SUNNYVALE, CALIF.--Greetings from Silicon Valley. White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) hosts a townhall meeting Wednesday afternoon at Google's headquarters in Mountain View. He'll unveil his "innovation agenda" LINK and then head north for fund-raising in San Francisco.
( One stop for a low-dollar funder is at the Bill Graham auditorium, named after the legandary rock concert promoter from the Joplin, Jefferson Airplane era).
On the Google front--Google has hosted six other Democratic and Republican candidates, including Obama chief rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). Obama will stress his backing for "network neutrality," a big internet issue in Congress, pledge to appoint a Technology czar and express his hope the next Google is made in the U.S.A.
OBAMA UNVEILS INNOVATION AGENDA AT GOOGLE
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – At a town hall meeting today at Google headquarters, U.S. Senator Barack Obama will unveil an innovation agenda that will connect and empower Americans through technology. The comprehensive plan will ensure the full and free exchange of information by protecting the openness of the internet and encouraging diversity in media ownership, create a transparent and connected democracy by opening up government to its citizens, modernize our communications infrastructure, employ technology and information to take on the challenges facing America, and improve our nation’s competitiveness.
Excerpts from Obama’s prepared remarks are below:
“Together, we could open up government and invite citizens in, while connecting all of America to 21st century broadband. We could use technology to help achieve universal health care, to reach for a clean energy future, and to ensure that young Americans can compete – and win – in the global economy. If America recommits itself to science and innovation, we can lead the world to a new future of productivity and prosperity. That’s what we can do if we seize this moment."
“I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality. Because once providers start to privilege some applications or web sites over others, then the smaller voices get squeezed out, and we all lose. The Internet is perhaps the most open network in history. We have to keep it that way.”
“To seize this moment, we have to use technology to open up our democracy. It’s no coincidence that one of the most secretive Administrations in history has favored special interests and pursued policies that could not stand up to sunlight. As President, I’ll change that. I’ll put government data online in universally accessible formats. I’ll let citizens track federal grants, contracts, earmarks, and lobbyist contacts. I’ll let you participate in government forums, ask questions in real time, offer suggestions that will be reviewed before decisions are made, and let you comment on legislation before it is signed. And to ensure that every government agency is meeting 21st century standards, I’ll appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer.”
“We need to make sure that the next success story – the next Google – happens here in America. The Google story is about what can be achieved when we cultivate new ideas and keep the playing field level for new businesses. But it’s also about not settling for what we’ve achieved. It’s about constantly raising the bar so that we’re more competitive, and so we use technology to reach ever-expanding horizons…The promise and prosperity of our new economy must not become the property of the few, it must be a force that lifts up our entire country, and that lifts up the world.”
Obama's innovation agenda would:
I. Ensure the Full and Free Exchange of Information through an Open Internet and Diverse Media Outlets
· Protect the Openness of the Internet
· Encourage Diversity in Media Ownership
· Protect Our Children While Preserving the First Amendment
· Safeguard Our Right to Privacy
II. Create a Transparent and Connected Democracy
· Open Up Government to its Citizens
· Bring Government into the 21st Century
III. Deploy a Modern Communications Infrastructure
· Deploy Next-Generation Broadband
IV. Employ Technology and Innovation to Solve Our Nation’s Most Pressing Problems
· Lower Health Care Costs by Investing in Electronic Information Systems
· Invest in Climate-Friendly Energy Development and Deployment
· Upgrade Education to Meet the Needs of the 21st Century
· Create New Jobs
· Modernize Public Safety Networks
V. Improve America’s Competitiveness
· Invest in the Sciences
· Make the R & D Tax Cut Permanent
· Reform Immigration
· Promote American Businesses Abroad
· Ensure Competitive Markets
· Protect American Intellectual Property Abroad
· Protect Intellectual American Property at Home
· Reform the Patent System
A link to the full innovation agenda is available here.