San Francisco mayor meets with tech execs

The mayor of San Francisco had a sit down lunch Monday with the CEOs from a number of high tech companies.
December 16, 2013 8:42:52 PM PST
The mayor of San Francisco had a sit down lunch Monday with the CEOs from a number of high tech companies. The focus was on the challenges of housing, transportation and affordability -- challenges many say were brought on by these companies.

Protesters with SEIU Local 1021 tried to get inside the building where San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was having lunch with top tech executives. Security had to hold the doors shut.

Former San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, now with SEIU, blames the high tech companies and their employees for changing the socioeconomic picture of San Francisco.

"The number of evictions with what has happened with real estate, it's really a social war that has broken out, never seen any this like this escalate," Daly said.

Before the meeting, the mayor admitted evictions are up in some neighborhoods and home sale prices and rentals are not affordable to many families. Monday's meeting focused on convincing these companies to extend their wealth to all city residents.

"But I think some of the messages that I've read are coming out are trying to blame somebody for the high cost," Lee said. "I know it's realtors that are speculating that are part of this problem but I don't think the work force is."

The mayor acknowledged these tech companies have created thousands of new jobs.

Tech workers like Mike Chavez say gentrification is unavoidable.

"Any other place, any other county, if you want to live in the most desirable place, you do have to pay the price for it," Chavez said.

San Francisco's Mission District is one of those neighborhoods that been slowly transformed.

Ronnie McGoldrick was born and raised here.

"People buying up everything and then turning it into a fancy new restaurant," he said. "Look at Valencia. I used to take karate down here, now it's some fancy restaurant."

Some local residents are expected to take on the issue of evictions at a protest this Wednesday in the Mission.


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