DC’s Mayoral Race and the Future of Uber

With the District buzzing over tomorrow’s Democratic Mayoral Primary, we’ve gotten a number of questions over the past week from riders and partners on where candidates stand on Uber. We sent a questionnaire to all of the candidates asking for their views on innovation in the District in general and on Uber in particular.

Council Members Jack Evans and Tommy Wells both added to the conversation and voiced clear support for Uber and innovation in DC. Click on their names below for a summary of their positions.

ON UBER & INNOVATION IN DC

Councilmember Evans is an ardent supporter and user of Uber. He has worked to create an environment here in the city that is friendly and supportive of tech startups and entrepreneurs. Jack also believes that the tech sector in DC has been undervalued, and investing in tech companies will provide long-term growth in the District. He has provided tax incentives for tech and other startups. Jack understands the importance of diversifying the District’s employment base by attracting new industries such as Uber.
DC needs to reform its regulatory process to keep up with emerging businesses like Uber. In fact I have called for the abolition of the DC Taxicab Commission for this very reason, because its proscriptive regulations impede efficiency instead of simply setting enforceable standards and encouraging innovation to meet them. Uber is a unique but growing business model, which uses immediate customer ratings to monitor the quality of its services – an inherent regulatory system beholden to the market.

As mayor, I’ll do even more to develop seamless, integrated transit options that connect our neighborhoods… I believe DC needs an entrepreneurial ecosystem that fosters a strong talent pool and helps recruit and retain investors. I will pursue better opportunities for early stage capital for start-ups to drive economic growth, broaden the tax base, and create much-needed DC-based jobs… I will author and support legislation that accelerates entrepreneurs into the market; removes bureaucratic barriers; and dismantles the unfair pay-to-play culture in our city government.

Regardless of who wins the election in November, it is our hope that the next mayor will support consumer choice, expanded economic opportunities for independent workers like Uber partner drivers, and nurture the kind of innovation that breeds more efficient, reliable, and affordable transportation options in a city that has the potential to make a lasting contribution as a technological leader.

NOTE: By the time of publication, Mayor Vincent Gray, Council Members Vincent Orange, and Muriel Bowser, and businessman Andy Shallal had not provided responses to the questionnaire.

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