The Opportunity Project: Utilizing Open Data to Build Stronger Ladders of Opportunity for All

White House Factsheet: “In the lead up to the President’s historic visit to SxSW, today the Administration is announcing the launch of “The Opportunity Project,” a new open data effort to improve economic mobility for all Americans. As the President said in his State of the Union address, we must harness 21st century technology and innovation to expand access to opportunity and tackle our greatest challenges.

The Opportunity Project will put data and tools in the hands of civic leaders, community organizations, and families to help them navigate information about critical resources such as access to jobs, housing, transportation, schools, and other neighborhood amenities. This project is about unleashing the power of data to help our children and our children’s children access the resources they need to thrive. Today, the Administration is releasing a unique package of Federal and local datasets in an easy-to-use format and accelerating a new way for the federal government to collaborate with local leaders, technologists, and community members to use data and technology to tackle inequities and strengthen their communities.

Key components of this announcement include:

·         The launch of “The Opportunity Project” and Opportunity.Census.gov to provide easy access to the new package of Opportunity Project data, a combination of Federal and local data, on key assets that determine access to opportunity at the neighborhood level. This data can now be used by technologists, community groups, and local governments in order to help families find affordable housing, help businesses identify services they need, and help policymakers see inequities in their communities and make investments to expand fair housing and increase economic mobility.

·         The release of a dozen new private sector and non-profit digital tools that were built in collaboration with eight cities and using the Opportunity Project data to help families, local leaders, advocates, and the media navigate information about access to jobs, housing, transportation, schools, neighborhood amenities, and other critical resources. Participating cities include Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, MO, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., as well as organizations and companies such as Redfin, Zillow, GreatSchools, PolicyLink andStreetwyze.

·         More than thirty additional non-profits, community organizations, coding boot camps, academic institutions, and local governments have already committed to use the Opportunity Project data to build stronger ladders of opportunity in communities across the country.

·         The Administration is issuing a Call to Action to the public to develop new tools, offer additional sources of data, deepen community engagement through the use of the data, and other actions. We want to hear about what new steps you are taking or programs you are implementing to address these topics.

This project represents an important continuation of how the Federal government is working with communities and technologists to enhance the power of open data by making it more accessible to a wide variety of users across the country, and by facilitating collaborations between software developers and community members to build digital tools that make it easier for communities and families to solve their greatest challenges….(More)”

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