A new technology industry group led by the former head of U.S. public policy at Alphabet Inc.’s Google is looking to remind Democrats that technology companies are on their side when it comes to progressive priorities like voting rights, fighting climate change and reducing income inequality.
Adam Kovacevich, who most recently led government relations for electric scooter company Lime, launched the Chamber of Progress on Monday to promote “a progressive high-tech society, economy, workforce, and consumer climate,” according to a statement.
“The tech industry’s political honeymoon is over, and everyone wants to make sure that tech operates fairly towards communities,” Kovacevich said. “We’ll support sensible rules that nurture the things that people love about technology, while curbing tech’s downsides.”
The organization joins a crowded field of advocacy and industry groups as tech companies are coming under increased scrutiny for their privacy policies, market share, labor practices and role in spreading misinformation. With Democrats controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress, Kovacevich said it’s important to highlight how technology has expanded access to information and opportunity.
The group is backed by 13 companies, including Kovacevich’s former employers as well as Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., DoorDash Inc., Instacart Inc., Uber Technologies Inc., Zillow Group Inc., Automattic Inc., Getaround Inc., Waymo LLC, Wing and Grubhub Inc.
Kovacevich said none of the companies are represented on the group’s board of directors or have a vote on its policies.
Roy Bahat, the head of Bloomberg Beta, the venture capital arm of Bloomberg LP, is on the advisory board. Advisers don’t play a formal governance role in the organization, and don’t necessarily agree with every position taken by the Chamber of Progress.
— With assistance by Naomi Nix
(Updates to add Grubhub in the fifth paragraph.)