Today I actually shut down one of my brands instead of opening a new one. Third Thursdays SF, the civic tech meetup series conjured up by Luke Fretwell and I over coffee late last year, is no more. There really isn't anything negative to say; Third Thursdays SF is going away so I can focus more fully on SF Tech Dems, a project I started just before joining NationBuilder in mid-May.
SF Tech Dems is meant to be a grassroots advocacy group weighing in on - and sometimes lobbying for - tech-related legislation in San Francisco and at the state and federal levels. We aim to organize tech enthusiasts and experts into a serious political force in the SF Bay Area. And I don't mean we're going to be about tax breaks for Big Tech or big name out-of-town endorsements for local politicians - I mean we're going to be a group of regular folks who get tech and how it should serve people and democratic institutions. We'll weigh in on everything from civil liberties issues to data center best practices and provide advice to local and state politicians on issues within our areas of expertise. SFTechDems.com is hosted on the NationBuilder platform, and, with its great advisory board and growing membership, I'm convinced it can be a significant organizing force for good.
If you want to get involved, you can become a dues-paying SF Tech Dems member here, or sign up for email updates here. Our current campaigns are for legislative standards for structured open data in SF and California, and for reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to ensure that Americans' private online information is not accessed without warrants.
Hope to see some of you at a Tech Dems meeting one of these days soon - who knows, maybe even on a Thursday.