Nerd Nite 67: Civitas

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Nerd Nite 67: Civitas

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[ASL interpreters will be present] In 2014 Nerd Nite helped push a successful campaign to bump up the Austin Public Library budget by half a million dollars. It was hard! And fun. And it got us thinking... Our city and state are changing fast. Often, public policies seem to be defined by relationships, opportunity and self-proclaimed spokespeople more than scientific evidence and reasoned debate. How can the nerdy community engage in the decidedly non-linear world of civics? We put this question to the nerds who watch it all go down. This month's speakers were curated by the Austin Monitor, and cover the gamut of political central casting: +++++++++++++++++++ THE BEARDY JOURNO: +++++++++++++++++++ "When Deep Throat is a Late Night Meeting: The Captivatingly Mundane World of Local Political Journalism (in the ATX)," by Mike Kanin Sometimes you just have to show up. Austin Monitor Publisher Mike Kanin will share stories and perspectives from his five years covering Austin City Hall, and produce an argument for Getting Your Ass Involved. Mike Kanin is a veteran journalist new to the publishing game. His work has appeared in the Washington City Paper, the Washington Post's Express, the Boston Herald, Boston's Weekly Dig, the Texas Observer, the Austin Chronicle, In Fact Daily, and the Austin Monitor. ++++++++++++++++ THE RISING STAR: ++++++++++++++++ "How can nerds make change in the policy arena?" by Representative Mary Gonzalez State Representative Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) will give us her perspective on the transition from an outsider to an insider, and how her perspectives turned into policy. Rep. Mary Gonzalez was recognized as one of ten “Next Generation Latinas” by Latina Magazine and one of the ten newly-elected “politicians to watch” in the nation by NBC Latino. Following her first legislative session, she was named “Freshman of the Year” by the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. +++++++++++++++++++++ THE WISE EX-POLITICO: +++++++++++++++++++++ Mike Kanin will take the stage again to interview and pose nerdy audience questions to former Austin Mayor Pro Tempore Sheryl Cole. In 2006, Sheryl Cole became the first African-American woman elected to the Austin City Council, where she gave her CPA training a workout as Chair of the city's Audit and Finance Committee. She was re-elected in 2009, and in 2011 she was elevated by her Council peers to Mayor Pro Tem. +++++++++++++++++++++ Plus! Meet some new friends through the Nerd Nite Ambassador program: http://austin.nerdnite.com/ambassador/ (Speed dating is on a brief hiatus!) +++++++++++++++++++++ Doors at 7, talks start at 7:30. As always, Nerd Nite is free. (Talks may not be given in the order described. Grab a beer and relax!) +++++++++++++++++++++