San Francisco’s Pursuit of Tech Spurs Questions

Mayor Ed Lee wants to do more to promote the local technology industry than any mayor before him.

But this approach increasingly has some advocates of affordable housing and renters’ representatives questioning whether the mayor’s focus on tech-sector growth is helping San Franciscans who are struggling most to recover from the recession. Advocacy groups met with Mr. Lee earlier this month to raise concerns about issues ranging from the dearth of work at the tech firms for entry-level workers to the city’s rising cost of living with the arrival of wealthy tech workers.

Mr. Lee says he is pushing tech companies to help the prospects of economically disadvantaged residents. Last year he helped persuade tech firms to open an academy to train low-income residents in skills that could land them entry-level positions in the industry, such as call-center or technical support, though no date has been set for the academy’s opening.

On the question of housing, Mr. Lee said he’s searching for ways to keep costs down.



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