Ximena Hartsock


Apprenticeship Program at Phone2Action: A Place to Work, Learn and Grow

By Ximena Hartsock | August 21, 2020

In 2014, with just over a year in business, Phone2Action had its first summer fellow. We were a team of five and Sashank Thupukari was only 15, a student at a local high school.  At the time, we didn’t even have our own office. We were renting space at WeWork in Washington DC. It was…

COVID Effect Digest: Six Lessons From The Advocacy Boom

By Ximena Hartsock | July 16, 2020

Editor’s Note: to see all 15 issues of the Phone2Action Digest, visit the archive. The past four months have seen unprecedented levels of digital engagement—more than we have ever seen at Phone2Action since we began in 2012.  Since early on in the pandemic, we noticed a rapid increase in campaign creation and advocate activity. To…

Civic Unity is the Answer to Coronavirus

By Ximena Hartsock | March 30, 2020

Today, people around the world are united by their isolation. We are at home to protect the most vulnerable among us from COVID-19. This physical distancing will save lives and spare our health care systems from being overwhelmed. At the same time, it has left many of us feeling helpless, uncertain, and unheard. The answer…

It’s Graduation Time for Our Civic Tech Fellows

It’s Graduation Time for Our Civic Tech Fellows

By Ximena Hartsock | August 19, 2019

It’s a wonderful time here at Phone2Action. And a sad one, too.  Phone2Action’s 2019 Civic Tech Fellowship Program, a STEM-based apprenticeship, graduated another class after a summer spent working at the intersection of technology and civic engagement. The program—30 strong this year—draws participants from all over the country who travel to Washington to gain real-world…

Aumenta El Voto Latino: El Gigante Despertó, Pero No Por Completo

By Ximena Hartsock | November 19, 2018

A pesar de la gran cantidad de latinoamericanos en Estados Unidos, la participación política de esta comunidad no había marcado grandes diferencias en los procesos eleccionarios. Adicionalmente, las elecciones de medio término no convocan tanto interés como las elecciones presidenciales, por lo que las expectativas de participación no eran muy altas, mucho menos en la…

Wrapping Up Another Successful Summer of Civic Tech Fellowships

By Ximena Hartsock | September 10, 2018

As the summer comes to an end, so does Phone2Action’s 2018 Civic Tech Fellowship Program. A STEM-based apprenticeship, our program provided 28 students from schools in all corners of the country with the chance to gain valuable skills and experience in the field of civic technology. From building new tools with artificial intelligence and data…

Using Our Internship Program as an Incubator for Civic Tech Talent

By Ximena Hartsock | June 11, 2018

The first time I hired an intern, I was working for the D.C. public school system, supporting a major overhaul of the program under a new Chancellor. It was 2007, and we had fewer than a dozen full-time employees on the team to guide the transition. We had our work cut out for us, and…

the wisdom of woz

The Wisdom of Woz: 4 Lessons to Learn from Steve Wozniak

By Ximena Hartsock | August 18, 2017

Think different. That’s been Apple’s challenge to the world for decades. Steve “Woz” Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, is an engineer at heart who has spent his life solving technology problems. Since he was a little boy, he was fascinated with what technology can do to change the world. He’s exemplified what it means to “think different.”…

Ads for Advocacy: 8 Best Practices for Social Media Ads

By Ximena Hartsock | July 21, 2017

$72.5 billion. That’s the total dollar amount spent on digital ads in 2016—almost 22% more than 2015. The digital ad market is growing at lightning speed, and if you’re not taking advantage of it in your advocacy campaigns, you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity. Social media—Facebook specifically—is a powerful platform for grassroots advocacy, as…

Finding Our Humanity in Civic Technology

By Ximena Hartsock | June 15, 2017

When new technology ‘disrupts’ our way of life, we have a choice. We can respond with fear, cynicism, and the heaviness of uncertainty. Or, we can respond with gratitude, creativity, and the lightness of opportunity. Years ago, when I first learned about the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), I was unsure about it. Would robots…