This week's question
There is a lot of anger and resentment in our community and America today. What are some ways we as a community of civic technologists can direct it towards positive action?
- Providing more tools or ways to make people more creative or productive in good ways and express their anger with in a good and positive ways
- there are sites that expose/quantify where senators stand on some issues - maybe aggregate the positive changes they hope to make to make with those policies
- improve housing
- we can listen to what they say they need as opposed to focusing on who is angry
- we can crowdsource their "how do i..." questions
- engage with our community in meetings like this
- check in with our neighbors and friends
- create tools to enable cooperative / competitive activities - i.e. sports meetup tools
- adopt an organization that needs technical help
- search tool matching political opinions with action items you can take (relevant charities, volunteer, ops, etc.)
- civic technologists can develop an online tool that measures and predicts trends based on local social media posts
- spend time learning about how our government, local, state, and federal works
- LISTEN to others
- volunteer with non-profit organizations focused on protecting civic life and rights
- anger about government can be used to convince people to become more involved in the democratic process. how? I don't know.
- Help people understand government and economy, organize and make information accessible
- small steps. don't try to fix everything at once
- listen more
- as civic technologists, we should create more channels for our communities to make their voices heard and expose data to help visualize the problems, and help devise ways to hold elected officials accountable
- plenty of local civic tech projects to build that can succeed regardless of federal politics
- motiviation to strive for better the next iteration. analyze how things come to be. lastly, to UNITE together
We at Code for San Francisco have one goal: to positively impact our community by means of the skills at our disposal, which for many of us means leveraging various technologies to meet a community need. This goal can be often distilled into two words: civic tech. And here in the Bay Area we have at our disposal a seemingly endless supply of technologists: developers, designers, data scientists, product managers, and many many more. I think in our city, as a collective community dedicated to civic tech, we do not have a lack of engagement on the latter half of that phrase. The former half, however, the civic in civic tech, is the real tricky part to get right. If the past election has taught us nothing, it has taught us that civic engagement with our communities is not something that can be underestimated nor ignored.
Toward that end, the leadership team at Code for San Francisco has decided to pilot a new section of our hack night: The Weekly Community Forum. Inspired by our sister brigade in Chicago, Chi Hack Night and their Community feedback session held last week, this guided brainstorming session, recurring every Wednesday, is designed to help our volunteers learn and target the specific civic needs of our unique community. One civic-centric question is asked every week, and answers are solicited from our attendees, written anonymously on post-it notes, and collected for review and discussion. It not only helps us as a leadership team to target the focused of our members, but it helps us all get out of it normal routine and into the #civictech mindset for the evening.