Who We Are

Our vision + mission

We envision a world where the tech industry is responsible for building widespread economic prosperity and is held accountable for the economic harm it creates in our communities. 

We raise public consciousness about economic equity issues resulting from the tech industry’s products and practices and advocate for change that ensures tech’s evolution benefits everyone.

Our approach

The tech industry plays a consequential role in our society and within our communities. We want to see tech foster prosperity, not exacerbate inequity.

We’re addressing how tech intersects with the most consequential areas of the economy for everyday people: where they live (housing) and the conditions under which they work (labor). 

Tackling tech’s intersection with economic equity requires a multi-faceted approach. We:

  • Raise public consciousness about emerging areas where tech companies create economic inequity.
  • Articulate and advocate for regulation and the adoption of industry-wide standards to address the harms and opportunities we identify.
  • Support implementation and enforcement of these regulatory agendas and industry standards.

Our story

TechEquity was founded in 2016 to answer a simple but ambitious question: what would it take for the growth of the tech industry to benefit everyone?  

Tackling that question led us down many paths—some that became obvious very quickly, like the need to address the housing affordability crisis in and around Silicon Valley, and others that emerged as our work progressed, like raising awareness about the hidden inequities within the supply chain of tech’s labor force. In that time, we proudly took on campaigns that address the roots of economic inequality: building and winning historic and first-in-the-nation legislation, developing civic tech tools to empower our communities, and offering comprehensive and practical recommendations to change the tech industry for the better. 

Our Core Values

Our core values make up the organization’s belief system, which guides our approach externally and internally.

Racism is embedded in our economic, political, and social systems. It’s embedded in us all. As we pursue our mission, we practice anti-racism both internally in our organizational practices and externally in our education, our public policy advocacy, and in our industry recommendations. That means being explicit about how racism and racial bias are produced and maintained in our issue areas, and crafting policy solutions that build racial equity in response.

We know that in order to achieve true economic justice and resilience for all, we need bold solutions to our urgent problems. At the same time, our approach to developing these solutions must be grounded in a deep understanding of history and strong trusted relationships with the most impacted communities. We can’t hack our way out of these problems; we need to work together to enact thoughtful, long-term solutions.

We recognize that our organization and much of the tech community come from a place of privilege. We know that we’re working alongside people and communities that have been under-resourced and actively marginalized for decades. We show up conscious of the space we take and use our power to center the voices of those who are closest to the problems. 

We see ourselves as adding capacity to existing movements while providing leadership in the spaces where we’re best suited to lead. We believe in the adage “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

Our policy positions are determined through consultation with our community partners, our expert advisors, impacted people, and our staff. These positions are informed by our research which relies heavily on the lived experiences of the workers and renters who are most directly impacted by the issues we work on. 

While we value our institutional funders and the experiences of the industry representatives that we work with, they do not have a say in the development of our policy positions. We engage with companies and industry tables to ensure our recommendations and guidance reflect an understanding of their context, their goals, and their challenges—but we may disagree on key points of policy. We have taken—and will continue to take—publicly divergent stances on key issues. We view our independent, honest, and often contrary voice as a value to the tech industry. 

For us, both/and has always been a more powerful perspective than either/or. From our beginning, TechEquity has focused on making connections, building bridges, and staking out common ground that didn’t exist before. This has taken the form of connecting tech workers with their neighbors who are at risk of displacement; anti-displacement advocates with pro-development YIMBYs; and traditional grassroots equity advocates with technology experts.

This belief in connection has led us to evolve into a hybrid organization. We aren’t just one thing: we’re an advocacy organization that also does research, we span the worlds of both tech and economic equity, and we value connection with companies even as we push bold policies to hold them accountable. Our hybrid nature can sometimes cause ambiguity that results in tensions. But we believe that our work is more powerful and effective because of it.

We are a community that appreciates a wide range of perspectives—as long as those perspectives respect everyone’s humanity. We know that we each come into this work from different experiences and that learning from our differences is a generative process.

We strive to create a safe space for learning. That means fostering sometimes-difficult conversations that are always held in good faith and assuming the willingness of participants to reach clarity and understanding, if not consensus.

While charity work has value, it isn’t what we do. Our work focuses on addressing the root causes of inequity, the upstream forces that create the need for charity in the first place. We believe that those root causes are fundamental power imbalances and that in order to achieve our vision, we have to rebalance power through systems change and policy advocacy.