This is an exciting and busy week for T4A.org. Today, we are onsite in Seattle for a TechTable with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. Throughout his tenure as a public official, Mayor Murray has been known to reach across the aisle and push for laws that promote social justice and equality. Most recently, he has received local praise (coupled with some criticism) for Seattle’s controversial passage of the $15 minimum wage, a law born out of his early executive action to raise the wage for city employees. Murray is also well known for his advancement of LGBT rights. While in the legislature, he “was the prime sponsor of Washington state’s historic marriage equality law, as well as the prime sponsor of the 2002 Safe Schools bill protecting sexual minority youth in schools and a landmark bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation signed into law in 2006.”1 As Mayor, Murray’s primary agenda item is to make “Seattle a safe, affordable, vibrant and interconnected city for all.”2 At this TechTable we will be discussing the Mayor’s Digital Equity Initiative.
On Wednesday, we will be back in the San Francisco Bay Area for a TechTable with former U.S. CTO Todd Park. Park has recently transitioned to a new role in the administration and is now working on recruiting tech talent to Washington. Park’s tenure as CTO overlapped with the launches (both unsuccessful and successful) of Healthcare.gov. He and his team built the original successful version of the site and, while they did not build the version that failed in October 2013, Park was a member of the “trauma team” that successfully repaired and relaunched the site. During his time at the White House, Park also launched the Presidential Innovation Fellows, a 12 month program during which fellows “collaborate with each other and federal agency partners on high-profile initiatives aimed at saving lives, saving taxpayer money, fueling job creation, and building the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within government.”3 At this TechTable, we plan to discuss smarter IT delivery strategy in partnership with 18F and the U.S. Digital Service.
And finally, on Thursday, we take our TechTable online with a discussion, co-hosted by the Reinventors Network, to reinvent bipartisanship. This table will be anchored by Joan Blades, Co-Founder of LivingRoomConversations.org, MoveOn.org & MomsRising.org, and Jacob Hess, Co-Founder of Alloflife.org. The question we will address is: How do we heal the heart of our democracy and find ways to work together across America’s two party political divide?. Other confirmed participants include Rich Tafel, Founder & President of Public Squared, Jacqueline Salit, President of IndependentVoting.org, and Debilyn Molineaux, President of Coffee Party USA. This table will be live broadcast and accessible to anyone who would like to view the discussion. The conversation will begin at 11:00 AM PDT. Read more on the framework and sign up to watch here.
We are excited to see many of you at our TechTables this week. Looking forward to some great conversations!
1 About Mayor Murray. (n.d.) Office of the Mayor. Retrieved from http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/newsroom/about-mayor-murray
2 About Mayor Murray.
3 Presidential Innovation Fellows. (n.d.). The White House. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/innovationfellows
Todd Park. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Park#cite_note-buswk-15
Photo of Todd Park via http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/todd-park-testify-obamacare-white-house-99771.html
Photo of Mayor Ed Murray via http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/03/15-minimum-wage_n_4538302.html
Photos of Joan Blades and Jacob Hess via the Reinventors Network