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Ron Conway Rallies Tech Community To Support New Lobbying Group Sandy Hook Promise

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, January 14 2013

A new non-profit lobbying group formed by several members of the Newtown, Connecticut community is launching Monday with the help of the technology community in Silicon Valley.

The group is called Sandy Hook Promise, and its launch marks the one-month anniversary of the shooting of 20 children, four teachers and two school administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary. For now, the group's newly-launched Web page says that the group's purpose is to both support the families of the victims, and also to "prevent tragedies like this from happening again." The site doesn't list specific policy goals, but several of the group's leaders, who are parents of some of the slain students, are holding a press conference at 11 a.m. in Newtown.

Silicon Valley angel investor Ron Conway is spearheading the local tech community's efforts to support the group through social media. Conway, through his own local civic engagement group SF Citi, sent out a note over the week-end to the group's member companies calling on them to post badges on their Web sites linking to Sandy Hook Promise. The site is then building its list by asking visitors to sign a pledge to do everything they can to "encourage and support common sense solutions" to make the country safer from similar acts of violence. Members have also been asked to send out tweets with the hashtag #sandyhookpromise.

Conway also announced that he's establishing a committee to find tech solutions to gun safety. SF Citi has more than 320 members, which include AT&T, Autodesk, Expedia, Foursquare, Optimizingly, Twlillio, Twitter, and dozens of others.

Pando Daily Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sarah Lacy had back story behind Conway's involvement in December, writing: "Last year’s SOPA and JOBS Act fights showed a new catalyzing of the startup ecosystem’s political power. Conway wants this fight — which doesn’t have to do with boosting anyone’s bank account or financial prospects — to be the biggest thing Washington has seen from our community yet."

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