In order to highlight Austin Tech Alliance’s growing membership of individuals who support our mission to promote civic engagement in Austin’s tech sector, this is a regular feature profiling members of ATA.
Up now: Trevor Theunissen.
Introduce yourself and where you work in Austin’s tech sector.
My name is Trevor Theunissen and I’m a Senior Manager at Uber where I oversee public policy and communications across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. I am also responsible for Uber’s engagement with Attorneys General around the country. My wife and I are originally from Louisiana, and we’ve been in Austin for two years.
What do you love about Austin?
Austin has its own unique identity and culture, a delicious variety of food and a great music scene. People don’t move to Austin simply for its economic opportunities, but to live in an environment where people are authentic, friendly, and focused on creating a better future where the past is never far behind.
It’s also a family orientated place. My wife and I had our first son here and have another baby on the way, and Austin has been an amazing city to start a family.
What do you think are the community’s biggest challenges?
As the city’s population continues to grow, we need to work together to expand options for multimodal transportation to help people (and stuff) get from point A to B without putting more strain on the environment, more cars on the roads, or relying on taxpayers to foot the bill.
I am very passionate about transportation and transit and Austin is at the forefront of trying to solve some of these challenges. Transportation, affordable housing and access to jobs are all intrinsically linked, and we must think about all of these issues together, instead of trying to solve them in silos.
Why is it important for the tech community to become more civically engaged?
Lawmakers and the people they serve often look to the tech community to solve today’s complex challenges, and to help them succeed we need to be a part of the process from the beginning. Most policy decisions aren’t made in a vacuum, they take time, participation and require people to show up and do the hard work.
However, if the tech community doesn’t show up and demand a seat at the table, these decisions will get made without us.