Silicon Valley Launches Chapter Program

Posted by on October 17, 2014.

On Wednesday, FWD.us Silicon Valley launched its new chapter program, inviting community members to get involved in project teams to hack advocacy and bring tech and politics together. An inspiring mixture of engineers, immigration advocates, startup founders, and special guests from the Mountain View City Council and Representative Mike Honda's office gathered to kick start the new chapter.Break_out_blog_photo.png

FWD.us organizers Katie Aragón and Andrew Moriarty kicked things off at Microsoft Sunnyvale, introducing the three new projects for FWD.us members: The 2.0 Project, Co-Founders Project, and Democracy Project.

Moriarty excitedly explained his goals for the chapter program: "We want this chapter to be the home for tech and politics in Silicon Valley – the place where anyone who wants to be part of the political process can come and work on big, tough problems."

Aragón added, "We want to empower our members to get their hands dirty and approach traditional advocacy with their unique skills as leaders and employees in the tech community."

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"One of the most exciting things we learned tonight is that most attendees had never been involved in a political organization before," said Aragón. "This speaks to the existing divide between Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., and it underscores the need and interest of our community to be politically engaged."

FWD.us Ambassadors Prabhakar Goyal, Avinash Conda, Antonio Altamirano, and Rebecca Altamirano introduced themselves and empowered the crowd to share their stories, get involved, and become advocates.  

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Attendees discussed the political issues most relevant to the tech community, highlighting the urgent need for an innovative solution to our broken immigration system. Raphaël Mazet, founder of a Silicon Valley-based startup CliqStart, discussed how personal this issue is to him, saying, "I'm an immigrant and I want to live the American Dream. America needs to capitalize on immigrants who are anxious to create American jobs."

Priya Murthy, the Policy and Organizing Program Director at Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN), talked about what motivates her to work on immigration, adding "Regardless of how you got here, how much much you make and where you're from... everyone should have access to the American Dream." 

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"It's clear that bringing Silicon Valley together is really going to catalyze the possibilities for making real change happen," said Moriarty. Find your FWD.us chapter here, and start making an impact today. 

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