Austin Tech Alliance’s 2017 in review

Austin Tech Alliance’s 2017 in review

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With 2017 drawing to a close, it’s time to look back at Austin Tech Alliance’s first full year.

Thanks to the help, hard work, and dedication of ATA’s members, we have a lot to celebrate, including:

Policy wins

Austin City Council voted to create a pilot project for autonomous delivery bots, an innovative means of solving last-mile challenges in a sustainable, forward-thinking way.

Austin City Council supported funding in the city budget to develop an affordable housing data hub, an Austin-born application that will allow residents to search for available affordable housing units based on their family’s needs, including proximity to schools, work, and transportation options.

Austin’s tech sector helped to kill the so-called bathroom bill. ATA organized a tech community letter in opposition to the bathroom bill, which garnered 433 signatures and was delivered in person to Gov. Greg Abbott, Speaker Joe Straus, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. We also walked the halls of the Capitol, speaking with legislators and staff about the importance of opposing discriminatory legislation — and broke down how you could show up, too.

Electoral wins

The ATA-endorsed Austin ISD bond passed with overwhelming margins, securing $55 million dedicated to district-wide technology upgrades and a down payment on the technological modernization of all AISD schools.

We broke down the 2017 ballot through events and reaching out to our members so employees in Austin’s tech sector were prepared and knew how the election would impact them.

Engagement wins 

ATA’s TechVotes initiative partnered with companies to register their employees to vote, provided access to nonpartisan voting resources developed by TechVotes and other community partners, and made it as easy as possible for every person employed in Austin’s tech sector to have their voice heard at the ballot box.

ATA worked with the City of Austin and U.S. Ignite to support and help judge the $38,000 challenge for local civic-minded developers interested in building gigabit speed applications.

Education wins

We hosted Tech Town Halls with Mayor Steve Adler and Council Members Alison Alter, Leslie Pool, Greg Casar, Ellen Troxclair, and Ora Houston. We organized lunch-and-learns with elected officials like Sen. Kirk Watson and County Judge Sarah Eckhardt to receive direct updates on issues such as the recent legislative sessions and Travis County bonds.

We held forums and community conversations around policy topics impacting tech employees and the tech sector, including immigration, CodeNEXT, transportation, and the bathroom bill — and ATA members received exclusive, regular updates via email.

Growth wins

ATA closed the year with more than 50 member companies and nearly a thousand individual members — proof that there is incredible appetite to build civic engagement into the core culture of Austin’s tech sector.

What’s on tap for 2018

Next year promises one of a kind opportunities for Austin Tech Alliance members to use your unique skillsets to tackle challenges affecting all of Austin and engage with the broader community.

If you haven’t joined ATA yet, now’s the moment. After all, ATA is a member-based nonprofit made up of the grassroots of Austin’s tech sector.

Becoming a member allows you to magnify your voice and make Austin the city of the future — while protecting the unique culture that attracts us here. Joining as a member company gives your employees the opportunity to help drive the direction of ATA and helps to build a culture of civic engagement in our tech community.

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