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Cities Policy

Tech Money Looms Over Race for San Francisco Mayor

Emmett Shear moved to San Francisco more than a decade ago. His time in the city has been lucrative. His video livestream startup Justin.tv amassed a cult-like following, pivoted into a gaming platform called Twitch, and then was sold to Amazon for nearly $970 million in cash. But Mr. Shear, who is still Twitch’s CEO, says he doesn’t feel welcome in a city where political power is often linked to alliances and community ties that have been in place for generations. The message, says Mr. Shear, is that “I’m not a real member of the city because I’ve only been here 11 years.”

He isn’t likely to garner much sympathy, but Mr. Shear is one of several prominent tech executives and investors channeling their frustration into some of the biggest checks trying to sway the outcome of next month’s special San Francisco mayoral election. He gave $20,000 to a committee supporting London Breed, a city supervisor and mayoral candidate.

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