by msjones msjones

On Monday, November 16,, New Tech NW and Create33 brought together an impressive group of local tech leaders to discuss their reactions to the 2020 general election

Rebecca Lovell, Executive Director of Create33, facilitated a panel discussion between

  • Harini Gokul, AWS Leader and Medina City Council
  • Heather Redman, Managing Director at Flying Fish Partners and Community Leader
  • Racquel Russell, VP at Zillow and Former Deputy Assistant to President Obama
  • Jonathan Sposato, Chairman at Geekwire and PicMonkey

The panel’s key takeaways from the election included the swing towards moderate candidates both locally and nationally, the power of record voter turnout and the most diverse Washington legislature ever elected, as well as the idea that, “It ain’t over” — both in terms of the fact that history teaches us that the pendulum between conservative and liberal governments is always in motion and that an election is just one step, the work is ongoing.

The panel further discussed the effectiveness of public-private partnerships when they have a foundation of humility, self-awareness and trust.

The keynote conversation was between Nicholas Merriam, CEO of and Matt Oppenheimer, Co-Founder and CEO of Remitly. 

Matt shared how Remitly has built advocating for their customers into the company’s culture. When deciding how to enter into public discourse and navigate civic issues, Remitly uses the following principles:

  • Stay focused on issues that impact their customers;
  • Remain non-partisan; and
  • Take a stand on issues that are morally wrong and impact their employees.

They then ask themselves these questions:

  • Does the issue align with Remitly’s vision and values?
  • Can Remitly have a meaningful impact on the issue?
  • Will Remitly’s customers, employees and investors agree with the company getting involved?

Calls to action from the event included:

  • Run for office
  • Stay engaged, continue to mobilize — elections happen every year
  • Find people working on solutions you believe in and ask how you can help them do their jobs
  • Volunteer with a community-based organization
  • Serve on a commission with your local government
  • Support local candidates and issues on your ballot
  • Continue to attend events like these to stay informed