Civic News
Code for Philly / Technology

Former Code for Philly leader Charlie Costanzo is running for Code for America’s National Advisory Council

Local brigade alumni currently hold two of the nine seats on the Council.

Code for Philly's October 2019 demo day at Yards. (Photo by Paige Gross)

Charlie Costanzo, a former co-director of Code for Philly who just stepped down from the role last month, is running for Code for America’s National Advisory Council — aka “the brain trust in charge of guiding the work done by the network of civic-hacking brigades,” as we called it in 2018.

Costanzo served on the Philly org’s board for about a year, and wants to represent the Northeast Regional NAC seat. The National Council is made up of four regional seats — Northeast, South, Central and West — and five at-large seats.

Currently, two Code for Philly alums, Melanie Mazanec and Dawn McDougall, hold two-year seats on the council. Mazanec holds one of the at-large positions for another year, while McDougall represents the Northeast and will be ending her term soon, she told

Costanzo is running against four other candidates representing brigades in Baltimore, Boston, Burlington, Vermont and D.C. In his pitch to hold a seat on the board, Costanzo wrote that he aims to reinforce the system of connections between local brigades and Code for America.

“This boosting of our collective strength is certainly something that I think Code for America should be recognized as doing more of now that the Brigade Network is becoming an even more mature organization,” he said.

A Code for Philly alum has held a position on the National Council since it was formed in 2016. Chris Alfano, cofounder of the Philly org, ran for the first batch of seats in 2016 and won. He ran again in 2018 and won alongside McDougall, the then-executive director of Code for Philly.

Costanzo, who formerly ran sales at food startup Ontray — which was just acquired by NYC-based Zuul Kitchens — will be splitting his time between Philly and New York. He said he’s now holding a senior advisor role with the Philly brigade.

Folks who have attended a Code for Philly event in the last year are eligible to vote, and can do so until the evening of Feb. 13.

Companies: Code for America

Join the conversation!

Find news, events, jobs and people who share your interests on's open community Slack


Philly daily roundup: $80M EDA Tech Hub plans; local computer history mapped; $3M for manufacturing innovation

Philly daily roundup: A better coffee supply chain; Philly Tech Week returns; Apply to Pennovation Accelerator

Philly daily roundup: Startups want office culture; New Venture Lab cohort; Penn Med's new AI leader

Philly startups are embracing the office, for collaboration and culture

Technically Media