Archives: News

Sonja Marziano promoted to Project Coordinator

Sonja Marziano has been promoted to Smart Chicago’s Project Coordinator. Sonja first joined Smart Chicago last year as Smart Chicago’s administrative assistant, but quickly grew to be a huge part of Smart Chicago’s operations including managing the Civic User Testing Group and spearheading the Chicago School of Data Days.

Sonja Marziano at the Chicago Cultural Center

Sonja will be transitioning from her Administrative Assistant role and managing more programs and projects for Smart Chicago. This includes her continued leadership in the CUTGroup and Chicago School of Data Project, and now includes, Early Childhood Web Portal, and other projects as they arise.

You can follow her on Twitter at @ssmarziano.


Kyla Williams promoted to Director of Operations

Kyla Williams has been promoted to Smart Chicago’s Director of Operations. Kyla has been an integral part of Smart Chicago’s work helping to manage our finances, contracts, and grants. Kyla also runs all of our health initiatives including the Chicago Health Atlas and the Smart Health Centers.

Smart Chicago will be taking on more projects in 2015 and Kyla’s new role will be to help manage all of our operations going forward and will continue to spearhead our health initiatives.

You can follow Kyla on Twitter at @SmartChgoKyla.



Rakesh Dubbudu: My stay with Smart Chicago Collaborative

Editor’s Note: The following post is from our international fellow Rakesh Dubbudu. Rakesh spent a few weeks with us learning about civic innovation in Chicago. Rakesh works as an open data advocate in India as one of the co-conveners of the National Committee for People’s Right to Information.


Before I arrived in the USA, I was unsure of the learning & exchange during this trip. Though my interest centered on good & effective governance using technology & data, I was unclear about the specifics. During the orientation in Washington DC, I came to know that I would spend three weeks in Chicago with the ‘Smart Chicago Collaborative’. It was time for a quick google search to check what Smart Chicago was doing. I understood a little about Smart Chicago’s work.


Code for America Announces Midwest Brigade to be HQ’d at Smart Chicago, led by Christopher Whitaker

Code for America and the Smart Chicago Collaborative are pleased to announce that the Midwest has been selected for the first Code for America Regional Brigade Program. The Midwest Regional Brigade program will support existing Code for America brigade cities as well as work to expand the number of brigade cities in the region. The program will be led by Smart Chicago consultant and current Chicago Brigade Captain Christopher Whitaker and will be headquartered at the Smart Chicago Collaborative.

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Christopher Whitaker will lead the Midwest Regional Brigade program, photo by Angel Kittiyachavalit


On the launch of Crime and Punishment in Chicago

Smart Chicago Collaborative is proud to launch our latest Civic Works Project: Crime and Punishment in Chicago. This project is a collaborative effort between Smart Chicago, FreeGeekChicago, and the Chicago Justice Project.

Chicago Police Department Memorial at Buckingham Fountain

Photo by Chris Smith / Flikr

The Crime and Punishment in Chicago project provides an index of data sources regarding the criminal justice system in Chicago. We aggregate sources of data, how this data is generated, how to get it, and what data is unavailable. This project is a key way we are using the Civic Works grant to use data journalism to uncover the value of data and cover the stories behind the data.


LocalData + SWOP = Better Housing Data


Matt Hampel from LocalData and David McDowell from the Southwest Organizing Project talk about vacant building data.

Smart Chicago Collaborative is proud to announce our partnership with the Southwest Organizing Project and LocalData as part of the Civic Works Project — providing tools that empower organizations to make change in their neighborhoods.

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Update on Our Smart Health Centers Project

Kyla Williams and Karen Berg on Smart Health Centers/ Americorps HealthCorps Service Day

Kyla Williams and Karen Berg on Smart Health Centers/ Americorps HealthCorps Service Day

The Smart Health Center project places trained health information specialists in low-income clinics to assist patients in connecting to their own medical records and to find information about their health online. The project is a joint effort led by the Alliance of Chicago in collaboration with the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute and the Smart Chicago Collaborative. We’d like to share a few updates about how the program is doing.