This initiative is designed to give Kansans greater access to government data and to encourage more citizen participation and engagement with their local and state governments.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 15, 2020
CONTACT: Mark McCormick, Director of Strategic Communications, 913-490-4113, [email protected]
OVERLAND PARK, KS - The ACLU of Kansas will host a virtual press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday Dec. 17 on ZOOM to unveil a new, free, public-access database aimed at promoting greater government transparency and civic participation.
To join the press conference, follow this link: https://aclu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_C6gWi52KSfq_Es9AerOncA
Nadine Johnson, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kansas, spearheaded the initiative.
“Democracy demands participation,” said Johnson. “We are offering one more way for people to stay educated, engaged, and empowered. We want this data to spur greater civic engagement and more informed and thoughtful public policy-making.”
Kendall Seal, Director of Advocacy at the Kansas affiliate, said behind every data point is a person, a family member, and a friend.
“We couldn’t wait for city hall or Topeka to deliver government transparency, so we got to work,” Seal said of the site, which offers multiple data platforms: Elections and Voting, Immigration, Incarceration, and Racial Justice and Policing, among others.
The Racial Justice and Policing platform, for example, offers insights on use-of-force data, law enforcement spending by county, immigration/ICE data, and arrest disparities by race. Some counties in Kansas, according to the data, have inexplicably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on landmine resistant vehicles.
The site is also valuable for what information it lacks. A handful of law enforcement agencies and county governments refused to supply information. Those agencies and counties are identified on the site.
MySidewalk, a data visualization firm whose mission is to democratize data, built the site. The organization works with hundreds of public, private, and non-profit clients across the country to help community leaders better understand trends.
Visit: www.aclukansas.org/datafor for more information.
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About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at www.aclukansas.org.