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News, updates, and announcements from Code for Asheville
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Justice Projects in the Network


Last week Code for America held the first of a planned series of workshops highlighting the work of brigades across the country. The focus this time around was on justice projects.

Jason Marshall of Code for Greensboro and Eric Jackson of Code for Asheville kick off the workshop with the NC Reentry Resources Hub, followed by project presentations from Code for Tulsa, ChiHackNight, and Code for America and a couple other projects mentioned during the Q&A. And we've got it all on video - check it out!

Update on Asheville Traffic Stop Data


Earlier this year, Patrick Conant worked with Ian Mance, an attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), and Dee Williams, chair of the criminal justice committee of the Asheville chapter of the NAACP, to bring racial disparities in traffic stop data from OpenDataPolicing.com to the attention of City leadership, as we reported in our May 2, 2017 newsletter. In keeping with the justice theme of this week's newsletter, we reached out to Patrick to find out where things stand with that effort. Here is his response.

The NAACP Criminal Justice Committee reached out to Chief Hooper in August to start a conversation around the traffic stop data and the quarterly reports that APD will now provide to Council. We held an initial meeting to discuss our questions about the data, and metrics we would like to see included in the quarterly report. We agreed to have a follow up conversation when the first quarterly report was completed.

Chief Hooper reached out to us a few weeks ago, requesting a meeting to discuss the report in advance of her presentation before the Public Safety Committee. During this meeting, Chief Hooper walked us through the full report, and was very specific in asking us for suggestions or analysis that could improve future quarterly reports.

I am very impressed by the way in which APD's analysts are digging into the traffic stop metrics and working to provide additional context in a data-oriented manner. They have made really significant improvements to the report compiled during traffic stops, most significantly including the geographic location of all stops. It also appears that APD's increased focus and improved processes around traffic stop data has improved the quality of the overall data set, and they now have processes in place to re-submit data that doesn't appear in the state database due to technical issues.

We have reached a point where I feel this is now a collaborative process, and I do feel that APD is genuinely interested in working to make these reports as complete and informative as possible.

While I remain concerned by the "broad" numbers for stops and searches of African American drivers in Asheville, APD's report shows their initial efforts to help explain the shift we see in the data. More importantly, I think we have a process where the community can feel comfortable suggesting further improvements and analysis in these reports, and I generally feel that we are moving towards a true 21st Century Police department here in Asheville.

What a shift from where we started a year ago!

Thank you,

Patrick Conant

News From the Network


Ian Mance Presents Open Data Policing at NC REN

The Open Data Policing site, originally a collaboration with Code for Durham and the basis for the Patrick's work above, continues to have a tremendous impact statewide.

On December 2, Ian Mance presented the site at the UNC School of Government to participants in the North Carolina Racial Equity Network (NC REN), a diverse group of indigent defense attorneys and others from across the state who have made a commitment to address issues of racial equity in the criminal justice system.

"This is a tremendous resource.  It has the potential to play a valuable practical role in defending clients who have been stopped and searched," said local defense attorney and NC REN member Kathy LaMotte.

Have a Story to Share?

We'd love to have your contribution. You can write something up about a Code for Asheville event or share something else going on in the civic tech world. Email us at code4asheville@gmail.com.

Upcoming events


12/12 Brigade Planning Meeting
Our next regular planning meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 12 at 5:30pm at the Battery Park Book Exchange. RSVP here or just stop by.

12/14 Monthly Community Meetup 
Our next Community Night will be on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 5:30pm. We'll be working on StoryTell Asheville. The meeting will be at the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Center. RSVP on meetup.

Community nights occur on the second Thursday of each month. The location rotates among different Asheville community centers.

Transportation for Seniors Hackathon (t4s) - 1/13/18
Come and explore creative information technology solutions to transportation challenges faced by the elderly. You will be working with seniors and other interested parties (government organizations, non-profits, businesses, volunteers). The Transportation for Seniors Hackathon (t4s) will take place on Saturday, January 13, 2018, from 12:30pm to 5:00pm at the Land of Sky Regional Council offices, 339 New Leicester Highway, Asheville.

If you want to help plan for this hackathon, contact Jim March, Code for Asheville member, at jimcmarch@yahoo.com.

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