One month ago, we had planned to send a note about Riff City turning three to thank everyone who has put their trust in our communications and advocacy team. We also wanted to reflect on the March National Geographic cover story, “The End of Trash,” which we helped bring to life with the National Geographic Forum in our nation’s capital.
But so much has changed, and our effort to build strong cities of the future is more important than ever. Riff City was launched to work on issues that matter at the intersection of civic + tech + environment. Today, we are privileged to work with people and companies that are fulfilling that mission by responding to COVID-19. Riff City extends our deepest gratitude to you all, and I personally send my thanks — my family, like many others in the United States, was affected by the disease.
We’ve been busy helping entrepreneurs navigate, communicate, build, and launch new programs to help in any way they can. Be sure to check out the full newsletter, but here’s a snapshot:
- Bitwise Industries has partnered with Gov. Newsom, Linkedin + more to launch OnwardCA.org, a one-stop employment resource for Californians who have lost their jobs. The online job platform went national earlier this week with Mastercard!
- The progressive donor collaborative, Way to Win, is protecting and expanding the right to vote for millions of Americans and helping increase turnout among young people, women, and communities of color.
- Accela is helping governments around the world go remote, launching solutions to help get more nurses on the front lines and spinning out new cloud-based tools for local governments to provide critical services to their communities.
- Bird is honoring those providing critical services with a Local Heroes Program and is providing free rides on their electric scooters to healthcare and medical workers serving on the frontlines.
- Bank regulation and financial technology company, Hypur, rolled out a first-of-its-kind “contactless payments” solution to protect workers and consumers.
- Protect Our Defenders is bringing victims’ rights to the U.S. Supreme Court! The first time that the reversal of a military rape conviction will appear before the Supreme Court.
- San Diego-based, Philter Labs is pioneering a new generation of micro-sized personal air filters to eliminate the impacts of secondhand smoke and airborne contaminants.
- Reset Button started by Y Combinator alums and backed by Craft Ventures is providing an entire generation a fresh start by eliminating student debt via bankruptcy.
- Startups in CivStart’s cohort are providing solutions for free that can help local governments adapt processes and protect essential workers and communities.
COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty for what comes next. We have had Winston Churchill’s “If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going” ringing through our heads. But, the global pandemic is also providing a lot of hope for what we can do collectively and what will emerge. If you have an idea that can help and need support bringing it to life, don’t hesitate to reach out whether it’s a personal or professional project. Until then, stay safe and we’ll see ya on Zoom.