Cris Cristina: Why I’m Coding for America

Hi I’m Cris Cristina, an experience designer, and this is but one example of why I code for America. About a year ago I got pulled over for having a busted headlight and had to go downtown to pay my ticket. When I walked in to the police administration building, I was utterly dumbfounded.

Everyone had to go through a metal detector, then choose a line. There were six different lines, and they snaked in eight different directions. I felt as if I was in the movie “Brazil.” I couldn’t figure out which line to stand in — and I had everything going for me: English is my first language, I wasn’t pressed for time, and I wasn’t looking for anything out of the ordinary. When I finally made it up to the front, I witnessed the lady in front of me get told she didn’t have the right paperwork, that the specialist she needed to speak with was only available for two hours every Tuesday morning, and that “no one cared about her problem.”

This appalling scenario isn’t unique, but it struck me as an inherently fixable problem. Just a few posted signs would have made a world of difference.

CfA offers the opportunity for me to apply my professional design skills and personal passions to making a difference for the public good. Working with this diverse group of talented professionals and civic leaders, I hope we’re helping create a movement, generate some momentum, and ultimately lay a few blocks for building systemic change.

Questions? Comments? Hit us up @codeforamerica.

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