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With government policies increasingly relying on data and data analysis, Access the Data has identified that it is imperative to increase citizen’s access and understanding of local government data in order to be effective advocates for their communities.

Our hypothesis is having a centralized space for open government data and educational resources will help community activists use data to advocate for their communities.

We envision Access the Data as a tool that any municipality can adopt to make it easy for their citizens to find, navigate, and understand local government data.

We are testing this hypothesis by creating an MVP of Access the Data that includes a catalog of government data sources and open data literacy resources.

Project context

Access the Data is one of a series of products being created by Hack for LA, a brigade of Code for America. These products are known as the Citizen Engagement collection. The collection focuses on helping the city of Los Angeles with their Sustainable Development Goals as adopted by the United Nations.

Access the Data is working to support Target 16.8 of the Sustainable Development Goals:

MVP Deliverables

The MVP will consist of a website that hosts a catalog of open government data sources. This project will focus on Los Angeles County as its backdrop to test the hypothesis that this is a tool that community activists and data experts need and want.

Technology used

How to contribute

1. Get Familiar with What We Do

  1. Explore our Project Management Board (where we manage all the work) and see what the team is working on
  2. Read our MVP Project Charter to see the project’s purpose and vision
  3. Reach out on the #access-the-data Slack and ask to join one of our meetings to see what we’re up to

2. Join the Community

  1. If you like what you see, join the Hack for LA Slack workspace: self invite
  2. Join the team’s Slack channel #access-the-data
  3. Post on Slack channel:
    • introducing yourself to the team
    • identifying that you read this part of the Wiki
    • how you’d like to contribute
    • what relevant skills you have to offer
    • request a short onboarding meeting with the PMs
  4. During onboarding you will complete the following required actions
    • get access to project’s Google Drive
    • get access to project’s GitHub repo (yes, even non-devs will use GitHub for project-management/kanban)
    • get edit access to Access the Data’s Figma
  5. Once you have access to the Access the Data Google Drive, add yourself to the Team Roster

3. Come to the Meetings

Meetings can be viewed at this link.

Two Week Drop-off policy

In addition to the Hack for LA Code of Conduct, Access the Data has a two week drop-off policy. If the Access the Data leadership team (PMs + leads) does not receive any communication from a volunteer via team meetings, Slack, nor GitHub issues for two weeks without prior explanation and coordination, your status will be changed to “inactive”, your access to the project will be limited, and you will be unassigned from your issues.

Contact info

To reach our team with questions or comments, you can slack us on the #access-the-data channel on Slack or email

this readme file sourced from Jessica Sand