Tech buses have come to symbolize the increasingly unaffordable rents and rampant evictions in San Francisco. The City's response to protesters' objections to the buses has been to propose that the tech shuttles start paying a fee of $1 per stop in a limited number of bus stops. On May 1, however, a coalition of environmental, labor, and tenants' rights groups filed suit, declaring that the "Commuter Bus Program," aka the "Google Bus Giveaway," is illegal and should be set aside. The suit contends that it is against state law for private buses to use the public bus stops.
Health advocates from the California Brain Tumor Association and Stop Smart Meters! affixed health warning labels on cell phones for sale in Verizon’s Market Street store in San Francisco in defiance of the wireless industry’s legal bullying of cell phone safety ordinances across the nation. Store management removed the labels but did not summon police, possibly out of concern that potential arrests may highlight a health risk the industry would rather keep quiet.
The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project has released "Ethel's List: The Dirty Thirty," a list of landlords and speculators who have all evicted at least one senior and/or disabled person through the Ellis Act over the last decade. Ethel, an activist and member of Senior and Disability Action, is extremely concerned about her senior community being forced out of their homes. To be senior and/or disabled and to be evicted can cause dire health effects, and at times death.
San Francisco has seen a 178% increase in Ellis Act evictions over the last 3 years. A group of seniors, people with disabilities, supporters, and co-sponsors confronted the San Francisco Association of Realtors on April 22. The San Francisco Board of realtors has opposed legislation beneficial to tenants in the past. The activists delivered a letter of demands and then held a rally and press conference with testimonies from seniors and people with disabilities.
Over one hundred San Francisco public school teachers, paraprofessionals, and education staff who are members of United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) rallied on April 22 at the San Francisco Unified School District school board building. UESF workers are demanding a living wage after an 8-year wage freeze. The massive speculative housing bubble is driving workers out of San Francisco and forcing them to commute long distances. Many are unable to afford healthcare.
The San Francisco Commonwealth Club hosted an event entitled "LGBT Rights in Israel: 25 Years of Progress and Challenges" on April 25 featuring Arthur Slepian, Executive Director and Founder of A Wider Bridge. Slepian's role is to go around promoting the idea that Israel is a progressive, democratic society because it has LGBT rights for Jewish citizens of Israel. Queer activists and Palestinian queers called it "pinkwashing".
At a rally on April 15, Tax Day, hundreds of SEIU 1021 city workers rallied at City Hall and then marched to the headquarters of Twitter on Market Street. The demonstration was organized to protest the tax subsidies the company receives that are worth tens of millions of dollars a year while city workers have taken pay cuts. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and City Supervisors give tax subsidies to Twitter and other tech titans.