Code for America is a great project with an exciting mission. They exist to help bring programming and technical talent, especially web2.0 talent, to the issues and challenges facing city governments.
You are no doubt aware that cities are under great financial pressure. And we citizens of cities are as well, which means the odds of significant new IT money for most cities is really scant. It is time to look for new ways to empower our cities with abilities to serve citizens, and Code for America is one of the most positive things I have seen happening on this front.
Here is more info from the Code for America site:
Cities are under greater pressure than ever, struggling with budget cuts and outdated technology. What if, instead of cutting services or raising taxes, cities could leverage the power of the web to become more efficient, transparent, and participatory? What if, the professional talent in the tech industry went to work innovating the public sector? What if City Hall looked more like a start up?
It’s time to stop wondering, and start coding. It’s time for you to make it happen.
A short video is embedded below. It features some heroes of the web2.0/gov2.0 movement, including the founder of Code For America, Jennifer Pahlka plus a few other supporters (she has lined up some real champions, check out the video for some of the exciting folks on her team). Please watch it for more context, and then consider ways you can help this effort out. Even if you are not a coder there are things you can do, and I offer a few suggestions after the video.
Some ways to help:
1) Make a donation. These guys have a huge mission and are doing it on a tight budget.
2) Spread the word. Point others to their site and ask your friends to spread word to their friends.
3) Help recruit Code for America Fellows. The CfA fellowship program offers tremendous benefits for those accepted into the program including:
- Gov 2.0 Training. You will start with a crash course in municipal government and gain b practical understanding of the vital intersection of politics and technology.
- Professional Development. The biggest names in the web industry and the Gov 2.0 movement will provide you unparalleled networking, mentoring, and support.
- Alumni Connections. Working closely with other talented individuals, you will develop lasting professional relationships in a face-paced, startup atmosphere.
- Employer Partnerships. Multiple leading internet companies have already pledged to guarantee interviews for a full-time position after your CfA experience.
Please help spread the word.