Voqal Fund Awards Common Cause Hawaii with a $52,000 grant

National Foundation supports new project focused on money in politics in Hawaii

(HONOLULU, HI, January 8, 2014)— Voqal Fund, an initiative of Voqal, has awarded Common Cause Hawaii $52,000 to fund Civic*Celerator, a new project that leverages technology to reduce money in politics in Hawaii.

Civic*Celerator is a series of workshops and events, culminating with a demo day, organized to develop user friendly applications (apps) that can provide relevant information about political candidates and the amounts and sources of their financial support to voters and prospective voters. The objective is to enable more informed voting by encouraging citizens to use the apps created from the Civic*Celerator project. The apps created from this project will leverage the resource of open data made available by the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission.

Civic*Celerator workshops, meetups, and Demo Day will take place from January 2014 (kickoff) – April 19, 2014 (Demo Day) at various locations around Honolulu. Coders, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, civic innovators and engaged citizens are encouraged to participate. Celerators are specifically designed to let the public participate in the app development process and to further increase their understanding of the civic topics they engage with. More information can be found on the Civic*Celerator website www.civic.celerator.org

The project will be organized in partnership with Hawaii Open Data. Burt Lum, who serves as Hawaii Open Data Executive Director, was a Common Cause Hawaii board member, and has taken a leave of absence from the Common Cause Hawaii board for the duration of this grant period.

Common Cause Hawaii was one of six projects that received a grant award from Voqal Fund. Voqal Fund’s money and politics grantees were awarded a total of $350,000 to address a myriad of issues related to the corrupting effect of money on politics. These six projects meet concrete needs in specific regions, seek to hold key political figures accountable, use technology to transform the organizing space in creative ways and more. Voqal Fund supports nonprofit organizations and individuals using media and technology to effect progressive social change and disrupt the status quo. Voqal Fund is an initiative of Voqal. For more information, visit voqal.org/initiatives/voqal-fund/.

Common Cause Hawaii is a state chapter of the national Common Cause organization. Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to reinventing an open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest. For more information, visit www.commoncause.org/HI

Hawaii Open Data is an organization dedicated to advancing the adoption of open data/API standards and the development of solutions capitalizing on open data in Hawaii. For more information, visit www.hawaiiopendata.com


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