The Network Update, Issue #03
12/18/2016 — 12/24/2016
2016: the year that saw more Americans get directly involved in politics than most of us have seen in our lifetime. We learned we’re stronger when we stand together — and that when we are truly united, we can have a profound effect on our country and our world.
ProgCode informally launched right after the 2016 DNC National Convention, in a humble Meetup beside Philadelphia’s City Hall. When Bernie declared the end of his campaign, many of his supporters — including members of the Progressive Coders Network — picked up the baton of grassroots activism, continuing the pursuit for Economic, Environmental, Racial, and Social justice. In the months since it formed, the Progressive Coders Network has become the support framework for a host of apps that seek to empower small, grassroots campaigns through technology and organizational infrastructure. Additionally, the Progressive Coders Network helps find volunteers to support the underlying data for the National Voter File, a grand project that would create a valuable source of data for grassroots campaigns trying to compete against the major parties. Some other recent “wins” by members of the network include:
- The ride-sharing app Carpool Vote, which helps match would-be voters with people who can give them rides to the polls, was launched in time for the general election in several cities
- Represent.Me, highlighted in a previous issue, is up and running, helping connect constituents to issues that matter to them in the UK
- Issue Voter, highlighted in this issue, went live, built to help its user-base understand their representatives’ positions and engage with them
- The continued development of GrassrootsPB, a “gamified”, peer-to-peer phone-banking app (similar to BerniePB) that helps grassroots volunteers get the message out
- Social Roots, a hub for supporters and candidates to spread their message, supported by the network (one of their founders serves on the advisory board for the network as well!)
The community itself, which lives largely online via “Slack”, continues to grow and foster fantastic discussions between some of the great young thinkers of the progressive movement. With over 79.5K messages already sent, and with roughly 5K messages/week, the level of activity in the network is something that should be exciting for anyone disheartened by the recent election. Over 100 volunteers have attended onboarding calls over the last 2 months, supporting 20 currently-active projects and over 70 public channels.
What does all this mean?
It means that 2016 was just the beginning. In 2017, we’re going to continue to work together to make the influence of big money obsolete by creating open source and low cost tools for small campaigns and causes. We are going to continue empowering application creators and thought-leaders to build a close-knit and active community of activists who are ready to get to work!
Enjoy the rest of the year, fellow ProgCoders! Reconnect with your loved ones. Recharge. And get ready to stay fired up in January: 2017 is going to be a whole new kind of challenge…but we will meet it together!
New, Amazing, & Happening Now:
- — #aws by @jylee, discuss Amazon Web Services
- — #quake-watcher by @john, ease access to seismic data
- — #take2 by @kipchoge, make activism more rewarding, pleasurable and empowering so more people do it more often.
- — #impact-Wednesday by @rapi, highlight people driving impact in our community
- #progbot by @jylee, create our friendly robot overlord
- #culture by @rachel, discuss and actively enable positive ProgCode cultural contributions
- #operations by @rapi, contribute to core Prog Code team operations
- #member-services by @preston, discuss benefits to our community
- #bundle-kind by @rapi, help users identify and contribute to a variety of local non-profits
- #womensmarch by @sgeofrank, plan for upcoming Womens March
- #enviro-tech by @woodbietuesday, use technology to bridge the gap between hard science and environmental activism
- #onboarding by @dave_mahler, brainstorm ways to improve the onboarding process
This Week’s Events
See the official ProgCode calendar HERE.
Tuesday, Dec. 20
- Weekly Onboarding call — led by community engagement team member Preston (@preston).
Thursday, Dec. 22
- Community Meeting — 8:30–9:15 after the 5–10 minute updates, we will have an open forum on Data Interoperability, with brief remarks by ODSI. RSVP
- Weekly Operations Call, 9pm. Join the onboarding team to get new members up to speed. Contact @joepbreslin
IssueVoter.org is a non-partisan platform with a mission to give everyone a voice in our democracy by making civic engagement accessible, efficient, and impactful. IssueVoter helps you make your voice heard in Washington with just one click, and tracks how often your elected officials vote your way — holding politicians accountable. Much like some of ProgCode’s partner applications, IssueVoter has created a new, innovative way of increasing voter engagement with their representatives. Check out the IssueVoter interview in SciTech Now — start around 20 minutes in for words from some of our partners.
As we move towards removing the influence of big money in politics, it is important we recognize the awesome actions of our fellow members. This week, find out more about Impact Wednesdays with this post by @Preston.
Get Involved — Upcoming and Current Projects
- Project Bundle Kind is about to enter planning stages, after ideation and brainstorming. We’re working with ThoughtWorks in this endeavor. Looking for Relations, backend, and frontend developers. BundleKind aims to bring small dollar donations to small non-profits by bundling them together and help people discover the amazing works these organizations are doing right in the own back yard. Join #bundle-kind on Slack.
- Take2 has joined the family of applications! @kipchoge and his team aims to make it more rewarding and empowering for people to do activism and participate in movements.