Building a Productive Partnership Between Tech and the Progressive Community

Building a Productive Partnership Between Tech and the Progressive Community

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Saturday, Jun. 22 6:00 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Jun. 22 7:15 PM (Eastern)

Tech entrepreneurs are natural Democrats, but they come to their political positions from a different path from most progressives. While it should be good news that the tech politics startups coming out of the energy of SOPA and PIPA are often run by progressives, miscommunications about core tech community values such as openness and transparency threaten what should be a natural partnership. As campaigns become increasingly data-driven, it is critical for the progressive community to understand technology, technology policy, and the tech community’s culture. The more effective the communication, the better-positioned progressives will be for future victories. This panel will present tech issues in light of progressive goals and initiatives. Working together, progressives and technology leaders have a unique opportunity to promote a suite of shared values from government transparency to equal rights. Attendees will have an opportunity to hear from and engage with panelists at the forefront of this movement.

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Sarah Lai Stirland


Sarah Lai Stirland writes about innovations in technology, governance, advocacy and politics, for, a blog of Personal Democracy Media headquartered in New York City. Recent highlights of her work include a profile of the mobile software canvassing startup Organizer, an interview with California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom on his new book Citizenville, and an in-depth profile of how and why some Silicon Valley Libertarians have lobbied against gun control. Based in San Francisco, Lai Stirland has written for, POLITICO, National Journal, Talking Points Memo,, and the original Red Herring. She grew up in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

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Catherine Bracy


Catherine Bracy runs Code for America’s international program. Until November 2012, she was a product manager and director of the Obama campaign’s technology office in San Francisco. She also did outreach to the tech community for Tech4Obama. Prior to joining the campaign, she ran the Knight Foundation’s 2011 News Challenge and before that was the administrative director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

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Gina Cooper


Gina Cooper is an expert in online civic engagement and founder of Cooper Strategies. She is also the founder and past CEO of Netroots Nation. Under her tenure, Netroots Nation hosted such luminaries as President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid and many others.

Cooper is motivated by a vision of what can be accomplished when citizens are brought together via technology for civic engagement. Her approach to online politics has become a cornerstone of modern civic engagement.

Cooper has advised many groups, from grassroots initiatives to governments, on how to best use technology to connect with the people they represent. She has been featured as an expert in online civic engagement in the US, Europe and Asia.

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Kristine Gloria

Kristine is the Communications Director for PolitiHacks where she works to ensure and to promote start-up initiatives and values on all levels of American politics. Kristine has a long history in public service as well as industry experience working for Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft and AMD. Currently, Kristine is also pursuing her doctorate at the Tetherless Constellation Lab at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Not surprisingly, Kristine’s research falls at the intersection of technology, policy, and social cognitive development.

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