By Tim Redmond
FEB. 28, 2014 — The Chron’s somewhat sensationalistic coverage of the “tech against displacement” meeting missed the point. At least, according to Tom Temprano, who was there and hosted it. And according to Rolla Selbak, who works for a tech company and was one of the organizers.
“There was so much positivity,” Selbak told me. “When I woke up in the morning and saw the Chron headline, I couldn’t believe we were at the same event.”
She said the night was a great success, that there was only one heckler who interrupted one speaker during an even lasting more than three hours. “People stuck around and we had some fantastic conversations,” she told me. “It’s so sad that it’s getting played this way.”
Brett Welch, a mission resident who founded the startup Switchcam, had the same impression. “There was only one person really off the rails, and she left early,” he said. “It was two groups of people trying to do something good.”
I was teaching a class and I missed that event, but I went to another one last night, a mixer for tech workers and reporters from the ethnic media, organized by New American Media. Since Sandy Close, the NAM director, was running the show, it was entirely cordial and positive. Close is an amazing person, one of the most respected media people in the Bay Area; everyone listens when she talks.
And since most of the tech workers were from Zendesk – the only mid-Market company that actually met its obligations under the Twitter Tax Break community benefits agreement – the notion that the fast-growing industry needs to do more to work with the community was well received. (more after the jump)