“I feel pretty comfortable with getting close to people whose values benefit the city. Ten more Ron Conways would be helpful.”
— Ed Lee, San Francisco mayor, tells the New York Times that being accused of getting too cozy with prominent tech venture capitalist Ron Conway doesn’t bother him. Among other things, SV Angel founder Conway, who the newspaper calls one of the city’s power brokers, has created sf.citi, a tech-focused group that aims to be politically engaged in San Francisco. But the NYT also quotes former S.F. Mayor Art Agnos, who says Conway “seems to be more interested in whatever political payoff comes for his industry instead of what’s in the best interest of the city he claims to care about,” echoing others’ concerns that the presence of companies such as Twitter hasn’t been entirely positive for San Francisco. (See Quoted: Tech And The City.) What else has Conway said he cares about? Immigration reform: He’s a member of FWD.us, the new policy group Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently launched. And gun control: Last month, Conway and other tech investors founded the Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiative to invest in smart-gun technology after the mass school shooting in Connecticut, reported Bay Area News Group’s Josh Richman. This week, Conway had some fighting words for the Senate, which rejected an amendment to expand background checks for commercial gun purchases. “We will employ the most sophisticated social media campaign ever built to remove these people from office,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Photo of Ron Conway by Karl Mondon/BANG archives