Online project partners with governments to help them better serve residents

Every now and then you stumble across something that makes you go, “Really? This exists?” in a good way.

How about Code for America? Atop its website: “A new kind of public service: Helping governments work better for everyone with people and the power of the web.”

It’s a nonprofit that, among other things, takes applications from cities or municipalities for online projects they want to accomplish, chooses who it’ll work with and then helps that city or municipality pull off that project. A couple of the 2013 winners have economic-development related projects; one has a project to bring together information on hiking, biking and water trails and make it available online.

It’s a really interesting project, backed in part by donations from Google, Microsoft and the Sunlight Foundation, but also from several city and county governments.

This is something York County ought to apply for. I’m sure the county would have any number of projects that could get kickstarted — and accomplished — by working in partnership with a group like this. For example, the county clerk of courts office recently made some information online. You can find out online if a file exists, but you still have to go to the office to see the file. How about putting those files online?

What other county projects do you think could benefit from a project like Code for America?


About Scott Blanchard

Sunday editor at the York (Pa.) Daily Record/Sunday News. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.
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