It goes against traditional politics in Los Angeles to hold events that don’t focus solely on getting votes or donations. During this election cycle we’ve seen few events that focus on giving back to the community, and when those events do happen Emanuel Pleitez’ campaign is at the forefront of them. The Miracle on 1st Street and Homeless Count come to mind.
We are now proud to add the first-ever South LA Backyard Hack-A-thon: Bringing “Silicon Alley” to South LA to that list.
On Sunday, February 24th, we brought together the community to display how technology can engage the next generation of leaders, along with every type of individual in LA. The South LA Hack-A-Thon was a pitri dish look at what could be if we found ways to reach people across all pockets of the city.
The plan was simple: set up multiple computers, lay out a vision for students to execute, bring in tech experts and community members, and build a great website. We’re happy to say the plan was accomplished.
A crowd of more than 35 gathered in the backyard of the Pleitez South LA home office. A place where 22 Pleitez staffers live and work out of a few times every week. Students and tech experts came together to build what is now Silicon Alley.
In a matter of four hours students were briefed on the vision for the site – a hub of community resources for the area – reseached, coded, and developed. A few leaders and industry pros also shared their knowledge and expertise. Nick Cicero, lead social strategist for tech innovator LiveFyre, joined through a Google+ Hangout and discussed how social media and digital technology have moved his career forward.
Another special guest in attendance was Adam Brown, founder of KidsSpeak International, an organization that advocates for youth involvement in politics and community activities. Mr. Ron Moss, a published author who became literate in his mid-30’s, also joined in to touch on the power of education and to learn about technology, branding, and community engagement.
The microcosm of community engagement that was the South LA Hack-A-Thon didn’t stop there. Teachers, small business owners, start-up innovators, app builders, community leaders, web designers, magazine founders, and media outlets were also in attendance.
The crowd enjoyed a home cooked meal prepared by Emanuel Pleitez’ own mom and refreshments donated by supporters.
On top of enjoying a fun Sunday afternoon together amongst new friends, the Pleitez campaign and its supporters wanted to prove that technology at a local, neighborhood level can have a wider-reaching effect. Its positives shouldn’t be reserved for those who live in a particular area. More importantly, its benefits can reach people across all walks of life and parts of LA.
A special thanks goes out to Oscar Menjivar, founder of Urban TxT and a community leader, Adam Brown, Nick Cicero, Andres Barreto, and all students and community members who attended.
Without further delay, we’d like to invite you into Silicon Alley. Please imagine the possibilities for Los Angeles if we, as a city, decided to come together, to break down barriers, and to bridge gaps. We’d all benefit if that could be accomplished.
Blog written by Juan Vasquez, Field Organizer and Fellow for the Emanuel Pleitez for Los Angeles Mayor 2013 campaign.
Emanuel Alberto Pleitez is a progressive Los Angeles native, he’s committed to uniting, serving, and inspiring his community. Son of Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants, and experienced in the private and public sector, he hopes to re-energize Los Angeles with a grassroots campaign the likes of which the city has never seen before.
Elections for the next mayor of Los Angeles are March 5th, 2013. Top candidates are Emanuel Alberto Pleitez, Councilman Eric Garcetti, City Controller Wendy Greuel, Councilwoman Jan Perry and conservative radio personality Kevin James.
Paid for by Emanuel Pleitez for Los Angeles Mayor 2013, 1972 E Cesar E Chavez Ave., Los Angeles CA 90033. Additional information is available at ethics.lacity.org.