How to Start a CFA Brigade


#1

I seek advice on starting a Code for America local brigade. What pages, ideas, etc should people who are doing that be exposed to on the journey to making Code for ______?

This is not for me, I’ve got a brigade. But I’ve received some comments on my post about being in a brigade (https://www.thoughtfulcode.com/code-for-america-brigade/) asking how starting one looks. I joined an existing brigade, so don’t have lots of relevant experience. If you do, please go crazy dropping as much or as little knowledge as you want.


#2

The resources listed here are a great start: http://brigade.codeforamerica.org/resources

Basic ideas I’d say are to follow the mantra of “build with, not for” and encourage user research to shape projects. Attend events to build relationships with local non-profits and local gov. Start small and realize that building up a community takes time.


#3

Being consistent is another key worth mentioning. Plan events: weekly, monthly, whatever. Then never cancel just because only a couple people RSVPd. The attendance and energy will only accumulate with reliable anchors. If someone else is organizing the events, show up even if you have nothing to do just to help them build mass and let them know you think it’s important.