NYC’s only Mayoral forum on Tech & Open Gov Policy

THIS JUST IN! Our friends at the Coalition for Queens have organized a NYC Mayoral Forum on Tech Policy!


Join us at the NYC Mayoral Candidates Tech Policy forum at the Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria) on Monday, June 17th at 6:30 PM to hear the candidates discuss topics related to technology in New York City, including tech jobs and startup companies, STEM education, and government policy.

The discussion will be moderated by Anjali Athavaley of the Wall Street Journal and Nilay Patel of The Verge. Confirmed candidates for the forum include:

  • NYC Comptroller John Liu 
  • Former NYC Councilmember Sal Albanese 
  • Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr. 
  • Former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson 
  • Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner

We hope to make the forum participatory and would love your input. Please submit questions for the candidates on our website or tweet a question with the hashtag #queenstechforum.

This forum is presented in partnership with the Museum of the Moving Image, Partnership for New York City, Code for America NY, and Queens County Young Democrats.


four freedoms of the 21st Century…

Four Freedoms of the 21st Century

First, The freedom to connect.

For a properly functioning 21st Century New York economy, all must have accessible and affordable high speed internet. Wireless or wired, all New Yorkers need unfettered access to connect.

Second, The freedom to learn.

For a properly functioning 21st Century New York economy, all New Yorkers need access to top quality education. Regardless of language, age, or class, all New Yorkers strive for the freedom to learn.

Third, The freedom from tyranny.

We must be able to know WHAT our government is doing. We must have the ability to interface with our government, wherever, whenever, and regardless of platform. We must have the power to affect change and truly be a government by the people for the people.

Fourth, The freedom to innovate.

This city was founded on innovation. From the fur trader to the 21st Century Maker, this City’s heritage is rich in entrepreneurial ideas. Our innovations don’t know nationality, race, gender, sexuality, age, nor language. We need laws and policies that keep us grounded in opportunity, provide for the general defense of the commons, and enable us to keep growing.

For the past few months, I’ve been thinking of the best way do describe our 21st Century values to elected officials and people running for office. I know there is the Declaration of Internet Freedom, but I don’t think it properly encapsulates our collective values for a fully functional economy and society. Working off of FDR’s Four Freedoms, I’m proposing these four freedoms for our 21st Century.

If you have an idea, comment, or point, use #4Freedoms hashtag.

Another interesting innovation was the Sandy Coworking crowdmap. A #NYResponds initiative, the map lists spaces where people can work, recharge and reconnect. At the heart of #NYResponds is a message to encourage the tech community to get out and take direct action in the recovery process by providing tech skills and resources.

SandyBaggers offers an exemplar of how, in Lincoln’s words, “the better angels of our nature,” rush to confront disaster in the digital age. So, too, do efforts like Sandy Coworking and NeedMapper. Even FEMA has recognized the importance of digital technology in the wake of a tragedy like Superstorm Sandy; the organization’s applications for Android, iOS, and Blackberrry provide checklists, weather updates, and important relief information. This, of course, raises a question that looms over any major disaster relief effort: Where do we go from here? What lessons — and innovations — can we carry with us?

The New York Tech Meetup signed up over 800 potential volunteers to help build tools on the fly. Perhaps the most successful has been the Sandy Coworking Crowdmap, which helped businesses displaced by the storm find places to set up shop free. The map worked, and a big reason was that the local tech industry excels at spreading information internally. Efforts to reach the larger city have not caught on as easily (in part because many people’s phones did not work in the immediate aftermath of the storm).

The problem is, much of Lower Manhattan, where many are located, is still without power and Internet. But entrepreneurs, engineers and developers aren’t letting that stop them. They are camping out in one another’s apartments and offices in an attempt to still get a day’s work done. Of course, any place with a humming Wi-Fi connection, whether a coffee shop or an Apple Store, seems to be drawing displaced workers eager to get back into the swing of things. But camaraderie spurred by the storm seemed to knit the New York start-up scene together a bit tighter.