Riddle me this, San Francisco: Where do tech billionaires spar? On Twitter of course.
Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, who is also CEO of the credit-card reader company Square, announced his opposition to a tax measure that would house 4,000 homeless people, Friday morning.
Of course, he made this announcement via Twitter. But in brilliant fashion, San Francisco native and non-jerk-tech-CEO-in-any-room Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce, took to his keyboard to critique Dorsey’s commitment to The City.
The measure in question, Proposition C, also known as “Our City, Our Home,” would tax some of San Francisco’s wealthiest companies to kick in $250-300 million to help house 6,000 homeless people, in what many have called San Francisco’s most pressing crisis.
And yes, that means Twitter and Salesforce would see their bottom lines sacrificed to help the cause.
So it wasn’t too surprising when two major tech allies, Mayor London Breed and State Senator Scott Wiener, came out against Prop. C last Friday. Their opposition to Prop. C earned them the praise and love of San Francisco’s Republican Party, if you want a bellwether on how that announcement was taken.
But it seems our illustrious mayor has inspired more than just the Trump-supporters in the room. Dorsey, who’s net worth is $5.06 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, cited Breed and Wiener in his opposition to Prop. C.
“I want to help fix the homeless problem in SF and California,” Dorsey Tweeted Friday morning, but “I don’t believe this (Prop C) is the best way to do it. I support Mayor @LondonBreed and @Scott_Wiener’s commitment to address this the right way.”
He added, “Mayor Breed was elected to fix this. I trust her.”
But before any of us keyboard-warriors could utter “Twitter Tax Break!” good ol’ Benioff beat us to it.
“CEO @jack created $50B in market cap in Twitter & $6B personally in our city & received a special Mid Market Tax Break. Exactly (how) much have his companies & personally given back our city, our homeless programs, public hospitals, & public schools?”Benioff Tweeted.
I want to help fix the homeless problem in SF and California. I don’t believe this (Prop C) is the best way to do it. I support Mayor @LondonBreed and @Scott_Wiener’s commitment to address this the right way. Mayor Breed was elected to fix this. I trust her. https://t.co/EsxapfDvtI
— jack (@jack) October 12, 2018
Notably, Benioff is one of San Francisco’s most spend-heavy donors. He commits himself and Salesforce and tech allies, to volunteer hours, donations, and more.
Which earned him some notable sass in rebutting Dorsey. To wit:
“Hi Jack. Thanks for the feedback,” Benioff tweeted. “Which homeless programs in our city are you supporting? Can you tell me what Twitter and Square & you are in for & at what financial levels? How much have you given to heading home, our $37M initiative to get every homeless child off the streets?”
Hi Jack. Thanks for the feedback. Which homeless programs in our city are you supporting? Can you tell me what Twitter and Square & you are in for & at what financial levels? How much have you given to heading home our $37M initiative to get every homeless child off the streets?
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) October 12, 2018
Oh snap. (Wait, isn’t that a tech company too?)
The little Twitter-tiff garnered a lot of piling on and attracted more love for Benioff than Dorsey, at my last count at 10:20 a.m. Friday.
Since coming out in support of Prop. C, Benioff had garnered $2 million for the effort, much to the embarrassment of Mayor Breed.
Anyhow, it’s not often in this town that the tech CEO’s are on the side of good. This morning’s Twitter exchange was enough to make me bust out the popcorn, kick up my feet and enjoy.
On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at facebook.com/FitztheReporter.