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San Francisco Ballots Turn Up Anger Over the Technical Divide

November 2, 2015

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SAN FRANCISCO — … Every year, Californians are asked to decide on a dizzying number ofElection Day propositions. On Tuesday, San Francisco voters will weigh in on 11 propositions and candidates for various offices in an election that has essentially become a referendum on the city’s booming technology industry and a vehicle for voters to vent as they seethe over the sky-high housing prices that have come with it.

Seven of the propositions on the San Francisco ballot are either directly or indirectly related to the technology industry and housing costs. In addition to “the Airbnb thing,” there are two affordable-housing measures and a proposal to help old-line businesses make rent in neighborhoods that are filling up with boutiques and organic restaurants.

“The ballot reflects the tension in San Francisco, where we all agree that there is a housing crisis,” said Scott Wiener, a member of the Board of Supervisors. “There are efforts to meaningfully address the crisis, and efforts to perpetuate bad policy that has gotten us into this crisis in the first place.”…

Longtime San Franciscans love to debate with the newly arrived as to when, exactly, the city became a playground for the rich. The enduring story of San Francisco is that each new generation of migrants feels as if they are the first people to discover the city’s beauty and its quirks, as well as the first people to discover that lots of other people want to live there, too… 

This election, then, is about what, if anything, can be done about it. Or in some cases, it is just an opportunity for residents to voice their anger… (more)

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