After nearly twenty years in the field, I’ve learned that if public interest tech doesn’t start out personal, it eventually becomes so. After Hurricane Katrina, as I negotiated with Louisiana state government for access to their childcare database, I was also patching together itinerant care for my own children, since 80% of childcare centers in New Orleans were shuttered. As we compiled data to support the various community planning processes, an illegally placed fast food restaurant popped up across the street from our home. And, while my organization was trying to figure out the storm’s final death tally, I read in the New York Times that our pediatrician had died by his own hand; I had to wonder, should suicide three months later count in that tally?
Read more of this article at New America.