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Civic Tech Pop-Up Panel

  • Position Interactive 1013 7th Street Sacramento, CA, 95814 United States (map)

How Civic Tech & Design Make Government Policy More Appealing

We are partnering with California Groundbreakers for a “Policy and a Pint” discussion on design and technology, and how government agencies can better use them to craft messages that grab citizens’ eyeballs and gets their full civic engagement.

From civic-tech apps and user interface to social media and marketing messages, we’ll talk to designers and government officials about how these two groups can work together to get the word out in visually-appealing ways.

This discussion is a good one for designers looking to work with public-sector clients, and for government officials in charge of communicating important messages to their constituents, but it’s open to everyone who’s interested in how California government is (and should be) using civic tech and design to reach out to us with their news, announcements and messages.

Find out more about our speakers!


Kara Primm, Designer, Uptown Studios

Kara Primm is a Graphic Designer at Uptown Studios. With 7 years of experience in the field, she has spent her entire design career immersed in the public sector. For five years,  Kara called Washington D.C home. There, she designed for clients such as Export Import Bank of America and Neighborworks of America. Following her passion for design, she joined the Uptown Studios team. Attracted to their philanthropic values, in her time at Uptown Studios, Kara has had the pleasure of working with Sacramento County Office of Education, the Sacramento County Office of Governments, Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks, and more.


Zach Quaintance, Writer, Government Technology

Zack Quaintance is a staff writer for Government Technology. Prior to that, he spent five years working in daily newspapers, such as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman, and another five years working in the tech sector.  Follow him on Twitter @zackquaintance

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Jon Robinson, Deputy City Manager, City of West Sacramento

Jon Robinson is Deputy City Manager for the City of West Sacramento, California. His responsibilities include management of the City's Innovation, Governmental Relations, and Communications programs, as well as special projects.   Jon founded and co-chairs the City’s Innovation and Technology team, which brings together representatives from each City department to make recommendations to the City Manager for the investment of City innovation funds for continuous improvement projects.    He holds an MPPA from California State University Sacramento, and has also worked in affordable housing and redevelopment during a career spanning 27 years.


Amy Williams, President-Elect of CAPIO
and Assistant to the City Manager, City of Sacramento

With close to 20 years of media and communications experience in the public and private sector, Amy Williams has vast experience working in all levels of local government communications.  She has developed, implemented, and managed complex communication plans and media strategies, including the negotiations and development of a downtown arena, labor relations, budget process, and emergency operations. Ms. Williams has also provided media counseling and coaching to City Executives, Councilmembers, and managers.

She was recently promoted to Assistant to the City Manager, where she uses her skills honed in the communications field to provide vital support to the City’s leadership team manage complex special projects on behalf of the City Manager.

She is a graduate of University of California at Davis with a degree in Rhetoric and Communications and a minor in English.


Jesse Taggert, Research and Design Practice Lead, Truss

Jesse Taggert leads research and design at Truss and is committed to collaboration and building healthy cross-functional teams.

Jesse is experienced in product strategy, user research, experience design, creative direction, content strategy and stakeholder/client relations. Before Truss, Jesse led design at CA Child Welfare Digital Services and was a lead strategist at 18F, an in-government consultancy bringing user centered design and agile software development to government agencies.

Before focusing on government work, she worked at Pivotal Labs, an international firm specializing in agile software development. She has a worked in a handful of startups, and as an experience designer for major art, science and history museums. She is based in San Francisco.

Moderated by Vanessa Richardson, founder of California Groundbreakers


Vanessa Richardson is director of California Groundbreakers, a civic-engagement org in Sacramento that puts together live events, Q&A, and panel discussions about the groundbreaking things happening all over the state, and the innovative people making them happen. Her other "day job" is as a business writer covering personal finance, entrepreneurship and small-business managements -- she has written for publications including MoneyFortuneEntepreneurship and the Harvard Business Review, and for companies such as Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, PG&E and Cisco Systems.


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Earlier Event: May 14
Studio Tour: Downtown
Later Event: May 15
Full Circle Press Open Studio