Good News!!! The Smart Chicago team is moving and now will be co-located with the City Digital Team at UI Labs. As such, our individual emails will be changing to:

Kyla Williams 

Sonja Marziano

Denise Linn     

Leslie Durr       

Our new mailing address is 1415 N. Cherry Avenue Chicago, IL 60642 and general phone number is 312.281.6900.

Please check our website at or follow us on twitter @smartchicago for more updates.

We appreciate your patience during this time of transition.

Get Covered Illinois at OpenGov Hack Night

At the last Chicago OpenGov Hack NightCharles Watkins from Get Covered Illinois talked about the  Affordable Care Act and its implementation here in Illinois.

OpenGovHack Night - Get Covered

Get Covered Illinois is an effort by the State of Illinois to make sure that all residents in Illinois get health insurance. Here’s Charles Watkins explaining the effort.

The Affordable Healthcare Act brings about several benefits that weren’t available before including a restricting insurance companies from denying claims based on pre-existing conditions, allowing residents to remain on their parents insurance until age 26, and more coverage for preventative services. Watkins explains the benefits of the ACA below:

There are a number of websites that people can use to get information about the Affordable Healthcare Act and get pre-screened for benefits.  Those sites are:

  • GetCovered Illinois: Which helps to inform Illinois residents about the new healthcare law.
  • Abe.Illinois.Gov: Which enables residents to get prescreened for benefits.  This helps residents determine if they should apply for medicare, SNAP (food stamps), cash assistance, or medical assistance before trying to go to the website.
  • Which is where residents can search for healthcare coverage. In Illinois, the marketplace is run in partnership with the State of Illinois. There are currently eight insurance companies that are on the marketplace in Illinois.

Charles explains the details of each site below.

After presenting Charles also answered questions from the civic innovation community.

You can find out more about Illinois’ efforts to implement the ACA by going to GetCovered Illinois.


Announcing the winners of the Rockford OpenTech Challenge

The Smart Chicago Collaborative, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, the State of Illinois and the City of Rockford are pleased to announce the winners of the Illinois OpenTech Challenge.


The Illinois OpenTech Challenge for Rockford consisted of three challenges.

Patrick Zuroske, Capital Program Manager for the City of Rockford explains the first challenge

Patrick Zuroske, Capital Program Manager for the City of Rockford explains the first challenge

Challenge One: Create an app that will alert Rockford residents of road and lane closures. 

Rockford is undergoing several improvements to local infrastructure. As a result of these projects, roads and lanes have to close in order to complete construction inconveniencing residents trying to drive through Rockford. The City of Rockford is interested in an app that would alert residents to road closures. Currently, the city gets hundreds of phone calls asking about this issue.

WINNER: Barrel Dodger! An app that sends alerts to residents when the city indicates a lane or road has been closed.

Jen Hall talking about the "Moving the Needle" Campaign

Jen Hall talking about the “Moving the Needle” Campaign

Challenge Two: Create an app that allows users to view, post and promote community service projects in Rockford. This challenge was issued by Rockford EDEEN as part of their moving the needle campaign.

WINNER:! An app that lets community members post events and where residents can share what community event people are going to.

Rockford Director of IT Glenn Trommels demoing Rockford's data portal

Rockford Director of IT Glenn Trommels demoing Rockford’s data portal

Challenge Three: Build an app that solves a civic problem or educates the public using government data. This challenge was a ‘wild card’ challenge that gave civic innovators wide latitude in coming up with creative ways to use data to help solve civic problems in Rockford.

WINNER: RaiseUp Rockford! An app that lets make service requests to the City of Rockford.


More details to come!

Making Public Health Data Work in Illinois Day 1 Roundup

Stephen Konya speaking at 1871 during the "Making Public Health Data Work" event

IDPH Chief of Staff Stephen Konya speaking at 1871 during the “Making Public Health Data Work” event

This past weekend, health care policy makers, practitioners, and technologists gathered together at 1871 to talk about how we could make public health data work here in Illinois.

The event was hosted by a number of partners including the Health Data Consortium, Illinois Department of Public Health, the California HealthCare Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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