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Tech & Politics Speaker Series: Mark Strama, Google Fiber
September 6, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
This fall, Austin Tech Alliance is partnering with TX Votes to put together a speaker series called Tech & Politics on the first Thursday of every month on the campus of the University of Texas. This series will bring in speakers from the tech industry to speak about the importance of voting and civic engagement, especially as it relates to STEM. The program for the evening includes a short keynote, a fireside chat, and an audience Q&A. There will also be a booth to register to vote.
Our September speaker will be Mark Strama. Mark runs Google Fiber in the Western U.S. and served as a Texas State Representative for eight years.
This series is focused on engaging STEM students. UT Austin students pursuing STEM majors voted at rates about ten percent lower than the UT average of 56.5 percent. For example, students in Computer and Information Sciences fields of study voted at 45.2 percent, Engineering and Engineering Technologies voted at 43.5 percent, Mathematics and Statistics voted at 43.5 percent, and Physical Science voted at 44.5 percent. Biology and Biomedical sciences saw the highest turnout rate of any STEM field with 51.2 percent. This data comes from the 2016 National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement.
About TX Votes
TX Votes is a non-partisan student organization at the University of Texas at Austin that invites students campus wide to increase electoral participation and create more voters and better citizens. Each election cycle, TX Votes, in partnership with the Annette Strauss Institute, organizes and coordinates Get Out the Vote activities including registration booths, deputization sessions, and campus competitions. During off election cycles, TX Votes educates the UT community and engages in respectful and civil discourse on important issues. The STEM Committee of TX Votes has previously organized a voter registration drive in the GDC that registered a student to vote for every three minutes spent tabling.
About Austin Tech Alliance
Austin Tech Alliance is a non-partisan, member-based nonprofit with a mission to promote civic engagement in Austin’s tech sector. ATA focuses on educating the tech grassroots on policy issues that impact them; advocating for using tech as a tool to help solve civic challenges; and activating the tech sector to speak up, participate, and vote.
About Mark Strama
Mark is the Regional Director for Google Fiber in the Western U.S. Previously, he represented the north Austin area in the Texas House of Representatives. Mark received Honorable Mentions on Texas Monthly’s Ten Best Legislators list in three of his five sessions in the House. Texas Monthly said “Strama cares as much about others’ success as his own.”
Prior to running for public office, Mark founded the first company to enable Americans to fill out a voter registration form on the Internet – 700,000 people used this technology to register to vote in the 2000 election cycle. Earlier, Mark was Director of Programs at Rock the Vote, a non-partisan organization that works with MTV and the music industry to engage young people in the political process. He previously worked for former Texas Governor Ann Richards and Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis.