This weekend Airbnb held its first-ever conference for hosts in San Francisco. Inside, executives restated the company's goal to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Outside, local cops allegedly shoved housing activists who were protesting Airbnb's role in the eviction crisis, confining demonstrators into a "free speech" pen.
Single-room-occupancy hotels are some of the last scraps of low-income housing left in San Francisco. But for the city's high-tech strata, they're just another piece of property to flip for profit. And one tech-centric housing company stands accused of using unlawful evictions to turn a SoMa SRO into a gaudy co-op for dozens of tech workers.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced Thursday that he's running for re-election. Four days later, his campaign already hit its first setback. Sen. Dianne Feinstein told the Chronicle that she's not ready to endorse him for a second term, citing concerns with local Airbnb laws. Maybe she's looking at the alternatives?
Mark Zuckerberg is already paying dozens of kids to hold parking spots overnight outside the construction site for his San Francisco mansion. But he's now taken street occupation a step further: Capp Street Crap tweets that this is a "photo of one of the cranes that shut down [21st Street] to hoist fully mature trees into Zuckerberg's yard."
San Francisco got little right with their Airbnb-legalizing legislation. The home-renting startup has been accused of illegally lobbying to get the bill passed. Airbnb also helped regulators write portions of the law. Now HomeAway, the Airbnb competitor that runs VRBO, is suing to get the law overturned because it was designed with only one company in mind.
When Ed Lee was appointed mayor of San Francisco in early 2011, he quickly spearheaded the passage of a Mid-Market neighborhood tax break. It was sold to the public as a way to keep high-profile startups like Twitter in town and revive the chronically-struggling neighborhood. But a report for the city's controller's office indicates the tax break hasn't been quite so successful.
Multiple traffic lights were molested last night as crowds of fans flocked to San Francisco's Mission District following the Giants' World Series victory. As the riot grew in size and SFPD officers began losing control of the situation, dozens of fires were ignited as helicopters beaming spotlights swarmed overhead.
For much of Ed Lee's first term as Mayor of San Francisco, he enjoyed both the popular support of the public and the financial backing of tech tycoons. Last March, a stunning 65 percent of local voters approved of Lee's handling of the job. Then the Google Bus protests happened, the cost of living kept rising, and evictions hit crisis levels. Within 13 months, Lee's approval rating sunk by 20 points.
The last time a startup programmer taught a homeless man to code, the naive vanity project failed. A few engineering lessons failed to solve socioeconomic realities and the man was still sleeping in the streets eight months later. But Twitter has higher hopes for its new "learning center" where employees can "teach tech skills" to San Francisco's homeless.
With all the tech money being flung around the Bay Area, everyone is grabbing for a piece—especially real estate developers. In San Francisco's south-east corner, a Miami-based development company is looking to reinvent a government Superfund site into a techie "innovation center," complete with usual Silicon Valley amenities.
Like many other cities across America, San Francisco is attempting to raise its minimum wage and fill a gap caused by federal and state incompetence. The city's voters in the upcoming election will decide whether to up the local minimum wage from $10.74 to $15 an hour, boosting incomes of the most vulnerable workers in the hyper-gentrifying city.
Airbnb just got its very own law! San Francisco Board of Supervisors agreed to "legalize but rein in short-term residential rentals by passing the so-called 'Airbnb law.'" Hopefully that marks the end of "almost cult-like" Airbnb proselytizers who followed Supervisor Eric Mar around a farmer's market.
The extravagant renovation of Mark Zuckerberg's $10 million San Francisco "fixer-upper" has already aggravated neighbors with months of noise and parking concerns. But Zuckerberg's own actions are making the impacts of the ongoing 17 month project worse. According to CBS, the boy billionaire has been paying a squad of squatters to hold parking spots so his construction workers have somewhere to park.
Yesterday, the district attorneys from San Francisco and Los Angeles sent letters to Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar threatening potential legal action, including an injunction to their service unless they make "major changes" regarding background checks and pricing. So where's the usual bombast and bluster about antiquated laws and taxi cartels?