2020 Annual Report

Letter from Catherine Bracy, our CEO and Co-Founder

I had a hard time writing this letter. How do you summarize 2020? Every year brings its challenges, but this one was unlike any other, to put it mildly. The COVID-19 pandemic brought hardship to all and devastation to many. The public health and economic repercussions won’t be fully known for years. Racial equity issues that have been simmering just below the surface exploded into mainstream consciousness, causing a painful reckoning that isn’t close to resolved. Yet still, there were shining moments of people coming together and taking care of each other. To paint this year as any one thing would be a disservice to those who lost their lives, those who’ve suffered, and to those who have persevered despite all the challenges thrown their way.

For TechEquity, 2020 was supposed to be the year we doubled down on pushing for systemic change to address our deeply-rooted affordability issues. We were getting ready to draw even more tech workers and companies into the movement for economic equity and justice. We prepped for a blockbuster year of housing legislation, historic tax reform, worker protections, and racial justice. Instead, our legislators, budgets, and neighbors were forced into damage control, trying to prevent people from falling through the widening gaps.

If 2020 taught us anything, it is that those of us in the tech industry have outsized civic power, from the ways we shape technology to the political leverage our privilege holds.

While the pandemic was—and is—a global experience, its impacts have been far from universal; COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated the deep rifts in our economy that led me to start TechEquity in the first place. Now, as we think about a post-COVID future, it’s clear that the divide between the tech workers who were relatively unscathed by the economic fallout and our neighbors and coworkers who have been on the frontlines of the destruction will become even wider.

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Who We Are

We envision a world where the growth of the tech industry creates economic prosperity for everyone, and where tech sector employees and companies are engaged and active participants in making our economy equitable. Our mission is to mobilize tech workers and companies to advance structural change that addresses economic inequity at its roots.


We bring rank-and-file tech workers—and their outsized civic power—into these longstanding movements for justice, accelerating the pace of change.


AB 2345


Even though we were physically distanced, our community came together in amazing ways this year. Tech workers and other members of the community tuned into more than 40 virtual events, volunteers banked thousands of calls in support of Prop 15, and our campaign coalitions fought like hell for social and economic justice on the November ballot.

We Fought for the Historic Measure Proposition 15

While losing Prop 15 on Election Day was one of the biggest disappointments of the year, the movement behind it was one of the biggest accomplishments to date. We got closer to changing our regressive tax structure in more than four decades, paving the way for future reform. We’re so proud of our volunteers and the Yes on 15 coalition.
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We Responded to the COVID-19 Pandemic

When the pandemic hit, workers and families were left in the lurch. We partnered with TechExchange to get laptops to students and their families, we advocated for paid sick leave for all workers in San Jose, and we fought for policies to address our existing—and exacerbated—affordability crisis.
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We Built a Tool for Vulnerable Tenants

Following the passage of the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 we created tenantprotections.org, a tool for California renters to understand their new rights and get legal support in the face of unlawful evictions and rent increases. This was built in partnership with ACCE and Code for America’s San Francisco Brigade, becoming our first major project in policy implementation.
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We Educated Thousands of Voters

We highlighted and explained key local and state measures so our community could make informed decisions all the way down the ballot. We touched more than 5,000 voters with our election resources, with more than 3,000 people reading our Prop 22 explainer article.
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We Guided Tech Companies

We continued our work to create on-ramps to tech jobs for formerly incarcerated people. We also advised tech companies to take positions on progressive legislation, with Postmates and Salesforce endorsing Prop 15 and Postmates and Pantheon endorsing AB 1436, a renter and mortgage moratorium in the face of COVID-19.
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We Created Digital Community

Even in quarantine, we managed to find ways to come together! We held more than 40 events with thousands of attendees tuning in remotely. We tackled the most pressing issues of the year and connected them to the systemic roots that have been here for decades. We heard from experts on housing, labor, and equity in the tech industry.
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We knew from the start that passing Prop 15 would be a Herculean effort. It took a statewide coalition of organizations to get as close as we did, and TechEquity was a huge part of that. They brought a fresh set of constituents into this decades-long fight, helping us tip the scales and change the narrative on how we take care of each other in California.

– Ben Grieff, Campaign Director at Evolve California and SCF Executive Committee Member



TechEquity creates a space that allows us all, especially tech workers, to get more civically engaged and involved with the public sector. The events I’ve been to are facilitated in a way that eases beginners into the legislative space while having speakers with such a vast amount of knowledge. There’s always room for discussion and friendly debates surrounding these important, multi-faceted topics.

– Kevin Lee, Tech Worker and TechEquity Member


Passing—and Implementing—Housing Policy

With millions of Californians teetering on the eviction cliff, our work to protect tenants and build affordable housing becomes even more urgent. Our work in 2021 will focus on not only passing critical housing policy, but on tapping the talent of our community to fill the data and technology gaps that make it harder to implement good policy. We’ll be fighting for strong homelessness prevention, an ambitious housing production agenda, and the establishment of a statewide rental database.
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Instilling Ethical Workforce Practices in Tech

With the passage of Prop 22, labor protections for contractors are weaker than ever. We’ll be continuing our work on System Reset and Responsible Contracting, as well as joining the fights for whistleblower protections for contractors and algorithmic accountability in tech companies and beyond.

Tackling Algorithmic Bias in Housing

Algorithms based on biased data can further entrench inequity in existing systems—especially in housing. We’ll be examining how public and private sector technologies are deployed in the housing space, bring to light possible risks these tools pose for embedding inequality, and advocate for policy solutions that will prevent algorithmic bias in housing.

TechEquity’s advocacy on SB 902 and other key bills demonstrates their unwavering commitment to building housing at all levels of affordability in California. As we navigate the impacts of the pandemic moving forward, I’m grateful to have their partnership in the fight to fix our housing crisis.

– State Senator Scott Wiener

Our Team


Thank you to our community partners



Thank you to our corporate partners



Thank you to our board


Thank you to our major funders


Thank you for being with us in 2020; we really couldn’t do it without you.