In order to highlight Austin Tech Alliance’s growing membership of individuals who support our mission to promote civic engagement in Austin’s tech sector, we regularly feature profiles of ATA members.
Up now: ATA’s intern, Jay Motheral!
What got you interested in interning for Austin Tech Alliance?
My last semester, I was apart of a project called Civics Lab at St. Edward’s University. In doing advocacy work and successfully lobbying a city resolution on food deserts, I gained a better understanding of the public policy arena. Seeing how government worked and being a part of change made me want to better help others understand the process. What got my interest about interning for the ATA was that there is a lot of civic engagement, in particular with things pertaining to the tech world, but not limited to just that. Being able to build off of my prior experience in public policy and government seemed like the natural fit, I am absolutely thrilled to build off of what I have done and gather a better understanding about design strategies and communication as well.
What’s one thing you want to accomplish during your time interning at ATA?
I want to build from my prior understanding of civic engagement and the political process at large. One of the biggest reasons I have always had an interest is how politics can benefit people, seeing what policies are coming into effect. Being able to communicate what is going on and effectively create content to match, whether it be written or more visual. Finding ways to keep people more engaged with what is going on in politics and how this could impact the tech world and so much more. I really want to have better application of presenting different mediums in talking about different issues.
Why is civic engagement important to you?
Civic engagement is one of the most vitally important things for a healthy democracy. Having seen how intricate legislating is and getting things right, having the proper engagement from the public and having a knowledgeable public is so important. People tend to think that after an election is finished, things will often remain the same. The status quo is subject to change after we elect people. When there is an engaged public, there is an engaged government to match it. This can better represent people, better pieces of legislation, and ultimately better lives.
“A well informed public can lead to clearer decisions in public policy and bring about needed change”
Social media and different mediums of technology being able to advance more information with regards to civics is something I have such a passion for. A well informed public can lead to clearer decisions in public policy and bring about needed change. We have seen this throughout the country over the last few years when it comes to elections, learning about bills in Congress or in the legislature, and so much more. The more engaged the public is, the more informed our decisions can be.