Code For America today announced that Kansas City, Mo. and Kansas City, Kan. have been selected as partner cities in its 2013 fellowship. The Code for America (CfA) application was a joint effort between the two cities, spearheaded by the offices of Sly James, the mayor of Kansas City, Mo., and Joe Reardon, the mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan.
Kansas City was one of nine communities chosen from a pool of 30 applicants. The program’s other 2013 partners are Las Vegas, Louisville, Ky., New York, Oakland, San Francisco, San Mateo, Calif., South Bend, Ind. and Summit County, Ohio.
CfA is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that aims to help cities use the web to increase efficiency, transparency and citizen participation. For its fellowship program, CfA recruits top tech talent to spend a year building civic software designed to help cities cut costs, work smarter and engage more with their citizens.
Among the benefits CfA touts for partner cities are a web application designed to solve one of the city’s core problems, built at a fee “dramatically less than commercial vendors, at a higher quality.” The program also includes hands-on training in agile development methodology for the partner city’s staff, access to a network of industry leaders and the opportunity to collaborate with other cities.
Cities that applied to be partners in CfA’s third-year fellowship program were asked to identify problem areas that would challenge the CfA fellows and make a significant impact on the cities.
Kansas City’s stated goals are to increase local government’s ability to serve as an asset to entrepreneurs and to assist local government in becoming more entrepreneurial in its operations.
Today’s announcement has more on the specifics of the plans for CfA in Kansas City:
The Code for America project will take a regional approach working with both Kansas City governments to find ways for local municipal agencies to invest in ideas and innovation, acting as entrepreneurs themselves, to develop self-sustaining programs. The Fellowship will also help both governments identify web-based solutions to engage and partner with local entrepreneurs as the new knowledge economy continues to evolve.
In addition to the mayors’ offices, other core backers of Kansas City’s CfA application included the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Mayor’s Bi-State Innovations Team, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Big 5 Initiative, KCnext – The Technology Council of Greater Kansas City, Screampoint, Google Fiber and Kansas City IT Professionals.
Google and the Kauffman Foundation are among CfA’s biggest donors.