ASPEN, Colorado, August 16, 2021—Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said Sunday that technology problems can be solved as long as policy-makers don’t give up hope, and keep listening to one another.
Kicking off the Technology Policy Institute’s 2021 Aspen Forum on Sunday despite growing concerns about the Delta variant of COVID-19, Weiser described the conference as a colliding of state and federal worlds, “This conference is an opportunity for us to bring D.C. to Colorado,” he said.
He pointed to many of the bipartisan successes Colorado has experienced over the years and was hopeful that some of that cooperative energy might return to the country’s capital.
Despite the level of division that appears to have gripped many parts of the country, Weiser encouraged attendees to remain optimistic, not only in the face of the pandemic, but also the violence that wreaked the Capitol on January 6, “We cannot give up hope,” he stated, “and hope looks like Colorado.”
He continued, “For us to have a great republic we have to have regular order.”
The bipartisan Ginsburg/Scalia initiative
To return to this “regular order,” Weiser lauded bipartisan initiatives—such as the Ginsburg/Scalia Initiative, named in honor of the close friendship between conservative firebrand Antonin Scalia and his liberal counterpart, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
He encouraged the audience to arrive at creative solutions to the problems facing the country by engaging in open dialogues, “We get better solutions when we ask, ‘what would someone else say?’”
The country and its institutions can only arrive at a win-win solutions by listening to the opposing viewpoints, he said. Only through these joint efforts qill Americans would be able to overcome omnipresent polarization, misinformation, and demonization.
On the digital divide, he stated that the work needed to be done is far from over. “What happened to school kids during COVID is a pain-point we are only beginning to understand. We cannot miss this opportunity to address it.”
One concrete step he voiced approval for was the expansion of E-Rate funding to help secure at-home internet connects and devices so that school children can benefit from distance learning.
As if highlighting the increasing fears about the pandemic, attendees were required to provide prof of a negative test result for COVID-19.
Although though the theme of the conference had been, “How is tech reshaping the post-COVID world?” TPI President Scott Wallsten joked that due to the resurgence of the virus, those in attendance should ignore the “post.”