Civic Insight team joins Accela!
Today we are excited to announce that the Civic Insight team will be joining Accela!
How we got here
Our story began three years ago when the Civic Insight team formed as a part of the 2012 Code for America fellowship. We worked with the City of New Orleans, having conversations with City staff, civic leaders, residents and the business community to understand their most pressing needs. Through those conversations it became clear that the lack of public-facing, neighborhood-level data had a direct and adverse impact on residents’ quality of life and the City’s recovery.
In response, we created BlightStatus, a website that makes data about vacant and abandoned homes available to everyone with a simple and beautiful interface. Soon after launching in New Orleans, other local governments from around the country reached out to us asking if they could have a similar product for their cities. From that point forward, we made it our mission to build technology that allowed anyone– whether mayor, city council member or resident– to understand what was happening in their city.
We renamed our product Civic Insight in order to encompass this vision. We’ve since worked with a wide range of cities, including Palo Alto, Sacramento, Dallas, Atlanta and Austin. We have kept a commitment to open data and have collaborated with industry leaders to establish housing data standards, such as BLDS and HouseFacts.
As part of Accela, we will continue our focus of making place-based information simple and easy to understand. We also look forward to working with Accela’s nearly 2,200 existing customers, whose knowledge and experience will will allow us to develop Civic Insight into an indispensable platform for city staff and residents.
We didn’t get here alone
We couldn’t have made it this far without the guidance, wisdom and assistance of many. Jen Pahlka and Bob Sofman at Code for America encouraged us to work on the issues we cared most about, even when all we had were post-it notes and a hunch. One of our co-founders, Alex Pandel, was essential to BlightStatus and getting Civic Insight off the ground. Our advisors Tim O’Reilly, Ron Bouganim and Nigel Jacob are a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and we’ve benefitted greatly. Finally, our investors, John Bracken and Ben Wirz at the Knight Foundation, whose encouragement and financial support allowed us to build our company into what it is today.
— Eddie A Tejeda and Amir Reavis-Bey, co-founders, Civic Insight