The Newest Leaders of the Brigade Network

Meet the winners of the 2019 National Advisory Council election

The elections for our National Advisory Council (NAC) are now over, and we want to thank all the candidates who ran and everyone who voted to represent this vast network. These Brigade leaders will fill five at-large seats and serve a two-year term starting in April. They will bring their valuable experience, bold ideas, and passion for civic tech to the helm of our Network.

Please join me in congratulating our newest NAC members!

Em Burnett, Open Maine (@elburnett)

“I am a community organizer and civic technology evangelist with a focus and passion on small-town digital innovation and service delivery. I am a digital engagement consultant who works with political campaigns and nonprofits. I am also the cofounder of OpenMaine.

A key thing that I think the NAC should work on is member engagement. The Code for America Network team is going to be working a lot on this problem in the coming year, and the NAC can help by understanding the needs of organizers and brigade leaders and making sure that’s reflected in Network plans and resources.

We have strength and long-term stability within our Network that can help fledgling, small, or under-resourced groups better organize members, grow partnerships, and ultimately create a lasting organization model.”

Carl Lewis, Open Savannah (@carlvlewis)

“I am the founder and Brigade co-captain of OpenSavannah. My professional background is in data visualization, interactive journalism, content strategy, and UX design, but I tend to wear many hats, including, now, community organizer.

Code for America and particularly the Brigade Network tackles root causes of some of our nation’s most wicked problems — not just the side effects of those problems. That’s what inspired me originally to get involved and start a local brigade — one which has since taken on a life of its own. As new digital realities begin to threaten the core of our democracy and the values of public service, it’s critical that we nurture and grow a nationwide infrastructure that views digital transformation as an opportunity to create more equitable communities, not as a weapon to reinforce existing inequalities!”

Nina Kin, Hack for LA (@ninakin9)

“I have been co-captain of Hack for LA for 3 years and a Systems Analyst at LA County for 11 years. I’m passionate about improving the way government does tech — it’s what I do inside government AND outside as a volunteer. I look forward to continuing the past year’s work of connecting Brigades and strengthening our Network!

The civic tech community is growing up, and I’ll help it continue to mature by growing and reinforcing cross-Brigade relationships. This will make us stronger and more sustainable by providing moral support, active knowledge sharing, and the chance to expand our impact.”

Melanie Mazanec, Code for Asheville (@MMazanec22)

“I’m currently working as a developer for the City of Asheville and volunteering with Code for Asheville. Previously I worked in cyber security in Chicago and frequented Chi Hack Night. Before that I got my MPA in Cleveland and started a code learning group with Open Cleveland.

What I’m most looking forward to in my time on the NAC is learning from other NAC members and Brigades. Everyone implements their own variation of the Brigade model given their local assets and challenges. I’m hoping to get a glimpse of the different ways that Brigade members serve their communities.”

Benjamin Trevino, Code for Hawaii

“I am a sustainability planner working for the city of Honolulu with a focus on fairness and equity, a degree in computer science, and a passion for film and the arts. I’m a recent Code for America Community Fellow, I launched our city’s bikeshare system and taught a bootcamp on data.

A key problem that the NAC should help the Network solve is making civic tech a movement that makes more people feel like they belong. Most people who could be a part of this movement — government partners, community organizers, concerned citizens, probably have a hard time recognizing this as a place for them. Onboarding and creating pathways for new civic tech recruits is something that I think the NAC could address effectively at the Network level.”

Thank you!

We also want to give a big thank you to everyone who ran in the NAC elections this year. All of you helped identify important opportunities for us to work through together, helped sparked conversation within and between Brigades, and helped develop a new crew of leaders in the Network, whether formally elected or not. We so appreciate you raising your hand shepherd this movement forward and we’re excited to keep finding ways to create and celebrate leaders of all kinds and leverage your many talents. Please join us in thanking all those who had the courage to run!

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