The brewing class-war in the Bay Area between tech companies and people who aren't inside the bubble (and are finding themselves priced out of their hometown), has produced almost no useful discourse. Anil Dash has some "stupid simple" suggestions for tech workers in San Francisco who want to move the conversation forward and do something constructive to make themselves part of the solution to San Francisco's problems:
* First, people in tech should use their voices to push the leaders of their companies and industry to do the right thing. It is just as easy for a CEO to ask the city to accommodate affordable housing as it is for them to demand tax rebates. And if a CEO believes their employees expect this kind of request, most tech company execs will do anything to keep their engineers happy. If Google is the symbol of entitlement in San Francisco right now, Larry Page could simply and consistently amplify the voice of those already working on housing solutions and make a huge impact.
* The employees who ride the buses could put up simple signs at the stops: "[X] out of the 300 people who ride this shuttle each day have pledged to volunteer once a month at a city shelter or facility, and to support labor rights when they vote & shop." People in the neighborhood could watch the number go up as the riders pledge, and the sign could proudly announce the name of the people's employer, instead of hiding it in secrecy as a source of shame.
* At a more structural level, startups which provide deluxe on-site benefits could extend their daycare, meal and on-site walk-in health care to people who have WIC or EBT cards and can show that they live in the neighborhood. The bonus here? You can meet actual people in your neighborhood. The cafeterias could charge a fair price for those extra lunches, or even better, simply talk to the people who come in to see which ones would make good employees. One hire from the neighborhood talent pool would more than pay for the cost of six months' worth of free lunches.
Stupid Simple Things SF Techies Could Do To Stop Being Hated
(Image: WARNING: TWO-TIER SYSTEM, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from cjmartin's photostream)
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