Frontline Perspective on Civinomics

Hey there!

My name is Marshall, and I’ve been a community representative for Civinomics since March 2012.  Originally from Ventura, I came to Northern California in 2011 to pursue a degree in Business Management Economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  My experiences in Santa Cruz have been nothing short of awesome, from the people I have met, to the work I have done.  But, working for a community engagement organization has done much more than just help me pay for grilled cheese sandwiches and cereal.  My work as a community rep has greatly expanded my interest and belief in the overarching mission of Civinomics.

I started canvassing for Civinomics as a college freshman, with the sole intention of making a little extra pocket money for food and whatever else us college kids need.  But after knocking on almost every house’s door on the Westside of the city, I’ve come to realize that I gain something much more valuable than the cash I earn when someone hits ‘Submit’ after taking a survey.  By going door to door, I have met more people than I ever have at school, or any other place for that matter.  I have had 30-minute conversations with people that would usually only give me a simple ‘hello’ if I weren’t standing at their doorstep. I’ve been offered ice cream, hamburgers, candy and beer as I trek along the community sidewalks.  Meeting people who are enthusiastic about actively helping their community is not only inspiring, but it creates a friendly bond between two community members who share the same problems.

Sure, there is that feeling of failure when somebody slams the door in your face, or spits their pessimistic opinion about how politics is corrupt and it will never be fixed.  And frustration does set in when the last 20 doors you knocked on were never opened.  But the satisfaction I get when somebody tells me, “Keep doing the right thing” as I walk away is above all else, fulfilling.  Furthermore, the surprised look on people’s faces when I tell them how Civinomics works totally strengthens my belief in what this company is doing.

In fact, as I canvass more and more, I find myself caring less about the money and caring more about the my work in the community. Interacting face-to-face with everyday people has widened my perspective on local issues, and cemented the idea that two minds are always greater than one. Civinomics has led me to strongly believe that the collective knowledge and skill sets of different people living in the same community have the potential to overcome any issue or problem that faces them.  I am extremely thrilled to be a part of this unique approach to improving social decision-making and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

-Marshall Comden


  1. Hi Marshall. Sounds like you are doing Good Work here. But help me out (and take a step back): 1) Define your terms. I have no idea what Civinomics is. 2) Who is keeping you in Mac & Cheese and Top Ramen? I don’t know who your employer is.

    • Angus Murray says:

      Angus – I am surprised you did not ask Marshall to define “….and whatever else us college kids need”. In my day that was a 6 pack of hard cider, a fake ID & a plain yet willing partner to make out with in the cinema. Jokes aside – well done, Marshall, remember us mortals here in Ventucky when you’re accepting global prizes for community service!

  2. greenrobert says:

    Hey Angus,

    So Marshall does work for Civinomics, a Santa Cruz based startup that develops software for community engagement. Part of our mission is that we conduct community surveys and education campaigns using one of the mobile applications we have developed. Marshall is one of our top community representatives and therefore deserves his fair share of Ramen.

    For more information on Civinomics please visit our website, which can be found here:

    For more information specifically about our outreach methods, look here:

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