Of the People, for the People: Using Data Tools for Good Government

Of the People, for the People: Using Data Tools for Good Government

Governments today are being asked to do more with less. But new tools in data and mapping have made it possible for governments to accomplish more by making better decisions, targeting efforts where they’re needed most.

Many governments have already embraced the power of data and mapping, and tools are available to help them make the most of their efforts. Join us to hear from those working on the ground at the local, state and federal level as they discuss innovative ways they’re using data to save time and make their work more effective, with fewer resources.

This Mapchats webinar demonstrates how to use data for more efficient and effective government services. Topics include property hubs, non-profits helping building government capacity, how data has helped with thinking about priorities and strategy, and testing and analyzing new ideas in housing and community development.

The speakers include:

  • Raquel Favela from NDC (and formerly the City of Dallas)
  • Bryce Maretzki from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
  • Steve Barlow from NPI Memphis

The Mapchats webinar was co-presented by PolicyMap and National Development Council (NDC).

You can watch the webinar, as well as see the slides from the presentations, by filling out this form:

About the speakers:

Raquel Favela offers her expertise to clients interested in developing strategic plans and policy solutions that are responsive to market conditions with the goal of creating an economic development system conducive to job creation & diverse housing options. Her unique brand of practical experience joins her long range planning and policy acumen to bring balanced problem solving to communities.

A community developer since 1994, she has walked in the shoes of most of the major players in the development process: owner, investor, non-profit developer, fee developer, consultant, marketing & leasing agent, governmental entity, lender and landlord. In 2007, Raquel delivered San Antonio its first Strategic Community Development Plan informed by a data framework known as Market Value Analysis. Her next role with the nation’s oldest non-profit technical assistance and advisory services firm, the National Development Council placed her in the role of trusted advisor to clients across the nation from Prichard, Alabama, Rockford, Illinois, Los Angeles County, San Antonio/New Braunfels, Texas, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the State of Illinois among others. Raquel guided clients on financing structures for challenging redevelopment projects. In this role she gained extensive transactional experience using tools such as New Market Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, Housing Choice Voucher Program, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, P3, SBA 7A & 504, HOME, and CDBG.

In 2017, Raquel served the City of Dallas as Chief of Economic Development and Neighborhood Services to provide turn-around management leadership to a community development portfolio including Planning & Urban Design, Housing & Neighborhood Revitalization, Office of Economic Development, Code Compliance, and Fair Housing and Human Rights. Among many of her accomplishments, she delivered the City’s first comprehensive housing policy, addressed longstanding local and federal audit findings, and led the city’s major corporate recruitment efforts including the highly competitive Amazon HQ2.


Bryce Maretzki was appointed in 2013 to be Director of Policy and Planning for the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency where he leads all of the agency’s long-range planning while continuing to direct a number of policy initiatives. In addition, he supervises the implementation of the Office of Financial Education that was transferred to PHFA from the Department of Banking.

Prior to joining PHFA Mr. Maretzki was with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as Deputy Secretary for Administration and Director of Legislative Affairs for the department having joined the department in 2004 as Director of Policy. While there he was charged with creating a complete revision of the “silos” attached to economic and community development, to create a coordinated, comprehensive approach to rebuild and revitalize Pennsylvania communities.

He graduated with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1988 and received his Bachelor of Political Science and Urban Studies from Pennsylvania State University in 1986.

Steve Barlow is President of Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. and a staff attorney for the City of Memphis. He has been involved in community organizing, legislative advocacy and community development efforts in Memphis, Tennessee since 1995, and has led efforts for the past eight years to use civil litigation in the Shelby County Environmental Court to enforce blight reduction and hold negligent property owners accountable. He founded Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. in 2011 to help remove the systemic barriers to revitalizing Memphis neighborhoods. The flagship program, the Blight Elimination Steering Team is a cross-agency collaboration where 30+ local organizations from the public, private, and non-profit sector meet every month to discuss collaborative responses to vacancy and abandoned property in Memphis. It was through the Blight Elimination Steering Team that the Memphis Property Hub was created in 2015 as a community data portal for neighborhood and community leaders to become equipped with the data they need to preserve and revitalize their neighborhoods.