Mark Zuckerberg: Neither Republican, Democrat, Nor Cool

In a conversation in Washington today, Mark Zuckerberg said he thinks of Facebook as a utility for its 1.1 billion worldwide users – the electric company of the 21st century. “I want to produce something that’s a fundamental service for the world,” he said.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Atlantic Editor in Chief James Bennet at the Newseum on Wednesday, the Facebook CEO talked about immigration, the National Security Agency, and how uncool he actually is.

Read more. [Image: Robert Galbraith/Reuters]


The Top 5 Immigration Myths

Mark Zuckerberg’s pro-immigration lobby, FWD.us, is already losing big names. Among them is Tesla Motors founder and eco-friendly exec Elon Musk, who took issue with the group’s willingness to work with politicians on issues directly against his own—such as Keystone XL. “I agreed to support Fwd.us because there is a genuine need to reform immigration. However, this should not be done at the expense of other important causes,” he explained. Former Yammer exec David Sacks also jumped ship, but the group says they don’t plan to change tactics. (By the way, it’s worth noting that Tesla Motors had a really awesome quarter recently.)

The most visible…is Mark Zuckerberg’s new organization. Launched…in April of this year, the group is called FWD.us, and is being mobilized to push for immigration and education reform, issues that affect the tech industry’s ability to access trained workers. Right out of the starting block, it caused a stir last spring by running ads praising conservative senators’ support for such conservative causes as the Keystone pipeline and drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge in order to provide political cover for a potentially unpopular vote in favor of the Senate immigration bill. The group even ran ads on the Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh talk radio shows. Progressives were furious, and several high profile members withdrew from the group. Nevertheless, the group is pressing on… 


A decade later.

August marks my first official decade since I arrived to the United States. As I look at this old photograph that was taken a few years before I immigrated, it makes me think back on the path I have walked to be where I am today, the pros, cons and the good luck that I have had ever since my arrival to this country, the culture I had to adapt to, yet I never really felt like I completely belonged in my own culture , the people that have crossed  my life and  made an  impact or those who stayed for awhile and then never saw again, I sometimes can’t help but wonder where they are today and what would have happened if my parents had chosen to stay in our country of origin? 

Brilliant rant about Mark Zuckerberg and Keystone XL. Watch it and (dare we say it?)… share it on facebook!

Leaders in the technology community have every right to talk about how immigration reform will benefit their businesses. But instead, FWD.us has chosen a strategy that’s condescending to voters and counterproductive to the cause of reform.
—  Former Sen. Russ Feingold • In a statement given to Politico, offering an explanation for why Progressives United, MoveOn.org, and other left-leaning organizations have decided to stop advertising on Facebook for at least two weeks. The advertising boycott is in response to several televised ads from FWD.us, the Mark Zuckerberg-founded advocacy organization which is supposedly focused on immigration reform, that support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and attack “Obamacare." source
Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Launches Fwd.us To Influence Immigration, Education Issues

NEW YORK — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley leaders have formally launched a political group aimed at revamping immigration policy, boosting education and encouraging investment in scientific research. Zuckerberg announced the formation of Fwd.us (pronounced “forward us”) in an op-ed article in The Washington Post late Wednesday night. In it, he said the U.S. needs a new approach to these issues if it is to get ahead economically. This includes offering a path to citizenship for the 11 million or so immigrants who now live in the U.S. illegally. “We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants,” Zuckerberg wrote. “And it’s a policy unfit for today’s world.” Zuckerberg, whose great-grandparents were immigrants, said he wants “comprehensive immigration reform that begins with effective border security, allows a path to citizenship and lets us attract the most talented and hardest-working people, no matter where they were born.”

San Francisco and Napa Valley

   When I first saw the tv show Charmed that took place in the city of San Francisco with it’s famous Golden Gate Bridge and Transamerica Building, I though to myself I would love to visit that city one day. At that stage I was ten years old and living in Cuautla, Morelos about two hours outside Mexico City. Given that I didn’t come from a high income family and at the time I was too young to realize that people like me don’t often get opportunities to just travel and see new places, I can say that I’ve been lucky enough to go at the age of twenty one. At the same time I was also given the opportunity to go to Napa Valley with a few close friends of mine, but one in particular who happens to be a Master Sommelier and was able to arrange a few private tastings and tours at some of the finest vineyards.     I don’t know much about wine but I felt as though this was a great opportunity for my young pallet to learn more about it and also for me learn more about it’s production. We were in Napa Valley for three days, right off the airplane, after a five and a-half hour flight plus a one and a-half hour drive from San Francisco to Napa, we were ready for our first tour. We were welcomed at La Sirena and presented with a refreshing glass of white wine that could almost  make you forget about how many hours we spent trying to get there.     The next few days we would spend going from one vineyard to another. The one thing I found the most fascinating was how the vineyards had excavated through the mountains to create caves where they placed the wines barrels, inside those caves they have a naturally set temperature between 55 and 60 degrees, wether its winter or summer the temperature  always tends to range between those degrees. One more thing I found quite fascinating was that some vineyard are using concrete vats for wine fermenting.     While I found Staglin vineyard my favorite, I like to say that all the vineyards we got to visit were a special treat.   My friends and I were just fascinated to be driving on the Golden Gate Bridge and it was a dream come true as we entered San Francisco. I was impressed with the gay community in this city though its no surprise being the biggest gay city in the USA follow by Fort Lauderdale. I have some friends in San Francisco that showed us around Castro which is their “gay district” where we partied that night. They also took us to Dolores park, a place quite famous for their “candies” and people just having a good time. I ventured out by myself on a Saturday morning and took the metro to the Ferry Plaza where they have this enormous farmers market, many people were walking around with what seem like chilaquiles and egg that looked so delicious, I looked for that stand until I found it and the taste of those chilaquiles were just amazing almost like my own mothers recipe.      I am not sure if it was the landscape that overlooked the vineyards, the fresh valley air, the tours and wines, driving across the Golden Gate Bridge or simply the company of great friends on a new excursion, but I’d like to think that this trip could not have been any greater than what it was. 
Grassroots 2.0, Stand Up and Fight

When I joined fwd.us I knew immigration was an issue I cared about although I was, and am, confused about the politics.  The idea of hard working people wanting to come here seems like an unambiguous win for America.  There are lots of choices but people choose here.  They choose to work and work hard and take the risks of deportation to improve their own lot and our dinner tables and homes and aspirations for a better life. Win, win.  

I joined fwd.us the day before Eric Cantor lost and immigration reform would be deemed to be dead.  As a former deputy political director for non-incumbents, I am used to championing the underdog and usually not winning, so this was par for the course.

As I walked inside fwd.us, invited by smart, bright people, I thought well, good for them to believe.  I’ll be there for them when reality bites.  They had talked about Presidential actions, but this, it seemed to me, was decidedly outside of our control or realm of persuasion.

Reading the New York Times op-ed today inspired me to see how much discretion exists for the President to allow people who care as much about our country as anyone (more because they chose the U.S. out of all the others?) to stay in the U.S.  

And what do we have to do to help?  Stand up and care.  They stand and fight.  We need to stand too and care.

I am writing this piece to say how impressed I am with the quality and depth of organizers at fwd.us.  These are the best and the brightest who can do anything–make millions here or there–but chose to stand up and fight.  They don’t have some false, easy hope that a couple of likes later and immigration is reformed.  They are working the grassroots–one chamber of commerce at a time. They get it–and they have great support.

When I was a kid I went out with my mom to oppose the Vietnam war. She was–and I, by holding her hand, a part of Women Strike for Peace. Would that I have listened to my mother and fought the Iraq war.  She knew–and I didn’t appreciate–that bombs don’t resolve thousands of years of distrust, even when the ostensible goal (talking point?) is democracy.

I am glad we went door to door.  We did the right thing.  I am sold that the next generation’s first effort is well grounded and truly grassroots.  We have won gay marriage–and now we have to win immigration reform.  

I want the best for my daughter.  She is a special girl.  I hope my work and my ideas can create a way for her to have the things she needs and wants. But if she is half the person I believe her to be, she would want me, first, to do what is right.  I am thankful to fwd.us for giving me that chance.  

Tahmina Speaks Up On Executive Action for Entrepreneurs

Tahmina Speaks Up On Executive Action for Entrepreneurs

Last weekend was a whirlwind of advocacy and discussion of the new book.  Startup founders create jobs in the US and we need to have a visa to meet the modern day business practices.  FWD.us and Free Flow Research in San Antonio, TX held a pitch for investment competition for global entrepreneurs.  The #SATX event was very well attended and was a display of several talented entrepreneurs.  I was…

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Dreamers Mobilize at Downtown LA's Traction Avenue for LA .GOV and FWD.us Open-Source Data Event

Dreamers Mobilize at Downtown LA’s Traction Avenue for LA .GOV and FWD.us Open-Source Data Event













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LOS ANGELES — Web developers, government officials, tech start-up entrepreneurs, and issue-advocates converged on Traction Avenue’s Hub LA for a Hack LA event. The event happened Tuesday, May 26th, days before the stat of Immigration Heritage Month. Hack LA, or Hack for LA, kicks off…

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Two major tech leaders have resigned from Mark Zuckerberg’s new political group, FWD.us, in protest of the organization’s controversial decision to bankroll ads supporting Keystone XL and drilling in the Artic National Refuge.

The Zuckerberg group publicly says its top priority is immigration reform. But through two subsidiary organizations it has quietly spent millions on ads advocating a host of anti-environmental causes. The ads were created in support of Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Mark Begich (D-AK), and although neither ad mentions the issue, both support immigration reform.

The strategy has alienated Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and David Sacks, the founder of Yammer. Both Musk and Sacks were listed as “major contributors” on an archived version of the FWD.us website. Neither are listed on the site today.
Tahmina Speaking about Startup Visas in TX!

Tahmina Speaking about Startup Visas in TX!

We have a busy weekend coming! Call it a quasi book tour if you will!

If you are in San Antonio or Dallas, TX, or in the vicinity, please do join us!

The weekend kicks off on Friday June 12th with SATX Global Innovators Pitch Challenge where international entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas.  FWD.us and FreeFlow Research are coming together to host the SATX Global Innovators Pitch Challenge in…

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