The 2018 Hackies Winners

Published on May 11, 2018 by Derek Eder

The Chi Hack Night Hackies

On May 8th, 2018 we celebrated the 300th episode of Chi Hack Night!

In honor of this momentous milestone, we recognized the many people, projects, partners, and presentations that make our community great. The evening included the awarding of “the Hackies”, our new civic tech version of the Oscars!

13 Hackies were awarded by popular vote in the categories of:

  • Outstanding Chi Hack Night Project
  • Person Making an Impact
  • Outstanding Presentation
  • Behind-the-Scenes Civic Hacker Hero
  • Outstanding Partner Organization

The Chi Hack Night Hackies Winners
The winners of the 2018 Hackies. From the left: Emily Drevets, Joel Inwood (Cook County), Vicki White (Chicago Books to Women in Prison), Patrick Flannery (Sheriff Dart), Tom Schenk (Chicago CDO), Steve Ediger, Rose Afriyie (mRelief), Patrick Sier, Matt Saniie (Cook County State’s Attorney), Zsa-Zsa Pimentel (ICIRR), Tracy Siska (Justice Media Project), David Eads (ProPublica).

Here are the 13 winners, in no particular order:

Winners for Outstanding Chi Hack Night Project

Access to Justice
For their work in creating a website for people returning home from prison.
Team members: Kulsum Ameji, Kristi Leach, Eric van Zanten, Patrick Sier and Joseph Smalzer

Justice Media Project
For their project to collect and analyze media coverage of crime and violence in Chicago. Watch their Chi Hack Night presentation.
Team members: Tracy Siska, Kevin Rose, Matt Meshulam, Josh Herzberg and Michael Chladek

mRelief
For founding a non-profit that has built an easy-to-use platform for families to find out if they qualify for food stamps.
Team members: Rose Afriyie and Genevieve Nielsen

Winner of Person Making an Impact

Emily Drevets
For her amazing leadership, energy and hilarious jokes. @drevets on Twitter.

Winners of Outstanding Presentation

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and Chief Data Officer Matt Saniie
Cook County State’s Attorney Foxx, who took office in 2016, discussed her efforts to build a data program within the State’s Attorney’s Office, including the hiring of a Chief Data Officer and the release of a first-ever data report. Chi Hack Night circulated an Open Data Pledge which Kim Foxx signed before being elected as Cook County State’s Attorney. The work shown in this presentation was influenced, in part, by Chi Hack Night. Watch the presentation.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart
Sheriff Dart spoke about the evolution of technology used in the Cook County Sheriff’s Office since he became Sheriff nearly 11 years ago. He elaborated and give examples on how data is used to inform practices and procedures throughout the Sheriff’s Office. Watch the presentation.

ProPublica: The Tax Divide, Jason Grotto & Sandhya Kambhampati
In 2017, ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune published The Tax Divide, a four-part series examining deep inequities in the Cook County’s property tax assessments system. Reporters Jason Grotto and Sandhya Kambhampati discussed the stories, their methodology and the fallout from the series. Watch the presentation.

Winners of Behind the Scenes Civic Hacker Hero

Steve Ediger
For his outstanding facilitation of the leadership council and his continued efforts to build up the civic technology commons.

Patrick Sier
For his technical assistance on countless projects, including Access to Justice’s Illinois Re-Entry Resources and Is There Sewage in the Chicago River?.

Winners of Outstanding Partner Organization

Illinois Coalition for Immigrants and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)
For their partnership with Chi Hack Night’s Deportation/Immigration/Refugee Task Force breakout group and the resulting mobile app for immigrant resources. Watch the presentation.

Chicago Books to Women in Prison
Executive Director Vicki White presented at Chi Hack Night in March and has been back every week since. She has started a breakout group to build a system for managing their shipping and inventory.

Cook County: Bureau of Technology
The Cook County Bureau of Technology have been a strong supporters of Chi Hack Night since 2015. They have debuted their new geospatial data portal and website redesign at Chi Hack Night and Board President Preckwinkle herself has also presented. They have been wonderful liaisons to other Cook County offices, opening up even more potential collaborations.

City of Chicago: Department of Innovation and Technology
The City of Chicago, in particular Chief Data Officer Tom Schenk, have been members and supporters of Chi Hack Night since its founding year. They have given nearly a dozen presentations and led several breakout groups including Open Grid and Predicting E. Coli levels in Chicago beaches.

Congrats to all the winners! And here’s to 300 more!

Derek Eder at Chi Hack Night’s 300th event
Derek Eder at Chi Hack Night’s 300th event


About the author


Derek is an entrepreneur, developer and one of the leaders of the civic technology community in Chicago. He is a co-founder and partner at DataMade — a company that tells stories and builds tools with data — and is the lead organizer for Chi Hack Night.