They say that a rising tide lifts all boats. Well, that’s a bunch of bullshit.
We’ve got a rising tide in San Francisco. The tech industry has brought thousands of people and billions of dollars to these forty nine square miles. Traffic is thick with Teslas. The WiFi is stuffed with startups. Times are good.
Except where they’re not.
A few short blocks away from that tide where companies like Twitter are revolutionizing the information age, the kids in the Tenderloin are walking the same bleak blocks many of their parents walked when they were kids.
Like so many of you, I’ve benefited greatly by being at the right place at the right time with the right opportunities. But I’ve also seen the kids who are not benefiting — even a little — from Internet gold rush.
That’s not right. But it’s not going to change by itself. It’s going to take great organizations like 826 Valencia. I’m on the board, and I can vouch that the folks there know how to lift kids up, to inspire them, to teach them to write well, to feed their curiosity, to let them dream. They’ve been doing it for years, ever since Dave Eggers and others started the organization.
And now we’re bringing 826 to the Tenderloin. We took over a building once occupied by a notorious liquor store on a crime-ridden corner, and it will be transformed into a place of creativity, hope, and fun.
This is what the tech community owes to the kids who live in the shadows of our high rises. Supporting a center like this — and an organization with a proven track record — is the right thing to do.
The tide won’t lift these kids. But with your help, 826 Valencia will.
Yes, we’re gonna build a bigger boat.
What do we need from you? One thing. It will take about three seconds.