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Code for BTV

Equity Counts


This project focuses on equity in data. As such, we aim to promote an environment of inclusion and representation. The Equity Counts Project team extends an open invitation to anyone interested in joining and/or leading this project team.
All are welcome. No technical experience necessary.
Interested? Contact us through our Contact page or Slack.


The inspiration for this project began with Open Data Day, the annual global celebration of open data. Open datasets are those that can be “freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone” (from the Open Data Handbook). These open data are free from restrictions like copyrights or patents.

Problem Statement

  • The rise of Open Data has paralleled the rise of intellectual property.
  • The rise of Open Data has also become synonymous with Government transparency.
  • As governments share Open Data to increase transparency, it also exposes some of the many cracks in how equitable our systems are.
  • In some cases we see that our government does not share everything it should.
  • In some cases we see in what is shared that there are holes reflecting a biased or broken system.
  • Primary goal: Ensure that new Americans in Vermont are appropriately represented in Vermont’s open data.
  • Identify current priorities of new Americans in Vermont, and use those priorities to screen open datasets for alignment.

Project Summary

Past Steps

During a public event for Open Data Day:

  • Listening session: Attendees (including those who identify as new Americans and/or advocates for new Americans) answered questions about what it means to be a new American in Vermont and gave examples of current priorities.
  • Dataset session: We searched for relevant open datasets and started compiling their information.

The New American Priorities Survey resulted from the responses given by participants at the past event. The survey underwent a testing process before being distributed.

Present Direction

We are reaching out to the public for people willing to take the priorities survey. The goal of the survey is to get a clearer picture about the priorities that new Americans in Vermont have.

From there, we want to do one or more of a few different potential actions like:

  • Compiling any and all data related to the priorities,
  • Building/finding/using a rubric to judge the alignment and equity of the government’s shared open data, and…
  • Working to crowdsource new open data
Special thanks to our collaborations with AALV, Green Mountain Transit, The Vermont New American Advisory Council, and The Vermont Professionals of Color Network. Their input has enriched this project.

Project Details:

Project Managers: Nick Floersch / Kirsten Nielsen
Tech Leads: Multiple

Related Links:

Open Data Day