Code for America announced a new multi-year initiative last November to expand our work with state governments and transform America’s social safety net. The goal is to rebuild America’s safety net so that government services are equitable, easy-to-use, and built for the digital age.
Today, I’m proud to announce that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has made a $12 million gift to Code for America in support of this new initiative. We’re grateful to Ms. Scott not only for her generosity but also for her emphasis on equity, a core pillar of our mission. We believe that these funds, when joined with other philanthropic donations in support of close partnerships with states, will help turn our vision of an equitable safety net into a reality.
Currently, millions of people in America struggle to navigate an outdated system that presents serious barriers, particularly for those in marginalized communities looking for essential government services. It doesn’t have to be this way.
As we shared last fall, the initiative—the first major nationwide plan of its kind by a civic tech organization—will build on Code for America’s experience working with states and community-based organizations to improve federal nutrition assistance service delivery, increase WIC participation, and develop single, integrated benefits applications that save time and make it easier to sign up for all the benefits an individual or family is eligible for.
The road to achieve our vision will be long and sometimes difficult. As Ms. Scott eloquently stated, “equity can only be realized when all people involved have an opportunity to help shape it.” It will take close partnership between our organization, state governments, community partners, people directly impacted, and funders, including Ms. Scott and others. But by working together in support of this broader vision, we can imagine and build a modern safety net that is equitable, accessible, and easy for people to use.