As an immigrant entrepreneur himself, Dan Berger wants so speak out against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. But first, the Social Tables CEO is going to confer with other #dctech executives.
In a recent interview with the Washington Business Journal, Berger discussed his plans to hold an invite-only town hall for area tech executives at which he hopes to discuss what should be done.
“We live in a city that the entire world is watching. I don’t think we can do so idly,” Berger told the WBJ. “I am not saying bring out the pitchforks but I am saying, ‘How can we get involved?'” The town hall is scheduled to take place Friday, Feb. 10.
From Berger’s side, there don’t seem to be any set plans or preconceived notions about what will come out of the meeting. From the WBJ profile:
Berger said he will meet with other tech executives and work out future plans for opposing the immigration order. Berger mentioned an open letter as a possibility.
“When we need innovation and special-skilled employees we should not be insular — we should be opening our doors. By not doing so we are doing the opposite of what is good for the well-being and future of this country,” Berger said.
Berger has been fairly politically vocal recently — in the days after Trump’s election he wrote a Medium post urging the #dctech and creative communities to stay put in the city.
In voicing concern about the immigration ban Berger is following a trend in the tech community — last weekend over 100 big-name tech companies (like Twitter, Uber, Apple and more) filed an amicus brief in a case brought by Minnesota and Washington state that is challenging Trump’s executive order. There was just one #dctech company name on the list — Mapbox. (Compare that to at least four in Brooklyn.)
Meanwhile, other area business leaders are taking a different line. Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank drew criticism for calling Trump “a real asset.” Plank wasn’t talking about Trump’s stance on immigration and refugees, rather he was discussing the president’s promise as a pro-business leader.
“To have such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country,” Plank said in an interview with CNBC. “People can really grab that opportunity.”
Under Armour released a statement responding to the resultant criticism on Wednesday. “At Under Armour, our culture has always been about optimism, teamwork, and unity,” the statement reads. “We engage in policy, not politics.”
Many believe, however, that it’s just not possible to separate the two.
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