U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein thinks too many high-tech company leaders in San Francisco are disengaged from local charitable causes, compared with corporate titans of the past.
In a wide-ranging interview with KQED, the former San Francisco mayor said the lack of involvement in local affairs is an unfortunate part of a tech boom that does have many upsides.
"What I see as the downside, to be very candid, is I don't see tech as very civically involved, and I think they have to be," Feinstein said. "Like when I was mayor, the CEOs of the big banks — I could go in and ask them to help with any civic cause. Cross my heart. I never got a 'no.' Bank of America, Wells (Fargo) — all of them said 'yes.' "
Feinstein's comments came in response to a question about how the city has changed since she was mayor from 1978 to 1988. She made it clear the tech revolution was great for adding jobs and that the innovation economy was "fascinating to watch," but added that "history is going to show us whether it's worthwhile or not. So far so good, but it all hasn't been wine and roses, that's for sure."
Feinstein, who's running for re-election against a fellow Democrat, state Sen. Kevin de León of Los Angeles, said she's at a loss to explain why some tech CEOs are so aloof.