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San Francisco Compute endorses Michael Lai for DCCC

In March of 2024, the most important election you've never heard of is happening in San Francisco. It's the D-triple-C: the elections for the democratic party in San Francisco. These are the folks who decide which candidates (for board of supervisors and mayor) get endorsed by the "official" Democratic party. That endorsement ends up swinging a good portion of the vote.

We, the San Francisco Compute Company, are endorsing Michael Lai. In other words, we're encouraging you to vote for him. Like other local businesses in Hayes Valley, we put a sign in our window. This post is the sign on our website. We've walked around to our neighbors, like the excellent San Francisco Meat Company, and encouraged them to do the same.

If, like us, you're a local business, selling anything meat to supercomputing, we encourage you to publicly support Michael Lai. If, like us, you live in San Francisco and care about the city, it's people, and it's history as deeply as we do, we encourage you to publicly support Michael Lai. If, like us, you wish for your children to be able to live and grow up here too, we encourage you to publicly support Michael Lai.

On San Francisco

More than anyone, we believe in San Francisco. Obviously. We named ourselves after it and regularly describe what we do as "a love letter to San Francisco." San Francisco is the place where things happen. If someone tells you they care about climate change in San Francisco, the next sentence out of their mouth will describe how they build electric stoves and install them around the city. San Francisco is the home of the doer. It's the home of the optimist, the tinkerer, the immigrant and the outcast. It's the home of acceptance, of love, and of knowing that no matter where you come from, San Francisco is your home too. San Francisco welcomes you. You too deserve to be wrapped in fog and held by the city and its people.

That said, the city has problems.

First and foremost, it costs too much to live here. This happened because well-meaning people made bad policy choices that prevented the construction of housing for more than 40 years. When you do not build, rent prices rise. When rent prices rise, whoever was at the bottom gets pushed out and our neighbors get evicted. Some move to another city and some go homeless. When rent prices rise, it costs more for the city to do anything. Every city worker must be paid more just to live here, making it harder for anything to get done, from cleaning the streets to educating our children.

As much as folks would like to think, we didn't get into this because of "evil people" making bad policy. It really is folks who, on their face, are well-meaning, but never investigate if any of their policies work. San Francisco, for many years, has been run by folks with poor epistemics.

Why Michael Lai?

Well for one thing, Michael Lai promotes normal, sane policies, like building a triplex or two, arresting folks that steal cars in broad daylight or sell fentanyl outside the rehab clinic. He supports popular things, like teaching algebra in 8th grade and creating more slow streets. You can read about his platform here.

But the real point of an endorsement is to lend our credibility on the character and decision making process of Michael Lai. You may have not met Michael, but we've known him for years. Michael is good. Not just competent, not just smart, but good. Ethical, well-meaning, and supports policies that work. If you presented Michael with evidence that a policy he supported did not work, Michael would rightfully change his mind, because Michael isn't here to play to a base. Michael is here to fix San Francisco. The rent actually has to go down, children actually have to be taught, the bus actually has to arrive, and you actually have to be able to walk down the street without seeing someone's window getting smashed.

He's a true San Franciscan. He was born in China, his parents came to the US with $100, and he worked hard and studied government at Harvard. He spent the last decade working in education, from daycare to university. He's a community organizer, a volunteer, and like us, he cares deeply about this city.

The rest of the slate

The DCCC is a group of people. So your ballot won't just say "here, vote for Michael Lai", but it will ask you to pick a bunch of people. We (and Michael Lai) recommend these candidates.

What you can do

In March of 2024, if you live in San Francisco, we think you should vote. San Francisco has some of the most fixable problems in the world. This election, and the next election in November, is how we fix them. You can register to vote here.

If you're a community member, or otherwise have a large audience in San Francisco, we encourage you to publicly support Michael Lai as well. Get a sign, hang it in your window. If you've got a blog, like we do, it's time to write that blog post.