Over the past generation, the high technology and biotechnology industries have become pillars of the local economy. All told, the industries employ more than 100,000 and have a multi-billion dollar impact on the region.

But does their influence on policymakers at City Hall match their impact on the economy?

Tech and biotech leaders have at times during the city’s history wielded significant influence locally. In fact, the biotech cluster on the Sorrento Mesa exists because 50 years ago leaders of the fledgling industry pushed for zoning changes.

And in 2008, the industry successfully fought off an attempt by residential builders to rezone swaths of Sorrento Valley land from industrial to residential.

Yet in recent years the proposals for big public projects that have gained the most traction are those geared toward the so-called “old San Diego” industries of tourism and development — things like convention centers and stadiums.

And there is a sense among many that the tech community could do more to push its agenda downtown, and downtown policymakers could do more to recognize the needs of tech industries when drawing up big public projects.

What do you think? Shoot me an e-mail at david.washburn@voiceofsandiego.org. Or a tweet at: twitter.com/davidwash.


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