The Grauniad: “‘We all suffer’: why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed.” Though based on the first three paragraphs, there doesn’t appear to be much transformation going on here, except for the addition of e-scooters and Uber:
It was a beautiful winter day in San Francisco, and Zoe was grooving to the soundtrack of the roller-skating musical Xanadu as she rode an e-scooter to work. The 29-year-old tech worker had just passed the Uber building when, without warning, a homeless man jumped into the bike lane with his dog, blocking her path.
She slammed on the brakes, flew four feet into the air and landed on the pavement, bleeding. “It was one of those hardening moments where I was like, ‘Even I am being affected,’” she recalled.
It should be noted that Zoe, who asked not to be identified by her real name because she was not authorized by her employer to speak to the press, is not the stereotypical tech bro who moves to San Francisco for a job and immediately starts complaining about the city’s dire homelessness crisis. She arrived in 2007 to study at San Francisco State University and had a career in the arts before attending a coding bootcamp and landing a job at a major tech company.
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For Zoe, the newfound financial security from working in tech does not counterbalance a constant sense of being unsafe in the city. She now earns three to four times more than when she was a “starving artist”, but she says she is terrified to walk at night. She no longer rides scooters and says she feels “triggered” when she sees them around the city. She takes Ubers everywhere after dark and asks drivers to watch to make sure she gets inside her apartment building.
“Mark Zuckerberg lives nearby, but our corner is the main prostitution corner in the city,” she said of the Mission District apartment she shares with her boyfriend. “There’s condoms and syringes. It’s absolutely crazy with how much we pay for rent … It’s tough, because we work in tech, but we ask ourselves every day if we should move.”
Expect more of the same if you’re planning a move to Austin: “Starting today, so long as they are not presenting a hazard or danger, people will be able to sleep, lie and set up tents on city-owned sidewalks,” the Austin Statesman reports.
As Iowahawk tweets, “I’m guessing the sidewalks in front of city council members’ houses aren’t included in this.”
(San Francisco’s last Republican mayor left office at the beginning of 1964.)