When I was working for then-Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), I needed tech expertise and advice. That’s why I founded TechCongress, which places technologists in congressional offices through a one-year fellowship. Of the 3,500 legislative staffers in Congress, I’ve found just seven who have formal technical training — meaning most staff are unprepared or reliant on interest groups to understand complex technology issues.
The Post notes that Congress “needs to understand what it is doing,” and a recent independent evaluation of TechCongress shows that technologists will help. Fellows act as fact-checkers on interest groups and have provided support on issues ranging from privacy and cybersecurity to drones and biotechnology.
Tech increasingly touches every issue, and Congress needs tech expertise in-house to keep up. Restarting OTA will do just that.
Travis Moore, San Francisco
The writer is the founder of TechCongress.