Backlash by the Bay - Tech Riches Alter a City
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
As the center of the technology industry has moved north from Silicon Valley to San Francisco and the largess from tech companies has flowed into the city — Twitter’s stock offering unleashed an estimated 1,600 new millionaires — income disparities have widened sharply, housing prices have soared and orange construction cranes dot the skyline. The tech workers have, rightly or wrongly, received the blame.
Resentment simmers, at the fleets of Google buses that ferry workers to the company’s headquarters in Mountain View and back; the code jockeys who crowd elite coffeehouses, heads buried in their laptops; and the sleek black Uber cars that whisk hipsters from bar to bar. Late last month, two tech millionaires opened the Battery, an invitation-only, $2,400-a-year club in an old factory in the financial district, cars lining up for valet parking.
For critics, such sights are symbols of a city in danger of losing its diversity — one that artists, families and middle-class workers can no longer afford. On the day of Twitter’s public offering this month, 150 demonstrators protested outside the company with signs reading “People not profit” and “We’re the public, what are you offering?”
More and more longtime residents are being forced out as landlords and speculators race to capitalize on the money stream.
Google, Twitter, and other companies making the people resentful seems like a bad thing.
The tech companies do not appear to care what their community thinks of them.
rather blaming the people who are bringing in money, blame the completely ridiculous city government that does too little to protect its citizens (though rent control is more powerful in SF than many other cities) and way too little with its new found wealth to clean up, and provide key services. Money isn't a bad thing, but a government unable to help the neediest is.
I hate these articles: rich people are coming! They are rude! Grandma has to move!
I'd like to see some hard numbers. How many new jobs were created in those scary, empty blocks of the mission? They paint the mission as if it were some kind of sweet village, but when I lived in the mission 15 years ago, I didn't go north of 22th street after dark, nor south of 15th. New York went through the same thing, and cleaned up Manhattan, and found a balance, and Brooklyn is now great place for families, Oakland is looking to become Brooklyn.
Maybe San Francisco will finally stop being the good looking city with poop on the streets, and become a city that is safe, clean and takes care of its residents, including the most needy.
This is the third time making this round of complaints. I guess it's in vogue. I hear these things and they are the same complaints from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona over the past two decades. Those new rich people are ruining our community, buying up all the houses, and making life more expensive.
The best quote of the day: "Maybe San Francisco will finally stop being the good looking city with poop on the streets, and become a city that is safe, clean and takes care of its residents, including the most needy. "
"The tech companies do not appear to care what their community thinks of them." That's what is most surprising to me. There are Google employees avoiding the buses because they're afraid they'll be targets--if I were Google I would be working hard right now to improve relations with the community before it gets out of control.