Community Spotlight: David Peters
Tech workers from across the Bay Area have joined TechEquity’s network and are giving their time, skills, and financial support to make their communities more equitable. We’re proud of our growing community full of smart, passionate, engaged citizens and we want to show them off!
I’m a 3rd generation West Oaklander. I’m blessed to live next door to the house I was born in, on a block where my family has lived since 1950. The forgotten history of the exclusionary federal government programs and local real estate practices described in Rothstein’s Color of Law is a story I learned at my grandparent’s kitchen table. I am a huge lifetime fan of Oakland sports teams, love to BBQ, and am restored by getting my hands in the soil. I am a cultural steward and make it a point to wave to everybody that passes my front porch. I am a CPA by training and provide contract labor to tech firms.
What’s your professional passion these days?
My professional passion is using the accounting skills and business acumen I’ve developed over the course of my career in service to local businesses, especially those that are Black-led and in my community.
What does it mean to you to be a responsible citizen while working in tech?
For me, being a responsible citizen while working in tech means bringing my whole self to work. Engaging my colleagues with perspectives they might not be privy to, not by any fault of their own, but because I have too frequently been the only Black person in the room. Diverse experiences add value in business settings by bringing alternative perspectives to bear on business problems that may seem to have nothing to do with race.
How has TechEquity impacted civic participation?
My first experience with TechEquity was at a ballot house party my wife and I hosted at our house. Megan’s high level of expertise on the measures fostered an engaging discussion, creating a network cohort that continues to engage in community civic issues. My interest in local housing policy was triggered by discussions that started that night and led me to greater participation with TechEquity.
Why is it important for the tech community to become more civically engaged?
The tech community is a driving economic force in the Bay Area, greatly affecting local economies, disrupting industries, and causing great dislocation in regional housing patterns. It is essential that those of us who work in tech engage the entrepreneurs and leaders who employ us, bridge that gap to our communities, and build a dialogue between our work and civic lives, particularly those that are centered in advocacy for under-resourced communities. Personal engagement in the civic process builds a conduit between our local communities and the tech community. For example, I am serving as campaign treasurer for Derreck Johnson’s campaign for Oakland’s at-large city council seat—a seat which has yet to be won by an African-American—and through that participation, I’m fostering deeper engagement with some of my tech colleagues on local civic issues and processes.