Sparks: Brigade Announcements for January 29, 2021

January 28, 2021 edition of Sparks -a bi-weekly Code for America Newsletter for the Brigade Network, adapted for Discourse. Want to submit content for the next edition? Email - or comment on this post. To subscribe to get Sparks in your inbox, go here.

Welcome to New Brigades!

© Mapbox, © OpenStreetMap and Improve this map

Welcome to our new Brigades! Check out a list of our new Brigades, and share your warm welcome and advice in this post.


:ballot_box: Run for the National Advisory Council! The National Advisory Council is an elected, volunteer body of Brigade Network members who help lead our Network and advise Code for America staff. Over the past few months, the National Advisory Council (NAC) and the Network Team have been working together to develop new, clearer roles and responsibilities for the National Advisory Council as well as a revised election process and change to regional representation. If you are looking for an important leadership opportunity in 2021, consider running for a seat on the NAC! Read about NAC elections and watch a recording of our info session.

:money_with_wings: Sign up to volunteer with GetYourRefund Do you want to join an effort to help Americans claim tax refunds? We need volunteers at Code for America’s GetYourRefund team to help bring on more partner organizations and thus reach more client tax filers. To get involved, you can expect to take a couple of short tax prep certification tests and to dedicate a few hours a week to providing direct assistance to our partner organizations and their clients. Help us sustain and build this impactful economic justice product!

:bulb: Covid Response Texting Program Grants: Could your Brigade benefit from a grant to use mass texting tools? Find out more info & apply.

:bulb: Call for proposals for the 2021 TicTec conference: Impacts of Civic Technology are now open. Submit your “Show and Tell” idea for 2021.

Network in the News

Code for KC: Government Chatbots Now a Necessity for States, Cities, Counties: Code for KC is highlighted for their chatbot work in GovTech.
Code for Upper Valley: Coding for a Cause: Check out this spotlight on Code for Upper Valley in the Valley News!
Code for Charlottesville: Nonprofit to tackle streetlight issue: Read this highlight of Code for Charlottesville’s work on street lighting.

Read & Learn

:books: Hopes and Predictions for the next decade of civic tech

“As the movement enters its teenage years, there are fewer one-off hackathons and more sustainable, embedded teams. Traits that concerned me in the early days — disdainful attitudes toward civil servants, a stark lack of diversity, lack of sustainability — have been, if not resolved, then at least acknowledged and acted upon.” - Angela Quicksey

:books: Code for All interview with Lina Patel on holding effective meetings

:movie_camera: Open Austin’s 2020 Demo Night: Watch Open Austin’s end of year showcase