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First 'Code for Tucson' to app-ly itself to civic impact

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This weekend, the first-ever "Code for Tucson" civic coding competition will be held to "develop apps that can increase government transparency and help the city better serve its constituents," organizers said.

The competition was inspired by Code for America and is designed to "engage passionate people and groups" to help better the community through apps created at the competition, one of the project's organizers, Justin Williams of Startup Tucson, said in a news release.

The competition will be held at Gangplank Tucson, 100 N. Stone Ave., from 9 a.m. Saturday through 2 p.m. Sunday. There is no cost to participate. You can register for the event on Startup Tucson's website.

The event — organizers are shying away for the term "hackathon," as such overnight coding competitions are commonly known — is backed by Startup Tucson, Gangplank, Tucson's city government and Open Tucson, a group starting by Code for America board member Andrew Greenhill, who works in the city manager's office.

"One way to help make Tucson more user-friendly is with citizen-designed apps," Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said in the release. "Code for Tucson is good for the city and for our developer community, who meet and share ideas that can benefit all Tucsonans."

Participants can expect to find the competition an "intense, fun and rewarding weekend" by working on problems in the community, the release said.  

Attendees do not have to have a "coder" background to take part in the competition; ideas and the desire to make Tucson a better place is all that is necessary for the weekend, organizers said.

"Civic coding is a way for the citizens to connect with their city government and put their good ideas to work to improve their community," said Gangplank's Dan Stormont.

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courtesy Code for Tucson

Competition organizers said, 'We’ll provide the space, the data, the coffee and the food. You provide the awesome!'

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