Tracking Change is an advocacy platform to turn data into action.
Through collaboration and crowdsourcing, advocates can more effectively influence public policy and ensure issues of importance to African Americans are addressed. The issues include education, job creation, police misconduct, voting rights, entrepreneurship, and access to capital.
By harnessing the power of technology and social media, activists can solve problems and bring about social change.
Tracking Change promotes data-driven models of transparency and accountability.
All That Philly Jazz is a digital mapping project at the intersection of technology, art and civic engagement. We are mapping Philadelphia’s jazz heritage from bebop to hip-hop. We are mapping places of historical significance, jazz venues, Walk of Fame plaques, murals and other points of interest. The images will be contextualized with data from, among other sources, Echo Nest and Rdio.
Much of Philadelphia’s jazz legacy has been erased. Public places and jazz clubs fell victim to the 1964 race riots and urban renewal. As a result, the history largely resides in the memories of those who were there. So to preserve the history for future generations, All That Philly Jazz is crowdsourced. Community members are invited to share their stories, photos, etc., of the jazz scene back in the day.
But All That Philly Jazz is not just about the past. The project is also about community beautification. Many of the jazz spots are now vacant lots. Through mobile technology and low-cost public art, we will transform those vacant spaces into vibrant places. The archival images on the fence screens will be specific to that location.
Yo! Philly Votes is an Ushahidi-powered app that aggregates and maps Election Day incident reports in real time to help ensure that problems encountered at the polls are addressed in real time. The app was included in Philadelphia Weekly’s 2012 Voters Guide and named “Map of the Week” by the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network.
On Election Day 2012, Yo! Philly Votes received reports via Twitter, text message and email, and had 1780 page views.
Yo! Philly Votes stems from Random Hacks of Kindness at Drexel University. The citizen-led initiative promotes data-driven models of accountability and transparency in election administration.
The School District of Philadelphia is “on the precipice.” The Philly Education Map of Shame uses data to tell the story of what’s happening in Philadelphia’s traditional public schools.
The Pennsylvania state constitution says that students must be provided with a “thorough and efficient system of public education.” If children are being denied educational services, parents and others with direct knowledge of the situation have the right to file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Secretary of Education must investigate complaints and correct any deficiencies.
The Philly Education Map of Shame visualizes and tracks complaints filed with the Department of Education. The project is about accountability. The interactive map empowers parents to become foot soldiers for education equity. With one click, they can see what problems have been reported at their child’s school. They can follow-up with officials, including their local and state representatives, to find out what, if any, action has been taken to correct the problems or curriculum deficiencies.
The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) has a documented history of police misconduct and civil rights violations dating back to the 1970s. In 1979, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against then-Mayor Frank Rizzo charging that Rizzo and 18 high-ranking police officers either committed or condoned “widespread and severe” acts of police brutality.
In 1996, the NAACP settled a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia for racial profiling, police brutality and police corruption. The agreement was terminated in 2005. In 2011, the ACLU and the City of Philadelphia entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Decree which requires the City to provide the ACLU data regarding both pedestrian and vehicular investigative detentions by the PPD.
After two decades of settlement agreements, it is clear the police cannot police themselves. #myPhillyPD tells the story of the Philadelphia Police Department’s pattern or practice of misconduct and use of excessive force. The community can share photos, videos, news reports, etc., on Twitter using the hashtag #myPhillyPD, or at bit.ly/myPhillyPD.
We are using social media to empower ordinary citizens to hold elected officials accountable for their failure to end a culture that tolerates police misconduct and breeds distrust in the African American community.
To stay informed, follow us on Twitter: @myPhillyPD.
The Cost of Freedom Voter ID App helped voters navigate their state’s voter ID application process. The web-based app provided photo ID requirements for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The voter ID app was developed in partnership with the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Black Youth Vote.
Tracking Change Wiki
Activists, advocacy groups, influencers and thought leaders curated news and information about a wide range of issues, including job creation, business formation, access to capital, STEM, broadband deployment and adoption, and voting rights.
For more information about Tracking Change, contact us.