Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

CivicPro - Residents Setting the Agenda

CivicPro is an online platform that tracks public meetings and legislation to promote in-person participation with local governments.

Photo of Jorge Damian de la Paz
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Today, equitable community engagement is one of the biggest challenges facing any transit authority or planning commission. This is a particularly pressing issue in Miami, which has some of the lowest levels of non-electoral political participation in the country, according to the U.S. Census.

South Florida has over 100 local governments making it difficult for residents to follow and participate in upcoming meetings across Miami’s various cities. By centralizing this scattered public information into one searchable platform, CivicPro makes it easier for residents, community groups, and businesses to follow, attend, and influence mobility-related decisions throughout the region. Challenge funding will allow CivicPro to develop a new dataset that will: (1) monitor the specific types of mobility conversations being prioritized by Miami’s cities and decision-makers and (2) highlight relevant trends in voting history, meeting attendance, and co-sponsorship rates. 

Our solution will encourage more equitable civic engagement by making it easier for residents, community groups, businesses, and news media to understand and impact mobility-related decisions throughout greater Miami. It is currently impossible for residents to get a full accounting of how mobility solutions—from bike lanes to ride-sharing services—are actually being prioritized by local decision-makers across various cities. Moreover, it is important to understand how particular commissioners prioritize these issues over time (and how that relates to their votes, meeting attendance, and co-sponsorship rates) to inform more effective community engagement and advocacy.

With Challenge assistance, CivicPro will be among the first to offer big data on municipal mobility legislation to provide fresh insights on local policy-making behavior. This information will allow for smarter mobility investments in the future, better assessment of past projects, and encourage equity in transit decision-making and engagement.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Our solution will help residents, community groups, news media, and professional firms better understand and participate in local mobility meetings and decisions. Users will be able to sign-up for custom alerts by policy issue and municipality on our website. From there, they will receive automatic email alerts of upcoming local government meetings related to their interests. These alerts can easily be shared or added to their calendar. Through the Challenge, we will add data and analytics outlining mobility issue frequency and legislative trends. With the Knight Foundation’s generous support, we formed a coalition of community groups, local nonprofits, as well as current and former elected officials to promote the free legislative tracking to residents. We will convene this multi-sector group to curate and test sophisticated analytics on municipal legislative trends to ensure this data meets local stakeholder needs.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

CivicPro is led by former Miami assistant city attorney, Matt Haber, and policy analyst, Jorge Damian de la Paz. Matt has advised city boards and, after numerous public meetings, noticed that even three residents with informed comments could make a difference. Jorge has appeared before various local government boards and led successful advocacy efforts at the city and county-level. We know how important it is to keep up with the decisions affecting our communities, our businesses, and our lives.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

CivicPro sustains free services by selling enterprise software to law firms, engineers, and lobbyists. Our enterprise service offers a legislative dashboard that combines characteristics of a Bloomberg Terminal and a legal research service. We are now piloting these services with law firms specializing in zoning law. Challenge funding will enable us to pilot new analytics on local mobility policies. During the Challenge pilot, CivicPro will work with organizations like Transit Alliance Miami, Catalyst Miami, and South Florida Community Development Coalition, among others, to curate and test sophisticated analytics on municipal legislative trends. Challenge funding would continue to build on previous philanthropic investments in CivicPro from the Knight Foundation and Radical Partners, a local social accelerator, to foster more informed and engaged communities. The new Challenge features will be sustained beyond the initial pilot period through our premium, subscription-based services.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

To generate deeper insights and enhance accountability, CivicPro will use Challenge funds to pilot, test, and integrate analytics on municipal legislative trends affecting mobility policy. This advanced dataset will outline the specific types of mobility solutions prioritized across various cities and breakdown County Commissioners’ legislative activity. We will survey community stakeholders during the pilot to measure the efficacy of the legislative data and content. Throughout the pilot, we will regularly convene resident input sessions facilitated by Catalyst Miami, a non-profit centered on poverty programs and empowerment, and incorporate feedback to ensure our Challenge solution is responsive to local stakeholder needs. A successful pilot will integrate the entire range of mobility solutions being discussed at the local-level, including mass transit, bike lanes, ADA access, transit-oriented developments, ride-sharing services, and even sidewalk improvements.

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Photo of Julian Brizuela Trochez
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The city should create bicycle trails on the highway. Example: if they were to take 1 lane from I-95 north and 1 from south, they will be able to make a bicycle trail in the middle of the highway. By building 5 foot tall concrete barrier with plastic glass ontop of the barrier, protecting cyclists from motorists and any flying debris. And at each existing exit, making a stairway to allow cyclists to safely get On and Off under the bridge and back on the highway. The same can be done for all major highways. This will motivate people to cosider cycling as a much faster way of transportation at high peak hours. Especially from Golden Glades to Downtown Miami on I-95.

Building wider roads is clearly not the solution for our traffic congestion, it's only getting worst. Building safe bike trails will encourage people to commute on a bicycles. Having less cars on the road and less pollution. Distance is not the problem, safety is the biggest concern.

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