As I say goodbye to 2018 and begin to try and correctly write 2019, I can’t help but look back on the past year and all the amazing work that we conducted. I’m so very proud of the volunteers that drive Open Charlotte Brigade’s mission forward and help us create a better.

Our weekly Community Action Nights reached hundreds of Charlotte-area technologists. We worked on projects ranging from CMPD Winter Gift program to Re-entry roadmap for the formerly incarcerated community. It has been a Tuesday regular for over 3 years and has seen a lot of pizza, beer and impact.

Additionally, we opened our Leadership meetings and had posted them on Meetup. When I first suggested it, I hoped that it would lead to greater diversity and more volunteers raising their hands to get the work done. I’m so excited that some of that has been realized. We are still looking for more people to take ownership of aspects of the work but also energized by the expanded, diverse voices that have joined out leadership.

On the National front, I am proud to say that in February of 2018 I was re-elected to serve on the Code for America National Advisory Council for my second, and final, term. Representing Charlotte to this national movement has been fantastic. To help steer the direction and priorities that best serve our community and the Brigade communities around the country.

To this end, we hosted 200 civic technologists in Charlotte at Brigade Congress in October 2018. It was a great weekend of learning and relationship building that centered around our fantastic city. It was such an honor to have everyone here, and introduce our City Councilmembers to the civic technology movement, further deepening our relationship with the City of Charlotte.

As an organization, Open Charlotte Brigade has had an impactful 2018. But most off I’m proud that we moved forward on something that we’ve talked about for years, and has always been a large part of our mission, our community. We took on the process of renaming our organization from Code for Charlotte to Open Charlotte Brigade. With this change, is a renewed focus on the community, openness and “building with and not for.”

With this focus in mind, we’re set to launch a new program (more info to come) and have re-evaluated our current impact with an eye to including more of the broader community. I’m so excited by the evolution and expansion of our leadership team. All and all, we’ve got lots of fantastic stuff in the works, and I hope you will join us.