Former San Francisco Mayor Criticizes ‘White-Male-Dominated’ Techies For ‘Class Warfare’

Willie Brown thinks that the city's techies are creating class warfare. He has a point.

By Jamilah King Nov 26, 2013

San Francisco’s increasing number of evictions have made national news this week. On Monday, the New York Times ran a piece on the "backlash by the Bay" that got lots of attention, and now former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown has taken up the issue in a recent column for the San Francsico Chronicle. At issue are the tax breaks — which could cost $55 million — that city leaders offered Twitter to move into downtown. Here’s Brown:

There’s a war brewing in the streets of San Francisco, and a lot of people could get caught up in it if the tech world doesn’t start changing its self-centered culture.

Every day in every way, from rising rents to rising prices at restaurants to its private buses, the tech world is becoming an object of scorn. It’s only a matter of time before the techies’ youthful lustre fades, and they’re seen as just another extension of Wall Street.

And when that happens, tenant advocates, community activists, labor unions and Occupy types are going to start asking why we’re giving away the city to all these white-male-dominated businesses that don’t even hire locals.

We’ve covered a handful of those evictions here at Colorlines, notably those of the Lee and Yañez families from their longtime homes in the city’s Chinatown and Mission District. At the heart of many of these evictions is what’s known as the Ellis Act, a local law that’s been used to push longtime tenants out of rent controlled apartments. California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is pushing for legislation that could revise the law and make it harder for landlords to evict people from their homes, according to CBS Local News in San Francisco.