Dear sf.citi members,
Once again, we’ve had another whirlwind year at sf.citi. While tech took center stage in the national political conversation, there was no shortage of political energy and movement around the future of tech in our very own City. We had a record year of advocacy and championed collaborative solutions between our members, elected officials, and nonprofit leaders. We also expanded our engagement work to the broader community, welcoming several new sf.citi members and surpassing $1 million in resources donated to our corporate volunteer program, Circle the Schools. We led our second industry-wide tech volunteer day with over one hundred participants from member companies. Tied together by an underlying theme of unity and community building, I am pleased to present some of our brightest moments in 2019.
As San Francisco’s preeminent leader on tech policy, we worked hard to strengthen our advocacy voice. We debuted our Policy Advisory Committee, a group of senior leaders from the City’s biggest and fastest-growing tech companies. And with a comprehensive Policy Agenda, we played a significant role in many of City Hall’s most charged debates, including conversations around strengthening privacy legislation and the creation of the first-of-its-kind Office of Emerging Technology. We also led the way in developing solutions around a flurry of tax proposals, including the proposed IPO and CEO taxes.
Reinforcing our role in the larger industry ecosystem, 2019 saw the launch of our first Tech City Summit, a convening of North America’s leading tech advocacy associations. Hosted in the mountains of Colorado, the summit helped us forge lasting partnerships with advocates from the world’s fastest-growing tech hubs, including New York, Seattle, Toronto, and more. Building off of this momentum, we partnered with Toronto’s tech community to organize the TechBet, a public charity bet held during the NBA Finals, which raised over $100,000 for education nonprofits. sf.citi is now working with the Toronto tech community to expand our Circle the Schools program to the area.
Finally, we closed out the year with yet another stellar lineup of tech events in San Francisco. Bringing together top tech leaders, we hosted sold-out conversations on a wide range of current issues, such as corporate sustainability, the future of plant-based investing, and the intersection of mental health and technology. Since launching our event programming in 2016, sf.citi has now hosted over 3,500 attendees across 16 events featuring nearly 70 speakers.
The year has come to a close but a new decade is upon us. There is no certainty in an industry of disruption and innovation, but there is one thing we are certain of at sf.citi: we will continue to drive tech to be a force for positive change, both here in San Francisco and beyond.
Who We Are
sf.citi is San Francisco’s tech trade association developed to empower the San Francisco tech community to have a voice in local tech policy decisions and collaborate with government on solving local issues. Founded in 2012, sf.citi drives cross-sector conversation between the City’s tech, nonprofit, and political communities, and advocates policies that offer innovative solutions to longstanding issues facing San Francisco.
sf.citi represents San Francisco tech companies in conversation with local policymakers.
WE ADVOCATE FOR INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS
At the start of each year, sf.citi works closely with our Policy Advisory Committee to develop a policy agenda that guides our advocacy work for the year. In 2019, we identified six policy priorities that we and our members considered most critical to the success of San Francisco’s tech community and the City as a whole. Facing no shortage of new tech policy in 2019, we were proud to conclude a year of record legislative action, including many policy accomplishments for our members and our City.
sf.citi and our members are committed to ensuring that San Francisco’s booming tech industry is accessible to all. That is why we regularly organize and support programs that help people of all backgrounds gain exposure to tech. For the past two years, we have partnered with LinkedIn to host ‘Breaking Into Tech,’ a night of speed networking that connects hundreds of tech workers in San Francisco with those looking to break into the field. We also supported Mayor Breed’s summer internship program, Opportunities for All, to give our young people hands-on work experience at tech companies across the City.
We at sf.citi advocate for concrete policies that improve the lives of those who live, work, and visit our incredible city. Representing San Francisco’s technology industry and over 70,000 employees, we convene community and government to develop solutions to our City’s most complex issues. Our most pressing challenge is San Francisco’s systemic homelessness crisis.
Letter to the Editor, San Francisco Examiner
3,800 youth placed in paid internships
CONTRIBUTED BY sf.citi MEMBERS TO OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Tech companies in San Francisco are hyper aware of the City’s homelessness crisis. They are also eager to be part of the solution. In April 2019, sf.citi and our members joined Mayor Breed in voicing our support for the construction of a new navigation center on Seawall Lot 330 of the Embarcadero. With a 78 percent success rate, navigation centers provide much needed shelter and services to our unhoused neighbors. sf.citi and many of our members also participated in Tipping Point’s ‘All In’ campaign to secure homes for 1,100 people experiencing homelessness in all 11 San Francisco Supervisorial districts.
Underlying many of San Francisco’s issues, housing is a priority for sf.citi and our members. We stand behind pro-growth policies that increase San Francisco’s housing supply and make our City a more affordable place to live and work. During the 2019 San Francisco municipal election, sf.citi endorsed two housing measures: Proposition A, the largest affordable housing bond in the City’s history, and Proposition E, a measure to fast-track affordable and educator housing construction. In April 2019, we also hosted California State Senator Scott Wiener at one of our Lunch and Learn discussions. He told members about California Senate Bill 50, a landmark housing proposal to increase high-density housing around transit hubs. While SB 50 was postponed until 2020, sf.citi submitted a letter of support for the bill and will continue to support the measure’s progress.
$2B+ contributed by sf.citi members to Bay Area housing initiatives
sf.citi believes collaboration with the tech community is essential to creating effective tech policy here in San Francisco and elsewhere. In 2019, sf.citi and our members worked with Supervisor Yee on his creation of the Office of Emerging Technology, an office designed to centralize permitting for technologies operating on San Francisco streets, sidewalks, or infrastructure. We support regulatory policies like this one, which solicit and respond to input from the tech industry.
“We believe that the supervisor’s approach of working with — rather than against — industry to build legislation is the kind of leadership this city needs to be successful,” said Jennifer Stojkovic, sf.citi’s executive director.
The Associated Press
sf.citi and our members understand that efficient and accessible transportation services in San Francisco require strong public transit and innovative mobility technologies. To achieve both, we encourage the City and sf.citi members to work together on developing transportation solutions. In 2019 sf.citi members Lyft and Uber collaborated with Supervisor Aaron Peskin on the Traffic Congestion Mitigation Tax. Passed by voters during the November 2019 election, the measure imposes a per-ride tax on rides taken through transportation network companies. It will generate an estimated $30 million each year to improve public transportation and reduce traffic congestion.
sf.citi believes in smart tax policy that promotes innovation and continued job growth in San Francisco. In 2019, several new tax measures were proposed, including a stock-based compensation tax and a tax derived from an executive compensation ratio. After discussions with sf.citi and our members, the Supervisors authoring both of these measures delayed their proposals for further review. Meanwhile, we joined Mayor Breed in advocating for a more comprehensive, sustainable reform of San Francisco’s business tax structure.
“We oppose policies that are patchwork,” says Jennifer Stojkovic, executive director of sf.citi, which represents many of the city’s tech firms, including Lyft and Airbnb … Mayor London Breed recently proposed a comprehensive review of how the city handles gross receipts taxes … Such an overhaul has long been discussed, and is the preferred course of action by groups like sf.citi.
WE CONNECT OUR MEMBERS WITH KEY DECISION MAKERS
We routinely connect our members with key decision makers in and outside of San Francisco. Every month, sf.citi members meet local elected officials, candidates for office, and City department heads through our Lunch and Learn discussion series. Hosted by alternating member companies, these intimate conversations allow sf.citi members and leaders in government to speak candidly about shared challenges and explore collaborative solutions. We also organize special roundtable discussions with political leaders at the state level or visiting delegations from other tech hubs. In 2019, sf.citi members discussed election security and all things 2020 with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
Featured Speakers in 2019
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman @ Postmates | Board President Norman Yee & Chief of Police Bill Scott @ Facebook | Supervisor Shamann Walton @ Okta | Senator Scott Wiener @ Dropbox | Candidate for SF District Attorney Suzy Loftus @ AdRoll | Supervisor Matt Haney @ Airbnb | City Administrator Naomi Kelly @ Lyft | Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews @ Affirm | Supervisor Ahsha Safaí & Candidate for SF District Attorney Leif Dautch @ Goodreads | Supervisor Hillary Ronen @ Twitter | Assemblymember Phil Ting & Interim SFMTA Director Tom Maguire @ Google
WE INFORM OUR MEMBERS ABOUT SF POLITICS
sf.citi is committed to helping our members stay on the pulse of San Francisco’s fast-moving tech policy landscape. We send sf.citi members regular updates about the status of local legislation and offer resources to navigate San Francisco’s political system.
The capacity that sf.citi builds and the intelligence it provides, allows me to make smart decisions in order to provide that clarity I need to not just serve my business, but also serve the community.
Tom Tarantino, Senior Public Policy Manager, Twitter
In 2019, we released SF Politics 101, a comprehensive guide to San Francisco government that sf.citi members can access at any time. Ahead of each election, we also release a voter guide explaining each of the San Francisco ballot measures and where we stand. In short, sf.citi tracks all of the policy coming out of San Francisco City Hall so that you don’t have to!
WE COLLABORATE WITH OTHER TECH HUBS
Channeling the power of collaboration, sf.citi teamed up with our sister organization in New York City, Tech:NYC, to host the inaugural Tech City Summit in Boulder, Colorado. We were joined by several other local advocacy organizations representing tech hubs in Austin, Montreal, Nashville, Seattle, Toronto, and Waterloo. To begin the two-day summit, we hosted a dinner with Colorado Governor Jared Polis who led a conversation on Colorado’s growing tech industry. The following day, representatives from each organization convened at Google Boulder and developed strategies to build stronger tech policy and learn from one another.
WE CELEBRATE OUR MEMBERS AND OUR CITY
Near the end of each year, sf.citi celebrates all of the people who make our work possible at our Annual sf.citi Members Reception. We invite our board, our members, our nonprofit partners, and even our City’s mayor to mix and mingle. In 2019, we were honored to welcome Mayor London Breed for her second year in office. She spoke to sf.citi members about the ever-growing role tech plays in San Francisco and what the industry can do to keep the City moving forward.
sf.citi engages our members in volunteer opportunities and partnerships that serve the San Francisco community.
WE SUPPORT SAN FRANCISCO SCHOOLS
Started by sf.citi in 2014 with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and the San Francisco Education Fund, Circle the Schools matches local companies and sf.citi members with one or more SFUSD schools. Throughout the year, Circle the Schools facilitates opportunities for companies to donate time, resources, and expertise to their partner school(s). During one conversation between sf.citi members and SFUSD Superintendent, Dr. Vincent Matthews, the Superintendent himself touted the benefits of Circle the Schools, describing it as one of the best ways companies can support San Francisco schools.
48 Schools Circled
30K Volunteer Hours
$1M resources donted
Affirm’s Circle the Schools Story
Partnering with Jose Ortega Elementary School in early 2019, Affirm is one of the newest additions to our Circle the Schools program. For Black History Month, volunteers from Affirm’s BLACK@ employee resource group participated in an African American Read-In. Affirm employees also helped out at the school’s annual Engineering Expo. According to the principal of Jose Ortega Elementary School, Benjamin Klauss, Affirm’s presence on campus has been “really supportive” for teachers and students alike.
When I was a kid, I really enjoyed hearing from people who did the things that I wanted to go on and do, so I think having those role models is a really powerful experience for kids. Plus, as far as the city goes, we are incredibly lucky to work in San Francisco and all of the benefits that go along with that, so this is the least we can do to give back.
Rohan, Software Engineer, Affirm
WE TRAIN THE NEXT TECH GENERATION
In October 2018, Mayor London Breed pledged to offer thousands of San Francisco high school students paid summer internships through her Opportunities for All initiative. Some of the program’s biggest enthusiasts and supporters were sf.citi members. Airbnb alone took on 30 high school interns while member companies Alaska Airlines, AT&T, Okta, Postmates, and Uber made generous contributions to the program. sf.citi member Dropbox, meanwhile, recruited its first high school intern through its Circle the Schools partnership with Mission High School.
I have a couple of options now—maybe I’ll pursue a career in tech or just use this experience toward future jobs.
Marlon, High School Intern, Dropbox
WE UNITE AROUND A GOOD CAUSE
sf.citi teamed up with fellow tech advocacy organization TechToronto to channel tech’s enthusiasm for the NBA Finals into a good cause. We launched the TechBet to encourage tech leaders in the Bay Area and Toronto to support their local teams and communities during the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors. Tech titans in both cities hedged their bets on a Warriors vs. Raptors win, raising over $117,000 for the winning city’s charity of choice. With the Raptors managing to secure their first championship—and Canada’s first NBA championship—all TechBet donations went to Canada Learning Code, a nonprofit providing tech education to underserved youth.
To celebrate the #NBAFinals matchup, Toronto’s tech sector is facing-off against Silicon Valley in the first-ever #TechBet. This is about more than just sports, it’s about coming together as a city for a good cause.
John Tory, Mayor of Toronto
The #TechBet is on between Silicon Valley’s and Toronto’s tech ecosystems. All donations will go to the winning city’s charity of choice to help students. Join me in the pledge with @sfciti & @TechTorontoOrg. Go Warriors!
Ron Conway, Founder & Co-Managing Partner, SV Angel
I’ve entered the #TechBet for $10,000 on the #Raptors. Let’s do this.
Tobias Lütke, CEO, Shopify
WE GIVE BACK TO OUR COMMUNITY
Every year, sf.citi partners with local nonprofits to organize multiple industry-wide volunteer days for our members and their employees. These volunteer days bring San Francisco’s tech community together to give back to those in need.
Bay Area Meal Pack for 9/11 Day
For the second year in a row, sf.citi joined forces with 9/11 Day, HandsOn Bay Area, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum to host the Bay Area Meal Pack for 9/11 Day. We galvanized volunteers throughout the Bay Area to help us turn September 11 from a day of tragedy into a day of doing good. The best part was seeing so many sf.citi members sponsor and participate in the Bay Area Meal Pack. With the help of volunteers from sf.citi members AdRoll, AT&T, Facebook, LinkedIn, Lyft, Okta, Salesforce, and Twitter, we packed 275,000 meals for the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. Combined with the meal packs in other cities, the numbers rose to nearly 10,000 volunteers and more than 3.1 million meals for people in need.
275K meals packed
One City Gives Holiday Day of Action
On December 13, sf.citi partnered with Larkin Street Youth Services to host the second edition of One City Gives, an industry-wide day of volunteering to support our local community ahead of the holidays. Hosted at Zendesk, this year’s One City Gives event focused on the more than 1,100 young people who experience homelessness on any given night in San Francisco. We brought together close to 100 tech volunteers to pack kits filled with basic essentials and hand-written holiday cards. Volunteers then delivered the completed kits to Larkin Street’s main center in the Tenderloin where they were distributed to young people throughout the City.
300+ Young People Served
30K Resources Donated
sf.citi convenes our members at events with other industry leaders to discuss the most pressing issues facing tech and San Francisco.
WE BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER
Events have become a major component of sf.citi’s work. Each year, we host large-scale events that offer thoughtful insight and information on topics unifying the tech industry and the greater San Francisco community. Our main event series is organized by sf.citi’s One City Forum, a group of nine tech and nonprofit leaders dedicated to bringing a ‘one city’ approach to bettering San Francisco. In 2018, we also began partnering with other influential San Francisco organizations to produce events focused on strengthening relationships between the tech industry and other sectors in the City.
16 Events Hosted
Breaking Into Tech
March 28, 2019
sf.citi partnered with LinkedIn, HireClub, and Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) for the second iteration of Breaking Into Tech. Hosted at LinkedIn’s office in downtown San Francisco, Breaking Into Tech brought tech newcomers and experts together for a fast-paced evening of speed networking. Our 150+ attendees had the unique opportunity to speak with employees from the City’s most prominent tech companies, including sf.citi members AdRoll, Airbnb, Cruise, Facebook, Lyft, Okta, Postmates, Zoox, and many more. As an added bonus, job seekers received lightning resume reviews from career coaching platform HireClub.
This was a great event and kudos on recruiting attendees who were there for the right reasons. I hope it helped make a difference!
Mentor, Breaking Into Tech
Great event! Perfect mix of food/drink tastings and informative panel discussion. The swag bag was over the top. Kudos for a wonderful event!
Attendee, Future of Food
The Future of Food 2.0: Plant-Based Investing
July 10, 2019
sf.citi joined Facebook and WeWork in hosting The Future of Food 2.0: Plant-Based Investing. A continuation of our 2018 Future of Food event, Future of Food 2.0 was attended by a sold-out crowd of over 300 people. sf.citi Executive Director Jennifer Stojkovic sat down for a fireside chat with Founder and CEO of KBW Ventures, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, and author and environmental advocate, Suzy Amis Cameron, to discuss the business side of plant-based food tech. Founder and Executive Director of The Good Food Institute, Bruce Friedrich, then moderated a panel with the Prince and two other venture capitalists specializing in plant-based food tech: Dan Altschuler Malek of New Crop Capital and Johnny Ream of Stray Dog Capital. Throughout the evening, attendees sampled plant-based products from more than twenty vendors in our two-floor Meatless Marketplace.
Burnout: How to Survive (and Thrive) in Today’s Always On Culture
October 10, 2019
Partnering with Pinterest, sf.citi hosted Burnout: How to Survive (And Thrive) in Today’s Always On Culture. Organized on World Mental Health Day, this timely conversation featured a unique combination of speakers to discuss workplace mental health. Dr. Clare Purvis, Director of Behavioral Science for meditation application Headspace, lead our 130 guests in a group mindfulness activity. We then heard from Bob Boorstin, Senior Vice President at Albright Stonebridge Group and former Director of Public Policy at Google, Kelly Greenwood, Founder and CEO at Mind Share Partners, and Dr. Christina Maslach, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Corporate Greening: Building Sustainable Companies
August 28, 2019
Some 150 sustainability-minded San Franciscans gathered at the California Academy of Sciences for Corporate Greening: Building Sustainable Companies. sf.citi brought together a panel of four sustainability experts: The Academy’s Director of Sustainability, Dr. Elizabeth Bagley; Director of Environmental Impact at Gap, Inc., Christina Nicholson; Global Sustainability Strategy and Operations at Google, Laura Franceschini; and Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, Debbie Raphael. Guests learned how to champion sustainability in their own companies and organizations, all while marveling at the amazing exhibits at the California Academy of Sciences.
The panelists were clearly experts in their respective fields and I enjoyed the lively discussion!
Attendee, Corporate Greening
For more information on how your company can join sf.citi, contact sf.citi Executive Director Jennifer Stojkovic at firstname.lastname@example.org