Mayor Bloomberg is scheduled to exit stage left this year, which means it’s time to elect someone to take his place. Since there are no other billionaire tech evangelists waiting in the wings, local techies are being courted for their votes by candidates eager to prove they’re the all about Silicon Alley.
Wall Street? Where’s that?
The Wall Street Journal reports that, when April rolls around, Manhattan Borough President (and would-be city comptroller) Scott Stringer is planning to host a conference on the tech business and “how it could offer a gateway to the middle class for New Yorkers.” For the tentpole act, he’s wrangled the big Democratic names in the race to participate in a mayoral forum, which is an ideal opportunity for wooing.
“Because Mike Bloomberg has really led the way in making us the number two tech hub in the nation, rivaling only Silicon Valley – we’ve already surpassed Boston – we do need to focus the 2013 candidates on this vital part of our economy.”
We do hope, however, that this will be more than an opportunity for candidates to spout platitudes and show off their smartphones. Back in December, Mr. Stringer’s office released a lengthy report questioning how much access the city’s working class currently to the almighty tech boom and outlining ways to turn an exploding industry into a real route to the middle class. And with concerns over the city’s affordability becoming the stuff of concerned newspaper stories, it’s about time to have the talk.