TIDES FOUNDATION NAMES CITIZENSPEAK DEVELOPER WINNER OF NATION’S TOP PUBLIC INTEREST COMPUTING AWARD
San Francisco, CA, September 25, 2006 — Tides Foundation today announced that the inaugural $10,000 Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest will go to George Hotelling for his development work on CitizenSpeak — a free email advocacy service for grassroots organizations.
”This award is really an honor for me,” notes Hotelling. “This award highlights the importance of public space software and how it‘s helping grassroots organizations and individual activists get their voices heard.”
The new Pizzigati Prize — a project launched by Tides Foundation’s Florence and Frances Family Fund — aims to honor individuals who, in the spirit of open source computing, fashion outstanding applications that help nonprofits become more effective in their ongoing efforts for social change.
“Our judges faced a difficult choice,” notes Jason Sanders, the Tides Foundation philanthropic advisor who coordinates the Pizzigati Prize. “Each of the six finalists for our first prize has made a valuable contribution to public interest computing.”
Hotelling’s work on the CitizenSpeak project began when he realized that local groups needed a tool that could help them impact local decisions and decision-makers. He soon discovered that CitizenSpeak.org, a free online service founded in 2002 by Jo Lee and Pablo Calamera, shared the same vision. Hotelling, with over a decade of experience working with open source tools, rebuilt CitizenSpeak and made the code available as open source software.
Community groups have been putting the revamped CitizenSpeak to work in a wide range of campaigns, everything from a Rhode Island effort to stop the siting of new schools on contaminated land to a multi-denominational offensive against religious intolerance in the Delaware town of Indian River.
The code that runs CitizenSpeak is available as a free module for Drupal, the popular open source Web content management platform. For more information, please visit http://www.citizenspeak.org.
The finalists for the 2006 Pizzigati Prize included Zachary Rosen for CivicSpace, Donald Lobo for CiviCRM, Kevin Smith for Martus, Ethan McCutchen for WagN, and Jamie McClelland for Basebuilder. Honorable mention went to Zachary Rosen, whose leadership and vision has helped catapult public interest software into the public consciousness. To learn more about the 2006 prize finalists — and the entire prize effort — please check online at www.pizzigatiprize.org.
About the Pizzigati Prize
The Pizzigati Prize honors the brief life of Tony Pizzigati, an early advocate of open source computing who spent his college years at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, working at the MIT Media Lab and later the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science. Three years after his 1992 graduation, Pizzigati, then 24, died in an auto accident.
The three judges who selected the first Pizzigati Prize winner brought have each earned wide respect within the nonprofit computing world.
Allison Fine is Senior Fellow at Demos, a public policy research and advocacy organization committed to building an America that achieves its highest democratic ideals. Joseph Mouzon serves as the executive director of nonprofit services for the Network for Good, the largest nonprofit technology service provider in the United States, and Katrin Verclas currently directs NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network, a professional community that connects people involved in nonprofit technology and strives to help them effectively use technology in their work.
The deadline for the 2007 Pizzigati Prize will be July 1, 2007. Applications forms and background information will be available later this fall at the Pizzigati Prize Web site.
About Tides Foundation
Tides Foundation partners with donors to increase and organize resources for positive social change. Tides brings together people, resources, and vision through Tides Donor Advised Funds, Tides Initiatives, funding collaboratives, gatherings and learning opportunities, foundation management services, comprehensive and flexible program services, and a framework for strengthening the progressive movement.