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Civic Incite Selected as 2017 Winner of Knight Cities Challenge

Local company offers Miamians a tool to track issues they care about in local government

June 12, 2017

MIAMI, FL—Civic Incite is very excited to be a 2017 Knight Cities Challenge Winner. The Knight Foundation grant will help Civic Incite build an online platform, called CivicPro, that tracks public meetings and legislation across cities.

Cities and other local governments are at the forefront of solving the 21st Century's problems — from Zika to zoning — but all still communicate to the public through lengthy notices and agendas. These documents amount to thousands of pages of information published on a regular basis. Moreover, with over 105 local governments in the region, South Florida’s fragmented governance system impedes locals’ ability to follow decisions affecting them.

The Knight Cities Challenge project is a collaboration between Civic Incite, Catalyst Miami, CUTGroup Miami, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava’s Office. Led by former Miami assistant city attorney, Matt Haber, and, policy analyst, Jorge Damian de la Paz, Civic Incite will also work with the civic technology company, DataMade, to develop the software. DataMade has successfully created legislative tracking platforms in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.

“Jorge and I have both worked with local government in different capacities and still find it time-consuming and difficult to navigate; for the average citizen, it can be almost impossible to figure out,” said co-founder Matt Haber.

“We’re going to collect legislative information across South Florida’s various cities into one simple and searchable platform to encourage more in-person public participation in the policymaking process ” added co-founder Jorge Damian de la Paz.

In addition, Civic Incite is developing a premium, subscription-based product to provide sophisticated tools to professionals who interact with and are affected by local government, including code amendment tracking, legislative archives, and analytics.

This enterprise software will serve everyone from community organizations to attorneys, urban planners, and universities. “On the enterprise side, the CivicPro platform will act like a Bloomberg Terminal for local governments, allowing clients to discover new opportunities to advocate, generate new business, and provide an advantage over competitors,” said de la Paz.

“Our goal is to simplify civics. To that end, we’ve also conducted a survey with CUTGroup Miami and Catalyst Miami to better understand what policy issues locals consider most important. We’re going build on those results with additional user testing sessions where Miamians are going to have the opportunity to help shape the user experience.” said Haber.
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