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San Francisco, USA
155 9th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94103


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Grant, 12/2011


Code for America

Code for America (CfA) is a non-partisan, non-political 501(c)3 organization founded in 2009 that helps governments work better through technology and public service.

The CfA fellowship recruits talented web developers, designers, and entrepreneurs into a year of public service and then invite forward-thinking cities to apply to work with them, hand-in-hand, to help them better leverage technology and engage the community. The first year of the fellowship program began in January 2011; 20 fellows were selected from 360 applicants, resulting in a 5.6% acceptance rate.

The CfA Accelerator recruits “civic startups” and supports them with a national platform to raise awareness, a wealth of business training and advice, and a broad network of potential investors and civic leaders.

The CfA Brigades are local civic hacking volunteer groups in over 30 cities around the US. Code for All is a new program that connects and supports both brigades outside the US as well as organizations that are adapting the fellowship model to their own country.

Founding & History: In 2009, founder Jennifer Pahlka was working with O’Reilly Media at the Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington, DC. A conversation with Andrew Greenhill, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff of the City of Tucson, sparked the initial idea for Code for America, when he said “You need to pay attention to the local level because cities are in major crisis. Revenues are down, costs are up – if we don’t change how cities work, they’re going to fail.” The two began discussing plans for a program that eventually became Code for America, a one-year fellowship recruiting developers to work for city government. With support from web entrepreneur Leonard Lin, Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, and technologist Clay Johnson, among others, the organization was launched in September 2009.

Recent Milestones



Leaders from technology and government, including Mark Zuckerberg, Biz Stone, Aneesh Chopra, Caterina Fake, and Tim O’Reilly, ask you to apply to be a Code for America fellow and help bring the innovation and culture of the tech industry to city governmen

Added: 10/10/11

This is the story of the nonprofit by the numbers since it began in January, 2011.

Added: 10/10/11

Code for America’s fellowship program connects civic-minded technologists with local governments to build web apps that make cities work better. In this webinar, Code for America presents an overview of their inaugural year partnership with four cities -

Added: 10/9/11

Tim O’Reilly interviews Code for America founder Jen Pahlka about the CfA mission, and it’s call for 2011 Fellows.

Added: 10/9/11



  1. Code For America Receives $1.5M Grant From Google To Help The Government Harness Technology ( [edit]
  2. How an Army of Techies Is Taking on City Hall ( [edit]
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