The Business Insider has a profile of the anti-gentrification activist, Erin McElroy:
One thing that impressed us during our talk with the soft-spoken McElroy — aside from her copious tattoos and giant “gauge” earrings — is how nuanced, and how data-oriented, the anti-gentrification argument is. Her critique of how tech companies are reshaping San Francisco is much more complicated than you think it’s going to be.
McElroy says that not all boats are being lifted by the tech boom and that in fact, some salaries are sliding.
“The average salary in San Francisco is actually dropping right now,” she says. While employees of Google and Facebook are doing very well, “non-tech salaries are in decline. The rate of disparity in San Francisco is growing more quickly than any other city in the U.S. right now.” Stats from the last census back part of that up.
Targeting the commuter buses is another counterintuitive tactic. If all Facebook’s employees drove their Porsches to work, wouldn’t protesters argue they should be on public transport — like a bus — for both environmental and traffic mitigation reasons?
The buses do hurt non-tech workers, McElroy says, rattling off stats rapid-fire:
“Thirty to 40% of tech workers would not live in San Francisco if buses were not there to bring them to work. 69% of no-fault evictions now happen within four blocks of tech bus stops. Rents have gone up 20% in proximity to tech bus stops.”