Dan Kass

Hello! I’m an interdisciplinary coder, designer, and progressive advocate.

My work supports social justice movements through the use of data and technology. I design and build tools that investigate social & technical systems, make institutions more accessible, and tell critical stories through digital media.

For the past five years, I served as a co-founder and Executive Director at JustFix.nyc, a tech nonprofit that supports tenants and organizers fighting displacement and neglectful housing in N.Y.C. Working with an incredible and dedicated team, we successfully served thousands of New Yorkers and brought transparency to real estate industry practices. For this work, I was named on the Forbes “30 Under 30” list in the law & policy category. I also serve on the Open Data Advisory Council for the City of New York, the steering committee for the Housing Data Coalition, and the Emerging Leaders Council for the Legal Services Corporation.

I have extensive experience in the digital industry and have produced high-end digital projects for clients such as Spotify, NPR, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I have a B.S. in Computer Science from Tufts University and was an Engineering Fellow in the Blue Ridge Labs fellowship program.

Currently, I'm seeking collaborative data & storytelling projects with individuals and groups working in journalism, organizing, advocacy, and civic tech. Let's talk ➩︎

Who Owns What?

Developed in close coordination with tenant organizers, Who Owns What exposes LLC shell company networks and provides easy access to building info for tenants, organizers, lawyers, journalists, & policymakers. It aligns disparate data sources from several city and state agencies to provide info on over 200,000 N.Y.C. buildings, and currently operates as the de facto database for N.Y.C.'s tenant movement. (concept, mapping, dataviz, full-stack, design, user research)  http://whoownswhat.nyc ➭︎

Who Owns What?

Repairs Web-App + Advocate Dashboard

The main product of JustFix.nyc, this mobile-first tool helps tenants fight landlord harassment and disrepair by streamlining issue reporting, sending legal notices to landlords, and connecting with advocates. The Advocate Dashboard provides an easy case management complement for a wide range of community groups and legal nonprofits. The platform has been designed for deep accessibility through years of user testing and feedback, and is now integrated with the N.Y.C. Housing Court system. (concept, full-stack, design, mapping, user research)  https://www.justfix.nyc ➭︎

Repairs Web-App + Advocate Dashboard

Eviction Free NYC

Right To Counsel is a new law in N.Y.C. that guarantees legal representation to tenants facing eviction. Together with the Right To Counsel coalition, we developed Eviction Free NYC in order to help tenants navigate the eviction process and connect with organizers & lawyers. Its built on top of the Contentful CMS and kept up-to-date by the Right to Counsel Coalition. Since 2018, over 15,000 tenants have used the site to fight their eviction and get assistance. (concept, data, full-stack, accessibility)  https://evictionfreenyc.org ➭︎

Eviction Free NYC

JustFix.nyc SMS tools

Driven by user research and feedback, we developed SMS versions of our tools in order to reach new users and further lower the barrier to entry for our services. Our "rent history textbot" simplifies the process of getting your apartment's rent history sent by the N.Y.S. Dept. of Community Renewal from hours to minutes. Try it out: text "rent history" to (646) 783-0627. (concept, design, full-stack, user research)  https://www.justfix.nyc ➭︎

JustFix.nyc SMS tools

Localore: Finding America

Localore is "an independent public media production that unfolds over time." Together with the Association of Independents in Radio and NPR, the "Finding America" storytelling platform was built to host the work of embedded journalists and local producers across the country. It compiles hundreds of real-time social media feeds to paint a portrait of unique, diverse, and modern American narratives. (front-end, concept, multimedia)  https://www.localore.org/ ➭︎

Localore: Finding America

Spotify Character Match sites

Working with Spotify, these sites were built to coincide with major media events such as Star Wars, Stranger Things, and the Country Music Awards. After giving your permission, the site would analyze your Spotify listening habits to determine which character you were most aligned with. I was the tech lead and main developer overseeing three global rollouts with a collective 7m+ site visitors. (full-stack, design, animation)  https://www.spotify.com ➭︎

Spotify Character Match sites

In the news

Conference talks

  • Technology Promise: Serving the Public Good Through Emerging Technologies.
    C.U.N.Y. Conference on Emerging Technologies and Social Justice
  • Making Legal Technologies Used and Useful: Expanding Access to Civil Justice
    World Justice Forum @ The Hague, Netherlands
  • Data in the Housing Movement
    Assoc. for Neighborhood and Housing Development Annual Conference 2019
  • Equitable Data Practices for Housing Justice
    Hindsight Conference 2018
  • Fighting Tenant Harassment with Open Data
    N.Y.C. School of Data 2018
  • Innovative Approaches to Housing Justice Advocacy
    New York Law School Access to Justice Conference
  • Investigating Your Landlord 101
    PA'LANTE Harlem - Annual Housing Conference
  • U.S. Conference of Mayors Civic I/O
    South by Southwest (SXSW) 2017