On Scene with Bill Wilson – Dr. Jill Biden’s SF Visit

By Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2012

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Dr. Jill Biden, wife of the Vice President during a visit to the Code for America offices in San Francisco Photo by Bill Wilson

Dr. Jill Biden, wife of the Vice President used her visit to the Bay Area to promote the Joining Forces initiative, a joint venture with the First Lady to promote efforts that support our troops and veterans and their families. After visiting the VA Palo Alto Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, Dr. Biden traveled to San Francisco to visit the Code for America offices and learn how technology can be used to help veterans apply for jobs.

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Aneesh Chopra, United States Chief Technology Officer, joins Dr. Jill Biden in listening to presentations on “Apps for Heroes” during her visit to the offices of Code for America. Photo by Bill Wilson

Dr. Biden’s visit actually had two parts to it. First she was shown presentations by several people on Apps for Heroes. The presentations ranged from finding the job postings to notifying companies that they are eligible for tax breaks because they hired a qualified veteran.

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Jim Brikman, Sr. Software Engineer at Linkedin, shows Dr. Biden and Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer, applications that can be used by veterans to locate job openings and other resources. Photo by Bill Wilson

Translating military training into marketable job skills that companies want can be daunting, but there is an app for that. Since so much of finding a job is about networking it makes sense to use technology to facilitate that communication.

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Peter Levin (left), Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Chief Technology Officer for the U S Department of Veterans Affairs and Aneesh Chopra listen as Gunnar Counselman, (seated) CEO of Fidelis explains a point to Dr. Biden.

The second part of Dr. Biden’s visit was a brief talk to an assembled group of Code for America members who are providing the technical skills and energy to come up with the programs that help people and cities connect with solutions for their common problems, which is what Code for America is all about.

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Dr. Biden talks with members of Code for America. Photo by Bill Wilson

I admit to being a tech dummy. So it took me a while to realize that Code for America is not only the name of the project, but a description of what they do. When you are writing a program you are basically writing code that tells the computer what you want it to do.

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Dr. Biden and Code for America members. Photo by Bill Wilson

Most of Dr. Biden’s time was spent meeting people who had come to the event and learning what they were doing.

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Craig Newmark and Dr. Jill Biden. Photo by Bill Wilson

On a personal note, after I had taken this picture of Craig with Dr. Biden I said to her, “This isn’t the first time I’ve taken your picture, the first time was at the wedding reception Senator and Mrs. Hollings gave for you.” She looked at me and said, “Oh my God!” Then as she come over and gave me a hug she said, “That was thirty five years ago.”

See Related On Scene with Bill Wilson Archive

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past seven years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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