MacArthur Park Neighborhood Council recently purchased 24 trashcans for a Community Improvement Project, and were able to immediately apply what they learned at one of our Open Data Trainings to determine the best placement for their new trashcans.

Open data helps make government more accessible, trustworthy and transparent. As defined by, “Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone.” The City has many great datasets that are available to the public, via LA’s Open Data Portal. We began partnering with a variety of City and community partners to offer data workshops across LA, because navigating open data portals to find the right dataset to support or inform your project or proposal can be a little tricky if you’ve never done it before.

MacArthur Park NC – who is a bilingual and monolingual board that holds their monthly meetings in Spanish – joined us at a recent Open Data Community Training in Boyle Heights that was conducted in Spanish. After the training, their President sat down with our Data Programs Lead, Kimberly Rodriguez, to talk about how to use the GeoHub – specifically, the Clean Streets Index – to identify where their new trashcans could be placed, in order to best serve their 30,000 stakeholders. A follow-up meeting was then held with MacArthur Park stakeholders – including a group of local moms, Madres que Luchan –  to ensure that the placements chosen with the help of the Clean Streets Index were really of benefit to the community.

Want to learn how to utilize open data like MacArthur Park NC did? EmpowerLA regularly partners with the LA Mayor’s Office, Office of Finance, ESRI, and the USC Price Center for Social Innovation to offer free data training workshops so you can learn to find and use available maps, demographics, and other publicly available data to serve your community. Visit to learn more about our program, and RSVP for any open classes at