Day 13: Conduct a Hack-a-thon
Image Source: City Year Chicago
There are some things that seem to never get done in any organization. Sometimes it's those small things that you always notice when they come up but a day later you forget what it was so never make a point to address it.
These can be things like cleaning up an existing database, verifying contact information for local civic associations, making sure the links to resources on your website are all still functional, etc.
As an employee of a moving bureaucracy it may seem your days get taken up "putting out fires" (a phrase I loathe) and other administrative urgencies, so that is why I suggest a hack-a-thon.
Hack-a-thon: an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.
Now if you know how to computer program - great! But the idea here is to set aside a couple of days a year, or more, to ask volunteers to help make government more efficient.
Maybe volunteers can check all those missing links or verify information on your behalf or go through some of those FOIA requests and see what can be done. The possibilities are endless.
We don't need to wait until Summer interns arrive to smooth out the kinks of government.
In addition to improving the administrative process and resultant experience of constituents, volunteers gain valuable insights into how government works and the people who work daily to make life viable for so many.
So consider a hack-a-thon, volunteer-a-thon, help-a-thon, etc.
Adria is a community development consultant. She loves all things local and when she's not writing online you can find her enjoying the outdoors.