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Alberto Altamirano is a strong believer in the intersection of public policy and community involvement, which is why he co-founded Cityflag in 2015.

Cityflag is a mobile application that allows users to report infrastructure issues such as outages, potholes and vandalism while earning rewards and building a more inclusive local government.

But his passion for promoting positive change in the community wasn’t born overnight.

Beto, as he likes to be called, was born and raised in South Texas. He credits his multicultural upbringing as a driving force behind his passion for culture and community.

“Like many Latino families in the U.S., I grew up completely submerged in the cultural and social infrastructures of Mexico and the United States, which allowed me to better understand the relationship between both countries,” he told Rare. “This experience spoke to me intimately – the richness of Mexican cultural customs, and the stimulating vision the United States offers, encouraged me to carry forward both my US and Mexican identity.”

This established cultural identity led him to Mission, Texas, where he founded a magazine that highlighted contemporary Hispanic arts. It was through this experience that his love for public policy grew.

“The magazine, and my drive to highlight my generation’s ways of expressing themselves, helped me in unexpected ways,” he told Rare. “As a result of my activity as editor-in-chief, fundraiser, and leader of awareness efforts, I became politically engaged.”

With a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and an Executive Education Certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School, Beto found work at the Texas House of Representatives, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Senate and the U.S. Department of State.

Driven by a love for technology, Beto co-founded Cityflag, which he plans to launch in the United States and Mexico in 2016.

In the meantime, Beto plans to work the university circuit, giving speeches on leadership, entrepreneurship and civic engagement to college students. He believes that raising awareness among college students is extremely important, and that reaching out to people of all different walks of life is paramount to strengthening a true sense of community.

He told Rare he is inspired by the people he meets in his travels, “because the best part of traveling isn’t always the destination, but rather the people you meet along the way. Everyone has a fascinating story to tell, a hardship to share, and a lesson to teach.”

Watch the full YouTube video credited above: Alberto Altamirano submission video to TEDxMcAllenLive

Richard Thompson is an associate editor at Rare. Follow him on Twitter @RThompson_91 

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