Commission application number 321 submitted by Hannah Cowart on 09/04/2020

First Name Hannah
Middle Name/Initial L
Last Name Cowart
Voter Unique Identification number 1197395222
Ethnicity White
Gender Female
Age 25-34
Education Level Bachelor's Degree
Major Pursued International Relations & Global Studies
What is your occupation? HCM Cloud Analyst
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78748
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78748
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? No
Are you applying to be the student member of the commission? No
Have you been continuously registered to vote in the City of Austin for the last five years? Yes
Have you voted in 3 of the last 5 City of Austin general elections (or corresponding runoff if applicable)? Yes
Been appointed to a state or city office? No
Been elected to a state or city office? No
Been a candidate for a state or city office? No
Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a political party? No
Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of the campaign committee of a candidate for elective state, county, or city office? No
Been a registered state or local lobbyist? No
A paid employee of the City of Austin? No
A person performing paid services under a professional services contract with the City of Austin? No
A person performing paid services under a professional or personal services contract to the City Council of the City of Austin or to any individual member of the City Council of the City of Austin? No
A controlling person of a person performing paid services under a professional or personal services contract to any member of the City Council of the City of Austin? No
Contribute or bundle one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more in aggregate to candidates for City of Austin elective office? No
Please describe your relevant analytical skills. I currently work at Oracle implementing HR software for private companies and public organizations (state/local governments, schools, etc) where I transfer employee data into a new software system and then train the company/organization on how to use it. None of my clients have ever been local to Austin, nor have I worked for the state. My job revolves around analyzing data and ensuring everything matches when a data transfer between systems occurs.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. I believe the best way to fairly represent a population is to draw the districts equally so that all citizens, regardless of race/ethnicity, sex, income, religion, etc are given fair and equal representation at the local, state, and federal level. Texas has a history of gerrymandering, and I will do my part to be impartial if selected to participate in this commission.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. Austin is a city rich with history and diversity. You can find people from all walks of life among our city streets, and it's important that we protect that diversity as our city grows with out of state transplants and new companies. It breaks my heart to see how rent increases have forced generations of Black and Latino families out of their homes on the East Side, and how poorly our public schools are funded in South and East Austin compared with public schools in West Austin. We all love our city and want to make it better, so let's start by giving everyone an equal voice when they vote. We can't preserve our city's diversity if the only people given adequate representation are white and live in gated communities. Our city council should reflect the diversity of our city in race and gender.
Please provide your employment history. Oracle: HCM Cloud Analyst (Aug 2018- present) I currently work at Oracle implementing HR software for private companies and public organizations (state/local governments, schools, etc) where I transfer employee data into a new software system and then train the company/organization on how to use it. None of my clients have ever been local to Austin, nor have I worked for the state. My job revolves around analyzing data and ensuring everything matches when a data transfer between systems occurs. Additionally, I have seen how allowing a large business to build on the East Side of Austin has increased rent rates in our neighborhoods and led to gentrification. It is because of that I'm interested in joining the commission. Blue Apron: Customer Experience Associate (April 2017-July 2018) I worked as a customer experience associate for about 18 months at Blue Apron's flagship Austin office in North Austin. While I gained a lot of experience interviewing clients about their meal preferences, allergies, family sizes, budget needs, delivery issues, and so on, I also got to explore an area of the city I'd never spent time in before. I've lived in Austin for seven years and grew up in New Braunfels before moving here for college-- I've only really lived in South and East Austin for the most part. Seeing the small Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern communities that had developed in north Austin made me realize how little our city's diversity is represented in our local government and judicial system. Refugee Services of Texas: Project Assistant (August 2015- April 2017) I worked as an intern for the Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment Program (STEP) for ten months at RST before being promoted to project assistant in May 2016. Working for RST, I got to meet a number of Austin's immigrant population from all walks of life-- mothers from Honduras, families from Bhutan and Nepal, children from Iraq and DRC. I fundraised for the different programs and helped file paperwork for each case file in order to maintain compliance standards for our OVC and USCRI grant partners. As a project assistant I interviewed Arabic and Swahili speaking clients with the help of an interpreter to learn about their experiences integrating into life in Austin with and without the help of a smartphone for a case study through the University of Notre Dame and our partners at SparrowMobile. SummerMoon Coffee Bar: Barista (July 2013- Feb 2017) During my four years as a barista at Summermoon's flagship store in South Austin, I learned an appreciation of my neighborhood and what it meant to buy local. People from all walks of life would come through that shop-- teachers at the elementary school next door, police officers, students at UT, ACC, and St. Ed's, local residents, everyone. They all took pride in supporting what was then a small business rather than buying their coffee at a Starbucks because they knew the value of supporting a community. When you shop local, about 68% of what you spent stays in that community, whereas buying from a national chain drops that number to 43%. It gave me a new perspective on what it means to invest in your neighborhood.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. If at all possible, please pick a diverse pool of candidates. I know mostly white people will apply, but it's so important for the commission to have equal representation with regard to race and sex. Latino, Black, and Asian residents need to be included because they make up a huge portion of our city's population. We can't redraw district lines fairly if the commission represents all one race or gender.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? Social media
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature Hannah L Cowart
District District 5
Does this application qualify? Yes