Central to our work is the belief that the challenges our communities face will only be met by enlisting the contributions of people and organizations from across society in pursuit of our common interests. In the United States, we live a paradox of low levels of political participation combined with high levels of public service and philanthropy. The usual ways to participate, like voting and attending public meetings, are seen by most as poor means to change their communities for the better. But people are still very interested in improving the quality of life where they live.
By harnessing the strong desire of people to contribute their time and expertise toward improving their communities, and to have a meaningful way to be involved in decisions that effect their lives, we think that a new relationship can be forged between people and their governments. Technology is enabling us to go beyond the typical ways of engaging with government, and become much more collaborative and inclusive. Code for America is helping drive this change by working with governments to establish platforms where participation can happen, and to bring more citizen-centered practices to how public institutions operate.