Where Baltimore's tech scene fits in to the 2016 mayoral election - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Apr. 25, 2016 1:00 pm

Where Baltimore’s tech scene fits in to the 2016 mayoral election

Find out where the candidates stand on tech issues, and where they showed up. And don't forget to vote on April 26.
Mayoral candidates at Impact Hub Baltimore in January.

Mayoral candidates at Impact Hub Baltimore in January.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

It’s the home stretch of the mayor’s race in Baltimore, as early voting is in the books and the primary is set for Tuesday, April 26.

The votes themselves will be cast with old-fashioned paper ballots instead of the touchscreen machines from last time around, but the campaign has still touched tech in multiple ways.

Elections always start with getting folks to the polls, and the Bmore Vot.es campaign has been looking to encourage businesses to give their employees time to exercise their civic duty.

Earlier this year, we asked the Democratic candidates about their views on a variety of tech issues.

Here’s how they responded.

Public forums also provided a place to explore the platforms. Bmore Vot.es and the LEAD Initiative held a gathering at Groove to watch a livestream one of the forums sponsored by City Paper and the Open Society Institute. Candidates also got together at Impact Hub and at MICA for an arts-and-culture focused session. Once again, selfies revealed their power to overcome competitive differences.

If you’re looking to dig deep before heading to the polls, many of the events are available streaming from CityExplainer. On Facebook, the Baltimore Election forum has also been a prime place to share ideas.

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The race was largely defined as a contest to determine who could best set a new course for Baltimore’s future, so it’s fitting that tech was part of the campaign conversation.

If you read the national news, you know about DeRay Mckesson’s efforts to turn Twitter followers into voters, use of crowdfunding and support from Silicon Valley tech titans. The Black Lives Matter activist also Periscoped a number of meet-and-greets.

Other candidates have been interacting in the tech space, too. Here are a few sightings around town, wherein we offer the disclaimer that just because a candidate visited a space doesn’t mean that the space or its staff are endorsing that candidate:

  • Before the January forum, State Sen. Catherine Pugh stopped by Impact Hub Baltimore’s opening in December.
  • David Warnock took time out from his 276-neighborhood tour to speak before a panel on education at Mindgrub’s headquarters in Locust Point.
David Warnock speaks on the future of education at Mindgrub.

David Warnock speaks on the future of education at Mindgrub. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

  • In March, Elizabeth Embry held a Saturday afternoon meet-and-greet at Betamore.

  • Patrick Gutierrez looked to connect with the startup community as he visited Emerging Technology Centers and Betamore.
  • We also started picturing new tech spaces when Calvin Young talked about creating incubators in the city’s many vacant properties. City Paper highlighted his proposals.
  • And even though he exited the race early, we’ll note that Nick Mosby spoke at GlamTech in March.

See any other candidates mingling with the tech scene? Let us know in the comments.

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