Surviving the tech boom – a Must Read: ‘Silicon City: San Francisco in the Long Shadow of the Valley’

South San Francisco, CA  January 14, 2019 Submitted by San Francisco Peninsula Residents Association

‘If you live in the Bay Area, you’ve most likely been having a similar conversation—over and over and over again—for the past few years. You know the one: about rents and home prices, rapid change and cultural loss, of being priced-out and left behind. It’s that same conversation that surfaces every time your favorite local bar or restaurant (or roller skating rink) closes down. Or when you hear that another friend is giving up and heading elsewhere. It’s exhausting, and yes, kinda terrifying. So when you then read that California residents are engaged in a mass exodus by the tens of thousands, you know exactly why. Cue that same conversation……’

Charles Russo {The Six Fifty} interviews author Cary McClelland on his book ‘Silicon City: San Francisco in the Long Shadow of the Valley’ which speaks to many of the concerns South City residents are dealing with in this latest tech boom impacting our City, and our region. One of the questions he ponders ‘The tech companies are always talking about making the world a better place, and yet right here on their doorstep they have huge problems of homelessness and massive income equality. So rather than figure out things like how to get food delivered faster why can’t they apply some of their resources and talent to tackling these real issues?’

To read more of Russo’s interview CLICK HERE.

Cary McClelland was at Stanford to speak about his book on Thursday January 10, at Encina Hall at 5.30 pm. For more information click here. 

It would be an honor should our own SSF Public Library be able to host McClelland as well.

Stanford had this:

An intimate, eye-opening portrait of San Francisco transformed by the tech boom.

San Francisco is changing at warp speed. Famously home to artists and activists, and known as the birthplace of the Beats, the Black Panthers, and the LGBTQ movement, in recent decades the Bay Area has been reshaped by Silicon Valley, the engine of the new American economy. The richer the region gets, the more unequal and less diverse it becomes, and cracks in the city’s facade—rapid gentrification, an epidemic of evictions, rising crime, atrophied public institutions—have started to show.

Inspired by Studs Terkel’s classic works of oral history, writer and filmmaker Cary McClelland spent several years interviewing people at the epicenter of the recent change, from venture capitalists and coders to politicians and protesters, from native sons and daughters to the city’s newest arrivals. The crisp and vivid stories of Silicon City’s diverse cast capture San Francisco as never before.

The book opens with a longtime tour guide recounting the history of the original Gold Rush and observing how little the people of his city pay attention to its history; it ends on Fisherman’s Wharf, with the proprietor of an arcade game museum reminding us that even today’s technology will become relics of the past. In between we hear from people who have passed through Apple, Google, eBay, Intel, and the other big tech companies of our time. And we meet those who are experiencing the changes at the grassroots level: a homeless advocate in Haight-Ashbury, an Oakland rapper, a pawnbroker in the Mission, a man who helped dismantle and rebuild the Bay Bridge, and a woman who runs a tattoo parlor in the Castro.

Silicon City masterfully weaves together a candid conversation across a divided community to create a dynamic portrait of a beloved city—and a cautionary tale for the entire country.

Join us on January 10th for the book launch of Silicon City. Cary will be joined by Nicole Sanchez and Rob Gitin, both of whom are interviewed in the book. 



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