Mayoral candidates talk tech issues at Monday night forum

 At Monday night's forum, mayoral candidate Nelson Diaz said tax reform could help draw venture capital into the city. (Stephanie Aaronson/via The Next Mayor partnership)

At Monday night's forum, mayoral candidate Nelson Diaz said tax reform could help draw venture capital into the city. (Stephanie Aaronson/via The Next Mayor partnership)

Members of Philadelphia’s tech scene packed a Free Library Central Branch auditorium for the chance to hear from the candidates during Monday night’s Philly Tech Week Mayoral Forum on Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The event featured a fast pace (two minutes per candidate for a “high-level picture of their platform” and 10 minutes to field questions from both a three-person panel and via Twitter) and answers of both vague and prepared varieties.

NinetyNine stopped by to Tweet from the event.

The highlights? Jim Kenney calling out online trolls who hide behind “disrespect and anonymity,” Doug Oliver likening his “bootstrap” mayoral-run approach to that of tech startups, Tony Williams discussing “Black Girls Rock,” Lynne Abraham citing the need to get police officers technologically up to speed and Nelson Diaz throwing shade at paying bills any way but online (and at his fellow candidates).

Our good friends over at Technical.ly Philly posted a savvier, quick-hit breakdown.

It’s a testament to the Philadelphia tech scene and its growing power that nearly all the candidates spoke at the event, which focused on a niche outside of most of the candidates’ comfort zones. (Here’s our story on how tech-savvy the candidates seemed on paper, from back in December.) The one Democratic candidate who did not show was Milton Street.

It wasn’t a debate, but if we had to choose a winner, we would go with former Councilman Jim Kenney (with Doug Oliver coming in second). When it was Kenney’s turn to speak, he jumped straight into the importance of open data. It showed he knew his audience and that he had prepared. As the race’s progressive candidate, this isn’t entirely surprising.

Check out Technical.ly’s full story via this link. Also on hand was the Daily News.

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