Author Archives: urbandemos

Volunteer Opportunity with Democracy 2.1

Our friend, Asher Novek, New York Field Director for Democracy 2.1, has the following volunteer opportunity available.  Please be in touch with him if you are interested:

“This past Spring, Democracy 2.1 (D21) worked on bringing digital ballots to Participatory Budgeting in NYC. I’m reaching out now with another volunteer opportunity for another D21/PB venture this Fall.

“D21 is working with the City Council staff to bring our tool to the early idea collection and assessment stage of PB throughout the City.  We will be attending the community assemblies and the delegate committee meetings, and are seeking volunteers to help be the D21 staff at those meetings, working hands on with the Council staff and the community to use the D21 platform as a polling tool to engage constituents in the process of getting projects on the ballot, not just the vote itself.  Our aim is to provide the community a way to engage in the process earlier on and be involved in the deliberation so that the engagement continues through the vote itself. Continue reading

Introducing Zack Wilks

Zack Wilks, the Urban Democracy Lab’s summer intern, will be taking on the duties of blog editor this summer.  Zack is a rising junior at Vassar College, where he is pursuing a major in American Studies. He describes himself as “super interested in DIY music scenes, particularly the tricky relationship between art scenes and gentrification.” He’s written for Impose Magazine and the Exploding In Sound music blog.

As the UDL’s public programs are on hiatus until we return in the fall, Zack will be sharing interviews with community leaders, scholars, and our summer fellows, as well as reporting on important events related to the UDL’s work.  Watch out for his excellent summaries and keen eye for detail.

Welcome, Zack!

Visualizing Tenant Activism: A Report from Our March 10 Event

nyc-apartmentsThe issues of tenants’ rights and affordable housing in New York City have become more visible in the past few years as rents have skyrocketed and long-term renters have been displaced. Chris Hendrick, an MFA candidate at Parsons, The New School for Design, and Claudia Prat, an M.A. candidate at the Studio 20 Journalism program at NYU, have taken that visibility to a new level. Continue reading

Volunteer for Democracy 2.1

Former UDL staffer and overall guru of civic engagement, Asher Novek, is now working for this great project.  Reach out to him if you’re interested in volunteering.

Democracy 2.1 ( is seeking volunteers with a strong interest in public policy to help run the first US based experiment alongside New York City Councilmember staff, including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilmember Benjamin Kallos, and Councilmember Brad Lander.  D21 is an innovative anti-corruption voting model, designed by activist Karel Janecek and tested in cities around the world including London, Cambridge, Paris, and Vienna.  D21 is testing the voting system in New York City with the help of the New York City Council and the Participatory Budgeting Project to test an experiment during the coming Participatory Budgeting cycle.

We are seeking volunteers to help run the experiment in council districts around New York City.  Volunteers will work closely with the D21 team to implement the testing software and work with constituents coming out to vote.  Apply now for volunteer opportunities available in the week of April 11th-19th in districts around New York City.

A stipend to cover transportation and food will be provided, as well as a free t-shirt and invitation to our “wrap” party, once Participatory Budgeting ends.
Please email if you are interested.