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Culture Clash – SF Youth v Techies

October 25, 2014

By Zrants

This seemingly small dispute over playground access in the Mission District is the latest in a much broader fight between established San Francisco residents who want to stay in their homes, preserve their business, jobs, parking rights, and lifestyles, and the nouveau tech riche, who appear to be swooping in to buy the city out from under them.

The residents just want to be left alone, but their position becomes less stable as city authorities drink more tech money and controlling class pushes for ever-higher rents, sending housing prices through the roof.

Last week we saw the demise of the city’s oldest radical rag and this week some of us witnessed another backroom deal that was fortunately put on the back burner for a few weeks. If you follow the events at City Hall that never make the news, you see a pattern that is disturbing to say the least.

Probably the most important thing the demonstrators are doing is keeping the public up to date on these angry little neighborhood disputes and injustices. These skirmishes, like the traffic jams, remind voters that if they don’t like what is going on they should vote to change it.

The supervisors put Prop G on the ballot to attempt to stabilize housing prices. Even though many feel it is not a well-written law, it is the only option on the ballot voters were given to vote on. If G doesn’t pass, City Hall will claim the voters agree with their housing policies. So we stuck between the usual rock and hard stone. but vote we must to protect our rights.

A vote for Props A and B, as many journalists have pointed out, is a vote to reduce traffic lanes and street parking, cut Muni routes and stops, while adding more bike lanes. See the Bond A funds chart derived from Matier and Ross figures for SFMTA plans for the funds.

A vote for Yes on Prop L is a vote to change SFMTA’s policies to make them more balanced, less anti-car, and more focused on the Muni system.

At the state level not much is being done to solve the problems San Francisco is dealing with, but many new laws have hurt us. The tech based housing crisis is strangely unique to San Francisco, even though there are a lot of tech companies are in other areas, only San Francisco seems to be experiences the culture clash. Much of the clash is augmented by the “Sharing Economy” that encompasses many industries these days, but centers around the Airbnbs and UBERs. Is City Hall encouraging the explosive new “sharing industry” to replace traditional businesses, and why?

To sum up the reason for discord on the athletic fields, local residents have been kicked out of their homes, parks and parking spots to make room for the new wave of suckers, who will soon find themselves on the other side when they are displaced by the next unruly trend that the city succumbs to. By my count this is the third dot com invasion San Francisco has seen, yet none were are grueling and cruel as this one. Could it be that our earlier civic leaders were concerned about protecting citizens and were harder to buy?

Many people have asked, how is this tech boom different from the others and the best I can come up with is that there was less money in the game, wages went up with inflation, and prices rose at more or less the same pace. Maybe we need to revisit those earlier booms to see what we got right then that we are missing now.

Until we figure it out, the best we can do is protest in the streets and vote to change what we can.

Our city slate, since you asked: No on everything except, Yes on G, H, J and L. We do not endorse anyone. Get out and Vote.

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