Brooklyn native unveils new app that gives people a voice in their communities

A Brooklyn native is ready to make a positive difference in her community with the creation of a new app that gives people a voice.
Tiasia O'Brien grew up in Bushwick and says she's watched the neighborhood change so much. O'Brien says she's seen the gentrification and displacement of some of her neighbors so she was inspired to make a positive difference in her community.
O'Brien came up with the idea to create an app called Co:Census, a web-based application that government agencies and corporations can use so people can easily voice their concerns about where they live.
"We use multiple languages so that allows people to engage in whatever their first language is," says O'Brien. "And we prioritize using SMS service for text message surveys because that means people can engage with their governments and with companies that are implementing new policies in their community in a new way and in a way that doesn't have to rely on the internet because of the digital divide that has affected people."
Since launching in March, O'Brien says nearly 60 agencies are working with the app to improve communities not only in New York, but also in several urban cities across the country.
O'Brien says the pandemic has led more people to use the app. She says it gave companies a chance to get input from people as they were in the process of reopening.
"So, we worked with people to create new surveys and ask the public how they feel about outdoor dining, how they feel about shopping curb side and that really kicked us off from there," says O'Brien.
O'Brien says the goal is to continue to allow voices to be heard on all issues that matter.