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We look forward to Code For America repeating this in other states…..

 

CNN reports….Technology meets law and order to help dismiss thousands of marijuana-related convictions dating back to 1975 in San Francisco.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s office announced on Monday that 8,132 convictions will be dismissed thanks to a computer algorithm that automatically scanned court records.
“This makes San Francisco the first county in the country to complete the automated marijuana record clearance process,” said a statement from the office of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón
    The DA’s office teamed up with Code For America — a nonprofit company using technology to improve the government — to develop the computer program to identify cases that are eligible for dismissal since California passed a law in 2016 allowing recreational marijuana use.
    Since that law, Proposition 64, passed, people whose past crimes would now not be penalized in the same way could petition to have their convictions overturned or reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. But it was up to the individual to petition the court on their own, a process that could be both time-consuming and costly. In 2018, only 23 people in San Francisco filed petitions, according to Gascón.
    Gascón announced last year that his office would proactively look into the cases to determine eligibility and in May teamed up Code For America to start the process of developing the algorithm.
    While sifting manually through thousands of court records would have been time-consuming, the development of the algorithm cut the process down to minutes.
    “Using technology, we have been able to proactively bring greater racial equity and fairness to marijuana legalization in California,” Gascón said in a press release Monday.
    “I am thrilled to see other counties and states following suit by offering similar relief in their communities. It’s the right thing to do.”
    More at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/25/us/san-francisco-marijuana-convictions-cleared-trnd/index.html
    CODE FOR AMERICA
    https://www.codeforamerica.org/

    About us

    We are a network of people making government work for the people, by the people, in the digital age. How do we get there? With government services that are simple, effective, and easy to use, working at scale to help all Americans, starting with the people who need them most.

    https://www.codeforamerica.org/about-us

    Our vision

    The world as we’d like to see it

    Government can work for the people, by the people, in the digital age.

    Services can be simple, accessible, and easy to use.

    Outcomes can be measurably better.

    Better can cost less.

    We can serve everyone with respect and dignity.

    It would be the biggest source of societal good for a generation. Let’s all build it together.

    Our mission

    How we intend to make our vision real

    Code for America uses the principles and practices of the digital age to improve how government serves the American public, and how the public improves government.

    1. To inspire change
      To inspire public servants, people from the tech sector, and community organizers to create change by proving government can do better and showing others how.
    2. To make change real
      Providing government with access to the resources and digital talent they need so that together we can meaningfully impact some of the world’s toughest societal challenges.
    3. To make change stick
      Connecting and convening people from inside and outside government, and from all over the world to inspire each other, share successes, learn, build, and shape a new culture of public service for the 21st century.

    To do it all at scale, serving those who need it most.

    Our values

    What we are like as an organization and a community

    1. Empathy is our operating system. We have a deep empathy for the people we work with. We seek to understand the problems they face and we work tirelessly to serve them.
    2. No one is coming. It’s up to us. We don’t wait for the powers that be to ask us; we act. We don’t ask for permission; we find a way. We don’t talk change; we deliver it.
    3. Build the movement. No one organization can fulfill this vision; we will succeed through a movement that invites everyone to roll up their sleeves and do their part. In short, cultivate the karass.

    Our operating principles

    The ideas that guide the decisions we make

    • Solve real problems. We solve problems that real people have, we make sure what we build works for them, and we continuously improve it. We solve real problems instead of creating elegant code and robust systems to solve imagined ones.
    • Work with, not for the people we serve. We start with our users, the people affected by the service, and understand and respect their needs throughout the process. We also respect and support public servants, and when we are critical of government outcomes, we blame the system, not the people.
    • We build up — from the user to the system, and from the local to the federal.
    • Work lean, iterate quickly. Get a working minimum viable product (MVP) in front of users as early as possible and make continuous improvements based on how they use the service.
    • Make it better with data. Inform iterations with data about user behavior. Evaluate programs based on statistically-sound ground-truthed data about outcomes.
    • Impact not ideology. Government that works for all people doesn’t belong to one party or ideology. We welcome all political and social views that respect the principle that government should work effectively for all Americans with respect and dignity.
    • Shape the market, don’t capture the market. Government that works for all requires the vendor ecosystem to change to become more responsive to user needs. We have the potential to create the biggest change when our projects seek to shape, rather than capture, the market for government technology.
    • Non-partisan, but not neutral. We are an alliance of non-partisan groups, but that non-partisanship does not imply neutrality. This community has a vision for what government should be and will work to bring that vision into reality.
    • Default to open. Work in the open and collaborate with the community to help make programs and services better for everyone.



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