Philly mayoral candidates talk tech

 Pictured counterclockwise are Philadelphia mayoral candidates Lynne Abraham, Jim Kenney, Doug Oliver, Nelson Diaz, and Senator Anthony Hardy Williams, speaking at a Philly Tech Week Event held Monday at the Free Library of Philadelphia (Stephanie Aaronson/The Next Mayor)

Pictured counterclockwise are Philadelphia mayoral candidates Lynne Abraham, Jim Kenney, Doug Oliver, Nelson Diaz, and Senator Anthony Hardy Williams, speaking at a Philly Tech Week Event held Monday at the Free Library of Philadelphia (Stephanie Aaronson/The Next Mayor)

Candidates for mayor of Philadelphia are promising four more years of open, data-driven governance.

Speaking to a crowd at Philly Tech Week’s Mayoral Forum on Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Jim Kenney said he would appoint leaders in city government who are willing to bring  innovation to their departments and also be more transparent with public records.

“I think what government needs to do is to make the information and the data as accessible as possible, so that you folks can then manipulate and synthesize it and figure out what it means, and then contribute to our process in delivering services and saving money,” he said.

Candidates Doug Oliver and Nelson Diaz spoke Monday night about the need to bring more technology into classrooms.

Lynne Abraham told the audience gathered  in the Free Library that, if elected, she would push government agencies to be more interconnected, while Anthony Williams’ plan to grow the city’s startup economy centers on less government involvement.

“We are at the embryonic stages of the explosions we will see in Philadelphia if we do this right. And the first thing you should want of us, who is going to be mayor, is to get out the way — get out of the way — cause we will screw it up,” said Williams.

He’s backing a municipal banking plan that would give new ventures, including minority-owned businesses, more access to early-stage capital.

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