Mayor Announces First Project with C4A Fellows

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
Mayor and C4A Fellow bell

Code for America Fellow Tiffani Bell and Mayor Kasim Reed

Mayor Kasim Reed was joined today by Deputy Chief Operating Officer Kristin Wilson and Code for America to launch ATLCourt, a new website that will allow residents to look up their court case, get text reminders and find answers to frequently asked questions about municipal court operations. The website is one of several applications being developed as part of the yearlong Code for America Fellowship. The announcement was made as part of Atlanta Big Data Week.   

“The City of Atlanta is excited to launch ATLCourt. This new website allows us to connect city services and operations to improve customer service within our courts,” said Mayor Reed. “My Administration is committed to increasing civic engagement and transparency, and we welcome collaboration with organizations such as Code for America to reach those goals.”

Anyone with access to the internet can visit http://court.atlantaga.gov. Additional features of the website include:

• The court website is hosted on GitHub, using Jekyll. GitHub is an open source, collaborative platform where developers in the civic and tech community will be able to contribute ideas around content or features. Jekyll will provide an easy and secure site for City employees to update and create content.

• Users can sign up for text notifications on the website using Text App. The texting system is one of the first for a court system in the U.S. It allows users to text their citation number and to receive details about their case. With reminders of upcoming court dates sent via text, users will also be less likely to miss a court date.

“It’s been truly awesome working with the City of Atlanta and getting to know the people and the community that make Atlanta such a unique and fascinating place,” said Tiffani Bell, a 2014 Code for America Fellow working with the City of Atlanta for the year. “We’re excited to figure out how we can apply technology to some of the problems that Atlantans face — and hope to find solutions that make the city even better. We’re just getting started.”

For the last three months, the Atlanta Code for America Fellows have worked with government officials and the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery and FOR Atlanta teams to develop the website. In 2011, Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded the City of Atlanta a three-year grant to establish the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team. Atlanta is one of just five cities nationwide chosen to participate in this unique opportunity – the largest private-sector investment in social innovation in our nation’s history. The team is charged with developing and delivering bold ideas that the city can implement to address some of Atlanta’s most pressing challenges. So far, as part of this work, Atlanta has improved customer service — including the upcoming launch of ATL311 — and developed a comprehensive strategy to reduce street homelessness.

“Atlanta’s strategy for delivering services and increasing efficiency brings together innovation and performance management,” said Deputy Chief Operating Officer Kristin Wilson. “Through this important Code for America project, we hope to have laid the groundwork that allows for greater civic participation and more effective service delivery.”

Earlier this year, Atlanta was selected as one of eight cities to become a 2014 Code for America city. Founded in 2009, Code for America (CfA) is a national nonprofit that partners with local governments and citizens to foster civic innovation. By working to reinvigorate civic participation, accelerate the civic startup marketplace, facilitate collaboration between government leaders, and build new tools that enhance and strengthen communities, CfA is helping governments solve old problems in new ways.

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