This is the question being posed in a new piece from Salon: Will the influx of tech wealth and the construction of more and more condos inevitably lead to the fraying of San Francisco's longstanding liberal fabric?
Certainly we've all been getting an earful the past couple of years about gentrification, hyper-gentrification, evictions, and how all the cool people are moving to Oakland because no one can afford the Mission anymore. It was a particular obsession of former SF Bay Guardian editor Tim Redmond, who's quoted several times in the Salon piece. He equates fewer poor/working class people and more homeownership with increasing conservatism, something that can easily be argued with given that there are plenty of liberal places on this planet that are also quite affluent. Newly appointed San Francisco Magazine executive editor Gary Kamiya counters Redmond saying that a lot of the new techies are fairly left-libertarian or generally apolitical, and adding, "mere wealth is not an infallible marker of political views or party affiliation anywhere, and definitely not in San Francisco."
We can chalk this up to yet another sensational alarm bell about this moment in time for S.F., and our inevitable growing pains. And, in conclusion, columnist George McIntire concedes that no one knows which direction the political winds are really going to blow.
We could end up witnessing a San Francisco that reflexively tightens up its tenant protections and votes overwhelmingly against condominium development projects like the case of 8 Washington. On the other end, the city could become a Manhattan-esque playground for the rich of haute cafes that serve $4 toast, a place where community development centers get evicted and replaced by fusion restaurants catering to the whims of the latest food trends.
Right. And S.F. is probably always going to be pretty liberal, just a little less naked, and hopefully we won't all get evicted.
And can we quit it with the harping about The Mill's toast, by the way? That shit's good. And totally worth it.
Previously: Campos Holds Hearing On Ellis Act Evictions; Mayor Ed Lee Gets On Board With Legislation