San Francisco protests this week against buses that transport about 35,000
tech 'elite' workers south from the Bay city to San Mateo and Santa Clara
counties, commonly known as Silicon Valley since the 1970s, is evidence of a
backlash against what are perceived as symbols of the growing inequality gap in
The San Francisco Chronicle
reports that in "San Francisco's Mission District last month, protesters
blocked a bus carrying tech workers for about half an hour. Days later,
demonstrators carrying a banner that read 'F- off Google' broke a window of a
bus at the West Oakland BART Station.
Fairly or not, the air-conditioned, Wi-Fi-equipped buses and their passengers
have become the most tangible symbol in the backlash against the city's tech
boom as longtime San Francisco residents and others try to cope with soaring
housing prices and commercial rents, which have been blamed for forcing out
tenants, artists and nonprofits."
Mayor Ed Lee announced a plan on Monday to charge shuttle providers to use a
limited number of San Francisco public bus stops.
Gabriel Metcalf, the executive
director of SPUR, an urban think-tank wrote in
Atlantic Cities last October:
city did not allow its housing supply to keep up with demand. San Francisco
was down-zoned (that is, the density of housing or permitted expansion of
construction was reduced) to protect the 'character' that people loved. It
created the most byzantine planning process of any major city in the
country. Many outspoken citizens did—and continue to do—everything possible
to fight new high-density development or, as they saw it, protecting the
city from undesirable change."
Wall Street Journal on Silicon Valley dreams of techno-utopias and arrogance
Women, African-Americans and Hispanics/ Latinos are unwanted in Silicon Valley