Taking their eyes off Google Buses for a moment, concerned anti-eviction citizens plan to protest tonight's Crunchies at Davies Symphony Hall.
Categories include Best Collaborative Consumption Service (e.g., Airbnb), Best Mobile Application (Snapchat, Tinder), and Sexiest Enterprise Startup, just to name a few. Tonight's protest, organized by labor group Jobs With Justice, means to call out the negative impact protesters say the tech sector has had on San Francisco. It'll be just like Queer Nation at the 1991 Oscars, only without a then-closeted Jodie Foster in an Armani pantsuit. Let's dive in...
According to "the Crappies" Facebook page:*
"The tech industry is gathering for its big Oscars style gala, the Crunchies awards. Join us to protest the worst in tech with our own ceremony, the Crappies awards.
"San Francisco is in crisis. More and more people are being forced to leave the city. At the same time the technology industry is flourishing and profiting.
"Instead of taking responsibility for their impact on the city many of the tech companies and leaders are demanding tax breaks, privatizing public infrastructure, refusing to support worker organizing, and lobbying against tenant protections."
Silicon Valley Business Journal's Cromwell Schubarth disagrees, calling the Crunchies "a convenient target," and saying:
"As last week's series of Business Journal stories detailed, the problem of high housing costs brought about by escalating tech wages isn't confined to the city. And the actual people profiting from the rent and housing boom are landlords, builders and the service businesses that serve them."
Also, this isn't an us-versus-them issue. At least not for everybody. As Sa'adi Nasim (founder of Coders for Communities) notes on the protest group's page:
"Sometimes I ask myself am I part of the problem because I am a tech worker.... If yes, how can I be part of the solution. I feel that there are those in the IT industry that would like to do more for our communities and we need to talk. Many of us in IT are immigrants from poor countries and there is common ground in our struggles. I hope we can work together and see how my other colleagues can also be part of the solution. Thanks."
Anyway, be sure to follow me as I live-tweet the ceremony and brouhaha from both inside and outside the awards show.
Also, if anyone shows up to Davies Symphony Hall wearing a hoodie, I will try my hardest to publicly shame them. That, at the very least, is what I will do for you.
* Facebook won Best Overall Startup and Best Startup CEO (Mark Zuckerberg) in 2008.