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Stroock Hosts Forum on 21st Century Technology and the Economy of New York City

New York City, September 18, 2014 - Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP presented a Government Relations Forum today on the nexus of 21st century technology and the economy of New York City, with guests William Floyd, Head of External Affairs at Google; Maya Wiley, Counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio; Andrew Essex, Vice Chairman of the advertising network Droga5; and Andrew Rasiej, Chairman of the NY Tech Meetup.  The event was held at the law firm's New York office. 

Robert Abrams, former New York State Attorney General and Chair of Stroock's Government Relations Practice, and Ross F. Moskowitz, Stroock partner and member of the firm's Executive Committee, moderated the program.  

"Today's expert panelists provided unique insights into New York's technology ecosystem and the role it plays in expanding New York's job base," said Abrams.   

"It was clear from the lively discussion that private and not-for-profit companies need to partner up with government to move the discussion forward," said Moskowitz.  

Noting that New York is the second-largest tech center in the country, Wiley said one of this administration's goals "is to make faster and better broadband speeds available to New Yorkers and businesses, and half the small businesses in the city are in the outer boroughs." 

She gave the successful example of a nonprofit in Red Hook that has been able to create a wireless structure. "Other cities have twice the broadband at half the price and we need the policies to change that."  

Rasiej said that, while Silicon Valley might have been the birthplace of high tech, "New York is living the applications that will transform companies."  He cautioned though, that "We won't create a 21st century tech system without educating the community, and we will have to bring down the cost of broadband to raise New York's economy."  

"Tech is everything," said Essex, whose advertising company is one of the 10 fastest growing in New York.  "We have jobs we can't fill, and there isn't enough education" in that arena, he said. A prediction: "Brands will be underwriting infrastructure," he said. 

Google's Floyd said, "We need to invest in public schools and their curricula even before college.  Students interested in technology will be vital to recruiting talent to New York. Economies with robust tech grow at great speed, which adds jobs at a greater rate than those without.  New York is at a great point, with its diverse and growing economy." 

In addition to serving in the traditional role of counsel to the Mayor, Wiley has the portfolio of focusing on investing in New York City's technology infrastructure and expanding broadband access across the city.  A civil rights attorney and policy advocate, she is founder and president of the Center for Social Inclusion.   

Google's Floyd is a public policy professional, issues management strategist and lobbyist with nearly 30 years' experience working in government, private and nonprofit sectors. His responsibilities include leading Google's government and regulatory interactions, public affairs programs and community relations in New York. 

Before founding Droga5 in 2005, Essex was a publishing executive, with senior positions at publications including The New Yorker, Details and Entertainment Weekly. His writing has been published in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone and Outside

Rasiej heads the NY Tech Meetup, a member organization of 41,000+ technologists, venture funders, marketers, and other professionals representing start-up and more mature companies using technology to transform business and themselves, New York City, and the world.   

Today's event was the 20th in a series hosted by Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.  Previous participants included Janno Lieber, President of World Trade Center Properties LLC., and Joseph C. Daniels, President and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum; the five New York City Borough Presidents; and most recently, the five New York City Borough District Attorneys.  The next Government Relations forum will be held in early December. 

The forum was sponsored by Stroock's Government Relations group, which is comprised of former prosecutors, judges, and government agency officials.  The practice is led by Robert Abrams, former New York State Attorney General and Chair of Stroock's Government Relations Practice.  Abrams also served as President of the National Association of Attorneys General, Executive Chair of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's Transition Committee and Honorary Co-Chair of Attorney General Schneiderman's Transition Committee. 

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Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP is a law firm providing transactional and litigation guidance to leading multinational corporations, investment banks and private equity firms in the U.S. and abroad. Stroock's emphasis on client service and innovation has made it one of the nation's leading law firms for 130 years. Stroock's practice areas include capital markets/securities, commercial finance, mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, private equity, private funds, derivatives and commodities, employment law and benefits, energy and project finance, entertainment, environmental law, financial restructuring, financial services litigation, insurance, intellectual property, investment management, litigation, personal client services, real estate, structured finance and tax. For more information, please visit Stroock's website at www.stroock.com.

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