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.

Englewood Codes Demo Day is Tonight

Englewood Code students working on their projects

Englewood Code students working on their projects, photo by Demond Drummer

Tonight, 25 teens from Englewood Codes will demonstrate their websites at Kennedy King College. Englewood Codes is a 10 week summer program run by Demond Drummer of Teamwork Englewood. The program teaches kids not just web development, but teamwork and leadership.

Last week, Demond dropped by the OpenGov Hack Night to talk about the program, what the group was able to accomplish, lessons learned and the future of Englewood Codes. 

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Hack Night Live with Englewood Codes

Join us tonight at 6:15 pm CST for the live stream of tonight’s Chicago OpenGov Hack Night. Recently featured on Fox 32, the hack nights are a place where web developers, designers, data scientist, community activists,  and city staff come together to work on civic projects.

This week will feature a presentation by Demond Drummer of Teamwork Englewood. In the spring, Drummer created a Kickstarter campaign for a summer youth  program teaching kids to code.  The Kickstarter attracted donations from all over the city, including Smart Chicago which kicked in $1,000.

The program has been going strong all summer and will host thier demo day on August 29th to present the projects. Drummer will talk about his experience running the program and what’s next for the project.

OpenGov Hack Night: Majuro.js and Englewood Codes

This is a weekly feature that will highlight what’s happening at the Chicago OpenGov Hack Night. The Chicago OpenGov Hack Nights are weekly events where technologists and community members come together to work with open data and build tools that improve the civic experience. The events are held at 6:00 pm each Tuesday at 1871.


Majuros is an app by Code for America alumni Nick Doiran. The app lets you create detailed, interactive maps with open building data. You can then download the maps for Google Earth or any other program that takes KML files.

A good example is the Historic Chicago map. You can use the Majuros.js tools to draw a blue square over the are you are interested in. Say, for example: The Loop

Historic Chicago 1

You can then choose to view the map in several different formats. For our example, I selected web map.

You can make your own map by using visiting the Majuros.js website. And this map isn’t just limited to Chicago – you can build maps in any city that’s made building data available. From Honolulu to Boston!

Englewood Codes

Englewood Codes is a Kickstarter project by Demond Drummer with Teamwork Englewood where teens will learn how to code their own websites using a Raspberry Pi computer.

Raspberry Pi is a small $35 computer that’s designed to teach programming.

Teamwork Englewood will work with students over 10 weeks to teach them the basics of Raspberry Pi, before moving on to HTML and CSS.

The students will then form teams and enter a competition to revamp local organization websites.

Now, the Teamwork Englewood has already met it’s Kickstarter goal of $5,000. But that’s no reason to slouch. This project that Demond and Team Englewood is doing is extremely important. (We are not kidding: Smart Chicago kicked in $1,000 to make sure this happens!)

Demond’s right. If Chicago is going to compete in the global economy, then we have to do more than attract talent – we have to grow our own talent. From everywhere

If Chicago is serious about civic innovation, we must support civic innovation in every Chicago neighborhood. A technological revolution in the way that government and citizens interact that fails to benefit the entire city would be a hollow victory.

The Kickstarter project has over a month remaining. The more money they can raise, the more kids they can enroll in the program. And it’s not just money they’ll need. We’ll need volunteers from the community to help teach HTML and CSS.

This is important work. Kick in some support if you can. (Note: Smart Chicago Collaborative is a $1,000 backer of Englewood Codes on Kickstarter).