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My civic #one4one: Hillary Hartley

By GovFresh · July 10, 2012

#one4one is the latest Twitter meme making the rounds encouraging digital influencers to “name someone whose identity has a radically different trait as their One. If you’re a dude, name a woman. If you’re white, name a person of color. If you’re straight, name an LGBTQ person.” The concept emerged in response to a recent Digital Power Index created by The Daily Beast and Newsweek.

My civic #one4one is Hillary Hartley.

Hillary, a gay woman, is one of the genuine articles of the new government movement. She has worked in the state and local government technology profession for nearly 15 years and probably knows more about the technology and people behind it than anyone else in the industry.

Her Zen-like demeanor makes her unbelievably accessible and always enjoyable to talk with. Her only agenda is to be as helpful as possible in facilitating a discussion about how we can make government better. She is idealistic about how government can change through technology, but realistic about how that progress will be realized.

Many in the open government/Gov 2.0 movement know Hillary well. Despite her experience and professional connections both in and outside government technology, she’s not one to seek the civic spotlight. Hillary quietly does her own work and unknowingly influences many of us to do the same.

While this quote from #one4one co-founder Deanna Zandt applies to the technology industry in general, it especially is important to those working on civic technology, because the stakes are so much higher:

Humans surround themselves with people they think are like them, so when it comes time to pick people from our peer groups, they tend to all look like us. Not only does that mean the same types of people, and even same people period, get highlighted and supported, but it also means that we’re missing crucial compelling voices in the larger conversations we’re having about the future. And if we’re going to understand fully and capitalize on what the digital revolution holds, we’ve got to have as many different kinds of people as possible in the mix.

Who’s your civic #one4one?