In particular, for San Francisco, adopting that reality means one thing above all: It needs to build more buildings. Build taller buildings, sites that house many more people and businesses than they do now. If it accepts its fate as large metropolis, San Francisco could become the next New York, Hong Kong, or Paris — a city that’s dense with people and businesses, and all of the urban services, cultural values and environmental virtues that density accommodates.
Finally I recalled the stopgap solution of a Google Engineer who was told that the peasants had no rent money, and who responded: "Let them buy houses."
UPDATE 12:32pm: Various tips have streamed in that this shout-out was staged. Protest organizer Leslie Dreyer talked to us on the phone and verified that this person's identity was Max Bell Alper, a union organizer from Oakland. This person was not a Google employee, and Dreyer was not able to verify if Alper was there in the morning with the group of 20-30 protesters. The Guardian is attempting to contact Alper for comment. Dreyer said she, as an organizer, was unaware that the "performance" had been planned. We are following this as it develops.
Today we are the San Francisco Displacement and Neighborhood Impact Agency, and we're stopping the injustice in the city's two-tier system where the public pays and the private corporations gain.
Rents and evictions are on the rise. Tech-fueled real estate speculation is the culprit. We say: Enough is Enough! The local government, especially Mayor Lee, has given tech the keys to shape the city to their fancy without the public having any say in it. We say, lets take them back!
Tech Industry private shuttles use over 200 SF MUNI stops approximately 7,100 times in total each day (M-F) without permission or contributing funds to support this public infrastructure. No vehicles other than MUNI are allowed to use these stops. If the tech industry was fined for each illegal use for the past 2 years, they would owe an estimated $1 billion to the city.
We demand they PAY UP or GET OUT!
Mayor Curley: What wear on the infrastructure are those buses causing exactly? If they weren't available, wouldn't many of those people be driving to work? I'd think they're actually a net gain for the city because they cut down on road wear.
In the neoliberal utopia, all of us are forced to spend an inordinate amount of time keeping track of each and every facet of our economic lives. That, in fact, is the openly declared goal: once we are made more cognizant of our money, where it comes from and where it goes, neoliberals believe we’ll be more responsible in spending and investing it. Of course, rich people have accountants, lawyers, personal assistants, and others to do this for them, so the argument doesn’t apply to them, but that’s another story for another day.
The dream is that we’d all have our gazillion individual accounts — one for retirement, one for sickness, one for unemployment, one for the kids, and so on, each connected to our employment, so that we understand that everything good in life depends upon our boss (and not the government) — and every day we’d check in to see how they’re doing, what needs attending to, what can be better invested elsewhere. It’s as if, in the neoliberal dream, we’re all retirees in Boca, with nothing better to do than to check in with our broker, except of course that we’re not. Indeed, if Republicans (and some Democrats) had their way, we’d never retire at all.Link
On Oct. 24, Google is expected to join Intuit, Samsung and two developers for the first meeting of the Mountain View Transportation Management Association, a City Council-created requirement for several new office developments in Mountain View. The agency will collectively run shuttles for major employers in the city, and run a new publicly accessible route between corporate campuses and downtown.
Aside from keeping solo car drivers off the road, the association's effectiveness will be in reducing the number of nearly empty employee shuttles in town, while potentially coordinating other efforts to reduce car trips.
Possibilities include paying for a new shared parking garage that keeps North Bayshore employees from driving on an increasingly gridlocked Shoreline Boulevard, or new bike-share facilities. Such measures will be increasingly important as the city is now requiring "mode share" targets for new offices -- on Tuesday, Intuit promised to the City Council that only 45 percent of its employees would drive alone to a new campus at 2600 Marine Way.
Intuit officials told the City Council on Tuesday that its shuttles to and from Marine Way, near Shoreline Park's West entrance, are open to the public, though Siegel (ed. note: Jac Siegel, Mountain View City Council member) expressed concern about whether the public knew this.
What’s going to happen to these serial entrepreneurs when they’re forty-five and have two kids—especially if they don’t have a hit company? This seemed a window onto the Bay Area’s future, so I asked a lot of people. No one knew. The consensus was that people like this go to work for Google.
Our job as activists and organizers is to not just to shine a light on the straw man that is the privileged tech worker destroying a community but to also see how we can organize together. I am not saying I did not love what Max Alper did but in the longer term fight gentrification is not the same as a picket line. The complexity creates a situation where the question of “which side are you on” does not apply in the same way. It is not boss vs worker. Often times the opposition of landlord vs tenant fails as well, as long time owners who are working class and Latino or African American want to cash out. I have seen my white activist friends get in legal battles with their Latino working class landlords.
We all need to acknowledge that this issue is complex and that it is not someone’s fault, but the fault of a fucked up system that everyone other than the super rich are trapped within.
That while collective action and public institutions are never able to ‘get it right’, the unfettered operations of decentralised private interest generates a kind of secular-cum-divine providence that is guaranteed to produce not only the right outcomes but also the right desires, character, ethos even. The best example of neoliberal crassness is, of course, the debate on climate change and what to do about it. Neoliberals have rushed in to argue that, if anything is to be done, it must take the form of creating a quasi-market for ‘bads’ (e.g. an emissions’ trading scheme) since only markets ‘know’ how to price goods and bads appropriately. To understand both why such a quasi-market solution is bound to fail and, more importantly, where the motivation comes from for such ‘solutions’, one can do much worse than to become acquainted with logic of capital accumulation....Link
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