San Francisco, California or as I have preferred to call it, “the People’s Republic of San Fransicko,” has always been known for the summer of love, hippies & for attracting the type of individual who prefers to lead a more bohemian lifestyle. I have no problems with the free-spirited people who prefer to lead a lifestyle out of the expected norms of society — that is of course unless those same free-spirited people become progressives/socialists/Marxists who want to spread their sick ideologies.
Now it seems there is a change afoot in in San Francisco and those bohemian-types are not very happy about it. Ever since 2007 when Google opened up shop in the city and then shortly afterward with the arrival of Twitter, there has been a change in the demographic there that is not sitting well with long time residents. There is a growing resentment and anger amongst the lower-income long term residents that are starting to be priced out by the young and wealthy tech workers who have been repopulating the city as that industry shifts over from Silicon Valley.
From The New York Times:
Resentment simmers, at the fleets of Google buses that ferry workers to the company’s headquarters in Mountain View and back; the code jockeys who crowd elite coffeehouses, heads buried in their laptops; and the sleek black Uber cars that whisk hipsters from bar to bar. Late last month, two tech millionaires opened the Battery, an invitation-only, $2,400-a-year club in an old factory in the financial district, cars lining up for valet parking.
For critics, such sights are symbols of a city in danger of losing its diversity — one that artists, families and middle-class workers can no longer afford. On the day of Twitter’s public offering this month, 150 demonstrators protested outside the company with signs reading “People not profit” and “We’re the public, what are you offering?”
More and more longtime residents are being forced out as landlords and speculators race to capitalize on the money stream.
Mary Elizabeth Phillips, a retired accountant, is fighting eviction from the rent-controlled apartment where she has lived for almost half a century. If her new landlords have their way, she will have to move in April, shortly after her 98th birthday, because they want to sell the units.
Her neighborhood has given way around her. The car dealership across the street is now a luxury apartment complex, complete with rooftop herb garden, a butterfly habitat and a Whole Foods.
“I can understand it from an investment standpoint,” she said of her landlords’ actions. “But I don’t think I’d ever be that coldblooded about this.”
While the technology boom has bred hostility, it has also brought San Francisco undeniable benefits. Mayor Edwin M. Lee credits the technology sector with helping to pull the city out of the recession, creating jobs and nourishing a thriving economy that is the envy of cash-starved cities across the country.
The industry is “not so much taking over but complementing the job creation we want in the city,” Mr. Lee said while giving a tour of middle Market Street to show off its “renaissance” from a seedy skid row to a tech district where Twitter, Square and other companies have made their home.