SF CITI: SF Tech Comes Together For A Better San Francisco; Can SF Afford It?

Can technology make a better San Francisco? Well-known tech leaders who live in San Francisco (last time I checked) think so. To so this, they’ve come together with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to form SFCITI.

SFCITI is described as “Leveraging the collective power of the tech sector as a force for civic action in San Francisco,” and includes members representing over 100 tech companies in San Francisco, and is primarily represented by Jack Dorsey, Co-founder of Twitter; Founder of Square,Biz Stone, Co-founder of Twitter; Co-founder of Obvious Corporation, Brian Chesky, Founder of Airbnb, and Hosain Rahman, Founder of Jawbone, as well as Ron Conway of SV Angels and Y Combinator.

The website at SFCITI.com has a number of interesting ideas, as expressed in the website, but my question is can SF afford them? There doesn’t seem to be much of an understanding of public finance and the vast changes in San Francisco public finance (like the loss of Redevelopment) that make this wish list harder to achieve. Will the private sector pay for the ideas? How? For how long? And what’s the overall economic impact?

But that said, Prop E is a reform in SF business tax collection that’s long overdue. It would tax gross revenue, and not payroll – thus there’s more incentive to hire rather than fire, at least that’s the theory. It’s better than what SF currently has.

The other issue I have is that SFCITI speaks to me, but not to those who are not “tech,” and it does nothing to help solve the problem of getting tech to those who can least afford it in San Francisco. It’s the “haves” helping themselves, not others.

Just some of my many questions and observations.

I did join SFCITI, by the way.

We need to do this in Oakland.

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