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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

SF Techie Launches Grassroots Campaign to Mobilize Techies

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 4:45 PM

click to enlarge TechiesWhoVote logo - RANDY BRASCHE
  • Randy Brasche
  • TechiesWhoVote logo
Ask any political wonk who runs the tech lobby in San Francisco, and he'll cite all the usual suspects: Sean Parker, whose $2.46 million in political contributions dwarfed those of any other donor; Ron Conway, who pushed the 2011 Twitter tax break, buttressed Ed Lee's mayoral campaign, and rewarded Assembly candidate David Chiu for his recent appeasement of Airbnb; the Mayor himself, who has earned a reputation for coddling tech companies; Supervisor David Chiu, Attorney General Kamala Harris... 

The list goes on. And on.

Nonetheless, tech worker Randy Brasche saw a gap in the political effort. Techies might have the ear of bigwigs, but they don't have their own purse-strapped, go-it-alone, grassroots campaign. You know, the equivalent to a Google bus protest, or an anti-eviction group, or something.

So Brasche decided to start one.
His website TechiesWhoVote.com purports to represent all the commuters who've been bedeviled by bus blockades, or unfairly blamed for San Francisco's livability issues, or made to feel "politically clueless and disengaged." It's currently a one-man operation, but Brasche says he's trying to speak for a collective techie point of view. 

And his endorsements for today's election fall in line with Parker and Conway's donations: Yes to David Chiu, yes to transportation bond Proposition A (and to Scott Wiener's Measure B, which doesn't have any venture capital behind it), yes to raising the minimum wage.

Brasche says he's content to run the site by himself for now, but in keeping with the tech sensibility, he also has loftier aspirations. He's been meeting with Google and other companies to try and amass their support, and he hopes to grow a membership base in 2015.

And he describes the site in startup vernacular. "I'm a Series A," he told the Weekly, using a term for a company that hasn't yet completed its first round of funding.

Perhaps he'll graduate to "PAC" by the time the 2015 election roles around.


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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Bio:
Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.

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