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Meet the GO DATA advisory commission

June 25, 2018

What is the commission?

In early 2015, Mayor Duggan approved Executive Order 2015-2, establishing the city’s new open data initiative as Detroit GO DATA (Government Open Data Accessible To All). A key pillar of that policy, which you can read in full here, is the creation of an Advisory Commission “to assure consideration of the perspectives of various users and subjects of data.”

Responsibilities of the group include:

  • Reviewing the open data activities of the City of Detroit
  • Suggesting improvements to make data about the city more accessible to residents
  • Increasing knowledge and use of open data resources among all Detroiters

Hear how members further articulate the role of the commission:

“Perhaps our biggest role is identifying the means by which lifelong and long-time Detroiters are able to access, understand, and benefit from their city's open data as primary users, in a way that mitigates the potential harms open data can present for those it represents.”

“The commission affords an opportunity to help shape an urgently emerging tool [Detroit’s open data portal] by centering everyday and vulnerable Detroiters in the dialogue about open data.”

“Our role is to witness the information being accumulated by the city about its citizens and assist in developing processes to improve access to this information.”

Who’s part of it?

The members of our first GO DATA cohort are:

  • Kenya Abbott Jr, United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM)
  • Joshua Ackers, University of Michigan Dearborn
  • Aaron Goodman, Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD)
  • Katie Hearn, Detroit Digital Justice Coalition (DDJC)
  • Uri “Heru” House, ECOSphere
  • Mary Muhammad, Grandmont Community
  • Jayashree Ravi, Mobi Boot Camp Corporation
  • Monique Tate, NEWCC Equitable Internet Initiative (EII)
  • Jessica Williams, The Heidelberg Project

Aaron Goodman and Monique Tate currently co-chair the commission. Jessica McInchak is the DoIT liaison.

Individually, members of the commission bring many perspectives and experiences as educators, community organizers, technologists, and lifelong Detroiters. They are all advocates for more transparent and equitable information sharing from city government.

In their own words, a few members explain why they’re participating:

“With over ten years of community development experience, I held a unique range of positions, from corporate development officer to neighborhood planning manager. From these experiences, I’ve discovered fair access to key data and information is the very foundation for successful redevelopment in Detroit.”

“I'm a technologist, community activist and more than 25 year resident of Detroit with a passion for bridging our digital divide by improving digital access and literacy. I am participating to both provide a community voice to the DoIT team about the helpfulness/hindrance of data content and to inform community on available data and how to retrieve it.”

The first cohort came together in late 2016 after a public nomination process. Each is serving at least a two year term; half will rotate off at the end of 2018, and the remaining half will rotate off at the end of 2019.

Stay tuned to learn how to apply to join the commission for a future term. The commission expects to open applications later this summer for a term beginning early 2019.


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