tech and politics: Five leading organizers from the Bernie Sanders campaign, Emily Isaac, Sophie Lasoff, Claire Wyatt, Kohlee Kennedy, Hannah Bauman, and Shana Gallagher, have taken to Medium to warn that Trump’s mass volunteer organizing push looks a lot like the grassroots movement of remote volunteers the Sanders campaign built during the 2020 primary season. Of note: They report that the Sanders campaign sent a quarter-billion text messages out during the primary, and it had hundreds of volunteers doing quality control on that output alone. A thirty-person volunteer team moderated the 58,000 volunteer events that went up on the campaign platform. And their volunteer Slack community “housed over sixty-eight thousand volunteers by campaign’s end.”
 
Related: ACRONYM has begun posting a series of exit interviews with digital organizers behind some of the biggest events of the 2020 primary, starting with Stefan Smith, the online engagement director for Pete Buttigieg; and Alexis Magnan-Callaway, the national mobilization director for Kirsten Gillibrand.
 
Media matters: ICYMI, this in-depth look by Study Hall’s Allegra Hobbs at why Civil, the cryptocurrency experiment in creating a sustainable model for journalism, didn’t work, is worth a read. More than a dozen publications got early support, but as many of us expected at the time, the launch of the CVL token was a flop.
 
End times: How to get an old-school politician to embrace user-generated content.

You are reading First Post, a twice-a-week digest of news and analysis of the world of civic tech, brought to you by Civic Hall, NYC’s community center for civic tech. If you are reading this because someone forwarded it to you, please become a subscriber ($10/m) and support our work or sign up for our newsletter and stay connected with the #CivicTech community.