Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Sheryl Sandberg Endorses Christine Quinn for New York City Mayor

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, August 16 2013

Quinn on an LIC Tech Tour in June with Jukay Hsu and CM Jimmy van Bramer (Coalition for Queens/Facebook)

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is endorsing Christine Quinn for mayor of New York City, the Quinn campaign announced today, as the current City Council Speaker outlined her plans to promote the growth of the city's technology sector with investments in Long Island City, Queens.

"With some smart investments and planning, Long Island City will help lead the way in making New York City the next tech capital of the world,” Quinn said in a statement, emphasizing the importance of expanding workforce training and improving transportation "to lay the foundation for the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs."

Specifically, Quinn is proposing to connect the neighborhoods of Roosevelt Island, site of the planned Cornell/Technion technology campus, Long Island City and DUMBO, site of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, with Wi-Fi equipped bus service and to establish a new Select Bus route between those areas and Manhattan.

She also proposes to establish Long Island City's first tech incubator for tech entrepreneurs and businesses to offer low-cost, flexible office space for "homegrown" tech companies in the city, giving priority to companies affiliated with the Cornell/Technion campus.

In addition, Quinn plans to work with established technology companies to build a Techforce1 center that would provide training and support for emerging companies and new workers. That project would mirror what she says was the successful creation of a Workforce1 center focused on the manufacturing industry.

In the announcement, Quinn also emphasizes expanding the CUNY Tech Apprenticeship Program and Access to Code programs. The CUNY TAP program aims to train students in advanced job-specific programming skills and offer them apprenticeship and internship opportunities at New York City companies, while the Coaltion for Queens' Access Code program aims to teach coding skills to women, minorities and immigrants. For the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years, the Coalition for Queens received $65,000 in City Council funding for a workforce development program bringing tech education to CUNY campuses.

In addition to Sandberg, the Quinn campaign also announced support from other members of the technology community including Dawn Barber, co-founder of the NY Tech Meetup, Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and co-CEO of Birchbox, Ryan Davis, VP Community of Vocativ, Jukay Hsu, the founder of the Coalition for Queens, Paul Murphy, investor and entrepreneur at Betaworks, Charlie O'Donnell, partner at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures and Leanne Pittsford, co-founder of Lesbians Who Tech.

Quinn's proposals today build on the tech policy items she has announced previously as part of her campaign and as part of a recent video discussion session with the NY Tech Meetup.

"We're really still in a real estate EDC mindset," she said in that discussion, referring to the Economic Development Corporation. "One of the things I want to do is break open EDC to the 21st century economies that are going to diversify New York."

Her campaign has also emphasized technology to reach out to voters, from releasing a mobile app to spending money on Facebook advertising.

Last year, the Coalition for Queens worked with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's New York City Regional Economic Development Council to incorporate Queens tech companies and the area's start-up community into the state's long-term planning, and the group is urging Cuomo to make the borough the site of a business incubator and an Innovation Hot Spot.

Hsu and other members of the technology community are also hosting an event in support of Reshma Saujani, a candidate for New York City Public Advocate and founder of Girls Who Code. However, Seth Barron, a writer for City and State, which covers New York state and city government, recently expressed some skepticism about the program's ambitions.

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

GO

tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

GO

monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

GO

The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

GO

More