2015 Strategic Plan

This is a work-in-progress plan for Open Seattle’s events & programs in 2015. You can contribute! Suggest edits to this page via GitHub.

Who We Are

Open Seattle is a group of Seattle residents using technology to support civic engagement and improve our community.

Core Leadership Team


  • Seth Vincent, svincent@codeforamerica.org
  • Will Scott, wscott@codeforamerica.org

Storyteller team:

  • Christina Montilla
  • Flora Goldthwaite

Community organizing team:

  • Shelly Farnham
  • Yonas Berhe

Delivery team:

  • currently filling this role

Municipal Partners:

  • Sabra Schneider, Seattle Department of Information Technology
  • Bruce Blood, Seattle Department of Information Technology

What we want to do in 2015

  • Make it easy for everyone to participate
  • Design for people’s needs
  • Make data easy to find and use
  • Use data to make and improve decisions

Strategy & Tactics

Collaboration & partnerships

One of the trends we see in Seattle this fall that we expect to continue through 2015 is an increasing willingness and interest on the part of government agencies to partner and run hackathons for issues and problems we’re facing. We saw the first of these in the SPD hackathon on Police Video Recording in December, and the SPD has signalled interest in continuing a series of such events through 2015. Partnering with individual departments to work on targeted issues appears to draw significant interest, and we see interest and opportunity for Open Seattle to be involved in these events.

Educational events & projects

Focus more on speaker events, project pitch/demo nights, unconferences, & ongoing programs than hackathons

Open Seattle has successfully organized a number of one-day events, and in 2015 we’ll be putting more effort toward ongoing events that happen over a period of weeks or months.

Improve nwdata.org, a regional guide to open data

The Pacific Northwest has a substantial amount of open data available, and nwdata.org acts as an outreach tool for introducing people to what open data exists, what apps have been built with that data, and what resources exist for learning about and building civic technology projects.

Outreach, project promotion & community building

We want to increase our outreach, which we see as critical for making it easy to participate. Partially we hope to do this by attending, participating and promoting civic data at other events. Specifically, we’re interested in targetting events like the Makers Faire in the summer, and course material to get civic data into the various coding bootcamps offered around the city.

One challenge Open Seattle has struggled with is doing promotion of projects with the purpose of connecting volunteers and other resources with project leaders. We’ll be revising the way our project list at openseattle.org/projects is maintained, including integrating the list with CFAPI & The Civic Tech Issue Tracker.

In addition, we’ll start a series of posts on openseattle.org that profile project leaders and volunteers that help the community learn more about what projects people are working on and who is involved.

Creating a paid position

Finally, we want to formalize some of the process of the brigade, and will begin investigating the possibility of creating a paid Open Seattle organization and outreach position / fellowship. There’s a lot of administrative work around the brigade, and we believe the organization could grow much faster with dedicated time spent responding to emails, proactively reaching out to manage event logistics, and forging community partnership.


  • Increased event attendance
  • Examples of popular projects affiliated with Open Seattle
  • New open Seattle datasets available



Weekly meetups

$100/month for space rental We currently meet at Socrata on the first Thursday of each month. We would like to have at least one of the remaining meetups each month at Impact Hub, which imposes a minimal fee for space reservations. We would like to budget additional money to allow expansion to expand to other spaces around the city.

$100/month for food & drinks We generally try to order dinner for the group once a month, and have fruit and light snacks available other weeks. Since meetups are held during dinner time, this helps make it more feasable for people to join us directly after work without missing dinner or starving.

total: $2,400

Large events

$600 each for 4 large events throughout the year We generally have been able to get major meals & event space covered, but have been grateful for code for america funds to cover a variety of the remaining items that otherwise are difficult to sponsor - like stickers, office supplies, soft drinks to go with lunch, and the like.

total: $2,400

This is a work-in-progress plan for Open Seattle’s events & programs in 2015. You can contribute! Suggest edits to this page via GitHub.