Judy Hertz, Midwest Academy

Date(s) - 04/17/18
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Hosted by
Chi Hack Night

Chi Hack Night – Judy Hertz, Midwest Academy

Chi Hack Night

April 17, 6pm

Much of what we do at Chi Hack Night can be described as organizing. Though technology and data are the focus, every breakout group has to identify a problem they want to address, research it, come up with a plan of action, and execute it.

This week, we welcome Judy Hertz, Executive Director of Midwest Academy. She will give an introduction a nationally known tool for power analysis and planning community organizing strategy known as the Midwest Academy Strategy Chart.

Judy will look at the key pieces of a public policy campaign, and how they fit together.

  • defining what public policy change you want to win
  • assessing your own organizational power
  • analyzing the power of the decision-maker (the person with the power to say yes to you)
  • principles for building up your coalition
  • what tactics to use to show off your power and get to yes

Then she will discuss with the group the research and data needs of community organizers, and how a group of Internet savvy people can be helpful.

The Chi Hack Night is a free, weekly event in Chicago to build, share and learn about civic tech and tools to create, support, or serve public good.

Join us every Tuesday from 6-10pm on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart to hear from interesting speakers, learn from each other and work on civic projects. Non-techies are very welcome!

What happens at a hack night?

Every week, we have a 10-15 minute presentation by a government agency, non-profit, company or group who’ve made use of open data or built a civic technology application. The goal of these presentations is to showcase the different uses and opportunities, as well as challenges and successes in the civic technology movement.

After the presentation, the format of the event is similar to that of a hackathon where breakout groups self-organize to work on civic apps, discuss policies and their implications, learn technical skills and network with a welcoming and diverse community at the intersection of technology and government.

But I’m not a techie!

That’s ok! We encourage non-technical folks to pair up and learn from our community’s designers and developers. We’ve seen time and time again, he best civic projects come from teams with a diverse background.

Remember, there’s much more to making a great app than just coding.


Derek Eder, Christopher Whitaker and Juan-Pablo Velez

The Chi Hack Night is organized by Derek Eder, Christopher Whitaker and (formerly) Juan-Pablo Velez. You can contact them here.

Every month, we hold an open Leadership Council Meeting to discuss new ideas and ways to make the hack night better. Anyone is welcome to join!