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Home < Ethnography < Interviews < Spike


Urban Strategies Interview

  • Tie together the needs - eg FCC broadband map, funding distribution, non-profit locations
  • Ask questions and assess needs, go from there

Who (e.g. groups and communities) does your organization serve?

  • Local gov agencies county depts
  • Supervisors offices
  • CBOs - Youth uprising
    • CBOs struggle to organize / work with their data
  • Advocacy groups (center for responsible ...)

Convo aside with Dennis(?)

  • YEP - Youth Employment Partnership
  • Lao Family Community Dev
  • Spanish Speaking Foundation

What is your service / what do you provide for the community you serve?

  • Consulting and strategy development on the topics of:
    • community safety & justice
    • economic opportunity
    • education excellence
    • community capacity-building
    • research and tech

What's your role in the organization?

How is your organization addressing the issue of access to technology in Oakland? What is your overall goal? How do you work to achieve that goal day to day?

  • Data and mapping trainings
  • Digital access / broadband was an orginal goal (~10 years ago)
  • Implementing best practices
  • Innovating ideas early on.
  • Collaboration and finding shared goals between and among aligned organizations
  • Lack of broadband access in the city is still a huge problem - too many communities have barriers, so projects don't scale
  • Cites San Antonio study from 2005 re: access
  • Lots of other orgs are operating on a very small scale
  • Lots of small doses is not as effective as ubiquitous doses

What technologies / apps are you currently using? What do you use to organize? To socially network online and offline? To spread information? To solve problems?

  • Large web mapping systems - Info Alameda and Info Oakland
  • Publishing and enabling people to run services off of their network
  • census data / admin data
  • Had already assessed needs on the ground, got funding to build and launch it
    • currently fundraising to

What kinds of technologies are being used by the people you serve? What do you they to organize? To socially network online and offline? To spread information? To solve problems?

  • CRMs (ETO)
  • Mapping
  • Web/CMS
  • Organizer/volunteer databases
  • EVALTE (East Bay Land Dev't Corporation)

What resources do you wish you had access to day to day?

  • funding for outreach and skill-building, awareness
  • Training orgs on: user stories / ux design - developing for a diversity of personas
  • Training programs coordinated with other groups (improving awareness of tools, basic skills)
  • Showing what's being done and training around how to use it

What kinds of data do you see as important for residents / community members to have instantly available to them?

What would you need in order to effectively achieve your mission?

  • funding
  • things that are core that don't disappear

What challenges do you face in achieving your mission? / What are some of the potential barriers to success for the organization?

  • Turnover is common
  • Personalities, conflicts/struggles over money, political differences / self-interested

What other sorts of organizations / projects are you working with or are you hoping to collaborate with?

  • See top
  • Attempts to get a unified view of funding distribution across the board
    • That level of information is not usually accessible unless required by funders


  • Asset map of what the different orgs can and do provide
  • WeConnect Chicago
  • Services - rating their current viability and relevance

Potential Funding Sources

  • Tina Lee / Zero Divide
  • Ford Foundation
  • Gates Foundation
  • California Telecommunications Program
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