Chris Sacca gives us a chilling insight into the mindset of San Francisco city administrators in a series of tweets. The summary below is taken from Threadreader, which cuts out extraneous graphics and gets to the meat of the matter.
15 years ago, I co-led a team trying to give 100% free Internet access to all of San Francisco starting with the poorest neighborhoods first. The network would be anonymous, with no ads, no cookies, etc. Approximately a $20-25 million gift. The result? We were chased out of town.
One SF Supervisor told us she would vote against it unless we promised to fund quarterly field trips (eg to the zoo) for the kids in her district. Another promised to vote against it because we wouldn’t give free laptops to all of SF.
One Supe rejected it because poor people needed “training to use the Net.” Countless low/no-income residents spoke at hearings about how they had computers and knew how to use the web, but couldn’t afford Comcast. Supes mansplained back to those very people that they were wrong.
We built a demonstration network in a public housing project in Hunters Point. It was saturated with use. Those residents testified that laptops and phones weren’t expensive, cable and data plans were the problem. The Supes just couldn’t accept that those people were Net savvy.
Ultimately, one Supervisor told us straight up: He didn’t care what this meant for the people of his district, he was blocking it because it would give the mayor a win in a political year. He was the deciding vote and I will never forget what he said…