SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the formation of a Technology and Innovation Task Force at the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) that will demonstrate how cities can support growth of technology and new economy jobs and foster innovation in local governments through technology and transparency. Los Angeles Mayor and USCM President Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa appointed Mayor Lee to lead the newly formed task force today at the 80th Winter Meeting of the USCM. The Task Force is designed to identify and define mayoral innovation and technology priorities and to inform and advise the work of Congress and the Administration.

“Technology and new economy companies and the people behind them are the engines of innovation and job creation and, as cities, we must support policies that foster their growth and ensure our residents are educated and prepared for the 21st century economy,” said Mayor Lee. “Cities must be laboratories for innovation across the nation to create new jobs, improve government transparency and efficiency and build new public-private partnerships.”

Mayor Lee will lead the USCM Technology and Innovation Task Force and discuss issues and policy areas including:
· Tax Reform – Finding ways to reform the tax structure to ensure it is equitable across all business sectors, including tech;
· CEO Engagement – Working with CEO’s of companies large and small to ensure that the business environment in cities continues to attract entrepreneurs while allowing companies to grow and succeed;
· A New Economy Apprenticeship Program – Create a new workforce strategy that trains local residents for the new, high tech economy, whether entry-level or mid-career;
· Access to Public Data – Make government information and public data more accessible to allow private companies to develop innovative applications and services for public benefit.
· Maintaining a Tech Friendly Ecosystem – Work to ensure cities provide the competitive advantage when seeking talent by enhancing quality of life, such as parks and open space, and public transportation that attract and inspire creative minds and talent.

A Task Force is created by the President of the USCM to address individual issues requiring the immediate attention of a select group of mayors. Task Force recommendations are submitted to the organization as a whole and generally serve as the basis for USCM policy positions.