Corporate Partnership: A Year In Review

January 9, 2020

At TechEquity, we’re working to create a tech-driven economy in the Bay Area that works for everyone. Tech workers and tech companies from across the region are helping us achieve this mission. Last year, through our corporate partnership program, we collaborated with seven companies to further our mission of building more equity in the Bay. Our partners included: PantheonSquareWaymoGitHubTwilioPostmates, and Facebook.

Our corporate partnership program is a resource for tech companies seeking guidance and education on how to advance social and economic equity in the Bay Area. TechEquity believes that by helping companies develop a more strategic approach to civic participation and community engagement we’ll build a more inclusive economy. Tech companies may also see increased business outcomes as a result of this work. We published a blog series this fall sharing the business case for an equity strategy.

Our partnership with Square this year is an exciting example of how companies can approach community engagement. As Square made plans to open an office in Oakland, which could eventually house thousands of Square employees, we helped them devise and execute a strategy to engage the local community on how to be good neighbors. For more details, we shared two blog posts in the spring about TechEquity’s partnership with Square.

Square event for Oakland small business owners and entrepreneurs

The Square team met with local stakeholders including public officials, tech training organizations, cultural organizations, advocacy groups, residents, and small business owners. The Square community affairs team hosted events that welcomed feedback from the Oakland community and allowed them to establish new relationships. As a result of hosting meetings and events across the community, Square began to build new partnerships with organizations such as TechHire Oakland and the Oakland Ed Fund.

The TechEquity team also worked with the Square real estate team on how to run a more inclusive bidding process for service contracts at the Oakland office. Square has notably opted not to include an employee cafeteria in the Oakland building, instead, reimbursing employees for meals they purchase at local businesses.

As Square employees move into the building in 2020, many of the other initiatives we have been working on will begin rolling out. These include programs to support Oakland-based entrepreneurs and small business owners, to ensure the talent pool for new hires in the Oakland building includes homegrown Oakland talent, and to engage on the most pressing issues facing Oakland and the Bay including housing and homelessness. Watch this space for more news on those fronts.

TechEquity partnered with Postmates to support the policy team on engaging in local and state policy issues. In an advisory role, TechEquity worked with Postmates on their announcement to let the city of San Francisco use the money collected under Prop C in 2018, allowing the city to invest in critical housing services.

Postmates panel on Schools and Communities First Act

TechEquity is also working with companies to endorse reform of the corporate tax loophole embedded in California’s property tax law. Our partners at Postmates hosted a panel in support of the Schools and Communities First Act; a measure that would raise $12b for public education and social services across California. Founder and CEO of Pantheon, Zack Rosen, joined the discussion to share more about why this reform is critical for the long-term health of our communities.

In addition, TechEquity worked with Pantheon, Waymo, and Twilio to develop new employee engagement opportunities. Code Tenderloin and the Chinese Culture Center teamed up with us to host walking tours for employees at Pantheon and Twilio interested in learning more about the communities in which they work. We also hosted voter education events at Pantheon and Waymo, digging into ballot measures and new laws passed by the state legislature.

Twilio Employees tour the Tenderloin with Code Tenderloin Founder, Del Seymour

As we enter 2020, we’re excited to keep this momentum going. We couldn’t do this work without tech workers and companies consistently stepping up. TechEquity partners with companies to help deepen employee civic engagement, develop policy positions on local and state issues, and provide strategic support on community engagement. We’re as optimistic as ever about the level of impact the tech sector can drive. Get in touch to learn more.