Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerInvestor Ron Conway

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerInvestor Ron Conway

Tech lobby sf.citi rolls out plan to address issues in San Francisco

It turns out the private meeting Mayor Ed Lee held with tech executives Monday has quickly resulted in a campaign to show San Franciscans that the industry cares about those most impacted by The City's economic divisions.

“More than ever, the industry as a whole is ready to roll up its sleeves and work together on issues impacting all San Franciscans and to make sure our city's economic success reaches all of our residents and neighborhoods,” said investor Ron Conway, chairman of sf.citi, a sort of tech chamber of commerce that is heading up the campaign.

Whether this push to play a more public role was a reaction to two very public events last week — both encapsulating the divide — is unclear.

The first was an imposter Google employee who ranted at protesters blocking a Google shuttle bus about how The City is a place only for the well off. The second was a very real classist Facebook post by AngelHack co-founder Greg Gopman insisting that the poor and homeless should know their place in society.

What is clear is that Lee's goading helped get the ball rolling, according to sf.citi, whose plan is to push tech to help advocate for more below-market-rate housing, be more social responsibile, increase philanthropy and help create a local jobs pipeline.

To achieve these goals, sf.citi is working with SPUR, Salesforce.com Foundation and the San Francisco Unified School District.

Their housing efforts will be headed by Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of SPUR, who was present at the mayor's Monday meeting. Metcalf will head a committee that will work to find solutions to The City's housing crisis with housing rights groups, developers and real estate interests. Metcalf recently held a closed-door meeting with developers on how to deal with the backlash against growth.

The efforts to create a jobs pipeline, with a focus on those at the lower end of the economic spectrum, will be led by Laura Moran, chief of staff of schools Superintendent Richard Carranza. The pipeline will include exposing elementary- and middle-school students to coding, an expansion of high school IT education, and the creation of internship and job opportunities for San Francisco State University students.

Finally, Suzanne DiBianca, president of Salesforce, will head up efforts to help tech companies create foundations and encourage their employees to give back.

All three committees will begin meeting in January as part of sf.citi's campaign to give back to San Francisco.

Not everyone in City Hall is wowed by the announcement.

“It appears that Conway and other leaders in the tech sector are starting to come around to the fact that there is a lot of discontent about lack of affordability and the displacement of longtime residents for the wealthier, less diverse crowd of newcomers to The City,” said Supervisor John Avalos. “He's heard the outcry that tech must do more. My concern is that the sector will try to use their munificence to promote their agenda over a community-driven agenda based on real need.”

Bay Area NewsSan Francisco housingSan Francisco techtech workers

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read