This afternoon, Denice W. Ross, a Presidential Innovation Fellow, sent the following message to the White House email list. She introduces readers to Demond Fortenberry, a 14-year-old resident of New Orleans who participated in a local coding event last week, where the City of New Orleans previewed four data sets related to policing.
Keep reading to learn more about the event — and if you didn’t get the email, sign up for email updates here.
Last week, at a coding event in New Orleans, 14-year-old Demond Fortenberry blew me away with his data-savvy and curiosity.
At the event, hosted by local nonprofit Operation Spark, the City of New Orleans previewed four policing-related data sets. As the password for viewing the data came up on the screen, I reflexively cracked open my laptop to dive in — but fortunately, I had the good sense to close it back up. This time, I wanted to experience the unveiling of a new data set from the perspective of a young coder.
And I’m glad I did.
I was a little nervous at first about whether this never-before-seen data would catch the attention of Demond and the other young coders. But watching Demond work with the data — and build a collaborative working relationship with city leadership in the process — removed any of those fears.
From incident locations to readouts on the demographics, he recognized what was happening in his community, and he started to ask questions.
Demond Fortenberry and City of New Orleans CIO Lamar Gardere review police data together with other hackathon participants.