The 2016 elections were a little over a month ago but folks are already thinking about and preparing for the 2018 midterm elections (and don’t forget to vote in local elections in 2017 for those that have them!). Game developer Brianna Wu is one of those people and has decided to run for U.S. House of Representatives. Though she hasn’t officially announced (and may never actually do so) she posted the picture to the left on her Facebook page and confirmed her intentions to Venture Beat.
Wu runs the Giant Spacekat indie game studio with Amanda Warner in the Boston area and has been very outspoken when it comes to sexual harassment, harassment in general, gender rights, and Black Lives Mater. She has been the target of death threats and harassment herself standing up to it and the GamerGate community.
Wu, a Democrat, plans to run in Massachusetts and is currently assembling her campaign team but it is being reported that Cory Doctorow will be advising.
“My main agenda will be economic. Here in Massachusetts, taxpayers spend an amazing amount on subsidizing education – particularly with infrastructure. But then students and entrepreneurs take that investment by our state to San Francisco or Austin,” she said. “I think we can do a much better job keeping startups here in our state. Also, look at the game industry, which has been devastated here in Boston with the loss of Irrational and others.
“I’d hope to serve on the House technology subcommittee. It was very disturbing to me to see members of the House tie the Mirai botnet (malware that hijacks computers) to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), simply parroting special interests. It’s an example of how our tech policy doesn’t serve the American people. We need people making policy that actually understand technology, that understand the assault on our privacy. It’s a national security issue, and we’re failing badly.”
I will be adding legal experts on cyber-bullying and revenge porn to my advising team soon,” she said. “The reason I decided to run is simple: [President-elect Donald] Trump is terrifyingly now in the White House. I can’t sit by making pleasant video game distractions for the next four years while the constitution is under assault. Hillary [Clinton] ran a brave marathon, and now it’s time for women of my generation to pick up that baton and commit to public service.
The other reason I’m running is because I’m ready for a bolder Democratic Party. I didn’t personally support Sanders in the primary, but he tapped into a very powerful disconnect between our party’s leadership and our base. We want leaders that will fight for us, and all too often the Democrats don’t stand up to the fringe extreme of the Republican Party. I’ve been called a lot of names over my career, but I’ve never been told I’m scared of a fight. You know just how passionate I am about women in tech. But I believe we’ve hit an asymptote with what activism in tech can accomplish. People are aware of the problem, but all that’s getting done is window dressing. We don’t need more catered women in tech lunches, we don’t need speeches – we need structural bias against us to stop. And I think women in tech serving in the legislative branch is the next step forward.
It’s unknown what district she’ll be running in if she decides to take the official plunge. The current nine member delegation is all of the Democratic party so she’d have to challenge someone in the primary, a difficult task. Of the nine, two are women. Congresswomen Katherine Clark has been outspoken on some of the issues Wu brings up. Clark, who represents the fifth district, even introduced legislation addressing swatting, doxxing, and cybercrime and is a member of the Science, Space and Technology Committee, and Subcommittee on Research and Technology.
We’ll absolutely be covering this as it develops.