The civic tech industry has sought, and often craved, to be harbingers of social change. It’s the unspoken credo at every hackathon. It’s a rubric that separates good apps from the great. And in Boston and St. Louis, the credo has moved beyond mere aspirations and transcended into two data projects that clear obstacles for low-income residents.
Fueled with $200,000 each and an opportunity to raise 1:1 matching funds, Boston plans to generate hundreds of jobs as it streamlines its youth jobs program, and St. Louis officials hope to engineer a platform that guides citizens through a complex criminal justice system — a change that may reduce bench warrant arrests for missing court dates from minor violations.