Posts Tagged ‘houston’

Recap of the Startup Spaceport Happy Hour

A few months ago, Councilmember Ed Gonzalez asked a great question: what if we could bring the people working on the Ellington Spaceport together with the Houston startup community? I was honored to help organize a happy hour to do just that. Mario Diaz, the Director of the Houston Airport System, gave a short presentation of the…

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Crowdsourcing Transportation Policy With MobilityHouston

MobilityHouston is a website that crowdsources transportation policy ideas from Houstonians. The goal is to help lawmakers create smarter, more comprehensive transportation policies. They do it with a specific focus on mobility and a broad community engagement strategy. So Far, Policymaking is Offline Houston’s lawmakers have to get smart on a range of issues before they write the laws. They…

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Recap of the Houston Controller Forum About Technology

This morning was the first debate of its kind, anywhere in the US. The six candidates for Houston City Controller gathered at the Houston Technology Center to discuss… technology. The City Controller is Houston’s Chief Financial Officer. They are responsible for communicating financial issues to the public, reporting on our finances, and auditing the city…

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Text Mining the City of Houston Bright Ideas Program

Last year, we helped the City of Houston launch a cost-savings crowdsourcing program called Bright Ideas. I was reading through some of the responses, and I got curious about terminologies, priorities, and the general language used by City of Houston employees. So on April 9, 2016, I grabbed a database dump of the Bright Ideas…

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Minimum Lot Size in Houston: Maps to Protect Your Block

minimum lot size restrictions third ward houston

A few weeks ago, I attended a civic club meeting where we talked about minimum lot size restrictions. Many of my neighbors were concerned about townhouse developments in the neighborhood, and the City of Houston Planning Department was on hand to teach us how to apply for minimum lot size protection. Minimum lot size restrictions…

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Houston Maps and Data – October 2016

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted a roundup of Houston-focused maps and data projects. There have been some really great stories while I’ve been gone. Here are some of my favorites: Find chemical storage facilities in your neighborhood We have very little idea of where dangerous chemicals are stored throughout Houston. This was clear in…

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Building a Research Map for Early Matters

Children at Risk school quality rating overlaid with median household income

This is a post about how we built an early childhood education research map prototype for two Houston-based education advocacy groups and a coalition of 70+ partners. This is the end of the first phase of development. Check it out here. Quality early education increases school readiness, contributes to better student academic outcomes, and increases high…

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Over 700,000 Voters Missing in Houston Area

If you’ve looked into civic engagement in the City of Houston, you may already know that Houston has one of the lowest percentages of voter turnout in Texas. Over the past two months, I’ve been digging deeper into this issue by researching Houston elections, reading endless articles, and interviewing various Houstonians. Everyone acknowledged that voter…

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Houston Startups: 2013 Year in Review

I’ve been working in the Houston startup community since 2009, and one thing is clear: we’re growing like crazy. In a twelve-month period between 2011-2012, the City of Houston added more than 34,000 new residents, second only to New York City. But that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what’s coming. The Greater…

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The Story Behind the Houston Writeathon

Back in October, I was in San Francisco for the Code for America summit. It was an inspiring trip, with civic hackers from around the world converging to share stories about technology and community development. Of course, the best stories travel over beers.  That’s exactly how Rebekah Monson told me about the writeathon she organized in Miami.…

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