Profile of the Woman Behind the Tech Protests

Gmuni protest on April 1, 2014. Photo by Daniel Hirsch.

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.”


Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission

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  1. godzuki

    Absolutely great. So glad these conversations are happening. Such discourse is truly American!

  2. Styles

    I can’t believe we’re still talking about this know nothing troll.

  3. She is has narcissistic personality disorder, as she thinks she is so special than money does not apply to her and for her to have to pay market rent anyone else does, is for others, that are beneath her. She is convinced that because, of her special innate greatness ( AKA Elliot Roger ) she deserves rights to property she DOES NOT own and the people who do own the property are in bondage to her superiority and her right to their property.

  4. Erin McElroy

    I’d like to apologize. I’m responsible for thoughtless vandalism across San Francisco. My friends and I have stenciled the “Tenants Here Forced Out” in front of thousands of homes. While this at the time seemed like a cool art project, remember I earned an MFA, I realize now that this was disrespectful to the home owners. For instance, one family I ‘shat on’ is a wonderful Chinese family. They own a home in the mission. Three generations of the family live in their home. The grandfather was forced to spend 45 minutes scrubbing off my vandalism.

    The punishment per incident is $50,000 and 3 years in state prison. For our crimes, we will pay the city of san francisco $125,000,000 and plead guilty to a sentence of 7,500 years in state prison. My imprisonment will prevent my selfishness from hurting more people.

  5. Alex Kintner

    Erin McElroy’s dirty little secret isn’t that she’s from Wilmington, it’s that her daddy is a prosperous BIOTECH ENTREPRENEUR.

    Oh, the irony… I’d like very much to hear John McElroy’s take on her Oedipal antics.

    • Frank

      The leader of the “Yuppie Eradication Project” was arrested in 2000 for public drunkenness on his *first class* flight from Paris. There is something about San Francisco that attracts these very wealthy “revolutionaries” who are mostly acting out against their privileged upbringings.

      • Alex Kintner

        Nestor Makhno, I remember him well. While they’re similar in terms of impact, Erin McElroy is bland by comparison. What she needs a nom de guerre, something snappy. If it catches on, maybe the Charcoal Pit will name a sundae after her.

    • two beers

      What does it matter who her father is? What’s the fucking irony? That someone who could live an easy live exploiting others, doesn’t? Horrors!

      • John

        Because she claims to be a member of the hoi polloi when in reality none of this matters a jot to her because of her parents’ largesse.

        She is in easy street either way.

        • two beers

          “none of this matters a jot to her because of her parents’ largesse.”

          You freaking sociopath, who are you to decide what can matter to her?

          Her crime is she has empathy and a conscience?

          What fucking species do you belong to, John? Lizard?

          • Alex Kintner

            Who said anything about crime? The point is she’s a rich kid with working class pretentions. She presumes to speak for the working poor when she’s never held a steady job, never been poor.

          • John

            Exactly, Alex.

            Although it is amusing to see our resident socialist preening over a rich kid who will never have to do a day’s work in her life.

      • Alex Kintner

        Clearly Ms. McElroy thinks living hand to mouth boosts her cred as a street activist or she wouldn’t have mentioned it in the article. But she has no skin in the game. It’s fucking poverty-as-exotica if she can opt out anytime she wants.

        The irony is that her sanctimonious fellow travelling is underwritten by her family’s tech fortune.

  6. poor.ass.millionaire

    Hey John, I found this little tid bit in a comment from the referring article. Looks like you are right!

    “Erin McElroy’s dirty little secret isn’t that she’s from Wilmington, it’s that her daddy is a prosperous BIOTECH ENTREPRENEUR:
    I’d like very much to hear John McElroy’s take on his daughter’s Oedipal antics.”

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