Internet Association Opens Albany Office, Hires New York Executive Director
BECKERMAN: “New York State is at the epicenter of some of the country’s most important internet policy debates. We’re excited to engage on policies that create economic opportunities for businesses and middle class families in the Empire State.”
Albany, NY – The Internet Association today announced that John Olsen has joined the organization as its New York Executive Director. He will lead the Internet Association’s new office in Albany, NY. This expansion to Albany represents a significant addition to the Internet Association’s 50-state government affairs program.
“New York State is at the epicenter of some of the country’s most important internet policy debates. We’re excited to engage on policies that create economic opportunities for businesses and middle class families in the Empire State,” said Michael Beckerman, President & CEO of the Internet Association. “John is uniquely positioned to ensure we play a leadership role in New York State, as we have done across the country. We look forward to bringing the voices the internet economy to Albany.”
The internet sector is 6 percent of U.S. GDP and employs nearly 3 million Americans, including more than 200,000 jobs in New York State.
“New York has tried to brand itself as open for business, but entire sectors of the internet economy remain closed off from doing business here,” said Olsen. “I look forward to working with lawmakers, the Governor’s office, and other stakeholders to ensure New York remains competitive and an attractive place for the internet industry to grow.”
One of Olsen’s first acts as New York Executive Director will be to provide testimony on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposals on Tuesday, February 7. In his remarks, he will highlight the Internet Association’s top priorities for this year’s state budget.
Olsen will urge lawmakers to reject the Governor’s unprecedented proposal to require online marketplaces to collect sales taxes on behalf of individual vendors. The proposal creates compliance burdens for growing marketplaces and sets a new precedent for discriminatory tax collection in New York State. He will also applaud Governor Cuomo’s proposal to bring ridesharing to Upstate New York, and will urge lawmakers to reduce the proposed 7.5 percent fee attached to fares for riders outside of New York City — one of the highest assessments applied to transportation network companies in the nation.
Olsen joins the Internet Association after more than a decade at Featherstonhaugh, Wiley & Clyne, LLP one of Albany’s top government relations firms.