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San Francisco protesters target ‘Dirty Dozen’ tech landlords over rise in tenant evictions

By Reuters
Thursday, May 15, 2014 22:00 EDT
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By Sarah McBride

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A tenants’ rights advocacy group released on Thursday what it called a “Dirty Dozen” list of landlords from the technology sector that it said had evicted San Francisco tenants.

The list, released by a group known as the Anti Eviction Mapping Project, reflects frustrations over rising rents and cost of living that activists say are driven by the technology industry.

In recent months, grumbling has given way to blockades of the private commuter buses that pick up technology workers downtown and ferry them to their workplaces south of the city at companies such as Google Inc, Facebook Inc and Yahoo Inc.

The list included the chief executive officers of various Bay Area technology businesses, as well as several Google executives.

David Duffield, who the protesters identified as the co-founder of Web-based human resources company Workday, appeared on the list. A spokesman for Workday said the David Duffield identified was not the same as the company’s co-founder.

Other executives on the list include John Golob, chief executive of sales-software company Lanetix, and Peter Caswell, chief executive of social intelligence company NetBase Solutions. Representatives for Lanetix and NetBase did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Google lawyer Jack Halprin, the target of an April protest, was also featured on the list. Other Google employees included Thomas Fallows and Kansinee Adsanatham Jung, whom the protesters identified as a Google product manager and user-experience designer respectively. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

Typically, the executives used a state law known as the Ellis Act to evict tenants, according to the protestors. The Ellis Act allows owners to evict tenants if they intend to take their units off the market.

The total number of Ellis Act evictions in the city rose 25 percent to 1,716 in the year ended February 2013, according to a report by San Francisco’s budget and legislative analyst. The executives on the list had allegedly evicted tenants from a total of more than 100 rental units, according to the protesters.

There is growing ill will in the San Francisco area toward technology companies as housing prices skyrocket and salary growth is anemic outside the tech sector.

While many technology workers say protesters should blame landlords rather than their industry for rising rents and evictions, tenant advocates say the two are tightly linked.

(Reporting by Sarah McBride; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

[Image: Demonstrators shout during a rally in the Mission neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 11, 2014. By Robert Galbraith for Reuters.]

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