Opening the City Council Records by Will Skora

17 March 2016

Open Cleveland is excited to announce that we have been named the winner in OneCommunity’s Data Curation Challenge!

Our project, drocer, is creating a searchable archive of The City Record, a weekly digest of Cleveland City Council’s activities including proposals and votes of legislation, bid announcements for city contracts, Public Notices, Board of Zoning Appeals, known as the City Record.

It is currently only published a PDF makes it impossible to search across multiple digests and very difficult to analyze the text.

An overview of drocer is available at:

In recent months, we’ve met with community partners including the Cleveland Public Library, the City Council’s Clerk of Courts, and the City’s Law Department to understand what it will take to bring this tool to the greatest number of Clevelanders, what additional features are needed in a website and how they can get involved, to enable Clevelanders to better engage with their city government and learning about their City Council.

For more tech saavy and curious readers interested in analyzing the raw plain text that we’ve extracted from PDFs, you can view the plain text as well as our code to parse and structurethe raw plain text (still in its infancy) at

Our first step, extracting the raw text from the PDFs is completed!

Next steps include: parsing and structuring the data so that it can be useful to continuing to meet with community partners to

We’ve only started and the best is yet to come.

Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz, Will Skora, Co-Captains, Eamon Johnson and Meaghan Fenelon Drocer contributors and the rest of the Open Cleveland Brigade.