DRC launches Tech Policy Task Force

By Catie George, Manager, Communications & Storytelling

At the beginning of this year, the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) formed the Tech Policy Task Force in response to the vital role Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) high-tech companies play in the economy and the need for their voice to be heard in Austin and Washington, D.C.

“We also know that technology policy is exploding because of new industries like artificial intelligence, the need for more data centers, and increased energy capacity, which we will be proactive about and influence throughout the next several years,” said Matt Garcia, Senior Vice President of Public Policy at the DRC, in a recent blog.

The Tech Policy Task Force addresses the rising challenges and concerns in this space after the DRC and its members noted legislators’ increasing interest in artificial intelligence (AI), mobility, data privacy, and cybersecurity during the last legislative session.

“The DRC has always had the ability to convene thought leaders and experts in the technology space. Their advocacy is nonbiased, member-driven, and always mindful of how technology can make an impact locally and beyond,” said Michelle Miller, Market President at Verizon and Chair of the Tech Policy Task Force. “Dallas continues to be a hub of innovation with technology at the core. This enables the DRC to have experts across multiple industries offer input on how to leverage technological advancements for the greater good of the region and across the world.”

The task force’s first meeting was in February, during which members received insight into existing regulations and discussed local, state, and federal policy issues.

During the meeting, Representative Giovanni Capriglione, Chairman of the Innovation & Technology Caucus in the Texas Legislature, noted that he requested information for upcoming AI legislation to be considered in the 89th Session of the Texas Legislature.

Following this charge, the DRC convened the Tech Policy Task Force members to draft comments in response to the request. The comments highlighted the efficiencies AI can yield and provided guidelines for a risk-based approach to legislation.

The comments also emphasized the importance of implementing state and local initiatives aimed at fostering partnerships in research and innovation to encourage further investment and innovation in the DFW area and throughout Texas. Such initiatives are integral to positioning the region and state as a premier center for AI innovation.

The task force will serve to educate about and advise the DRC’s policy positions that have a tech focus.

“Lack of understanding, especially around technology, can cause fear and stifle innovation. Removing ambiguity through education and advocacy allows for fruitful discussion, leading to further innovation and more rapid technological advancement,” said Miller. “Often, technological change can seem intimidating; thus, it is incumbent on the experts and thought leaders to articulate the benefits in a way that those less familiar can feel comfortable with.”

Task force members include experts and industry leaders from Verizon, Amazon, and other DRC member companies.

The next Tech Policy Task Force meeting will be on Wednesday, May 22. To inquire about joining this or other DRC task forces, email Cary Bailey, Director of Member Engagement, at cbailey@dallaschamber.org.

To learn more about the DRC’s work in Public Policy, visit our website.