Unusual allies for San Francisco tenants – Salesforce?

Posted by on April 8, 2014 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

A recent article talks about how a some tech companies are jumping directly into the fray and advocating for legislation that will protect people from getting evicted as landlords seek to cash in on renters/buyers who make tech salaries. See the article here: Salesforce and other tech companies support Ellis Act Reform. For some really cool charts of and maps of trends in evictions, check out the link to the Anti-Eviction Mapping project below.

The tldr is that Salesforce, Accela, AfterCollege, Crowdtilt, Data Elite, Keen IO, HandUp, Mesosphere, Peerspace, SquareTrade, Tagged, Twilio, Xoom and Zackees are all quietly lobbying for Ellis Act Reform, which will protect San Francisco tenants from evictions. This is a good post to kick off “Tech Workers For Shared Prosperity” a blog my tech worker husband and I have talked about creating for a while.

I’m a fan of these companies weighing in on the side of renters, and think there’s room for a lot more of this kind of action. At our dinner table, with one foot in the organizer world (me), and one foot in the tech world (my husband), we see opportunities for tech workers to stand up and help spread around the prosperity tech is generating.

We like:

  • People and corporations paying their taxes.
  • Companies matching employee donations.
  • Volunteer matchmaking events that bring together tech workers and non-profits.
  • Justice before charity (paying and treating all your workers well, and paying your taxes, in addition to your philanthropy).

We get disheartened when we:

  • Hear about unidirectional conversations where activists preach to tech workers, or visa versa.
  • See trolls telling people to ‘go live somewhere else.’

We get hopeful when:

  • A friend says, “I’ve really noticed the gentrification in my neighborhood, but I don’t know what to do. I’m glad people are thinking about solutions.”
  • A tech worker friend explains the importance of rent control to a coworker.
  • We see activists fighting for the equality we believe in, since we know we can’t do it all ourselves.

More to come on this topic, but here are some thoughts and questions for you.

1) What would you like to see happen to leverage the tech industry to address income inequality in the Bay Area?

2) I’d love to facilitate a real conversation with genuine back and forth between long time organizers and key leaders in tech. Who would you like to see involved? Would you like to participate?

3) I’d love to coach some tech workers who are interested in figuring out how to impact income inequality in the Bay, and share the prosperity more widely. Anyone want to give it a shot?

4) What else do you think is possible? What makes you hopeful?

Answer in the comment section below, or email me at Empower.Together.Consulting(at)gmail.com

Check out these cool charts and graphs about eviction trends from the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project.

"If each evicted unit here represents between 1 and 5 people, we estimate between 716 and 3580 residents were evicted within the last year." http://www.antievictionmappingproject.net/nofaultcharts.html

“If each evicted unit here represents between 1 and 5 people, we estimate between 716 and 3580 residents were evicted within the last year.”


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