In order to highlight our 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: one of ATA’s summer interns, Vincent Cacciatore!
What got you interested in interning for Austin Tech Alliance?
Despite living in Houston, I have always loved Austin. Ten years ago, my brother went to UT Austin. He stayed there for eight years and my family would visit him frequently. After each visit I would love Austin even more, especially its tech industry. Last year, in the fall of 2019, I followed my brother’s footsteps and came to Austin. I was finally living in this wondrous city. On weekends I would hop on the bus and wander the downtown area to discover new places. Austin was also my introduction to civic engagement. My first time voting was the primaries in February. Sadly, my time in Austin was cut short as COVID-19 broke out and I had to leave my dorm and head back home.
A few months later, a friend who was still living in Austin texted me about the internship at Austin Tech Alliance thinking I’d be a good fit. After reading the internship description, I knew this was the perfect opportunity. My time in Austin was short lived, but now I feel like I’m back in the Austin community through ATA.
What’s one thing you want to accomplish during your time interning at ATA?
One thing I want to accomplish during my internship at ATA is to learn how I, a future member of Austin’s tech industry, can promote civic engagement among my peers. I am currently studying Computer Science at UT and am excited to enter the tech world. However, I am also double majoring in the liberal arts and am aware of the need for constant civic engagement and participation within one’s community. I want my peers to contribute both to the advancement of technology and the advancement of our community.
Why is civic engagement important to you?
In high school, I volunteered at the local library. While volunteering, I would often listen to public meetings from various committees and local interest groups. What I quickly observed was that certain individuals would faithfully attend these meetings expressing their interests and concerns. Furthermore, you could tell these voiced opinions had tremendous influence on the stances of these various groups.
It can often feel that governmental administration is out of reach, but many times they want to hear for their constituents. Without public input and civic engagement, no administrator can gauge the public opinion, including your opinion, on any policies they implement. Therefore, those handful of individuals who do show up and voice their opinions shape their community’s future. If we want our policies to reflect our local communities, then all of us need to participate in civic engagement.