In the City of Buffalo, one-third of all residents currently experience poverty. By the end of 2018, Buffalo saw increases in property taxes, garbage user fees, and water rates. The City has recently launched an affordable water program but the application to receive the annual benefit is only available as a PDF, which must be printed and mailed into the Buffalo Water Authority. Inspired by Code for America's GetCalFresh, Fellows Harshita Girase and Mike Brown plan to create a mobile-first web application designed for residents to apply for the program as well as upload required income documents.
Harshita Girase is a software developer and is very passionate about using tech for social good. She is in love with the intersection of tech, business, design and wants to become a Product Manager and build products that positively impact people directly. Her specific areas of interest include education and healthcare. She’s recently graduated with a BS in Computer Science from the University at Buffalo. She has a keen interest in human behavior and spends her free time reading about social psychology.
Mike Brown is the co-founder and brigade captain of Code for Buffalo. He recently graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a B.A. in Political Science and Computer Science with an Urban Planning minor. As an undergraduate, he helped the City launch Western New York’s first open data portal. Mike looks forward to serving his hometown as a Fellow where he will work to improve services for vulnerable communities.
The Code for America Community Fellowship
Code for America’s Community Fellowship pairs local talent from our Brigade Network with city governments to improve services for vulnerable people they serve.
It bridges the talent gap in the tech and public service sectors by giving government staff the experience of working with technologists, and technologists the experience of working in government jobs.
The Fellowship ultimately strengthens the relationship between local Network leaders and their governments—to create conditions where change can “stick” and help transform government from the inside out.