How can the City support the continued growth and success of Austin’s tech sector?

Rich DePalma

City Council, District 8

IT has evolved from standing for Information Technology to now being Innovation and Technology. I believe that redefining the field allows for greater accessibility and collaboration between Public and Private sectors to leverage technology to innovate and solve problems that we may not know even exist yet. We should embrace new innovation, seek to understand and implement, and not over-govern so as to protect free thought and innovation.

Austin should pave the way in transforming our government and community to be part of the 21st century. As already evident, we generally welcome new ideas and stakeholders. SXSWi is a great example of how we embrace our role in this sector – we don’t just put on a big event, but participate in it as a municipality – both to share and receive new ideas, innovative solutions, and develop new relationships.

In addressing our city’s inequities, I feel that it is important to have high expectations of the companies that we do business with – that they will commit to being part of our city and improving it with us rather than for us. For this to happen, we need a greater emphasis on outreach and community collaboration, education and programming. City needs to publicly discuss challenges and be receptive and inviting of the solutions and economic development that might come with that. In turn we also need to adapt and provide the resources and a strong infrastructure that will sustain our tech sector to prevent a future bust or collapse in the