IncluCivics & Digging up your Brigade past

brigade-history
#1

IncluCivics App (Code for Nasville)

Are you interested in helping improve or adapt our app? We welcome feedback and collaboration.

Purpose: Visualize under representation & under compensation in Metro Workforce
Started: 2014-08
Status: Active (rebooted in 2019)

App Deployment: http://www.codefornashville.org/inclucivics/
Code Repository: https://github.com/code-for-nashville/inclucivics

Features

The application uses pie charts to show the proportion of Metro Nashville employees by race or gender within 3 income brackets. A user can select specific Departments or previous quarters to view. The main summary page shows change over time with miniature line graphs (spark-lines), but only for race.

Room for Improvement

However, it does not:

  • Compare the Metro employee demographics against the city residents
  • Highlight departments that are particularly under representative
  • Share statistical significance
  • Consider intersections of race with gender
  • Consider pay comparisons with each of the 3 salary buckets
  • Consider part vs. full time employment

Discovering Brigade History

It was funny for me (@Tim) to discover this app was our only ever practical government partnership. In fact, someone in Metro Human Relations Commission helped found Code for Nashville so we could build this app. But, the project and certainly the sense of purpose had dwindled by the time I started volunteering so that I didn’t take it seriously until I had been a Brigade lead for a year and a volunteer discovered old newspaper articles about the app.

Apparently, our leadership had turned over a couple times before we could get it deployed on the site Metro HRC bought for it and it’s been sitting in our closet since. So, we’ve started resurrecting that relationship and it’s been an interesting way to learn about (and hopefully from) our own (short) history. :slight_smile:

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#2

@tim this is an awesome format for sharing a project , great project too! It’s even got a civic.json file

The included data:load command is a great touch

Do you know the history of this data becoming available, was that intertwined with the person inside the Commission having the idea for the app?

#3

@chris, I can’t take credit for anything in the project really since it was built before I joined, but I agree - it’s pretty well-organized!

As for the history, there were a series of reports by the same name that the Metro Human Relation Commission put out and the same person who spearheaded that helped co-found Code for Nashville for the purpose of building this app. So, the timing is right but I think the causation is more the other way. Code for Nashville certainly can’t claim credit for requesting data from the city for this app (in the past since it didn’t even really exist.

However, I just made a public records request to get all the historical data, because they don’t keep it up on the Open Data Portal, and I just realized we’re only storing the fields we use. So, then we’ll make that data public, because AFAIK, there’s no other way to access it right now. We’re also doing some deeper dives into the complete dataset to tell a clearer, more relevant story and may ask for additional fields added as we try to answer questions about what we can see now.

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