Dana Oshiro: Why I’m Coding for America

Several months ago I left my position of three years in pursuit of new challenges. In the past I’ve worked in tech journalism, publishing, public affairs, environmental health, and anti-poverty advocacy. Each of these positions have been wonderful learning experiences and each have made me who I am as a marketer.

I joined Code for America as the organization’s senior marketing manager because I know the skills I’ve learned in the past can help me support CfA improve communities for the future.


While I owe most of my decision to the amazing people within the organization, I have to admit that a recent article criticizing Gov 2.0′s leaders as “meme hustlers” also led me here.

To me, memes can be about more than Ryan Gosling’s refusal to eat his cereal. They’re concepts adopted and reinterpreted by various subgroups and popularized via peer-to-peer distribution. By this logic we might consider the civil rights movement a meme.

One of the greatest and coolest challenges I will face will be to support CfA in spreading the memes of participatory citizenship, open government and community partnerships. These aren’t just good memes and a noble hustle, but they’re helping our cities become the platform to encompass the hopes, dreams and innovation of millions. As a marketer, it’s thrilling that I can join an effort that each of us can own and hack in our own way.

If you’ve got ideas on how we can market, fundraise and forge partnerships, email me at dana[at]codeforamerica[dot]org or ping me at @danaoshiro. Thanks for welcoming me into the fold.

Questions? Comments? Hit us up @codeforamerica.

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