Harvard Ash Center Announces Winners of #Hack4Congress SF

March 23, 2015
Harvard Ash Center Announces Winners of #Hack4Congress SF

San Francisco, Ca.The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School today announced the winners of #Hack4Congress SF, a competition to create common-sense solutions to make the U.S. Congress more efficient, effective and accountable to citizens. The event, held over March 21 and 22 at Code for America in San Francisco, drew nearly 100 students, software developers, academics, and everyday Americans from across the country, leading to nine innovative proposals to tackle five major threats to the future of democracy in America.

The overall winner of #Hack4Congress SF was Confluence Labs for its project entitled CDash, which helps provide congressional offices with critical metrics on what is happening specifically in their congressional districts on everything from health care indicators, to unemployment figures, to graduation rates, and economic growth numbers.  CDash, was conceived by Madlene Hamilton, Kate Wing, Fabion Kauker, Elyse Lefebvre, Judith Mayer, and John Kelly.

      • The finalist for Challenge 1 – Improving Law Making Process was Confluence Labs for its entry, CDash.
      • The finalist for Challenge 2 – Facilitating Cross-Partisan Dialogue was Team Policies Beyond Partisanship for its non-partisan bill drafting and revision platform.
      • The finalist for Challenge 3 – Modernizing Congressional Participation was Project Lobby with Friends for its tool to sort members of Congress by their influence on the issues and then connecting users to Facebook friends who are their constituents.
      • The finalist for Challenge 4 – Closing the Representation and Trust Gaps was Project TL;DR Congress for its one-page personalized report card for voters, which also provides an opportunity for elected officials to give explanations of their congressional records.
      • The finalist for Challenge 5 – Reforming Campaign Finance was Project Urban Borough for its tool to unify how everyday constituents can financially pool behind a congressional candidate in a social, more transparent way.

The winners from MyCRS will join the winner of #Hack4Congress Cambridge and #Hack4Congress DC for a finalists presentation on Capitol Hill later this spring where they will have the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel of Members of Congress and their staffs. More information on #Hack4Congress challenges, teams and sponsors can be found at hack4congress.org.

About #Hack4Congress
#Hack4Congress is an opportunity to identify ideas and innovations to overcome the dysfunction gripping much of Congress. “Hacking” is not just for technologists. “Hacks” include innovations in policy, architecture, organizational process, art and design, and educational materials, as well as new software and technologies.

About the Ash Center
The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education and public discussion. Three major programs support our mission: the Program on Democratic Governance; the Innovations in Government Program; and the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia. For more information, visit www.ash.harvard.edu.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Harsha
Associate Director for Communications, Ash Center