Open Oakland Economic Development Subcommittee

Meeting with the Kapor Center, April 17, 2014

In attendance:

  • Open Oakland: Howard Dykoff, Neil Planchon, Russell Sterten, Ellie Casson
  • Kapor Center: Mario Lugay, Tiffany Price, Sugar the dog

The Kapor Center is focusing now on their foundation seed funding.

They have agreed to fund Open Oakland (this information has not officially been publically announced). One of the things that they thought might be cool for Open Oakland to create would be an "equity impact tool". Basically a system of review that civic hackers would go through when they create an app that would ensure that they think about who their app helps, is it accessible to everyone, how equitable is it, what is the impact of tech, etc.

The Kapor Center is interested in fostering a culture within Oakland's tech community, where tech is accessible to the existing locals, and tech workers are inclined to connect with community in a genuine way.

The Kapor Center is funding multiple mentoring coding programs as a means of making that connection. They are also finding boards where tech folks could come and contribute.

Mario had some very interesting thoughts about how Open Oakland can be the "political home" for programmers and non developers alike. He talked about a tiered membership system with a core group and a broader group that is activated only when there are big projects. Mario and Tiffany seemed to think that the mentoring might be a way to grow and maintain that broader circle of members.

It was suggested that we look at organizations like ROC United (restaurant workers) and Oakland Rising as examples of groups who create industry standards and provide a "political home" for a broad group of people.