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Azavea prepares for busy election season, hiring

With the presidential race in full swing it’s easy to overlook that thousands of political seats—at municipal, state and federal levels—are up for re-election across the country. Luckily, Azavea keeps track of legislative data with Cicero API, a GIS platform matching people, businesses, advocacy organizations and nonprofits with their elected officials. Azavea is hiring two to three paid research assistance internships to help overhaul Cicero as well as one or two software engineers for their Justice and Enterprise Services Team.

“[A user] can geo-code their address and [Cicero] will know the local district and the state district and tell you exactly who you should contact and what their contact information is,” Maya Gutierrez, Product Manager of Elections and Politics at Azavea, explains.

Unlike similar services which estimate your districts based on zip code, Cicero is remarkably accurate, pinpointing the precise longitude and latitude of an address. The platform holds comprehensive data of federal and state legislative districts as well as city council data for 80 of the largest cities. In addition to updating official information for up to 10,000 inaugural seats, the Cicero team will be working double-time to redraw district boundaries, which have changed in accordance with the 2010 census data. Their product is a valuable informant for a range of clients.

“Cicero is used by the political campaigns but it can also be used by constituents,” Gutierrez says. “A number of clients use it for legislative advocacy projects.”

Winning Mark used Cicero to create a web-app voter’s guide for Oregon residents. SEPTA uses it to remind officials which transportation routes effect their constituency. News outlets view the political landscape through Cicero. The platform has even helped with analysis of the impact of voter ID law. Because nothing like Cicero exists in the public realm, Azavea offers nonprofit pricing options as well as pro bono accounts for several non-profits signed up through TechSoup and selected local organizations, keeping the civilly-minded resource as available as possible.

Source: Maya Gutierrez, Azavea
Writer: Dana Henry
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