SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Supporters of San Francisco’s Proposition C rallied Thursday outside of tech giant Twitter’s headquarters less than a week after the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, blasted the measure on the social site.
Carrying signs in support of Prop. C, Our City, Our Home, about 50 protesters stood outside 155 Market St., chanting “support Prop. C for people like me.”
“Tech is pushing people away and minimizing the voices of the city’s most marginalized people and I’m here as a person working in tech to say that it’s unacceptable,” Sam Heft-Luthy, a 24-year-old product manager for a tech company, said. “When a company opposes a measure like Prop. C … they don’t speak for all tech workers. They don’t speak for their employees when they do so, they speak for themselves as the billionaire class.”
According to Tracey Mixon, 47, a San Francisco native who said she’s currently living in a family shelter with her daughter, Prop C. would help place people like her into permanent housing faster.
“It’s hard for me having an 8-year-old daughter and knowing that we’re going through this, but there’s no shame in it. It’s not the ideal situation, but it beats being out here,” she said. “What we need is affordable housing. We need more resources because it’s obvious that the money that they have been spending has not worked. This holds someone accountable.”
The rally was organized by the Democratic Socialists of America San Francisco.
Prop. C would tax companies in the city that gross more than $50 million, with half of the tax going toward housing and a fourth going toward mental health and substance abuse services.
In tweets that no longer appear on Dorsey’s Twitter profile, he reportedly wrote on Oct. 19, “We’re happy to pay our taxes. We just want to be treated fairly with respect to our peer companies, many of whom are 2-10x larger than us. Otherwise, we don’t know how to practically grow in the city.
That’s heartbreaking for us as we love SF and want to continue to help build it.”
Dorsey also said his other smaller companies, Square and Stripe, “would be taxed at a significantly larger total contribution than much larger companies like Salesforce.”
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff earlier this month came out in support of the proposition, committing $1 million to the campaign.
Earlier this month, Mayor London Breed announced her opposition to the ballot initiative, citing that it lacks fiscal oversight for the $250 to $300 million it seeks annually from businesses.
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Assemblymember David Chiu, D-San Francisco, have both also announced their opposition.
Several other elected officials, however, have come out in support of the proposition, including U.S. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, Public Defender Jeff Adachi and Supervisors Vallie Brown, Hillary Ronen, Aaron Peskin, Norman Yee, Rafael Mandelman, Sandra Lee Fewer and Jane Kim.
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