We're proud to support Tech Votes Austin - a new organization in 2016 to motivate tech companies to get their employees registered to vote and participating in the process. And while most of the news is focused on the national election process, here in Austin the biggest benefit could be to get Tech as an industry more involved in the community and the political process as citizens with a point of view and a lens through which we see the world.
Techies tend to see problems as puzzles that need solving, and there are a few in Austin:
- Tech tends to vote at a lower turnout rate than you would expect - something that seems easily rectified. This has reduced our voice in policy decisions and it has meant that there's no tech representation on the City Council, per se.
- Tech's contributions to the economy and the city are probably under-estimated by those outside of tech - and sometimes by those inside of tech.? We're so busy doing our own thing we lose sight of the scale of what is going on around us!
- Tech's appreciation and engagement with the rest of the community sometimes suffers from our obsessive focus on building our startups and products and taking care of our customers. Sometimes we need to balance this with taking care of our communities.
- There are many local issues where the tech community could vastly improve the outcomes with our creativity and ingenuity.?
At BP3 and many other companies, we'll be expecting our team to take time out to vote, and we'll be making it easier by allowing anyone who votes to take the day off to do so.? I'd encourage every other employer, not just every other tech employer, to consider doing the same. It is past time for the tech community to fully participate in the process.?
When you see companies like BP3, WP Engine, Square Root, Capital Factory, Q2, HomeAway, Data.World, etc. in this list, you're in good company.? Thanks to the folks at Aceable for being first in the boat to get this started!
Go out and vote!