Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., are literally on opposite sides of the U.S. And most of the time, figuratively, too. When it comes to immigration reform, however, many politicians and entrepreneurs are on the same team.
Scores of heavy hitting politicians, including the New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and innovative tech leaders, including Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and Mashable founder Pete Cashmore, will voice their support for immigration reform online today. The goal of the virtual demonstration, called the March for Innovation, is to bring attention to the need for visas for highly-skilled workers into the U.S. The tagline of the movement is: “It’s a no brainer to keep and attract brainpower in America.”
The virtual march comes the day after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to move forward the immigration reform proposal from the so-called ‘Gang of Eight,’ a step in the legislative process being cheered by advocates.
Entrepreneurs care about immigration reform because of the difficulty in hiring skilled engineers to staff tech-startups. Politicians care about it because both Democrats and Republicans want to secure the Latino vote for the next election season. Here is a list of some of the biggest players in both categories who have pledged their support to the bipartisan group organizing the march, the Partnership for a New American Economy, according to Alex Katz, spokesperson for the association.
- New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
- Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group
- Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez
- Jon Carson, executive director of Organizing for Action
- Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
- Newark Mayor Cory Booker
- Steve Case, chairman and chief executive of Revolution LLC, co-founder of AOL
- Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush
- Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and chairman of AXS TV
- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
- Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam
- Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida
- Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform
- Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.org
- Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable
- Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit
- Carl Guardino, president and CEO of Silicon Valley Leadership Group
- Jorge Ramos, anchor for Noticiero Univision
- Fred Wilson, principal of Union Square Ventures
- Congressman Darrell Issa of California
- David Karp, founder and CEO of Tumblr
- Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
- Ron Conway, angel investor
- Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois
- Mike Maples, venture capitalist
- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
- Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American
- Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino
- Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco Systems
- Baron Davis, former NBA Player
- Brad Feld, managing director of the Foundry Group
- Mike McGeary, co-founder and director of Engine Advocacy
- Gaby Pacheco, political director of the youth immigrant movement United We Dream
- Jalak Jobanputra, managing partner at FuturePerfect Ventures
- Emily Lam, senior director for federal issues of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group
If you are interested in participating, go to marchforinnovation.com. You will be able to sign up to Tweet at and Facebook message your senator to encourage him or her to pass reform.
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