Protesters Block Google Bus at 24th and Valencia Sts.

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Protesters blocked a Google bus from leaving a MUNI bus stop in the Mission Monday, accusing Google and other tech companies of illegally using the city’s bus stops.

Wearing neon yellow safety vests, 30 members of a group calling itself the San Francisco Displacement and Neighborhood Impact Agency chanted, “San Francisco, not for sale!”

For some, the private shuttle buses that take employees to work in Silicon Valley, have become a symbol for gentrification and the new tech boom. Last spring, a small group of people beat a Google bus piñata during a protest at 16th and Mission streets.

Deepa Varma, a 33-year-old tenant attorney and a spokesperson for the San Francisco Displacement and Neighborhood Impact Agency, said, “These private tech buses have become a symbol of the displacement in the city and this two-tiered system between the longtime residents and middle-and-working class people and the new tech elite….creating a situation that is just not affordable for the people who are here, whether it’s businesses or residents.”

Early on Monday morning, protesters gathered in an alley, waiting for the 9:15 a.m. Google bus to arrive at a bus stop in front of Bethel Christian Church at 24th and Valencia streets.

As the bus pulled up to the stop and workers boarded, the demonstrators silently surrounded the bus, setting up barricades and forming a human chain around the bus.

Demonstrators handed out flyers to bus passengers and onlookers asserting that state and city law prohibit vehicles other than Muni to stop at bus zones, and that the current fine for “illegal usage of a bus zone,” is $271.

In a telephone interview, Paul Rose, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), said “The agency is proposing a set of rules that will promote safety, reduce impacts on MUNI and other uses and make enforcement clearer.” So far, enforcement of the SFMTA’s rules regarding private use of bus stops “is largely complaint-based.”

“Thirty-five thousand daily boarding within SF between other cities does provide a viable transportation option,” Rose said. ”We’re working now to address concerns so our policies catch up with this new mode of transportation.”

According to San Francisco’s traffic code, a vehicle such as a shuttle bus that is picking up or dropping off passengers is allowed to idle for no more than five minutes.

According to protesters, tech companies owe an estimated $1 billion in back fines for using city bus stops from 2011 to 2013 alone.

Varma said they targeted a Google bus for their initial action because “along these private bus routes, rents are skyrocketing. There is clearly a major problem.” City leaders are acting like they have no idea what to do, Varma added.

Varma said that the group includes a wide range of San Francisco housing activists and displaced artists. They formed the group approximately one month ago.

During Monday’s demonstration, Google workers sat on the bus for roughly 45 minutes, some taking pictures of the protest and others working on their laptops. At one point some disembarked the bus to find alternative ways to get to work. None of the workers would grant an interview to Mission Local, and one worker said, “I have nothing to say.”

About 20 minutes into the demonstration, a man who appeared to have been on the bus got off and started shouting at the protesters. This, however, was an impromptu part of the action. Organizer Leslie Dreyer later said the man’s participation was not part of the group’s original demonstration plans.

After almost an hour, two San Francisco police officers ordered protesters to move their picket line to the sidewalk and allow the bus to depart. They complied.

“This is our first action, but this will not be the last,” Varma said.

210 Comments

  1. missionnite

    Its about time!!

    • HoofHearted

      Yep. One hour of it.

      • John

        It was only a half hour delay, apparently.

        The brave protesters ran away when they saw the police coming.

        Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin.

        • Lived here my whole life

          Brave? Says the cracker talkin shit on the internet. We wasnt out there this time but Next time they protest all the homies coming out, i wanna hear u come outside and talk that same shit in person. I wanna see how brave u are. If nuts talk, ur bitch ass is speechless. Sucka ass, bitch made, fuck nigga!

          • I've lived here my whole life too

            Wow, you seem like a horrible human being. Do you talk like that in person? Scurry back under your rock, you mouth-breathing troglodyte.

          • Mike k

            No one can even understand your rant. Try to speak English, and I would be happy to meet you in person to discuss.

    • Rickshaw

      All of these arguments can equally be applied to tourist busses. They use muni stops, delay traffic, cause undue wear and tear on our streets and air quality. Some parity here would be appropriate.

      • John

        Yes, that was my reaction too. No bitching about tourist buses, UCSF shuttles, the Levi’s shuttle, the Bay Club shuttle, the Art Institute buses and a host of other non-public buses.

        But a bus full of people who are well paid seems to get people riled. Which tells me it’s really all about envy.

        • Eilene

          Did you miss the part about these tech shuttles representing the ongoing gentrification in neighborhoods like the Mission? Because they’re so well paid, the price of living has increased to the point of displacement of businesses, families, and working artists in a neighborhood known for its vibrant culture.

          I’m not saying this is the best way to go about improving it, but it sounds like you’re missing the point.

          • John

            I didn’t miss that point, Eilene, I I just disagreed with it.

            The buses did not cause any tech worker to move to the Mission. Rather, they wanted to live here and, once a critical mass of them were here, it made sense to provide them with more commuting options.

            The upgrading of the Mission has been going on for 20 years. Calling it “gentrification” makes it sound bad, but is lower crime, better restaurants and better maintained buildings really so bad?

            The Mission is a very large neighborhood – much larger than some others like Cole Valley that are really just a few blocks. This allows the Mission to have something for everyone, and that includes successful people as well.

        • My Take

          Most of those shuttles you describe are small, and the Art Institute buses that I’ve seen are a throwback models from the 50′s.

          They are nothing like the massive commuter whales that lumber up and down Valencia, degrading a traditional neighborhood aesthetic into an hyper-modernistic monster show.

          People who want to ride double decker buses should have to to do downtown to do it such as 7th & Market, not in the Mission.

    • Kenneth

      Sounds like unlawful detainment. And I doubt that the majority of the protestors are long time City residents, although fear mongers have long plagued the City’s history. In fact, the Old Armory would have been an office site for internet based companies decades ago but for local community protests. What is it today?

  2. Ted

    Burn the witches!

  3. John

    Apparently the protesters ran away as soon as the cops arrived (Source: SFist) so I have to question whether they really believed in their message, or were just engaged in a cheap publicity stunt.

    Either way, delaying a few employees of just one company doesn’t appear to have much to do with the fact that SF’s land use policies are a shocking failure.

  4. Wow, giving the google bus some of it’s own medicine!

    It’s great to see some creative protesting bringing more attention to this issue.

  5. Cazanoma

    why don’t these people find something productive to do? Interfering with other people going work is simply childish and not act likely to endear anyone to their cause. If these people don’t like Google or people who work in Silicon Valley they are just being infantile–more importantly, this kind of nonsense isn’t going to stop the economic issues going on in SF or Northern California in general.

    • John

      The real hypocrisy is that these same protesters would scream in outrage if some right-wing protesters delayed a bus full of union members or illegals.

      My tribe, right or wrong, appears to be the limit of the sophistication of these protesters.

      • BackToTheBurbs

        John, you’re still here? I thought you got deported to Texas :)

        Are you saying you haven’t seen the no stopping signs at bus stops? And what about the selective application of fines?

        Normally, if something is not possible, i.e., living an urban lifestyle and commuting far to lucrative work, then people don’t do it. That’s how the world works. Now if billions of dollars are available, odd things start to become possible.

        The question is where does it stop? I mean, if your high value cohorts are waiting in line at the store, are they allowed to jump to the front because their cash value is XX% more? Or if they have an accident do they get priority treatment at the ER? Or maybe spots in the the best schools will be reserved because clearly high value individuals breed more high value? Already there are many examples of this …

        Bigger things are at stake here, and sadly this is economic class warfare at its finest. Actually, it’s good that it’s happening here because the area is a hotbed for activism.

        See, this country is setup such that your cash value is for the most part uncorrelated to your value for society. Many arguments I’m hearing, including yours, suggest that we could simply get rid of people below some cash value threshold, and life would continue splendidly.

        Perhaps the right question to ask is what is driving the tech boom? Sadly it is money (and private data on individuals, another theme ripe for protest).

        • John

          Ah, so if people cannot take a commuter bus to Mountain View, then they should leave town? But if someone cannot afford the rents here, then they should somehow be able to stay?

          Is that the hypocrisy you are peddling today?

          If you want to believe that money really doesn’t count in the US, then that’s fine. But then I wouldn’t expect you in the same breath to be whining about the unaffordability of housing here.

          People kinda like to have money because it gets you better stuff like, say, homes.

        • Cazanoma

          Last time I checked it was up to the authorities to enforce traffic fines, not a bunch of street vigilantes filled with envy

    • My Take

      San Francisco is a booming city with barely over 5% unemployment, not a desperately strapped one that has to tolerate anything just because it facilitates employment.

      Take our typically Republican argument to some other place such as Detroit or Baltimore.

  6. Bob

    It seems foolish to protest a company that brings creative and high paying jobs to SF. The buses reduce car traffic and pollution as well as crowding on Caltrain. The only solution to the housing crisis is to build more housing. Time to grow up, people.

    • Good point. I like to know where they can continue to build. We are running out of space. I’m a NATIVE San Franciscan I was stuck in traffic the other day thinking that the commute that 20 yrs ago took 15 minutes now takes 1:20 minutes.

      • John

        It sounds like you’re ready to move to a smaller, quieter town. It’s easier to find a place you like and move there, than it is to change the Bay Area with it’s five million people.

    • C. Russo

      It’s likely that many of the commuters on this bus displaced people who used to WORK IN THE CITY. Multiply that by all the other private buses–Yahoo, Genentech, eBay, Salesforce, etc.–and you’ve got increased traffic and more pollution.

      • John

        Russo, you claim that it is “very likely” but then you offer no proof, evidence or even an example or anecdote.

        From what i am seeing, many of these tech workers move into the new apartments and condos and lofts that are being built, thereby displacing nobody.

      • Mom on a bike

        How do you explain then that jobs are actually *increasing* in the city as a direct result of the growth of Google and Yahoo? The reality of the situation is that this is nothing new, and there are going to be economic migrants regardless of shuttles. Many well-to-do folks leave the city too, you know, to be closer to work, to have a suburban lifestyle with kids, etc.

        • John Murphy

          And in fact, many well to do people leave the City and end up being FURTHER from work. Or am I just imagining all that traffic I see from my luxurious Golden Gate Transit Bus in Marin, headed into San Francisco every morning.

  7. nutrisystem

    No worries, folks. This bus is crammed with advanced avionics and comfy seats, so the programmers were able to work on their latest BigBrotherWare modules uninterrupted.

  8. godzuki

    I think I liked Mission Local better before Sarah Palin commented on every post.

    • John

      Yes, because that famed San Francisco tolerance and respect for diversity requires that only left-wing commentary is acceptable.

  9. community

    these protesters are entirely missing the point. These companies are spending money transporting workers because our public transit system in the bay area *SUCKS*. If we had a real transit system, we wouldn’t need private busses. That being the case, the busses help reduce traffic and are a benefit to everyone else. More effective would be to protest in Palo Alto and other suburbs who have regularly blocked implantation of regional mass transit through the bay area (i.e. they blocked BART 50 years ago, and they are blocking high speed rail now. morons).

    of course, the protests dont really care about the busses — that is just a symbolic gesture — really they are just unhappy that they are not participating in all the economic opportunities available for anyone who is motivated and willing to learn and work hard. Why they are not participating continues to be a mystery to me — anyone can learn to code — even folks without high school degrees — so it is really a sad case of a bunch of folks being angry due to their own lack of motivation. It is hard to have sympathy for them.

    • nutrisystem

      You don’t know much about the tech industry. This “get off the sofa and join the tech industry” argument is highly misleading.

      If someone was the smartest person in his high school AND has a doctorate in computer engineering from Stanford, he MIGHT be able to get a programmer job at Google.

      It is the nature of the software world that a tiny number of elite workers are all that’s needed to make the ship sail – thanks to the magical ability of software to replicate without limit for near-zero cost.

      Yes, in SF it may seem like anybody can be a Google worker (because SF is the epicenter of this industry), but this is a very unrepresentative sample of humanity.

      So a key question for society is this: In a “Knowledge Economy” that only needs a tiny number of elite people, what are all the non-geniuses to do? Should they live outdoors? Should they be exterminated?

      • John

        The non-geniuses work in service roles to the knowledge workers. You have the same thing in LA, with the Hollywood richies, and in NYC with the finance richies.

        It has been widely reported that each new tech job in SF creates up to 5 other service jobs. So having more knowledge economy excellence here makes things better for everyone – classic trickle-down economics.

        And remember, these knowledge economy enterprises are substantially worker-owned. Twitter created 1,600 millionaires when it went IPO. That’s a broader spread of wealth than we used to see in old-school corporations.

        Risk takers see all this blooming enterprise as an opportunity and not as a thread. Personally I feel thrilled and honored to be here, now. I’m not in tech but I have had opportunities to prosper from it.

        This is what America is all about.

        • nutrisystem

          Many young women are already “servicing” tech workers in order to make their obscene rents.

        • C. Russo

          Tens of millions in corporate tax breaks. This is what America is all about.

        • ABC

          Trickle-down economics? Really? …because that has worked out SO well for the USA, hasn’t it?

          Wealth inequality is worse than ever. You’ve seen this, right?
          http://youtu.be/QPKKQnijnsM

          I’ve seen a lot of your posts on this site and wonder if you’re for real with your opinions or just a troll winding everyone up. It’s hard to believe someone in this day and age would be a real proponent of trickle down economics.

          • John

            Inequality only matters if the poor are getting poorer.

            I am yet to see that proven.

          • ABC

            Your statement does not make any sense.

            Anyway, and here’s the real unemployment rate. As NPR says, the job market still sucks.
            http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/12/05/249022241/the-job-market-is-still-awful-in-3-graphs

            Look man, not everyone can work in a high paying tech job. That’s not how a society works, where everyone does the same job. We need to assign value to other jobs, too, and pay living wages.

            Again, you just seem like a troll who will disagree with anyone, making more and more ludicrous statements in order to do so.

          • John

            ABC, society does “assign value to every job”. It’s just that it doesn’t assign as much value to some of those jobs than you think it should.

            Probably because the skills required are more easily found and recruited.

      • Cazanoma

        so what do we do, act like they don;’t exist and deport them to Mountain View? Give me a break, grow up, the tech workers and their industry is here to stay. Not only do they bring wealth to our community, they bring largely clean jobs and revitalize neighbors in decay. That has alweays beenthe way it is, there is nothing you can do about change.

        • backtothesuburbs

          “bring wealth to the community” — you mean envy?

          what they bring is increases in prices of everything around. they often also bring a lack of respect to the existing culture and residents. and due to their long work hours their contribution to the community (besides high priced diners and bars) is small …

          “deport them to Mountainview” — you mean suggest that they live closer to work so they don’t have to commute an hour one way? I mean the peninsula and valley are completely devoid of people, including tech workers, because who doesn’t want to commute an hour? I mean why not, if just sitting in a tinted bus generates enough envy to heighten even more the feeling of ‘high value’.

          • Old Mission Neighbor

            The tech workers have heard your “suggestion,” considered it, and decided to remain in San Francisco.

            The question is, is it really a suggestion, or a demand? You know what happens when you start demanding people leave their homes, so careful how you choose your words. :)

          • John Murphy

            They bring increases in the price of everything? Say for example an artisanal martini?

            That’s probably pretty good for the guy making the martini, and the guy who owns the bar. Presumably both “real San Franciscans”

          • inSF

            I don’t think they lack respect for the local culture. I mean, most tech workers love their burritos as much as the next guy.

      • Tired of Bigotry

        Nutrisystem, where are you getting your facts?

        The tech industry is, for the most part, a meritocracy. In fact, “self-taught” engineers have a reputation for being more skilled than their college-educated counterparts.

        You don’t have to be a genius; the demand for technically savvy workers is so high that people with little skill or aptitude can sustain a high income.

        I know this because I have been successful in the industry despite not having a degree.

        I used computers that I found on the street to teach myself UNIX administration and programming while working at pizza joints. I spammed Craig’s List to get jobs in Quality Assurance, and I worked my way up from there to the point where I have a relatively stable career as a software engineer.

        During this time, I saved my money so that I could buy myself a condo in the mission.

        I’m really tired of being told that I don’t belong here just because I happen to make enough money to own property and to occasionally indulge in a nice dinner.

        • nutrisystem

          I understand that many skilled people (and many of the best ones) are self-taught. But your parents gave you the kind of DNA that ENABLED you to become self-taught, so it wasn’t just determination that got you a condo.

          I stand by my point that a “Knowledge Economy” needs only a tiny percentage of the population to function, which creates economic peril for the rest.

          The tech-transformation of San Francisco is about more than individuals, it’s about human ecosystems.

          I believe that a diverse human ecosystem is superior to a tech-genius monoculture. I believe this based on practical, emotional, intellectual and aesthetic considerations.

          If things are allowed to continue they way they are going, the diverse rain forest that is San Francisco will be mowed down and replaced with a uniform crop of programmer dudes. THAT’S why people are reacting.

          The big tech companies and their buses ARE causing this ecosystem destruction. It is irresponsible and (predictably) destructive to dump thousands of highly paid workers into a tight, overheated rental market. And, to add insult to injury, dumping them into the last remaining working class neighborhood in the city.

          • John

            Nutrisystem, many cities have a dominant industry, whether it is less successful examples like Detroits’ focus on cars, to LA (entertainment), NYC (finance), Houston (oil) and so on.

            It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have one industry as a driver of prosperity. the other businesses follow e.g. RE, finance, law, accountancy, consultancy and a vast service sector.

          • inSF

            “But your parents gave you the kind of DNA that ENABLED you to become self-taught”

            Dude, what are you smoking?

  10. Mark

    Google/Facebook/Apple/etc should open more campuses in San Francisco. That would help solve the bus problem.

    • John

      I agree, Mark. And perhaps if the city gave them a Twitter-style tax break, and freed them from the onerous regulations that businesses herehate, that might indeed happen.

    • nutrisystem

      Yes, this would solve the bus problem.

      But dumping ten thousand more six-figure workers into an already overheated (and inelastic) housing market would double rents yet again… a wet dream for real estate vultures.

      • Cazanoma

        it’s called a amrket, get over it, its the way things work when you have a market for housing characterized by scarcity, unmet demand and local government policies that discourage the bulding of new housing.

      • John

        All over the world, cities fight and compete with each other to attract high earners and the wealthy.

        You are suggesting that SF do the exact opposite?

        I know I’ve said this before but if you look at our urban area as being the entire Bay Area, rather than the little corner of it that is SF, the problem substantially goes away.

        It’s almost a cliche at this point but moving to Oakland is a very viable option for those who stress about SF home prices. Not everyone can afford to live here – it’s that simple.

        • nutrisystem

          Yes, I am suggesting that SF should PROHIBIT new office space, unless it comes bundled with 110% of the housing its workers would require.

          For example, if Google wants to build a “campus” in Mission Bay that employs 10,000 persons, it must also build housing for 11,000 in order to be granted a building permit. (like what universities do)

          Under this plan, tech growth might actually HELP the housing situation instead of hurting it.

        • backtothesuburbs

          uh, John — 56% increase in housing prices in Oakland — did you read about that? In Oakland, a city with murder rates to match the best. Its good to read something other than Mission Local sometimes. so obviously its already happening. oddly enough, much of that increase is also driven by tech workers. a recent new development in downtown berkeley has a waiting list and the many tenants are SF commuters.

          its all fun and games until your mom gets evicted or your kids have to change schools due to economic displacement.

          • John

            Yes, I did read that about Oakland RE appreciation. Bear in mind that is off a very low low. While SF RE was down maybe 10% from the peak, Oakland collapsed with some homes losing 2/3 of their value.

            So Oakland is still 1/3 below its 2007 high while SF is AHEAD of its 2007 high.

            In terms relative to SF, Oakland is cheap. A comparable home is less than half the price, with rents following.

            Yes, Oakland has higher crime. That’s part of why its cheaper!

        • denearo

          Oakland IS somewhat more affordable than SF, true. Although the home prices there are soaring as well. Additionally, you’ll get protestors over there who are a little more ambitious:

          http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/12/20/eviction-protesters-oakland-san-francisco-target-silicon-valley-buses

    • Old Mission Neighbor

      The employees of these companies agree with you 100%.

    • SF is only so big. Realistically, more of the Bay Area needs to be urbanized in order to support the growing population.

      • John

        I’m not sure how much more urban the Bay Area can be made. It already extends well into the central valley, sough as far as Santa Cruz and north as far as Santa Rosa.

        I’d rather see high-rise housing near population and transit centers than more green field sprawl. We need to relax our land use regulations and not build out for 100 miles in every direction.

        • denearo

          Aren’t you guys saying the same thing? Denser population development in transit centers throughout the bay.

    • Mike k

      It would be a good idea for them to build more campuses here but I am sure they are worried that they would have to pander to one of the supervisors that would try to strong arm them for something. The supervisors I refer to aren’t from here and couldn’t make it in their original cities.

      • John

        There’s also the problem that payroll taxes and regulations are more punitive in SF than in Silicon Valley.

        That’s why SF had to give Twitter tax breaks to stay in SF, and I suspect that SF would have to offer the same incentives to any major tech company that was considering putting more people into the city.

  11. landline

    Trickle down economics is a fraud perpetrated by those at the top of the economic pyramid and their hired courtiers, also known as mainstream economists.

    40 years of this fraud have left median incomes lower, higher rates of poverty, unemployment, etc. and, imagine this, those at the top have more than ever.

    Call me a class warrior. I don’t care. I know what I see, which is increasing squalor among unimaginable wealth for the few, one of whose favored destinations is San Francisco, which is unfortunate for common people that live here.

    • John

      Your attempt to present the citizenry as some version of a third-world tin-pot banana republic falls short. I see widespread affluence in SF. The restaurants are full, million dollar homes fly off the shelves like hot cakes and SF unemployment is low by national standards.

      There is a very healthy and vibrant middle-class in SF, and it derives from the tech industry and the service businesses around it.

      Of course, there are some poor people, but that is inevitable. But your idea of a donut hole of wealth doesn’t fit what I see in the real world every day.

      A new billionaire in town doesn’t make anyone poorer, even if they might feel poorer in relative terms.

      • john and dumber

        I’m not sure which to believe: actual economic data or the observations of a provinicial dolt who appears to be physically attached to his keyboard.

        • John

          As soon as you bother to provide some “actual economic data”, I will review it and explain to you how it fits my account of the economy more than yours.

          • john and dumber

            Egomaniacal and stupid are a poor but common combination.

          • John

            OK, dumber, so you have no actual economic data.

            Got it.

          • ABC

            I have put actual economic data in my comments above, but again, you will purposefully be unreasonable and ignore the truth and disagree with anyone on ML, in order to troll.

          • John

            I don’t accept that you data supports your conclusion, ABC. It’s really that simple.

          • john and dumber

            I doubt anyone cares about your conclusions or much else of what you have to say. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be writing copious, repetitive comments here and on other websites.

          • John

            So, yet again Dumber, you substitute a baseless personal attack for anything that might pass as a relevant and effective argument.

            You’re making this too easy for me. At least put up a fight.

    • ABC

      Agreed, landline. I made comments above regarding trickle down economics. I think at this point even the federal government knows and will admit it doesn’t work!

      • John

        Depends what you mean by “not working”. Trickle down ensures opportunity but not outcomes. The fact that there are some poor people around does not refute trickle down.

        Trickle down really means baking a bigger pizza rather than endlessly arguing about how to divide up the pizza.

    • Orddu

      Happy to see someone calling John out for his starry eyed love of trickle down economics (trickle down being the meager job market made mostly of minimum wage, non-union jobs created mostly by the money the rich have left after investing in themselves)
      Landline, be a class warrior, by all means. It’s what’s needed.
      John, you said ” I see widespread affluence in SF. The restaurants are full, million dollar homes fly off the shelves like hot cakes and SF unemployment is low by national standards.”
      You see what you want to see I suspect. To portray million dollar homes, expensive meals at restaurants-have you tried the 65$ hamburger yet? seems tailor made for you- as low-hanging fruit available for all consumers is just delusional.

      • ABC

        John is just a troll. I think we all need to start ignoring him. He does not contribute any useful or accurate information to any of these discussions, yet attempts to dominate them.

        Trickle down economics = WEAK argument

        Everyone knows it doesn’t work, and the ‘evidence’ is taking a look at the history of US economics, even before Reagan popularized this term.

        • John

          No, ABC, the word “troll” is simply used to attack people with whom you disagree. If I were posting in support of your position, you wouldn’t use that word.

          Being accused of being a troll is usually how and when I know i have won the debate.

          As for “trickle down” people say it doesn’t work because they don’t understand it. If you think it means that rich people will just throw money at you, then obviously you think that it “doesn’t work”.

          What it is does is give you opportunities at building prosperity, as any of the 1,600 workers who were made millionaires by the Twitter IPO can attest.

          But trickle down doesn’t mean you can sit on your fat ass all day and money will rain down on your through random largesse

      • John

        i only read about the $65 burger today, so haven’t had a chance to get my gnashers around one yet. Thanks for thinking of me though.

        But it’s not like there aren’t $5 burgers for the hoi polloi as well.

        As for trickle down economics not working, ask yourself how many jobs you have had and, of those, how many of them were given to you by poor people?

        I’m guessing none. We’re all eating crumbs thrown from the master’s table. The difference between us is that that doesn’t bother me at all.

  12. backtothesuburbs

    the tech companies benefiting from the boom should build housing. that is the answer. everybody wins — they get more workers, their workers don’t have to spend time and money fighting for scarce housing resources. and fewer people need to be displaced. why has this not happened? well, complete ignorance of reality, carelessness, entitlement.

    and to all those ‘market economy’ people, well I suggest you imagine your 98 year old mother being evicted. or a family with kids in school. pretty sight? oh wait, you only care about your entitlement due to your ‘high value’. indeed, the 98 year old grandma is of no use to society whatsover, no one even wants her organs.

    • backtothesuburbs

      The problem with justifying economic displacement with market forces is that the same argument would have held for colonizing the americas, with all the carnage involved, as well as exterminating Jews in Europe, and so on and so on. History is full of this and the hope is that humans have learned from past mistakes …

      So I would be really careful about making any kind of ‘market’ argument. At the least one comes off as highly insensitive, not to mention that it always implicates the speaker as a ‘high value’ individual. Eh, maybe that is the desired outcome.

      But realize that these comments will not make you friends and tech workers are still a small majority in SF and the area. They are highly visible though … So if you want to be in the friendless minority, well they you are. Then of course arguments for displacement and replacement are quite obvious.

      Its true that it is not only tech workers benefiting (drum roll) enter the developers and landlords. Here I will quote a recent fact: a new condo building on Valencia is on a lot which was bought for 1.7M not long ago. Now that is the average price of an apartment in that building. Who benefits? Yay market forces!

    • Alex

      Tell me more about the implementation of this idea.

      Would any company who hired anyone have to build housing for that employee? Is it part-time or full-time employees? Would hiring a plumber or a nanny for your kid involve building a house for that person? Or does this only apply to tech companies?

      Don’t you think there are tons of businesses already trying to build more housing in SF, and failing because of the lack of land, lack of building permits, and difficulty in tearing down old buildings to build higher-density housing? How would Google or other tech companies possibly do a better job at this when obviously house-building is limited by law, city permits, lack of land, inability to evict tenants in low-density housing in order to build higher-density housing, etc and not by lack of money?

      And even if lack of house-building was due to lack of money and tech companies were forced to build housing for everyone, assuming it cost $500k to build a 1br for each employee which is really what they’re going for these days, and assuming tech companies would have to do this for 10,000 people, not to mention the massive housing inflation that would occur as tech companies attempt to buy up all the land in the area to build more houses assuming they could even get permits for it all, I guess we are talking about like a $5bil really, really inefficient tax on each large tech company. in the form of house-building.

      it’s kind of a funny idea.

      • It could be built by companies who are importing ‘orphan’ workers who need a place to live. Scaled by the actual number they are employing. They could even band together. That’s if you want some legal basis. Is that needed? It seems any employer would invest in their employees not having to waste time.

        As to whether they can build better and faster. Well, they seem to be supplanting public transportation in kind of forceful illegal ways. These are large corporations with billions in resources, smart minds, connections, lobbying etc. You really want to compare some scummy developer wanting to make a quick buck? As for regulations, it seems local government is waking up and the word ‘crisis’ has been used. Could officials fast track building? I think so …

        BTW facebook is already building a housing campus on the peninsula. That’s right, it is also possible to build more housing NOT an hour commute away.

  13. Mister Big

    SFMTA is of course behind the curve on this, just as they were on promoting bicycle safety as cyclists try to co-exist with cars, transit, and peds.

    SFMTA is only good at ramming parking meters down the throats of residents who never had them in their neighborhoods before.

    Paul Rose, how do you sleep?

  14. Elise

    How long do you have to live here to be considered a “long-time” resident? Just curious.

    • John

      Elise, the two dominant paradigms if you live in Sf are rent control (if you rent) and Prop 13 (if you own). Both reward longevity and punish mobility.

      As a result, people here have an absurd preference for hunkering down and doing nothing – the exact opposite of the principles on which this great nation was built.

      What is long-term? Being here long enough to benefit from the great entitlement benefits of rent control, Prop 13 or (in some cases) both at the same time.

      • Orddu

        Since when did staying put become “hunkering down”? And since when did staying in one place become synonymous with “doing nothing?” Most people I know who have been in one place for a long time have hardly “done nothing”. They’ve built long-lasting ties with their community: their churches, their neighborhoods, their neighbors. My parents have lived in the same place for fifty years, living their life, putting down roots, all that “hunkering down” stuff.
        Staying put was how the West was won, son. It’s only the attention-addled millennial culture that thinks that hopping from one location to another is a great thing to do.

        • John

          American prosperity has been built on the ideas of mobility, independance and taking risks.

          Squatting in a rent-controlled hovel for 35 years just so that you can claim a subsistence life in a place that you really cannot afford isn’t a very noble form of life by that standard.

          Although i’d make the same point about Prop 13 junkies, just to show my political neutrality.

        • Old Mission Neighbor

          I’m pretty sure the West was won by “attention addled [people from the East], who thought that hopping from one location to another [was] a great thing to do.”

    • Tired of Bigotry

      The “Muni After Hours” piece places an upper bound of six years on this; Marenco moved to SF “as a teen” and “stood up, organized, and fought back against the evictions, displacement, and gentrification” at 19.

      So apparently it’s no more than six years (19 – 13), but probably less than that.

      http://missionlocal.org/2013/12/muni-after-hours

  15. Ben

    Want to motivate city officials? Want more equitable policies governing private use of public resources such as muni stops, city streets in general, etc? Consider protesting at city hall, not waging a hate campaign which further divides the community. Hard to see a positive outcome from this particular mode of protest beyond high fives and a couple quick photo ops.

    • Old Mission Neighbor

      This!
      The problem here is City Hall, not rank and file workers.

      • Ben

        Nice. But makes my head spin trying to apply the classic “rank and file workers” role to either side of the present confrontation. For a variety of reasons :)

  16. truthteller

    I find it sad that San Francisco is becoming a two class society and forcing me as a middle class person to move out of the city. It’s clear to me that no one in SF City Hall is looking out for the middle class. As a middle class tax payer, I am against all corporate welfare including to Twitter and any other company getting payroll tax subsidies, private shuttle subsidies and any other kind of subsidies.

    Additionally, the city of San Francisco needs to make all companies that use its roads pay their fair share into the infrastructure costs. It’s not right that private shuttle buses are not paying for the maintenance of the roads that they use. Something needs to be done about it.

    Furthermore, all the corporate welfare that is provided to Twitter doesn’t benefit many people. It seems that only Stanford, Harvard and MIT graduates get hired to work at tech companies. And these graduates who are supposed to be the greatest minds are only interested in collecting data (yeah I’m talking about Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more). They want to build a word in which computer judgement supersedes human judgement, which is a whole other topic that I won’t get into here.

    I hope that this is the first of many protests against tech companies and their unintended consequences. It would be great if the marginalized middle class of SF would ban together and protest against corporate welfare and public union welfare. The middle class is getting screwed by everyone!

  17. landline

    There is something very wrong with this picture.

    Three years or so of private buses illegally using public bus stops–no citations.

    Driving overweight vehicles through city streets damaging the pavement–no citations.

    Sit down on the sidewalk–many citations.

    Restore the commons. Charge the tech companies rent for one or two stops per neighborhood. Maybe one near each Mission District BART station, but not in a Muni stop. Better yet, directly in front of John’s driveway.

    The Lee administration is completely in the pocket of the tech and real estate interests, necessitating actions like today’s.

    Next stop, blockades of no-fault evictions.

    • John

      Arguing to ban vehicles above a certain size from city streets is fair enough. Cherry picking which large vehicles to oppose looks like political bias.

      But when you go on to suggest blockading 100% legal evictions, then it is you who is breaking the law. If you want to see less Ellis evictions, then get the law changed. That is how democracy works.

    • Mom on a bike

      First of all, shuttles have been around longer than that. Second, can you or anyone else prove that any of this is “illegal?” Do you really need me to Google news stories from 2011 for you pertaining to the SFMTA starting to work out an agreement with these companies? Do any of you have proof that a shuttle’s caused any delay to Muni vehicles?

      I heard that this silly protest actually held up 3 Muni buses. So that’s roughly 150 people who were late for work or wherever they needed to go—and all for what?

      You and Deepa Varma need to get a clue.

      • John

        Mom, I spent a good part of the last three days here asking for definitive proof that a SF bus stop is only for Muni, and nobody was able to provide such a link or citation.

        If any bus can use a bus lane (true) then why cannot any bus use a bus stop?

        I’m not saying a deal shouldn’t be worked out. Only that this presumption that these shuttles are breaking the law looks like a stretch.

      • Everyone, including Google, has acknowledged that commuter buses have been delaying Muni. Just as every news organization has acknowledged that blocking a bus stop is illegal.

        Since you are the one making an extraordinary claim, it seems more like you should provide proof, instead of asking for it. But I found you a link that provides proof for you anyways. http://www.quora.com/Is-parking-at-a-SF-Muni-bus-stop-legal

        There is a San Francisco city law often referenced too regarding blocking muni stops, but I haven’t found a direct citation of it online.

        • John

          Your link requires a signon but, in any event, what is being asked for here is a direct, definitive citation to the vehicle code or some other body of statute.

          The fact that many people have said it’s illegally doesn’t make it true. And the fact that the cops do nothing about it indicates it may be false.

          • I wasn’t responding to you John, I was responding to Mom on a Bike.

            You’ve already proven yourself to be a dishonest poster incapable of rational discussion.

          • John

            I don’t care who you were responding to, Fyodor.

            I was pointing out that it has not been proven that a SF bus stop is only for Muni buses. And that Mom is therefore right to ask the question.

            When you finally find a link that proves it, I will change my mind, but not until then.

            Assumptions don’t mean anything.

          • I don’t care what you think, John, and nobody else does either.

            You are a proven liar and your opinion therefore doesn’t matter.

          • John

            Are you permanently angry, Fyodor, or is just when you lose debates?

            Your petulance does not imply the credibility you clearly seek.

            If you cannot refute an opponent, it is better to demur than to turn unpleasant.

          • Lol

            I’ve never lost a debate to you, John,

            I mopped the floor with your stale arguments, and now all you can do is lie about it and resort to insults, just as you lied about my positions.

            But please, if you’d like to humiliate yourself further, do continue. :)

          • John

            Ah yes, Fyodor, the classic loser playbook: When losing a debate, claim victory and hope nobody notices.

            Let me know when you find that non-existent link you are trying to distract readers about. I’ve waited 3 days for it so I can wait a little longer.

          • Lol, project much?

            You’ve been given many links, and you’ve ignored them all. You’re a liar with some deep issues I can’t help you with and engaging with you is a waste of time.

          • John

            You’ve provided a lot of links that do not actually show the law you claim exists but cannot prove. They show someone else claiming it is a law. Not the same thing.

            Here’s your chance right now. Answer Mom’s question. Show us a citation to a state or city law PROVING your allegation.

          • sigmund freud

            I agree with Fyodor D’s analysis of John’s psychological profile.

            If any brave readers want to see the collateral damage a deeply troubled commenter can do to a website’s comment pages, hold your nose and look at the sfbg.com comments. That’s where John is bringing these.

          • John

            Fyodor, OK, now at least you are trying.

            However note the broad exception in that law:

            ” except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic!

            If the Google bus double parks to pick up it’s passenger, then it will “avoid a conflict”.

            Also (i) allows any bus that is a “common carrier”. We’d need to examine that term to see if a commuter bus qualifies or not.

          • John

            Hmm, a new poster (Sigmund Freud) shows up one minute after Fyodor’s last post to agree with Fyodor.

            Couldn’t possibly be a doppel, right?

          • Sorry, John.
            You’re a joke and I (and many other people on this website) have already proven you wrong multiple times. Just as I’ve done again now. You’re attempt to insert exceptions in the law for commuter buses is clearly just a desperate attempt to save face.

            All you’ve accomplished in this latest exchange is to humiliate yourself yet again.

          • John

            OK, Fyodor, so you admit you cannot refute my observations about how that law may not apply?

            As usual, you claim victory rather than win it. QED.

          • Haha, you accuse me of “claiming victory” after I post clear evidence supporting my claim, while all you have to support your claim is your own conjecture and opinion.

            And then you do the exact same thing you accused me of by posting QED! The balls on this one!

            Are you done humiliating yourself yet John?

          • John

            Wrong again, Fyodor. I’m not claiming victory. I am claiming that you have not addressed the two possibilities that I cited for that law not applying to Google buses.

            Since you seem so keen to “win” here, I anticipate that you will counter my points as soon as you have figured out a response that is plausible.

          • Sorry John.

            Your claim that there “may” be an exception in this law for commuter buses does not make it true.

            The fact that Google is already negotiating a settlement for paid use of the stops is all the refutation your “suggestions” need.

          • Do you ever get tired of me proving you wrong, John?

            I’m just wondering why you keep doing this to yourself?

          • John

            If you put the same effort into actually refuting me that you put into endlessly claiming victory, this debate would be over.

            Actually I sold myself short. There are three exceptions to the law you cited:

            1) Where section 22500.5 applies, which you did not explain
            2) To avoid conflict with traffic, such as blocking the road
            3) Where the bus is defined as a “common carrier” which you have not defined.

            I’m not saying you are wrong – only that you have not proven it to the standard required here.

          • landline

            Common carrier is public transit. Private carrier is private chartered transit.

            http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Carriers

          • John

            OK, landline, that’s better.

            But don’t the UCSF shuttles get to use SFMTA bus stops? So it would seem that SFMTA discretion and judgment can trump this law.

          • The standard required here? You mean “your” standards?

            lol

            There is a law (which you denied and I have proven) and Google has accepted it needs to make arrangements with the city to comply to the law, as the numerous articles you’ve been ignoring from multiple sources all show.

            Quit it with your dishonest obfuscation and dissembling. This isn’t a matter of opinion. There is an objective truth to this matter and you’re just being purposefully dense (maybe I’m being too charitable here) to continue to deny it.

          • John

            You still haven’t addressed my points about why that law may not apply.

            Your failure to refute those objections leaves you with more to prove.

            Seems you’d rather talk about me than talk about the issues.

          • Leaves me with more to prove?!

            These are objective facts, man!
            You don’t have to prove what anyone can look up for themselves! You have a computer, you have access to all the same information me and landline do! How can you remain so willfully ignorant of things you’re willing to argue about at length?

            I mean, you could just look up for yourself that 22500.5 applies to the use of school buses (such as UCSF shuttles) picking up and unloading passengers, but you’re a lying, lazy idiot who would rather put off admitting to the truth for as long as possible, right?

            So ask me to provide a link to 22500.5 before you accept the validity of an objective fact again, I dare ya… I double dog dare ya. ;)

          • John

            OK, so you cannot or will not answer my three specific questions?

            We can leave things at that.

          • I’ll make it a little easier for you. ;)
            Type in “dmv 22500.5″ to google and check the first result.

            Now how hard was that, huh? Strange how we can educate ourselves about things on the internet before humiliating ourselves in front of others.

          • John

            I know how to search. What I don’t know is how you answer my three questions.

          • So you chose to delay admitting you were wrong for as long as you possibly could, just as I predicted. :)

            1) http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22500_5.htm
            (this allows for school buses, such as UCSF shuttles to use muni stops as necessary… no other exceptions)
            2) the key word here is “necessary”, it is not “necessary” for a Google Bus to block a muni stop to avoid other traffic. It is merely most convenient for them to do so there. It’s not that they have a flat tire or any other condition that would make it “necessary” to stop.
            3) Landline already answered your question here, but here’s the link yet again, since you’ve proven you either can’t or won’t perform simple searches on your own and will totally ignore any information that isn’t directly in front of you.
            http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Carriers

            Now, can I finally get an apology for all the insults, class-baiting, race-baiting and lies you’ve used in your efforts to deny acknowledging the truth for as long as possible? I really doubt you will, but I want everyone to see I’m offering you a chance to be a decent person here.

          • John

            No, I’m just seeking an answer to my three questions.

          • I provided an answer to each of your 3 questions above.
            http://missionlocal.org/2013/12/protesters-block-google-bus-at-24th-and-valencia-sts/comment-page-1/#comment-375589

            I even labeled them 1, 2, and 3 to make it simple for a simple man like yourself.

          • John

            No, Fyodor, your link tracks back to my questions and not your alleged answers.

          • Ah, so you’d rather lie again than admit that you were wrong… Hard to win an argument against a person who consistently does that.

            Here is the list of your questions, one by one, with each of my answers following them. This is all information I have previously shown, but I’ll try to present them once again in the vain hope that you can accept the truth when it’s handed to you on a silver platter.

            Your three questions:
            1) Where section 22500.5 applies, which you did not explain
            2) To avoid conflict with traffic, such as blocking the road
            3) Where the bus is defined as a “common carrier” which you have not defined.
            http://missionlocal.org/2013/12/protesters-block-google-bus-at-24th-and-valencia-sts/comment-page-1/#comment-375589

            My three answers:
            1) 22500_5 applies only to school buses, such as UCSF shuttles to use muni stops to pick up and drop off. http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22500_5.htm

            2) the key word here is “necessary”, it is not “necessary” for a Google Bus to block a muni stop to avoid conflict with traffic. It’s not that they have a flat tire or any other condition that would make it “necessary” to stop.

            3) Common carrier is public transit. Private carrier is private chartered transit.
            http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Carriers

          • John

            OK, Fyodor, about 150 posts by you after I first asked the question, you have finally come up with what may an adequate answer.

            Although that still doesn’t explain why this alleged law is not enforced.

          • OMG. You really can’t admit when you’re wrong, can you?

            Classic loser playbook, when you can’t win in a fair debate, change the subject.

            p.s. Please keep in mind that you could easily have confirmed my claims 150 posts ago, because what I was stating were objective facts that you only chose to remain ignorant of because it was easier for you to choose to appear stupid than it was to admit I was right and you were wrong.

          • John

            I never said I was right. I said that you hadn’t proven that i was wrong. and it amused me to make you dance for me, I’ll be honest.

            You finally made a half decent attempt at an argument and I acknowledged that. Quit while you are only a little behind.

          • So you FINALLY admit you are a troll and that you were lying and that I’ve utterly destroyed your argument in every conceivable way your feeble brain could scramble up with!

            Here’s your participation trophy. :D

          • John

            Provide a cite for what you claim I admitted.

            I admitted no such thing, ergo, you are lying.

            All I did was finally drag out of you some kind of substantiation for the position that you originally claimed was beyond question.

            QED.

          • LOL.

            “QED”

            I don’t think that word means what you think it means, troll.

            Arrogant and ignorant. A dangerous combination. ;)

          • And the claim was beyond question.
            You just idiotically questioned it and now you’re stuck eating crow.

          • John

            QED means “quad erat demonstrandum” – Latin for “which was to be proved”.

            Typically used to complete mathematical hypotheses but also used to quash the more bizarre muttering of posters using fake Russian names.

          • Hahaha!

            Brilliant! You can’t even admit you’ve been using QED wrong this whole time, you pretentious little jackanapes.

          • John

            Fyodor, go outside, get some fresh air, and take a few deep breaths.

            The day I take lectures on Latin from you is going to be a cold day in June.

          • Seriously, all you’ve done is prove you’re as ignorant of latin as you are of everything else if you seriously think you used that term correctly.

            But please, do go on. I do enjoy how you humiliate yourself a little bit more with each new feeble bit of malice that slips out of your head.

          • John

            As long as you are dancing to my music here, you are losing.

          • Based on the assumption that I’m not enjoying proving you’re a feeble minded idiot more than you’re enjoying trolling me? :P

          • John

            Keep dancing, Fyodor.

            I predict that you will reply in order to try and secure the last word.

            Prove me wrong.

          • Ah, how cute! Another feeble attempt to project your own insecurities on to someone else.

            Dance, troll, Dance! I command you to!

          • Finally got, the ML troll to shut up! Everybody who claimed it couldn’t be done now owes me a dollar!

            How I feel right now:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcYbl3w1MF4

        • ABC

          Good job, Fyodor D.

          John is a psychopath, his form of ‘debate’ if you can call it that, is abusive. It’s not the content or subject matter, it’s the way he engages with everyone. If he was so ‘right’, why isn’t ANYONE else agreeing with him anywhere on this site or elsewhere. He knows what he’s doing, just trolling..
          John provides no viable arguments, just tries to pick apart everyone else’s arguments using puerile tactics, without really reviewing the facts and truth anyone else has presented.
          Someone with that much time on their hands to constantly reply to everyone and dominate every thread, must not be successful in real life.

          So, John, a pathetic figure, will meet his come-uppance eventually, karmic retribution, perhaps on the streets of the Mission…..it’s simply cause and effect…… John, your behavior will come back on you. It will.

          • landline

            He claims to be a landlord and based on the “skills” he exhibits in his comments, he might also dabble in real estate brokering.

            As a rentier, he lives off the wages of his tenants.

          • John

            landline, we all live off the labors of others, whether the child supported by his parents or the old person supported by his investments.

            In fact, providing housing is one of the more honorable forms of public service.

          • landline

            Equating parental care with rent seeking unproductive economic functions is laughable. Are you planning on donating the profits of your “public service” to a fund for affordable housing or just skim them from the system and put them into your pocket?

          • John

            I support affordable housing indirectly through my taxes, and I probably pay a lot more taxes than you do. Your words may support affordable housing but my deeds speak louder.

            There is nothing wrong with people investing their wealth in a community. Would it be better if I put it all in an offshore investment fund?

          • landline

            So no, you don’t donate your profits nor provide a public service.

            Thanks for the gratuitous, irrelevant personal attack about our relative incomes based on speculation and ignorance.

          • John

            Wrong, of course i provide a valuable service to the public. If there were not value to it, people would not pay me. That’s the rest test of value – whether real money changes hands.

            There is nothing wrong with people taking risks with their capital to provide products and services that the public wants. Indeed, it is the life blood of our nation.

            Your home was built and provided to you by people who took a risk and invested.

          • Thank you, ABC.

            John is indeed a pathetic figure, who is far more likely to be some pissed off kid living in his parent’s basement than the upstanding member of society he proclaims to be.

          • John

            “We must learn to disagree without being disagreeable”

            MLK

          • ABC

            Yes, John, you would do well to take your own advice.

          • John

            ABC, I make a point of remaining civil in any debate, and generally refrain from any personal remark unless the other party initiates it.

            I make my points firmly, but not rudely, I like to think.

          • Your opinion on this, John, as on many things, could not be further from reality. Fortunately, you have already squandered far too much of your credibility on this site for anyone to take your ridiculous claims of civility seriously.

          • John

            I welcome your comments on the topic of this article.

  18. jack dogood

    City should be easing city buses and drivers to the high-tech companies, this would help every one, and public should also have access to this busses not just employees of the company.

    • John

      Jack, the google bus only goes to Mountain View and only stops at one destination there.

      So even if they let the public use those buses, it would not do them much good because they would end up being stuck at a campus in the middle of nowhere.

      Why aren’t you asking the UCSF buses to pick up everyone as well?

  19. Clarion Alley Mural Project

    It should be noted that MissionLocal is actively working with these corporations in support of the private buses – to beautify them: http://missionlocal.org/2013/12/genentech-joins-mission-local-to-turn-buses-into-art/

    Clarion Alley Mural Project has been contacted by MissionLocal editor Lydia Chavez to ask for our support in soliciting artists and getting the word out, to which we responded “HELL NO” – we DO NOT SUPPORT THIS PROJECT OR THE BUSES and find it egregious that MissionLocal is catering to the corporate interests that are destroying San Francisco’s middle and lower income residents, its longstanding creative culture, its non-profits, its small businesses, its city services, its infrastructure … its soul.

    • John

      Mission Local damn well should be talking to the major wealth-creators in our urban area.

      What is to their credit is that they can talk to corporations AND they can talk to low-rent entities like yourselves.

      If you do not want them to have a broad set of sources, then you clearly not believe in objective journalism. But rather seek to make ML into a left-wing mouthpiece.

      The majority reject that kind of bias.

      • Clarion Alley Mural Project

        Actually several members of CAMP, as well as others in the academic community have had some pretty thorough exchanges about MissionLocal’s journalistic merits, or lack thereof.

        Next time you go in to pick up your check, you should ask her about these.

        • John

          If you think ML is so bad, then why do you hang out here?

          you obviously think it has influence if you invest effort in commenting here.

          And, no, ML do not pay me, and I have been very critical of their endless articles on evictions as being very one-sided. I just think they should be neutral, not biased.

          • two beers

            Too counter the fact that reality has a liberal bias, FOX created the myth that good reporting has to be “balanced” with the opposing view.

          • John

            two beers, which major journalist school teaches that good journalism is biased and emphasizes one side over the other?

          • @John: two beers is absolutely correct about this and your rejoinder is absurd.

            A journalist should be accurate, not “fair” or “balanced”.

          • John

            If you really think that journalists have no need to be fair or objective, then I have nothing to say to you.

          • I’ll take accurate, truthful and objective in my journalism, thank you very much. No need to be fair and balanced if one side is lying and/or wrong.

          • John

            you are assuming there that one side is “right” and one side is “wrong”. You’re entitled to that view but a journalist should present both sides accurately and then let the reader decide.

            That appears to scare you but it doesn’t scare me. Since people genuinely disagree on what is right and wrong, we need the press to be independant of such subjective elements and strive to be impartial.

            If ML is annoying everyone here, and it seems that they do, then to me that is a sign that they are getting things about right.

          • No, a journalist has NO responsibility to represent both “sides” in a debate where one side is lying or wrong. It’s silly to give climate change deniers the same time as climate scientists. One side has facts on their side and one only has conjecture. A journalist should naturally favor the side that has facts on their side, as they are in the business of exposing and printing the truth.

            To propagate lies under the guise of “balance” is to do their readers and the whole concept of journalism a huge disservice.

          • John

            Again, the facts may feel certain and obvious to you but not to someone else.

            A good analogy is the way a court of law operates. both sides present their case and then a jury decides who they believe.

            I want ML to present both sides and let me decide, rather than tell me what to think.

            You are arguing effectively that Fox News produces good journalism

          • Quite the opposite really, John.

            Fox is the agency that has spread this opinion that news must be “fair” and “balanced” and to represent two view points in all discussions. Just as two beers correctly pointed out.

            A journalist needs to be more concerned about exposing and/or reporting the truth as objectively as possible. If one “side” feels that this is unfair, that is too bad. The truth isn’t fair, it’s the truth. And sadly for your side, reality does tend to have a liberal bias.

          • John

            The idea of impartiality in news reporting is far older than Fox. For instance, the BBC is watched and listened to throughout the world because it is widely seen as being objective. (And perhaps seen as being free from US interference as well).

            Your position seems to be that there is an obvious, universal timeless truth (which just happens to correspond with what you personally believe). And that the press should push that and nothing else.

            Our reverence for the freedom of the press rather presupposes that is not so obvious.

            As stated, when I read a paper, I want to feel like I am a juror, hearing both sides of a situation or conflict. Unlike you, I see no value in suppressing one side of the debate on subjective grounds.

            ML is getting it right, mostly, and not least because their coverage has annoyed both you and I, who typically sit on opposite sides of any issue.

          • Objectivity != giving the same time to both sides of a situation. Accuracy is more important than fairness or balance. And finally, there is, in many situations, an objective (i.e. provable) truth that journalists should favor over subjective ones.

          • John

            The problem is that you hold to be objective, others might hold to be subjective. Therefore both sides of the debate have to be presented so that the reader can decide.

            You appear to want the writer to decide that. I do not. I do not need someone else to tell me what to think. I only ask that they present the fact with as few opinions interlaced with that as possible.

          • Incorrect, John.

            There are standards we can set for objectivity. If one can PROVE their “subjective opinion”, it becomes objectively true. To insist on not defining the truth, even where it is easily provable, just because one favors subjective opinion or wants to avoid accusations of favoritism by a particular side is the opposite of what journalism should be.

          • John

            Depends on what burden of proof the reader has for such claims for objective truth.

            I suspect that there are a number of things that you hold to be “objectively true” that I would dispute. And vice versa.

            That is why we have elections, courts of law, and so on. Because people don’t agree on a whole lot.

            If the issue is whether the earth is flat, you might have a point. but when it comes to topics that are little more than political viewpoints, there is little agreement on what is true and valid, nor even how to determine that.

            Sorry, but I want to hear both sides of most stories, and I believe that most other people want non-partisan coverage.

          • Ah, but just because people disagree does not make their opinions equally valid. Like the other day, when I said that there were laws against blocking a bus stop and you argued with me. My “opinion” was shown to be fact, and your opinion was shown to be ignorance.

          • John

            the other day, i made you look up citations and make arguments. I didn’t just accept your opinion as fact and that was correct, even if it did eventually turn out that you were correct, which i am still not 100% certain of.

            That’s the point – believing something doesn’t make you right. We need to test your views to determine that.

            You have an awful lot of confidence that you are always correct, but from what I see your instincts are no better than anyone else here.

            Confidence is not equal to validity.

          • I have confidence that I’m smarter than you, but you haven’t exactly set a high bar, so I fail to see how that’s any form of arrogance on my part.

            The other day, my views were verifiable by anyone with an internet connection or access to the DMV. You were ignorant to demand links from me to prove the facts I stated, because the proof was just as easily accessible to you as it was to me. You insisted on remaining ignorant so as not to admit you were wrong. If there is any better proof that attempting to represent both sides is sometimes a waste of time when aiming to be objective and accurate, you could not have proved it better if you were trying.

          • John

            Endlessly rehashing debates from days ago is classic troll behavior. And not very “smart”.

          • It’s relevant to bring up here because it directly supported my point that giving equal time to both sides of a story serves no journalistic point if one side is verifiably wrong.

            The fact that it bothers you so much is just icing on the cake, really. ;)

      • two beers

        The creators of wealth are the people who actually do the work. Throughout history, your beloved aristocrats have created nothing – they only take.

        • John

          You know, two beers, I recall at college the Marxists always argued that way i.e. that the workers earn all the profits and that the leaders, managers and owners were just leeches.

          Funny thing is – I haven’t heard it since then. But if there were a few outliers who still believe that, I figure I would find them here.

        • landline

          Notice that rather than address two beer’s valid point based on the labor theory of value, John engages in redbaiting and personal attack. Just like he race baited me earlier in the thread when I expressed my opposition to the privatization of the commons, in this case public bus stops, by accusing me of a preference for “Hispanics” over tech workers.

          As an aside, let me share my view that most of these tech workers are also exploited labor, but do so somewhat willingly in hope that they will be one of the few that can make a life long career at these big companies rather than be discarded once their skills lessen as they age or replaced with younger (and cheaper) workers with more up to date skills. Or in the hope that they can hit it rich via the stock option lottery.

          Working virtually non-stop (even during one’s commute) for a fixed salary rather than an hourly wage and overtime pay is letting oneself be exploited by one’s employer, especially if the worker has no ownership interest in the company.

          Good luck with that. Modern day gold miners with a little higher (but continually obsolete) skill set.

          • John

            landline, most techies I know get a base salary of around 150K.

            So yeah, they do hope for a big stock option or IPO payout. But they are hardly “exploited”.

            In fact, nobody is exploited because you can always leave a job you do not like or a city you cannot afford.

          • landline

            I gather that this fellow quoted in the other story receives a more typical salary than your wealthier real estate clients: “We’re not all IPO’d, we’re not all millionaires, the cost of living is a strain on everyone,” said one Google employee, who due to concerns about professional repercussions asked not to be identified. “I make $70,000 a year. After taxes, I’m paying half of my money on rent.”

            Exploitation is in the eye of the exploited, but this guy is scared to reveal his name so his fear of his employer constrains his ability to freely and publically express himself.

          • John

            landline, is that Google employee scared to give his name because he worries about reprisals at work?

            Or because he doesn’t want to get harassed on the streets of the Mission?

            The article touches on both.

          • landline

            “Professional repercussions” implies reprisals from work.

          • John

            I’d agree, landline. It’s typical for corporations to not want their workers talking to the press about ongoing issues. That is what a PR department is for.

            However, it seems fairly clear that some of these workers feel uneasy on the streets of their own neighborhood if extremists continue to hold them personally responsible for both real and imagined social problems.

            I really do not think it is fair to stigmatize ordinary working people in this way.

  20. Pamela

    Took me 45 minutes from Glen Park BART to where I work downtown. What’s wrong w/that picture? Why isn’t there a protest of Muni/BART’s very unreliable service. Both are useless; you can’t rely on them to be/get anywhere on time; both have overpaid, underworked employees.
    On the plus side, having Google & other tech employees buy property in the neighborhood as well as having the private buses has certainly improved many areas in District 9. You can actually walk down the street safely.

    • It usually takes me 15 minutes to Bart from Glen Park to the Embarcadero. What time are you leaving? I usually go to work around 10:30 or 11 to beat the commute, but it’s always pretty quick and reliable for me (and I certainly don’t begrudge how much their employees make).

  21. Your friend

    I’m trying to find a previous comment that draws attention to the fact that there are 500,000 registered motor vehicles in town and co-relates that to the the idea that 30 commuters riding on buses permit at least 30 people to NOT to drive to work.
    As for the prices that people now pay to purchase property: the City doesn’t turn down the increase in property taxes; it depends on the increase in taxes to fund services. Comments?

    • John

      It’s a dirty secret that, with Prop 13 unassaialable, the city has a vested interest in higher home values and also in turnover of those homes.

      So an Ellis/TIC conversion makes a lot of money for the city. And the unions like SEIU are complicit here, as their workers want to keep their fat benefits, which again require a buoyant RE market.

      Even with Prop13, property tax revenues increase at about 7% per annum. The city family needs RE inflation more than you need cheap rent.

  22. M Duran

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRgIjoPndHQ

    Check out this video about Google Buses and gentrification

    • Kaliman

      Thanks for the video link M Duran!!
      The Google/tech buses are constant reminders of the damage the tech giants are doing to our neighborhoods.

      I think they should be regulated to stop coming through city streets and perhaps have a tech shuttle center somewhere near the airport. Keep the buses off our streets.

  23. Brave protestors.

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