Twitter IPO highlights big money friction in San Francisco

Twitter IPO highlights big money friction in San Francisco

FRANCISCO - Twitter Inc's initial public offering marks something of a coming out party for San Francisco as a technology capital, giving the city a home-grown success story to rival those of Silicon Valley to the south.

But there is little celebration among community activists and a growing cadre of middle class residents who resent what they view as a tech-driven, big-money takeover of the city.

Earlier this week, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have cleared the way for luxury condos by the waterfront. The measure, championed by one the tech industry's biggest supporters, Mayor Ed Lee, epitomized what many see as the city's skewed priorities.

"He's made it his priority to give tax breaks to Twitter, to encourage growth at all costs, to encourage developers to build luxury condos," said Julien Ball, a community organizer who is part of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

Benefits flow to just a small group of the population, he said.

Protesting outside Twitter headquarters on Thursday morning, as Twitter shares soared in their market debut, social worker James Chionsini bemoaned what he called the"bland, sterile, teflon-ification" of the city.

Twitter did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Mayor Lee said he was not immediately available for comment.

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