Long Beach has been selected for the 2016 Code for America Fellowship Program to provide economic opportunities, along with Kansas City, Missouri, New Orleans, New York City, Salt Lake County, Utah and Seattle, Washington, the city announced today.
The selection marks a new partnership between Long Beach and Code for America. The last time the city partnered with the nonprofit, oftentimes referred to as the “Peace Corps for Geeks,” was 2014.
“We’re excited to collaborate–once again–with Code for America to continue making Long Beach more efficient, transparent, and innovative,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “This year, we're pleased to use technology to increase inclusive engagement of our business community and streamline the way businesses interact with the City digitally. Working with Code for America will have a lasting impact on not only our community, but will further support the way we work to build 21st Century government practices within the walls of City Hall.”
Code for America pairs each local government with teams of civic-minded technologists for one year to develop digital approaches to delivering public services, according to a release issued by the city.
In 2014, Long Beach and its chosen tech gurus, selected from New York City and Massachusetts tackled the city’s public health sector, with generous funding from the Molina Foundation. The team was even outfitted in inspirational “Code for America” outerwear, as the below picture indicates.
Long Beach's 2014 Code For America fellows (l to r) Rhys Fureigh, Dan Getelman and Molly McLeod. Photos courtesy of Molly McLeod
The team’s accomplishments included coordinating information in an effort to reduce 911 calls, among other things.
This year’s focus could range from improving access to health and human services to safely reducing incarceration, or promoting economic development opportunities. Long Beach’s own i-team, a team of innovators hired to help the city with economic development, will be on hand to support Code for America’s efforts as well. The i-team was made possible through a three-year, $3 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Long Beach in 2016. Each partner was selected for their commitment to making government services simpler, faster, and more effective for the people who use them,” said Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America, in a statement.