Lyft’s decision to contribute $100,000 to fight Proposition C, San Francisco’s urgent measure to help the homeless, is morally reprehensible — and must now hurt the ride-sharing company’s bottom line.
I’m calling on all San Franciscans — indeed all decent Americans — to boycott Lyft. Not even Uber, with all its corporate baggage, has taken a stand like this against SF’s thousands of suffering men, women, and children on the streets.
This is a morally defining moment for the people of San Francisco — and for the global tech companies headquartered here. As Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff — who, to his great credit, has thrown his corporate weight and money behind Prop. C — has said, “It’s binary — either you’re for the homeless or you’re not. I’m for the homeless.”
But Lyft’s billionaire executives object to the tiny tax that will be levied on big corporations to help pay for homeless programs. The company’s anti-Prop. C arguments, which mirror those of the Chamber of Commerce, have no merit, as the City Controller’s office recently reported.Prop. C will have virtually no negative impact on business or jobs, but will indeed help reduce homelessness, declared the City Controller.
The transportation colossus not only is showing its cold, heartless soul on SF’s homeless crisis, but according to another recent local report, has (along with Uber) overwhelmed the city’s streets with its fleet of cars — another SF crisis for which the giant corporation refuses to take responsibility.
Lyft executives are not the only moral robots in SF’s tech industry. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is also donating $75,000 to defeat Prop. C. In a recent Twitter debate with Marc Benioff, Dorsey insisted there are better ways to help the homeless, like through private charity. When Benioff challenged the Twitter billionaire to state how he personally has helped alleviate the misery on his city’s streets, Dorsey conveniently ducked the question.
And yet Dorsey’s social media giant benefited enormously from a city tax break that was so targeted to lure the company’s HQ to SF that was known as the “Twitter tax break.” Selfish and greedy tech moguls like Dorsey think all the charity should be flowing THEIR way from the city, instead of the other way around.
Twitter — a communication behemoth that will go down in infamy as Donald Trump’s favorite propaganda platform — now further darkens its reputation. If Twitter employees have any social conscience, they should hit the streets on Monday outside Twitter’s mid-Market St. headquarters and loudly demand that the company help the hordes of homeless people all around them by supporting Prop. C.
Lyft employees and community activists should also target Lyft headquarters and encircle the building with loud picket lines, to let its corporate management know what we think about the company’s direct assault on humane San Francisco values.
Indeed, San Francisco’s high-paid tech workers have a moral obligation to campaign for Prop. C — because it was the massive influx of tech business and labor into the city in recent years that severely strained the city’s housing supply, sent rents soaring, and resulted in the eviction of thousands who are now homeless.
To paraphrase Marc Benioff — either you’re on the side of San Francisco’s suffering homeless, or like Lyft billionaires and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, you’re on the side of greed and selfishness.
Which side are YOU on?