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Environment / Federal government / Politics

Why Donna Harris thinks the Trump administration could be good for #dctech

The cofounder of 1776 laid out her thinking in a recent interview with Kojo Nnamdi.

Inside 1776 in Crystal City. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

Donald Trump may not have been popular among the D.C. electorate (lol, that’s an understatement), but now that he’s President there’s an argument to be made that he might prove positive for the local tech ecosystem.

This is an argument that 1776 cofounder, and soon-to-depart co-CEODonna Harris makes in a recent interview on the Kojo Nnamdi show. On issues of regulation as well as from the perspective of all the Obama admin tech talent that’s now out hunting for new gigs, Harris sees a potential local upside coming from the new administration. As she tells Nnamdi:

There’s a lot of fear and uncertainty and hand-wringing, because it’s hard to separate how people feel about Donald Trump as a person and his campaign versus what his presidency will do. But if you think about his stance on regulation, if he can actually repeal some of the parts of Dodd-Frank and unlock some of the small business funding, that could have a huge impact positively on the ecosystem. Talent-wise, there’s an enormous outflow of talent from the Obama administration that has been exposed to start-ups quite heavily the last four years, so you can imagine many of them will stay in DC – we hope – and get involved in civic tech opportunities, which could be great for the community. It’s hard to say one way or the other, but all in, I would lean toward a positive impact on the community.

The interview goes on, but these seem to be the two main points. Listen to, or read, the whole interview here.

The question of what the Trump presidency will mean for #dctech has been circling since the election, and takes new urgency now that the inauguration is behind us. Harris’ hopeful take is certainly heartening to read. That said, we’re curious how other members of the community see this question.

Will the Trump administration be good for #dctech? Why or why not? We want to hear from youtweet us or comment below.

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