Interesting piece in the SF Chronicle today on the evolution of tech as the focus of protesters. Here’s a snippet:
Today’s activists want policy changes: eviction moratoriums, Ellis Act reform and increased relocation payments. Tech companies can’t control any of those things – though a string of recent donations and calls for greater civic mindfulness have tried to quell the outrage.
Daly said that in both booms, housing activists understood that the city’s real estate policy and industry were more the problem than tech. But with tech’s greater visibility, activists were wise to harness the zeitgeist.
“When we protest in front of Twitter, it’s more effective than in front of Vanguard Properties,” he said.
Those protests, however, have left tech workers feeling demonized. Protesters say they blame corporations, but individuals take the heat at community meetings and in “die techie scum” graffiti.
“In a war, why do you keep killing the infantry?” Daly said. “They happen to be the ones on the battle lines. Doesn’t mean the generals aren’t more responsible.”
Losing battle for workers
The infantry is also numerous. Thirty percent of new jobs in San Francisco since 2010 are in tech, according to city data. Many of these jobs are well-paying; the average Silicon Valley tech worker earned $108,603 last year, according to Dice.com. That gives them a competitive edge looking for housing in the Mission – where entrenched housing activists are most likely to protest their arrival. READ MORE
Seems to me it was a complete abdication of duty by city officials. It doesn’t take a genius, for example, to figure out that the routes used by the tech buses are ill-suited to certain streets, but it takes government officials to change those routes. And transportation experts already had a sense of what should be done. Instead of changing them, the city sat back, the tension built and the workers standing outside waiting for their buses became easy targets.