PROJECTS: SUCCESSFUL & OTHERWISE

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TurfCutter

In the old days, field organizers had to literally cut canvass turf out of photocopies of ADC maps. Then Google Maps came along, and with it an API, and the solution was obvious: let field organizers "cut" volunteers' turfs via drag and drop online. Turfcutter was the first application (at least on the Democratic side) to enable this functionality, and I licensed it to VAN for $1. The core TurfCutter code was used in VAN for about a decade.

 

Remember: "Don't run for office with scissors!"

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ROCI

I followed up on TurfCutter by attempting to move another tedious field organizer task--assignment of regions and progress tracking--to a drag-and-drop interface. I called it ROCI (for "return on campaign investment" and pronounced "rocky"). It worked but it didn't catch on.

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VIP

Every two years on election day, Google tells people where they can vote and what's on their ballot. How do they gather all that info? Mostly via the Voting Information Project, which provides state election officials a standardized way to publish critical information. I wrote the first version of that spec and was the Domain Specialist for VIP in its early years.

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anti-CAPPS

My good friend, Samidh, and I demonstrated why one of the government’s first attempt attempts at post-9/11 airline security (dubbed "CAPPS") was doomed to fail. This study receive a fair amount of attention and when then-Sec. Ridge shut down the program in 2004, he cited the procedure’s ineffectiveness.