Christine Quinn Unveils Ambitious Technology Agenda for NYC
In a presentation today before tech experts and entrepreneurs at the offices of General Assembly, City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn presented a series of new ideas and proposals for expanding New York City’s technology-based economy, improving New Yorkers’ interactions with city government, reducing the digital divide, and giving City residents the skills they need to compete for technology-based jobs of the future.
“The next mayor needs to have a plan and strategy for harnessing the booming technology industry to further advance New York City’s growing reputation as a center of innovation and technology; I have that plan.” said Quinn. “My plan as mayor taps into the assets we have, provides for a better trained workforce for New York’s technology industry, more fully incorporates technology and innovation into local government, and makes New York City even more attractive to technology entrepreneurs by making our city the most wired city in American by 2018.”
In her presentation today, Speaker Quinn laid out an ambitious set of ideas and plans for New York City, including:
• Creating mycityhall, a one-stop online account for each New Yorker to conduct his/her business with the City;
• Developing an Office of Innovation in City Hall and Chief Innovation Officer;
• Making New York City the Most Wired City in the US by 2018;
• Providing the support and tools tech companies need to locate and expand in New York through a tech company concierge; and
• Fostering children’s tech education from the beginning to end of their academic experience
“Technology has the power to transform our government, our schools and our economy,” continued Quinn. “Over the next four years we will radically improve the way government delivers services and engages with New Yorkers; make New York City the most connected, competitive, and innovative city in America; and invest in both students and educators to make sure we can compete as a source of qualiﬁed and unique tech talent.”
Presenting a new tool that will revolutionize the way that New Yorkers interact with the City, Speaker Quinn proposed a new, one-stop online portal that will allow New Yorkers to conduct all business with the City, in a customized fashion - from paying a water bill to registering a child for school to fighting a parking ticket. mycityhall will offer personalized information, benefits, and services and will provide a convenient tool for residents to access the services they need.
Office of Innovation and Chief Innovation Officer
The Ofﬁce of Innovation will engage in a top to bottom review of city government to look for ways of using technology to reduce costs and improve services. Innovators from the private sector will be tapped to staff the office and will provide leadership in important areas like data analytics, service design and delivery, and providing greater opportunity to local tech companies.
Most Wired City in the U.S.
A Special Commission on 5-Borough Connectivity will speed up the process of establishing high-speed broadband and wi-fi in communities across the city. The Commission will seek ways to increase internet connectivity for business looking to grow and create jobs, as well as provide lower income New Yorkers with access to 21st century technology tools.
Tech Company Concierge
This centralized resource for tech companies will connect business owners and entrepreneurs with the tools they need and help them access the space, capital and workforce they need for their businesses to grow.
Cradle to Career Tech Education
Recognizing the value of a strong education in technology, Speaker Quinn stressed the importance of ensuring students in elementary, middle, high school and beyond are taught technology skills. Speaker Quinn committed to putting computer science classes in every New York City high school coupled with a proposal to address a computer science teacher shortage, by providing targeted trainings for current teachers that will enable them to teach new computer science classes. Speaker Quinn also reaffirmed her commitment to advocating for adding computer science to the Common Core.
To get kids at every income level excited about computer science at a young age, Speaker Quinn committed to working with industry partners to create free summer tech training camps.
And to meet higher education needs, Speaker Quinn proposed expanding the successful Tech Apprentice Program, which partners tech employers with colleges to ensure industry needs are being taught and met. Speaker Quinn also announced a commitment to opening a new tech campus at the Brooklyn Navy Yard that will offer an Advanced Manufacturing Training Program.
Dawn Barber, an expert and leading advocate in the technology industry, stated, "In today's world it has become essential for government to embrace and integrate innovation and technology. Government needs to rethink the way it delivers services, supports the tech community and increases opportunities for citizens. Chris Quinn's commitment to the tech community today to do just that speaks volumes and sets the tone for the next 6 months."
Charlie O’Donnell, Partner at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, stated, “What I find most refreshing about Chris Quinn's views on tech is that she's a great listener to the needs of the tech community. I've been in active dialogue with her on tech topics for nearly four years. Chris understands the tech sector and its potential to transform the city. Under Chris' leadership I have no doubt the sector will have a voice and will continue to thrive."
In total, the proposals Speaker Quinn presented today could create as many as 75,000 new jobs by 2020. Speaker Quinn delivered the presentation at the offices of General Assembly, a company that provides technology education and co-working space in Manhattan. A number of leading tech industry companies and individuals were present at today’s address, including Jukay Hsu, Coalition for Queens; Charlie O’Donnell, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures; Pedro Torres Picon, Quotidian Ventures; and Roo Rogers, formerly of RedScout Ventures.