Ralph talks to Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Art Cullen, about his hometown, Storm Lake, Iowa and how its ethnically diverse community thrives despite being located in Rep. Steve King’s ultra-conservative district. And 21-year old Joshua Browder tells us how you can save a lot of money using his robot lawyer.
Art Cullen is half the ownership and 25% of the news staff of the Storm Lake Times, located in Storm Lake, Iowa and which he founded with his brother, John. Mr. Cullen is the winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. He won that for his editorials taking on corporate agribusiness for fouling the state’s water and despoiling its soil. His book about that is entitled “Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope From a Heartland Newspaper.”
“There’s no conflict between Mexicans and Anglos in Storm Lake (Iowa). They are supporting our Catholic school system and our church. They are tremendous hard workers. The Laotians and Mexicans have no problems with each other. The Hondurans and Guatemalans have no problem with each other. The Samoans and the Burmese have no problems with each other. The problems are all introduced by people like Donald Trump and our congressman, Steve King. And they create fear. You go thirty miles any direction from Storm Lake, and they think Storm Lake is some sort of crime-infested hellhole. And if you actually come to Storm Lake, you see Mexican bakeries, dress shops, and happy people playing in the lake.”
Art Cullen, author of “Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope From a Heartland Newspaper”
Joshua Browder is a 22 year-old software engineer and the creator and founder of DONOTPAY, an app in the form of a chatbot that helps guide you through many legal thickets without having to pay a lawyer. So far, it has helped people repeal more than 16 million dollars in fines. Originally from England, Mr. Browder has now set up shop in Silicon Valley as he works to expand his robot lawyer into other areas of the legal system.
“When I started driving at the age of eighteen, I was a really terrible driver, and I began to accumulate all of these parking tickets. And although some of them were legitimate, it became obvious that a lot of these tickets were being issued not to punish people for doing something wrong, but to raise money for the local government. And so I started getting out of all of these tickets myself, and as a software engineer, I thought “Why not get my friends out of it to too by making an app?’ And although I just created it for a few family and friends… this made me realize the new idea of access to justice through software is bigger than just a few parking fines, and I should help people fight corporations and governments across the board to get their rights.”
Joshua Browder, creator of the DONOTPAY app.