The Textizen Blog

Author: Yuki Cruz

OCT 31 2013

Thanks for the Good Times

I jumped into my civic engagement internship with Textizen nearly four months ago. Although I didn’t know exactly what to expect, I came into the position seeking an innovative, fast-paced, and public-serving environment. Textizen provided on all counts as a startup in the Code for America building.

Textizen is located in the SoMa part of San Francisco amidst a myriad of tech giants and startups. You can find an army of coders and entrepreneurs here often exchanging ideas over a cup of coffee or the next culinary delight. Many of them also came to the CfA building for meetups, hack nights, and other similar events.

Textizen boasts a similar culture characterized by straightforward feedback and latitudinal interaction. As a result, top-down hierarchy is virtually nonexistent. Instead, there’s a strong emphasis on interdependent collaboration.

I was thrown into the deep end from the beginning with coding languages, software, and computer terms no one outside of tech could possibly know. I learned to identify and keep only the bare essentials during those first weeks since time and a growing list of tasks simply wouldn’t allow for more. Luckily, as a matter of habit, everything you really need sticks.

By the end, Alex, Michelle, and Serena brought me in on a variety of projects to design surveys, perform statistical analysis, write blog posts, provide feedback on client calls, conduct market research, and assist on a bucket load of other tasks.

Working with Textizen opened my eyes to the growing industry connecting civic engagement with technology. I’m excited to see how this sector evolves and imagine great things in the future for Textizen. Many thanks to everyone at Textizen for the good times!

Filed under news
OCT 10 2013

"Does this look like a good idea?" Hyperlocal Input in Tampa, FL

The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has long debated a number of roadway systems to decrease traffic congestion along the 1¼-mile stretch of Gandy Blvd. in Tampa, Florida. One of these proposals, an elevated tollway called the Gandy Connector, aims to reduce traffic congestion and provide evacuation routes between Dale Mabry Highway and the Gandy Bridge.

The Planning Commission chose Textizen to reach out to residents, neighborhood organizations, and the business community within a 1-mile radius of Gandy Blvd. The focus on hyperlocal input was a divergence from tradition and we were excited be a part of something new.

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Filed under campaign
JUL 30 2013

Citizens Guide Chicago Public School Improvements

We helped Chicago Public Schools (CPS) plan facility and service improvements with two city-wide surveys from March through April. Our surveys’ attention-grabbing posters appeared in local trains and buses thanks to a partnership with the Chicago Transit Authority. Over 2,000 people participated in the surveys and, even though they’re officially over, eager citizens still send input our way.

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Filed under campaign