More

Obama's 'We the People' petitions were unprecedented. These 10 were our favorites.

The petition site is one of the cooler things to come out of the Obama administration.

A little over five years ago, the White House launched the "We the People" petition platform, creating a unique link between the president and the general public.

The premise was simple enough: Regular citizens could create petitions for issues they'd like to see the government act on, and if they received enough signatures (at least 100,000 names), they'd be guaranteed a response from someone within the president's administration.

This week, the Pew Research Center issued a report covering the platform's 4,799 publicly-available petitions and 227 responses from the White House, providing a fascinating look at what issues matter most to everyday Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
True

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.

Keep Reading Show less