Why "Data & Democracy?"
North Carolina is blessed with a caring community of highly effective civil rights and voting rights activists, as well as an army of progressive technologists eager to lend their skills to the cause. Data & Democracy for 2018 is intended to be a meeting ground for both kinds of Tar Heel progressives, and a strategy session aimed at exploring how data technologies can best serve the fight to vote and win.
From surgically precise racial gerrymandering to discriminatory voter ID requirements; from trumped-up voter challenges and purges to polling place locations rigged to keep ballot boxes away from 'the wrong sort of voters,' North Carolina’s outnumbered extremists have made a precise science of voter suppression.
Isn't it time for us to make a science of defending voting rights?
Following a keynote address by Anita Earls (Executive Director, Southern Coalition for Social Justice) the program will include a mix of panel discussions (with audience input) and brief case studies (first-person examples of how grassroots activist groups are putting data to work to achieve their election goals).
The conference's lunch break will offer still further opportunities for constructive discussions. Numerous restaurants and pubs are within two blocks of the conference venue, as is a pleasant outdoor seating area. Weather permitting, grab your take-out and meet casually with speakers and other audience members to connect and to enjoy spirited discussions in spontaneous groups.
PANELISTS: William Busa, Robert Holder, Elaine McVey, Noam Ross
In the run-up to every North Carolina election, at least three forms of voter suppression are sure to occur: voter caging, NVRA and Voting Rights Act violations, and discriminatory Early Voting plans. Can tech help to monitor these in real time before election day, empowering rapid response by activists and attorneys?
Targeting Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV)
PANELISTS: Will Cubbisson, Gloria De Los Santos, Chris Reeves, Logan Smith
Voting rights don't count unless they're exercised. What assistance can tech provide to GOTV activists to drive turnout among at-risk voters?
Coalition-Building for Activists + Techies
PANELISTS: Neeta Lind, Denise Oliver-Velez
"If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, it's not a broad enough coalition."
Demographics, life experiences, goals and more can come between activists and technologists seeking to work together. How can we bridge those gulfs?