SF mayoral candidate London Breed says the city has a ‘complex’ relationship with tech

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed wants you to remember that she was once, and will be the future of mayor of San Francisco, she said at the Lesbians Who Tech conference on Friday.

For those unfamiliar with San Francisco local politics, Breed temporarily served as acting mayor following the untimely passing of SF Mayor Ed Lee in December. As a result of his passing before the completion of his term, San Francisco is holding a special election in June, in which Breed, Supervisor Jane Kim, former Supervisor Mark Leno and others are running for mayor.

In addition to describing what it was like growing up in San Francisco and laying out some of the issues the city faces, like the lack of affordable housing, homelessness, and mental health and substance abuse, Breed called on the tech industry to do better with diversity and inclusion.

“San Francisco has a complex, if not ironic relationship with your industry,” Breed said to a crowd of techies. “This is a place where someone can get out of an Uber, and pull out their iPhone and send a tweet about how the tech industry is ruining the city.”

While tech has undoubtedly led to job creation in San Francisco, there is still a large number of people who feel left out or have been pushed out of the city, she said. For example, black people make up just 3 percent of employees and Latinx people make up 6 percent of employees at the top ranked 75 Silicon Valley tech firms, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“Your industry is creating world class companies, innovating and designing products the rest of us use every single day,” Breed said. “But we cannot call that work success if LGBT people, if minorities, if women are excluded from it.”

Breed says she wants to work with the tech community to ensure diversity and inclusion in the industry while helping create a city where people are not forced to live on the streets. She added, “We also must confront the tragic dichotomy of homeless people suffering right at the feet of multi-billion dollar companies.”