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For 5 months, he tried to get a voter ID. Now Leroy Switlick is taking his state to court.

Voter ID laws don't necessarily stop fraud. They do stop people like Leroy from being able to vote.

Leroy Switlick of Milwaukee has voted in every single U.S. presidential election since he was 21. Now he’s 67, and for the first time, he might not get to cast a ballot.

Before 2011, Switlick never had a problem voting. The registrar would mail a card with his information on it, and he’d bring that card to the polling place and exchange it for a ballot. Switlick had voted this way in every election since 1970.

All of that changed five years ago when Gov. Scott Walker passed laws to get rid of early voting and implement strict voter ID laws. Now Switlick — who is legally blind and doesn't have a driver's license — needs a state-issued photo ID card, something he can only get at a special office of the DMV.

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Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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