One Year of Kind Tech
By Kat Atwater, Founder and CEO
Just about a year ago, I sat down with a few trusted colleagues from the political tech space and pitched an idea to fill a gap in data utilities on the independent side of the ecosystem.
I wanted to create a community-driven non-profit where technologists really wanted to work.
Over the last year, this idea has grown into Community Tech Alliance, a data infrastructure non-profit that acts as a “public utility” for technology for movement groups. As CTA came to life, these concepts also solidified for me personally around the concept of “kind tech.” Tech that is kind to our users, kind to society and our planet, and kind to the people who build it. Because we all know what the other kind of tech looks like…
When I look back at one year of trying to build that kind tech, I’m in awe of the people, progress, and challenges we’ve faced. CTA has recruited a team of 15 diverse technologists from inside and outside the progressive movement. We’ve developed and launched a data warehouse and integrations platform that is both low-cost and extremely high in accessibility with 100+ users. And, we’re helping 20+ progressive groups across the globe register voters, disseminate critical services information, engage activists, analyze polling data, and measure their program impact.
It hasn’t been a perfect or easy journey. We’ve been met the challenge of explaining what “data infrastructure” means to those who have never needed it. We’ve wrangled over 35 pipelines of data, including ultra-massive data from 3 separate voter file providers. And we’ve learned our fair share about quality assurance and S3 buckets.
But through those challenges, I’m extremely proud and humbled to have the opportunity to build the kind of place I want to work, the kind of product I needed back when I ran program, and to be facilitating even more impact from our partners on the ground.
We’re incredibly excited about the next year ahead. Engineering even more features to make data more accessible, usable, and secure. Building on our partnerships. And deepening our impact in the space, by saving partners’ money, providing faster data, and by ensuring the community has what they need to face the challenges ahead.
We’re committed to continuing to build kind tech, but it wouldn’t be possible without the people who believe in this mission too. So thank you to our team, partners, and broader movement for your kind support.