New Tech City? Smart Cities, Tech-Driven Development and Creating the Communities We Want

New Tech City? Smart Cities, Tech-Driven Development and Creating the Communities We Want

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Jul. 12 4:30 PM

Ends: Friday, Jul. 12 5:30 PM

Room: 115A

The tech sector is expanding its influence over the built environments of our cities large and small and far beyond Silicon Valley with major implications for democracy, privacy, racial justice and safety for communities of color, public goods, and economic equity. Communities, advocates, and policymakers are responding by building new coalitions and developing new strategies. In this conversation, organizers, advocates, and technologists will examine Google’s Sidewalk Labs project in Toronto, Amazon’s HQ2 project, and the mega-campuses of multiple firms in Silicon Valley to share insights about how we can seize opportunities in the face of change to expand democracy, secure accountability and win shared prosperity for all of our communities.

Moderator

Mariah Montgomery

Mariah Montgomery

Mariah leads the Partnership’s national campaign to win just and equitable infrastructure in our cities and break corporate control of our politics and economy. Before joining the Partnership, Mariah was the deputy campaign director for retail initiatives at the Change to Win (CtW) labor federation and spent five years developing research and strategy with SEIU in Southern California. She grew up in rural central Pennsylvania and currently lives in Brooklyn.

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Panelists

Kumsa Baker

Kumsa Baker

Since getting involved in the labour movement organizing for a union at his workplace, Rogers Centre a.k.a the Skydome, Kumsa Baker has been an advocate for decent work and equitable employment opportunities for all in Toronto.

In 2015, Kumsa joined the Research Department at his Hospitality and Food Service worker union, UNITE HERE, supporting key campaigns across North America. He has also organized with the Toronto 15 & Fairness Campaign who were successful in organizing for and winning major changes and improvements to the outdated Ontario Employment Standards Act. In 2017, Kumsa was recognized for his advocacy being selected for the 2017 Young Workers Award by the Ontario Federation of Labour.

Kumsa currently works as Campaigns Manager with the Toronto Community Benefits Network, supporting Toronto neighbourhoods in organizing for fairer economies and equitable, local economic development through Community Benefits Agreements


Maria Noel Fernandez

maria.noel.fernandez

Maria Noel brings over a decade of organizing experience to the movement for a just economy. As Deputy Executive Director, she overseas Working Partnerships USA’s organizing, communications, and operations departments, building coalitions and community power to win groundbreaking change for working families.

She is the campaign director for Silicon Valley Rising, a coordinated regional effort that’s inspiring an inclusive tech-driven economy. So far, the SVR campaign has helped over 5,500 service workers in the tech industry organize for better wages and a voice at work.

As Working Partnerships USA’s organizing director from 2014 to 2017, Maria Noel was instrumental in developing organizing and campaign strategies that won a $15/hr minimum wage in eight Silicon Valley cities, the first-in-the-nation Opportunity to Work ballot initiative, and other policies that are improving the lives of working people and their families. She led the organization’s non-partisan civic engagement programs that are building a strong grassroots base of low-income voters of color in Silicon Valley.

Previously, she worked with the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council on successful issue campaigns to raise the minimum wage, pass a general tax for county safety net services, and more. She was district director for the previous California State Speaker Pro Tempore and joined that office after spending three years as a community organizer through Sacred Heart Community Service’s policy and organizing department where she led successful campaigns to protect senior services, defend immigrant rights and increase resources for the most underserved areas of San Jose.

She also spent three years teaching English and Social Studies in Bogota, Colombia after having spent several years working for then-City of San Jose Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez.

Maria Noel lives in south San Jose with her husband, son Tadeo and her dog Rocco. She is a board member of the National Partnership for Working Families.

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Marley Pulido

Marley Pulido

Marley Pulido is a Director of Worker Resources and Training at Coworker.org where he organizes with tech workers at the intersection of socially responsible tech and worker’s rights.

Marley’s movement work has been broad and impactful: He’s managed a binational advocacy program to help ease U.S. trade restrictions on Cuba, led crucial voter engagement and partnership development work in several electoral cycles in Virginia, and built local campaigns to fight wage theft.

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