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San Francisco Has 75 Billionaires. Most of Them Aren’t Donating to Local COVID-19 Relief.



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On April 7, local resident Jack Dorsey—the cofounder and CEO of publicly traded Twitter and Square, and a billionaire several times over—announced he was devoting more than a quarter of his fortune to COVID-19 relief.

Generosity like this—plus his hyper-success story and Silicon Valley aesthete mythos—is why Dorsey is “adored” by his employees, fellow celebrities, and the public at large, as Vanity Fair’s Nick Bilton wrote, but it’s also a critique. Among the flaws and contradictions in American society made glaring by the novel coronavirus pandemic is the enormous gap between what the public needs and what the government can provide, a deficit that’s forced elected officials across the country to go begging.

In San Francisco, that means hitting up tech magnates exactly like Jack Dorsey. On March 13, several days before public health experts froze the Bay Area economy in place, Mayor London Breed set up what she called the Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, and started asking for cash.

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