Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Free Hackathon T-Shirt & reddit AMA

People who register early for the "DHMN Civic Hackathon/Appleton 2015," before noon (CST) on Thursday, May 21, 2015, will receive a free t-shirt at the event on June 6 at Lawrence University.

Free T-shirt!!!

When you register on Eventbrite (click on the link above to register), please indicate what t-shirt size you need.

For people who signed up on Eventbrite before we had the t-shirt details finalized, I'll contact you individually to find out what t-shirt size you need.

For all you civic hacker reddit fans, and for those who are willing to dive into reddit even if you're not a fan (yet), check out the recent reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) from a group of Congressional-staffers-turned-civic-hackers. Here's the posting at the top of the AMA session page:
"We are 4 Congressional-staffers-turned-civic-hackers behind #Hack4Congress in Washington, DC this week. We recruited 12 of your elected Representatives and Senators to disrupt Congress from the inside out, but we will only succeed with your help too. Ask us anything!"
There are lots of worthwhile comments in this AMA session, at least for someone who's interested in civic hacking. I especially liked the support for #Hack4Congress and for their AMA session that Representative Jared Polis and Senators Cornyn, Booker and Moran voiced during the session. Rep. Polis said:
"As a member of Congress, I just want to let you know how much I appreciate #hack4congress. We are very limited in our internal resources and you all can really help our democracy work better and be more responsive! My question is, how can we build upon this initial event to make permanent change and take it to the next level? Also, in what way can we express appreciation to those who complete some of the tasks submitted?"
That would be so cool if Rep. Polis follows through on what he said and helps support the #Hack4Congress group. I have no doubt support from him and others in Congress and the Senate would make a huge difference and have obvious benefits. They can sponsor events, connect the group's leaders with sponsors and generally promote #Hack4Congress.

If more politicians supported the citizens who want to help fix problems and help take advantage of opportunities that come along, especially with emerging technologies, that could make a big difference. Civic hackers could even build a visualization tool to show how much each politician's budget was spent on 'civic hacker assistance.'

When you have a group of engaged citizens who want to contribute their time, energy and knowledge to improve some aspect of government that's important to them, any money spent to enable those civic hackers will have a huge return on investment compared to many of the other government expenditures.


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