Sherman Oaks, CA – Valley high school and college students created mobile applications and websites with solutions to increase voter registration and turnout at Valley Hackathon II on September 23rd hosted by The Valley Economic Alliance at Cal State University, Northridge (CSUN).
Students from Burbank High School, Cal State University Northridge, Glendale Community College, John Burroughs High School, Granada Hills Charter High School, Fullerton College, Cal State Polytechnic University Pomona, Crafton Hills Community College participated in the competition and focused on local elections and ballot measures for the regions of San Fernando, Los Angeles, Glendale, Burbank, and Calabasas.
Teams pitched their final strategies to a panel of judges for a chance to win prizes sponsored by CSUN, DWP Information Architects, and V Moda. Judges scored teams based on technicality, marketability, functionality, social impact, viability, and so on.
The judging panel included Adam Velardo, Infrastructure Technology Manager with event sponsor Southern California Gas Company; Raj Dhillon, District Representative with event sponsor Senator Robert Hertzberg; Ryan Pasiliao, Information Systems Specialist with event sponsor City of Calabasas; Maryam Abbassi, Information Systems Manager with Information Technology Agency, City of Los Angeles; and Bree Breckenridge Communications Deputy with Office of Councilmember Mitch Englander.
First place winners created VoteNow.com, a simple and user friendly website to register to vote, learn about candidates and their views, and encourage voter registration with incentives and voter turnout with regular updates on elections and community impact. Website users can also connect through social media and via email. Sponsors can also invest in this website with giveaways including promotional t-shirts, lanyards and stickers to serve as a reminder to vote.
Another team created a mobile application with the focus of “make voting convenient” targeting the 18-29 year old audience. The team pitched that using a secure mobile application to register to vote, learn about candidates and ballot measures per your location, and vote would have no physical limitations on the voter, appeal to younger voters, is faster and more convenient, and easier to access to information regarding candidates and measures.
Students brought their resumes and networked with apprenticeship sponsors at the event, who were offering internship opportunities to applicable candidates. Recruitment representatives from City of Los Angeles, Office of Congressman Tony Cardenas, Office of Senator Robert Hertzberg, Office of Councilmember Mitch Englander, L.A. Promise Fund attended.