Commission application number 370 submitted by Kathryn McArdle on 09/30/2020

First Name Kathryn
Last Name McArdle
Voter Unique Identification number 1188773277
Ethnicity White
Gender Female
Age 35-44
Education Level Post-Graduate Degree
Major Pursued Master's Degree: Software Engineering; Bachelor's Degree: Electrical Engineering
What is your occupation? Data Scientist & Software Engineer
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78722
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78722
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. As a software engineer and data scientist, I regularly work with large quantities of real-world, unpolished data. I am well-versed in organizing, cleaning, and analyzing such data to calculate statistics, create visualizations, and, in the case of machine learning, identify patterns. I am fluent in the Python programming language (among others), and I am very comfortable working with various databases, including SQL.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. Impartiality and integrity are extremely important to me, and these values will guide me through my work on the Commission. I do not have a vested interest in any one particular part of the city or group of people. Rather, I am committed to ensuring equitable and fair representation for all Austinites. I believe we can integrate input and concerns from the entire Austin community with robust analysis of demographic data to craft district boundaries that are protected from unfairly benefitting any Commission members or segments of the Austin population. Further, I believe that minutes from all Commission meetings (with the public as well as working meetings), correspondence, data, and reports should be made available publicly in near-real-time, so that the community can trust that all Commission members are acting impartially and in the community's best interest.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. Diversity has always been important to me in all facets of my life. Not only does it help bring different perspectives and ideas to light (whether in business, government, art, or among friends), but without it you are simply leaving people out - and too often in Austin, in Texas, and in this country, this has been done intentionally. In Austin, we are lucky to have an intersectionally diverse community - across geography, age, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, income level, and more. Everyone, including myself, has benefitted from this diversity in many ways, yet not everyone has had equal access to public services and infrastructure. In order to help remedy this, I believe it is extremely important to have similarly intersectionally diverse representation - on this Commission, in government, in business leadership, in school administration, and beyond.
Please provide your employment history. - 2018 - present: Lead Data Scientist at Blue Squad. In this role, I work frequently with national voter data (hundreds of millions of records), to help increase voter registration, voter turnout, and civic engagement throughout the country. - 2015 - 2016: Senior Data Scientist at Accordion Health / 2016 - 2017: VP of Engineering at Accordion Health / 2017 - 2019: Senior Director of Data Science at Evolent Health (acquired Accordion Health). In these roles, I worked primarily with healthcare data to use machine learning and data visualization to help lower the cost and improve the quality of healthcare through value-based payment systems. In the latter two roles, I led teams to work collaboratively on shared goals. - 2012 - 2014: completed Master's Degree at the University of Texas at Austin. During graduate school, I completed classes in data mining, machine learning, and advanced programming concepts. I also completed group projects in nearly every class, which gave me experience working closely with people with greatly varying working and communication styles. - 2010 - 2012: Entrepreneur Program Manager at the Cleantech Group - 2007 - 2009: Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa. This experience taught me a lot about building trust in a community, listening to community members to understand their needs, and using that insight and trust to work together to craft a solution to a given problem. I was a newcomer in a poor, rural village of 1200 people where there was not a year-round supply of clean water. Arriving in Mali, I had no firsthand experience with rural life, poverty, or not having enough water. So I spent the first several months of my two years living in this village just getting to know my new neighbors and their ways of life, and allowing them to get to know me and eventually trust me. Only once I felt like I was sufficiently integrated with the community did we start working on possible solutions to the water access problems. Throughout the whole process, the community and I worked together to figure out possible solutions and make decisions on what would work for their particular community. I believe this experience will guide me in taking a similar approach with the Redistricting Commission.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. If selected, I commit to working diligently and respectfully with the other Commission members to seek and incorporate community input along with data-driven analysis to create fair, just, and equitable district boundaries.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? From family or friend
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature Kathryn McArdle
District District 9
Does this application qualify? Yes