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Monday, December 16, 2013

Mayor Ed Lee To Meet With Tech CEOs; Protesters Will Be There, Too

Posted By on Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 9:42 AM

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If anyone is searching for the zeitgeist of San Francisco in 2013, they can find it at noon today at One Market Street.

That's when Mayor Ed Lee and a cadre of select technology executives -- including, of course, tech-happy venture capitalist Ron Conway and boss Marc Benioff -- will meet for an invitation-only summit. Over lunch, our prosperous betters will discuss how to best "extend [their] prosperity to all our City's residents and neighborhoods in 2014 and beyond," according to the e-mail invitation from the Mayor's Office.

That this meeting comes on the heels of a nightmare week for the tech industry's image is pure coincidence. That entrants to this meeting will have to run a gauntlet of protesters gathered outside, demanding that key decisions on the city's future be open source, and perhaps demanding that Lee press tech for help on raising the minimum wage, is pure San Francisco.

Here's the invitation itself in its entirety. See for yourself if you qualify for a seat at the table and ergo a chance for your voice to be heard.

Just a few years ago, San Francisco struggled to emerge from the Great Recession, suffering from 11% unemployment, $500 million budget deficits and deep cuts to vital city services.

In 2013, however, thanks in large part to the strong growth of our technology and innovation sectors, San Francisco saw tremendous economic success, adding thousands of new jobs and experiencing a surge in new residential and commercial construction.

But with our robust economic recovery come emerging challenges in housing, transportation and affordability for our City -- and together we must respond to these challenges to ensure we can sustain our economic recovery and extend this prosperity to all our City's residents and neighborhoods in 2014 and beyond.


This important discussion and lunch will be co-hosted by and Ron Conway of and will address how the technology sector and City can partner to sustain and extend our economic recovery to all San Franciscans and address these emerging challenges.

Please RSVP to by Thursday, December 12th and note any special dietary requirements. Specific information about the location of the lunch will be provided upon RSVP.

The invitation is for CEO's and senior executives only and is not transferable.

Organizers with Service Employees International Union Local 1021, including its political director, former San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, are behind the luncheon's protest.

The location is a bit notable not only because it's headquarters -- it's's headquarters just a stone's throw away from where Occupy San Francisco camped out in the fall of 2011. Don't those days feel an age ago?

While Lee credits the technology industry for fixing San Francisco's budget, all is not perfect yet: there were deficits totaling over $400 million in the tech-fattened two-year budget Lee signed last summer. Seems like there are systemic problems beyond poverty that need disruption; what solutions will tech posit? Aside from moving everyone to Richmond and Stockton, that is.

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

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