NYC Tech Sector Flexes Its Political Muscles in 2013 Mayoral Race

A fear among some in New York City's growing technology sector is what might happen if the next mayor is not as gung-ho about digital innovation as Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Sometimes described as "New York City's most successful tech entrepreneur," the mayor has been an advocate for "Silicon Alley." 

On his watch, established tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter have opened offices in New York City and hundreds of local startups like Tumblr, Foursquare and Seamless have become household names.

The Bloomberg administration put WiFi in parks and payphone kiosks, hired the city's first Chief Digital Officer and opened the Academy for Software Engineering, a public high school that offers computer programming classes. And the list goes on. 

The mayor also lured Cornell University to build an applied sciences graduate school on Roosevelt Island.

But as the mayor's time at City Hall runs out — Bloomberg has just over 300 days to go — the tech sector that relies on him is already working to secure a tech-friendly future once he's gone.

The New York Tech Meetup made news in January after it published a political platform of sorts: seven "policy goals" it would like to see the next mayor adopt.

Meanwhile, many tech entrepreneurs are putting money into the war chests of mayoral candidates like City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, though the donations are minuscule when compared with those coming from the titans of finance and real estate. 

This week on New Tech City, WNYC political reporter Anna Sale examines how Silicon Alley is lobbying New York's mayoral candidates and whether the politicians are taking notice.

Plus, host Manoush Zomorodi interviews Ben Coffey Clark, partner and head of business development at Bully Pulpit Interactive, a digital marketing and advertising agency, about why local politicians need digital campaign strategies.