With Philly’s mayoral and City Council election season in full swing, there seems to be a forum happening on every corner, for every niche and community. Coming up soon, this year’s Philly Tech Week presented by Comcast will have one, too, focused on our own: WURD Radio’s forum on the future of tech and innovation in the city.
WURD, the only Black-owned and -operated talk radio station in Pennsylvania, will host a mayoral forum focused on “Inclusion, Innovation and Philadelphia’s Future” from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9 at the University City Science Center’s Quorum.
Ashanti Martin, general manager at WURD, said the discussion will focus on what the mayoral candidates think technological innovation and growth should look like in Philadelphia and how they will ensure that growth is inclusive, if they become the next mayor. This includes how these candidates see education as a way to prepare the city’s youth for the future. The forum will also touch on how tech companies drive job growth, and how local government can make sure Black Philadelphians have access to high-paying, high-growth jobs.
“This forum is an opportunity to step back and say, how are you as the chief executive of Philadelphia going to take a long view thinking about Philadelphia’s future,” Martin said. “Thinking about growth is always going to be a future-focused conversation. So we want to be at the center of making sure that, and that’s why we’re calling it ‘Philadelphia’s Future,’ and making sure that Black Philadelphians are included and even centered in conversations about technological growth.”
All of the candidates running except for Amen Brown are currently confirmed to attend the event. Martin said she would like to learn new information from each candidate about how they plan to expand innovation, technology and education in Philadelphia. She would also like to hear the candidates acknowledge the challenges Black founders face, including the disparities in investments.
“We really especially invite Philly’s tech community, especially Philly’s Black tech community as well as Philly’s venture capital community,” Martin said. “We definitely want them to be in the room to hear this.”Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
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