Skip to main content
Opinion

Tech elites must do their part to make SF safer after Bob Lee’s death

Apr 19, 2023

Share

The stabbing death of Cash App founder Bob Lee in San Francisco renewed concerns about the city’s crime rate. Twitter CEO Elon Musk, whose company is headquartered in the Bay Area, tweeted that he was worried about the city’s “horrific” crime problem. Just days after the late-night attack, however, police arrested a tech industry executive for the crime.

Straight Arrow News contributor Adrienne Lawrence says it’s time for San Francisco’s tech elite to stop complaining and do their part to make the city safer.

Violent crime isn’t relegated to an income bracket. When will the wealthy realize that simply because someone is impoverished doesn’t mean they’re criminal? It means the city isn’t taking care of its people.

Poverty is a policy choice, and it’s clearly one chosen by San Francisco. The city has the third-largest income inequality gap in the country, just behind New York and Chicago. The average incomes among the highest-earning Bay Area households are $149,000 higher than they are nationwide. There’s plenty of wealth in Frisco [sic], it’s just segregated among the few rather than dispersed among the many. Speaking of the many… even if you take it out of the hands of private citizens, the public sector is wealthy. The city of San Francisco has a budget north of $13 billion — the fourth largest budget of American cities. And it sits in a state with the world’s fourth largest economy, overtaking Germany.

You’d think that San Francisco could find the resources to provide adequate housing and social services to its entire unhoused population. But no. Mind you, as much as Elon Musk and others complain about the homeless in the Bay, the numbers really aren’t that great in comparison to unhoused populations in other cities. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), San Francisco has an estimated 7,745 people experiencing homelessness. That number is eclipsed by the unhoused population in Los Angeles, which is eight times larger.

There are more homeless in New York, Seattle, San Jose, the neighboring Alameda County and many other cities. It seems that when San Francisco’s elite are complaining about the unhoused population in San Fran, it’s not the number that bothers them but the mere presence of them.

Looks like the facts are in. It appears Silicon Valley executive Bob Lee was stabbed to death on a downtown San Francisco street by a purported friend and fellow tech founder. As the city’s chief of police said, “This has nothing to do with San Francisco. This had to do with human nature.” Yet within minutes of Lee’s death hitting headlines on April 4th, San Francisco’s elite and prominent tech execs started pushing the narrative of the crime-riddled city by the bay, blaming politicians for failing to corral the unhoused and curb the purported rise in crime. Not only was this upper echelon epically wrong—as one of THEM seems to have taken Lee’s life — but they put their ignorant bias on full display.  Violent crime isn’t relegated to an income bracket. When will the wealthy realize that simply because someone is impoverished doesn’t mean they’re criminal. It means the city isn’t taking care of its people. Poverty is a policy choice, and it’s clearly one chosen by San Francisco.  The city has the third largest income inequality gap in the country, just behind New York and Chicago. The average incomes among the highest-earning Bay Area households are $149,000 higher than they are nationwide. There’s plenty of wealth in Frisco, it’s just segregated among the few rather than dispersed among the many. Speaking of the many… even if you take it out of the hands of private citizens, the public sector is wealthy. The city of San Francisco has a budget north of 13 billion dollars—the fourth largest budget of American cities and it sits in a state with the world’s fourth largest economy, overtaking Germany. You’d think that San Francisco could find the resources to provide adequate housing and social services to its entire unhoused population. But no. Mind you, as much as Elon Musk and others complain about the homeless in the Bay, the numbers really aren’t that great in comparison to unhoused populations in other cities. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), San Francisco has an estimated seven thousand, seven hundred and fifty four people experiencing homelessness. That number is eclipsed by the unhoused population in Los Angeles, which is eight times larger. There are more homeless in New York, Seattle, San Jose, the neighboring Alameda county and many other cities. Seems that when San Francisco’s elite are complaining about the unhoused population in San Fran, it’s not the number that bothers them but the mere presence of them. I’m sure the sight of just one person without a home to them is one too many for them to stomach. You’d think they’d be motivated to help them get housing, but they seem to want to get them arrested.  Criminalization is goal. If that weren’t the case, the city would not have recalled the former district attorney in 2022 because he was perceived as being too soft on crime. And speaking of crime, the narrative of a purported rise that has been maligning San Francisco is a farce. Per the San Francisco Police Department, crime across the city rose roughly 5 percent last year compared to 2021. Although any rise isn’t great, that 5 percent rise is smaller than the 12 percent jump in 2021. And overall, crime in San Fran is still lower than it was before the pandemic. Compared with other major U.S. cities, Frisco boasts lower-than-average rates of violent crime. What SF sees the most of is property crimes, such as theft and burglary. That should tell you something. The elite making noise are afraid someone is going to take the wealthy they hoard. If they want a better San Francisco where there are fewer unhoused and less property crime, they should invest and have the city’s leaders invest in affordable housing, improved social services, better education programs, rebuilding structurally disadvantaged neighborhoods, trained mental health response teams, robust substance abuse programs, meaningful job services, and more. The answers are out there and the potential for a more beautiful Bay is ripe. It’s just a matter of the Elon Musks and venture capitalists to get past their bias and off their dime.

Video Library

Latest Commentary

We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.

The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.


Latest Opinions

In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.

The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Weekly Voices

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Monday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Tuesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Wednesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Thursday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Friday

Left Opinion Right Opinion