new tech city

New York Tech Meetup Urges Political Hopefuls to Make City World’s Best for Tech

Getting political.
(Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/imaginecup/5935509258/)

(Photo: Flickr, imaginecup)

Earlier this week, Betabeat reported on New York Tech Meetup’s plans to host a series of candidates forums ahead of the upcoming citywide elections, as the local tech community seeks to reshape the city in the image of its own fast-Internet, open-data, science-in-schools algorithmic fantasy.

As we noted, plans for the forums followed news that the board of NYTM was set to approve a slate of proposals to mayoral candidates (and to those running for those public advocate and comptroller), which would then be presented for feedback to NYTM’s rank-and-file.

Consider the slate presented. Under the modest heading of “Help Us Make NYC the Best City for Tech in the World!,” NYTM laid out its agenda. You can read its seven proposals below, and NYTM members can offer input here.

It appears to be a broad slate, offering political hopefuls a safe way to commit to New York’s future as a center of innovation.

At a glance, the firmest proposal seems like NYTM’s call for the creation of a deputy mayor for technology innovation, a proposal that gives way to a pet fantasy of our own: that Mayor Michael Bloomberg finds an office in the next administration, and continues to run the city from behind the new titular head, a la Vladimir Putin.

In the unlikelihood of that outcome, we’re sure there are plenty of excellent candidates.

  1. Make New York City the most wired city on earth by providing every New Yorker and every New York business regardless of location access to the fastest broadband networks at the lowest cost.

  2. Reinvent the education system to allow every child, young adult, and all New Yorkers to develop the skills necessary to thrive in a 21st century economy.

  3. Make New York City the clear choice for entrepreneurs, software engineers, and other technically skilled professionals to start a business and build a career by making it easy to find partners, financing, office space and housing, employees, and access to markets.

  4. Support the appointment of a Deputy Mayor for Technology Innovation with an appropriate budget charged with the responsibility of reinventing New York City government with a 21st century framework.

  5. Make New York City’s system for civic participation the most open, transparent, accountable, participatory, and innovative in the world.

  6. Make New York City the most citizen-connected community on earth, where its people connect with each other to unleash a powerful 21st century economy: selling to each other, renting to each other, funding each other, sharing with each other, coworking with each other, meeting up with each other, and hiring each other.

  7. Support public policies that would ensure that technology and the opportunities available to the tech community can reach all New York’s citizens, and help solve issues related to healthcare, human rights and justice, gender equality, transportation, the environment, and other issues of fundamental importance to all New Yorkers.

Follow Patrick Clark on Twitter or via RSS. pclark@observer.com