Testimonial from Civic*Celerator participant and coder Joseph Heaukulani:
“Thanks to Civic*Celerator, we learned a great deal more about the influence of money in politics than we would have otherwise. With the collaboration of coders, students, volunteers, and random citizens like me, we were able to explore different parts of the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission data by breaking off into different groups, and trying to answer different questions that we had. For many of us, this was our first look at campaign spending data and we really didn’t know what we’d find.
In contrast with a normal weekend hackathon, Civic*Celerator gave us the ability to play with the data over an extended period of time which was extremely helpful. The meetups allowed us to compare notes and check in on each other’s progress. Finally, months of effort culminated in the Civic*Celerator Demo Day, in front of wider audience, with all the groups taking turns sharing what they were able to learn from the data and the app they built to interact with it.
Through this collaborative, citizen-driven, slow-simmered process, we were able to turn columns and rows of text and numbers from the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission into interactive, visual applications, allowing us to drill down into different areas of the data in a user friendly fashion and easily see how money flows through our political system.”