Sally Lieber, a longtime Silicon Valley legislator and current candidate for California Senate, has joined the SF Tech Dems advisory board. Lieber is a frequent Democratic speaker on technology issues, and was featured in the inaugural episode of Gov 2.0 Radio along with O’Reilly Media’s Tim O’Reilly. She talked to SF Tech Dems co-founder and president Adriel Hampton about the importance of political advocacy around tech issues in California and in local government.
“It’s vital that the voice of technology and that technology issues are in place in our City Halls and in the Capitol in Sacramento and not just in Washington, DC, which has been the case for many, many years. We are finding more and more that the community can be served much more efficiently if there is an understanding of basic tech issues within government. There are a tremendous number of opportunities where bills could be happening that could be beneficial to the community in terms of technology issues, but aren’t happening because there is not a real understanding of these issues within government.
“I’m very hopeful that the SF Tech Dems can help in promoting tech issues, can get two-way communication going between the community and officeholders and candidates, and can really help turn Government 2.0 into Policy 2.0, and bring the lessons learned within the tech community, and the way things are done in the tech community, into government for much better outcomes.”
Sally Lieber represented Silicon Valley in the Assembly for three terms, and also served as an councilwoman and mayor of Mountain View. She is well known as a feminist and a progressive. Hampton asked Lieber what kind of experience she brings to the table as an advisory board member for the Tech Dems.
“I really come out of Silicon Valley. I feel like I’ve been steeped in the tech issues for many, many years. When I served in local government, we were very involved in promoting tech issues, and in making sure that our high-tech companies in Silicon Valley felt they had a home base there and that they were well-supported and nurtured by the community. Many of them were very small companies which came right out of our downtown community in Mountain View. I really felt coming to Sacramento that there wasn’t that same focus on tech issues as there really should be, particularly when we are talking about San Francisco, the 8th largest economy in the world. There are so many opportunities where we can do things better in government, if there is basic understanding of how technology can be used to serve the community.
“We could do a much better job of bringing in ideas and crowdsourcing solutions for the problems we have as a state if we leverage the technology that is already out there in the consumer sector, and the communities of people who are already online, to come together, whether it is through camps or online organizing. That kind of organizing ought to be brought into government and utilized for the public good.”