On first day of September, Tech Action members turned out to support Julia Salazar in her campaign for State Senate. Julia’s a fellow NYC-DSA member who’s campaign recently solicited and adopted a “tech platform” developed by Tech Action members. Her campaign now includes tech policies like:
- Require that high-speed affordable internet access be made available to all New Yorkers, at the expense of the Internet Service Providers (cable companies), and I would provide State funding for the build-out of neutral, high-speed, publicly-owned and operated municipal/rural broadband infrastructure.
- Advocate for the rights of “gig” and contract workers by extending them collective bargaining rights, minimum wage, and other attendant protections and guarantees.
- Provide resources for the formation of “platform co-ops”: apps to compete with Uber, Seamless, or TaskRabbit, but owned and operated by the workers providing services through them, to avoid extractive and exploitative conditions for both workers and consumers.
- Help pass a modern NY-Electronic Communications & Privacy Act to reign in the electronic surveillance capabilities of law enforcement in conjunction with cable and social media companies.
- Ensure that technology companies contracting with NY State abide by standards of algorithmic transparency and data privacy (e.g. requiring open-source code and bias screening), so we can be sure that no New Yorker is paying taxes to be discriminated against or spied upon.
- Demand that tech companies pay their fair share in taxes. Instead of giving the tech industry tax breaks and incentives and getting little in return, these companies must contribute like the rest of us. We should then reinvest that money in public tech jobs, infrastructure, and tools that allow the State of New York to compete technologically with private companies and become self-reliant.
(See her campaign’s tech policy page for the full text of her position statement.)
Our canvas for Julia was a success not only for showing our support and helping to bring our politics to Albany; it was a chance to speak about our politics to new people in the neighborhoods of North Brooklyn, to talk about not just tech issues but all the issues NYC-DSA fights for like universal healthcare and universal rent control. For many it was their first time canvassing as well!
A bit more about Julia: she’s running for State Senate in District 18 (North Brooklyn) in the Democratic primary on September 13th. She was endorsed by the NYC-DSA chapter at our citywide convention last May, after a very enthusiastic and nearly unanimous vote among delegates. Since then she’s gotten the endorsement from the National DSA and from various other figures and organizations on the left: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Nixon, Our Revolution, and the Working Families Party to name just a few. To learn more about Julia’s campaign check out her recent interview on The Dig, this report in The Intercept, or this recent TV interview on NY1.