Jun 21, 2017

Why this entrepreneur is joining Code for America

Courtesy of Shift

The last election led a lot of Americans to get involved in politics. For Minnie Ingersoll, co-founder and operations chief of car marketplace Shift, that means joining Code for America as COO, a job she's starting next month.

Why she's joining: "I'm bothered by what I read in the news," Install told Axios. "I think Shift is just in a good place right now—I'm much less comfortable with where our country is." Ingersoll has been a fan of Code for America for years, calling its mission compelling and a great way for her to give back. She'll remain an advisor to Shift, continue to attend company meetings and helping with recruiting.

Focus on implementation: Rather than pushing for new policies, Code for America is focused on improving the implementation of existing ones. For example, one of the organization's efforts is around access to existing food stamp benefits. These programs are already in place, but local governments in charge of administering them often lack resources to build tools for Americans to sign up and navigate their benefits.

"It's really not trying to be part of the policy engine so much as … just making sure that the policy is delivered better," said Ingersoll.

Serving the underserved: One of Code for America's most notable aspects is that its efforts are mostly geared toward helping underserved Americans, especially those underserved by the tech industry. "We have no social safety net and we're losing our middle class ... and a lot of the tech we're building is on-demand laundry apps… not that there's something wrong with that but there are hungry children," said Ingersoll.

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