Meet the Bay Area business leaders pushing back on Trump’s DACA decision
Reaction from several Bay Area CEOs and business groups was swift and damning after Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared President Donald Trump’s plan to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy on Tuesday.
The Obama-era immigration rule protects 800,000 so-called "Dreamers," who entered the country before the age of 16 and are currently eligible for work permits under the program.
Bay Area executives moved quickly to put out letters and statements saying the move to end the program could threaten their workforce and be detrimental to the overall Bay Area economy.
“I am deeply dismayed that 800,000 Americans — including more than 250 of our Apple coworkers — may soon find themselves cast out of the only country they’ve ever called home,” Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said in an email to employees on Tuesday. “They help customers in our retail stores. They engineer the products people love and they’re building Apple’s future as part of our R&D teams.”
Click through the slideshow to see what other Bay Area business leaders have to say about Trump’s plan to end DACA.
The move follows an open letter to President Trump penned by business leaders from across the country, including Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) CEO Tim Sloan, Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh and Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) CEO Marc Benioff.
“Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions,” the letter says. “Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy.”
The letter cites a study by FWD.us, Facebook's (NASDAQ: FB) Mark Zuckerberg-backed advocacy group, which found that more than 97 percent of Dreamers are in school or in the workforce, 5 percent started their own business and 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees.
The plan to end DACA would affect California more than any other state, according to the Pew Research Center, because it is home to 222,795 initial DACA recipients, the highest in the nation.
Megadeveloper tops off S.F.’s tallest public art sculpture
Trinity Properties topped off the city’s tallest sculpture by hoisting the head of its 50-ton steel “Venus” statue into place more than 10 stories high.
The shining 92-foot statue — nearly as tall as the Statue of Liberty — stands in the public plaza at Trinity Place, a 1,900-unit rental complex that is under construction at Market and 8th Streets.
“It will bring so much to the neighborhood,” said Trinity Properties CEO Walter Schmidt. “It will be a key gathering place for not only the local area but all of San Francisco.”
Situated in the center of the multi-decade project’s four towers, the statue will remain behind scaffolding for the next month and will open to the public when phase three of the project is completed in Spring of 2017.
The Lawrence Argent-designed sculpture caps off the centerpiece of Trinity Plaza, a legacy project for real estate titan and Trinity Properties founder Angelo Sangiacomo, who died in December at age 91.
“I just want to finish the whole project, God willing,” he told the Business Times in a 2012 interview.
The statue will remain the largest public art sculpture in San Francisco until 2019, when a twisting 110-foot sculpture will be completed at 4th and Clementina Streets to coincide with the opening of the new Central Subway’s Yerba Buena/Moscone station.
“We all only wish that (Sangiacomo) was here to see it,” Schmidt said. “It certainly was his vision being a pioneer to transform the Mid-Market area.”
Uber’s Salle Yoo lays groundwork for uncharted legal areas
When Salle Yoo joined Uber three years ago, the ridesharing service was operating in 14 cities in four countries. Now, the nation's largest startup operates in 282 cities in 53 countries and is growing by the day.
Valued at more than $40 billion, Uber has grown rapidly, in part, because of Yoo's work ushering the service into new markets. As the company's general counsel, Yoo manages Uber's global legal and regulatory issues, which have proven challenging for the company as it navigates complex transit rules around the globe.
"The regulatory issues are somewhat at the forefront of what everybody (in the public) thinks about," Yoo said.
"Obviously, when you go into an industry that hasn't seen innovation in 100 years and you bring a product that the regulations have not addressed," she said, "then there is going to be a period of time where you have to educate on what you are as a company and the value that you bring."
At times, the road has been bumpy.
The nearly 6-year-old company has faced intense scrutiny as it expanded its presence in cities with tough transportation laws.
One of the most important tasks for a general counsel is to anticipate what's coming down the road, Yoo said. Uber does a lot of homework before it enters a city, she added.
"We look at the laws and see how our business fits, whether it sits comfortably within the existing regulations." she said. "A lot of times, what we find is that the regulations do not apply to a tech company that has an app. We develop an app that people download and then they use it to request transportation. We don't own vehicles, we don't employ drivers."
Claiming that Uber is a technology company opposed to a transportation service has been a consistent point of contention in battles with regulators as Uber competes in more locations.
Uber's labor practices are also the heart of a major court case. U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen is presiding over a class-action suit that will determine if Uber drivers are independent contractors or employees.
Uber has argued that it is a platform for linking independent contractors with cars to people needing rides.
If the judge sides with the plaintiffs, Uber could be forced to pay drivers for overtime, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation and fuel, as well as wear and tear on drivers' vehicles.
Yoo said her approach has always been to be a partner in growth for her team. Colleagues praise her for successfully guiding Uber through tremendous growth.
"She has risen to every challenge along the way, providing sound advice and strategic counsel," said Brent Callinicos, Uber's chief financial officer. "She is as smart as they come and tough as nails."