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February 2019 Newsletter

Smart Cville promotes the use of technology and data to help communities find innovative solutions by facilitating the exchange of ideas between civic institutions and citizens.

In this issue:

  • Letter From Our New Program Coordinator
  • January Blog Posts
  • Five Takeaways From Cvillepedia's Relaunch Event
  • Upcoming Events

Letter From Our New Program Coordinator

Hello Smart Cville-ians!

I wanted to take a quick second to thank you all of you for such an amazing opportunity. As we wrap up January, I'd like to share the excitement that I have for this position and the Smart Cville community. In the short time that I have held this position, I have had the opportunity to take part in very necessary community centered events and conversations that relate to technology and civic innovation. For example, just last week I took part in a panel conversation centered around data, technology and public sector work with UVA's MBA and Law candidates (pictured below). I look forward to many more opportunities like this and to continue Smart Cville's efforts in civic innovation, advocating for open data, and supporting the use of technology to promote community development in Charlottesville.

Again, thank you all for the opportunity. The support that you all have provided for Smart Cville is exactly the reason why we have come this far. I am excited for the road ahead and look forward to meeting you all in the near future.

If you'd like to set up a time to meet please email me at

Alpha Diallo
Program Coordinator @ Smart Cville

January Blog Posts

Three recently published blog posts that you should read:

An Open Letter to City Council and the Police Civilian Review Board
"The lasting legacy of the initial CRB will be the development of bylaws that will govern future boards. The quality and strength of bylaws enacted will have lasting ramifications on the strength, independence, and scope of all future iterations of the CRB. This is the paramount responsibility of this current CRB. It is imperative that the initial CRB focus on empowering itself with bylaws as its first priority. With so many practical issues to tackle, focusing at this 30,000 foot view will be a challenging, yet critical, strategy."

What Does a Localized Blue Wave Tell Us About 2019 Local Elections?
"The hope of a 'blue wave' in VA-05 tantalized many locals this past fall. For those on the ground on Charlottesville and Albemarle, it seemed as if Leslie Cockburn had real momentum and could topple Republican Denver Riggleman despite the heavily gerrymandered district. That did not happen. However, the results indicate that the local “pulse” felt by many was spot on."

Welcome to Alpha Diallo Smart Cville Program Coordinator
"Midway through last year, the Smart Cville Board of Directors decided it was time to expand beyond its volunteer roots and hire a part-time program coordinator to facilitate growth. That process commenced in August with the formation of a board Hiring subcommittee. The subcommittee worked together to develop a job posting and process for this first hire. Overwhelmed by the quality of candidates, the subcommittee had a very difficult decision to make."

Five Takeaways From Cvillepedia's Relaunch

We attended Cvillepedia's relaunch event to provide our support and to understand how other community leaders plan to grow Cvillepedia as a digital storytelling and history portal for the community. Here are five things that we took from the event:

1. Cvillepedia is a great resource for the community. There is certainly a continued need for the Cvillepedia portal. Many attended the relaunch event and plugged into how Cvillepedia benefits them and their line of work.

2. Community members are already doing the work. There are already a ton of existing projects that Cvillepedia can pull from to expand the community's wiki. Relaunch attendees have expressed interest in digging for projects related to the area's history.

3. Though the work is already there, community members are unaware of the wiki's existence. Due to this, there exists a lot of fragmented efforts to study Charlottesville's history and to preserve it.

4. Charlottesville Tomorrow's staff will continue to provide administrative support for Cvillepedia, but a volunteer board will need to lead the work by organizing participants, expanding the moderator group, and creating a means of communication for contributors.

5. There may be a edit-a-thon in the works. Many relaunch attendees showed interest in helping to create and promote an event dedicated to improving Cvillepedia.

Interested in helping with Cvillepedia? Let us know here.

Upcoming Events

We are diligently working on the next open data deep dive which will be centered around addressing in Charlottesville. This would be very useful to anyone working with addresses in the city datasets. The Deep Dive will include a talk about addresses and addressing in the city by a subject matter expert on the topic, followed by a hands-on session using data from the Charlottesville Open Data Portal. We will be aiming for a late march event. More information will be forthcoming.

How You Can Help...

  • Donate to our non-profit or sponsor an event.
  • Email us to set-up a coffee/chat!
  • Share our newsletter with someone who may be interested.
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