Menlo Park – Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, (D-San Mateo) and San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum hosted Connect14 – Strengthening Communities through Technology, at Facebook headquarters today.
Connect14 is the second annual citizen engagement and technology conference designed to inspire the leaders of San Mateo County, in the heart of Silicon Valley, to embrace technology and social media for the purpose of increasing public participation and involvement in government. The focus of this year’s conference is the communities that will be strengthened by use of technology, including local government, schools, non-profits – and the constituents these communities impact.
“Our goal is to encourage government to embrace technology and use the opportunities to better serve the public,” said Assemblymember Mullin, “Technology has given us the tools to connect with our constituency in ways we didn’t dream about. If there is one community whose government embraces and promotes the use of technology, it has to be here in San Mateo County. We need to be on the proverbial cutting edge.”
Government, education, non-profit and industry leaders gathered at Facebook for the day-long event. Through a series of panels and keynote presentations, attendees learned about the challenges that exist in San Mateo County for those that are not wired, how to maximize social media tools, how to develop a digital communications strategy, and witnessed demonstrations of best practice models for engaging community through technology. The Redwood City Police Department and Chief JR Gamez were recognized with the Connect Award for setting the standard through the Department’s innovative use of social media and technology.
“Several years ago, Kevin and I dreamed of holding a conference that would gather local leaders together to talk about citizen engagement, and democracy so that together we could chart new paths forward,” said Supervisor Warren Slocum. “This conference is a realization of that dream. We are gathering to learning different strategies to communicate, connect and engage using the tools of today. We are fortunate to live in interesting times at the epicenter of technology that is changing the entire world.”