Rep. Ro Khanna: Silicon Valley has an obligation to give back

Ro Khanna

Rep. Ro Khanna said his Silicon Valley constituents have an obligation to foster technological growth across the entire nation, not just in their own communities.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — California Rep. Ro Khanna has a message for his Silicon Valley constituents: You have an obligation to help all of your fellow Americans.

Speaking with Kara Swisher on the Recode Decode podcast, Rep. Khanna said Silicon Valley’s best and brightest should “answer the call to service” by solving how technology can uplift all Americans, not just the ones in their community. Khanna’s district is home to some of the industry’s heaviest hitters, including Yahoo, Apple, Intel and eBay.

“Our country’s going through a profound transition from an industrial age to a digital age,” Khanna said. “The gains of that transition have gone to a few — people who are creative, brilliant, at the right place at the right time. But there are a lot of folks who have been left out in that transition.”

“We’ve got to get people across this country believing they can be a part of a technology future, that that’s going to work for their families in an empowering way,” he added. “If I can help shape the positive narrative of what technology’s doing and get people to feel that they can be part of this, I think that’s the biggest contribution I can make into public service.”

Khanna had choice words for the Calexit movement, which has been backed by a handful of industry leaders, including venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar. The freshman congressman said it was “one of the worst things I had read after the election.”

“How arrogant!” Khanna said. “There’s so many people who’ve built America, much greater in sacrifice and contributions than Silicon Valley. There are people who’ve died for this country. There are people who have marched for civil rights in this country. Just coming along and having massive exits doesn’t mean we somehow built America.”

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