2020 ELECTION RESULTS: SAN FRANCISCO TECH ANALYSIS
As in past election cycles, sf.citi broke down the results of the 2020 election, exploring what they mean for the tech industry and San Francisco at large. We also looked at how sf.citi’s ballot recommendations stacked up against the final votes.
San Francisco voters spoke plainly on the matter of taxes this November. They overwhelmingly supported three major business tax increases in San Francisco: Proposition F (gross receipts tax overhaul), Proposition I (transfer tax), and Proposition L (CEO tax). San Franciscans clearly see a need for new revenue as the City recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the taxes passed in the November 2020 election may not produce their intended results. In our election analysis, we explain how all three of these business taxes could, in fact, hurt San Francisco’s economy for years to come and set off a mass tech exodus.
On a more positive note, San Francisco voters also passed several ballot measures that will undoubtedly improve the City. Proposition A—an integral piece to closing San Francisco’s budget deficit—allows the City to borrow up to $487.5 million in bonds to fund a suite of critical services on everything from homelessness, to street improvements, to parks and open spaces. Proposition H will make life easier for small businesses by streamlining San Francisco’s notoriously cumbersome and expensive permitting system. And Measure RR establishes a ⅛ sales tax and Caltrain’s first dedicated source of funding to ensure its continued operation.
Sidenote: What does a Joe Biden presidency mean for the tech industry? sf.citi Executive Director Jennifer Stojkovic weighed in for the San Francisco Chronicle.
VICE-PRESIDENT-ELECT KAMALA HARRIS’ SAN FRANCISCO START
With California Senator Kamala Harris named Vice-President-Elect, we dove deeper into Harris’ political career and early ties to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Like many of you, sf.citi is excited to see the American people have chosen Bay Area native Kamala Harris to represent them in the White House as our future Vice President. She brings an impressive political resume to the White House—much of which has its roots here in San Francisco. Born and raised in Oakland, Harris began her career in Alameda County as a deputy district attorney. Just over a decade later in 2003, she broke barriers by becoming the first person of color to be elected San Francisco District Attorney.
She served two terms as San Francisco’s lead prosecutor, during which she piloted the Back on Track program to offer first-time drug offenders job training, counseling, and most importantly, an alternative to incarceration. In 2010, Harris made more firsts when she was elected the first Black and first female Attorney General of California. There too, she served two terms, championing homeowner protections, the legality of same-sex marriage, and the Affordable Care Act.
In 2016, longtime U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer retired and Harris was elected to fill her seat. Four years later, Harris has become the first Black, first South Asian, and first female Vice President the United States has ever known.
TECH’S ROLE IN RECORD VOTER TURNOUT
In the months leading up to the November 2020 election, the tech industry came out in full force to support civic engagement and voter turnout—and it showed!
Some 160 million Americans voted in the November 2020 election, marking the highest voter turnout rate among eligible voters since 1900. In San Francisco, 86 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots this election cycle, tying a local voter turnout record set in 1944. We want to celebrate the many tech companies and sf.citi members who helped Americans across the country exercise their political voice in record numbers.
Voter initiatives pioneered by sf.citi members during the November 2020 election:
- Social media companies Facebook (and Instagram), Twitter, and even Pinterest adapted their platforms to raise awareness about voting deadlines, voter registration resources, and other important voting information.
- Ride hailing companies Lyft and Uber played a critical role in transporting people to and from the polls. Along with offering discounted rides to polling stations, the companies provided in-app poll-finding features and rolled out a number of other creative voting initiatives.
- Many tech companies gave their employees paid time off on Election Day to vote and work as poll workers. They included Cruise, Funding Circle, Instacart, Twitter, Lyft, Salesforce, Uber, and more.
DID YOU KNOW?
Major, one of President-Elect Joe Biden’s two German shepherds, will make history as the first shelter dog in the White House. Two canines, Champ and Major, will accompany Joe and Jill Biden to the White House in January. And much to the Bay Area’s delight, Major brings with him a heartwarming underdog story. The Biden family adopted Major in November 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association after fostering him for months. Read more about Major’s backstory here.
BUZZ | #MEMBERNEWS
- Facebook extends its temporary ban on political ads for another month (TechCrunch)
- Lyft’s results show pain but also hope as some riders return (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Google adds COVID-related health and safety info to Google Travel (TechCrunch)