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Mayor Lee, President Chiu, Supervisors Farrell, Kim & Wiener Announce Nation’s First “Sharing Economy” Working Group to Support Innovative New Economy, Confront Emerging Issues

New Policy Group Brings Together City Departments, Community & Innovative Companies Promoting “Collaborative Consumption” to Develop Model Policies for Sharing Economy

3/27/12—Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and Supervisors Mark Farrell, Jane Kim and Scott Wiener today announced the nation’s first-ever policy group formed to take a comprehensive look at the economic benefits, innovative companies and emerging policy issues around the growing “sharing economy.” The sharing economy, also known as “collaborative consumption,” uses technology and social media to promote the sharing and re-use of underutilized assets such as cars, bikes, tools, rooms, spaces, skills and other goods. The growth of the sharing economy has been driven by the success of innovative companies and organizations like City CarShare, ZipCar, RelayRides, Airbnb, Getaround, Taskrabbit, Shareable, Vayable and more, many headquartered in San Francisco and creating a growing number of local jobs and local economic benefits.

“The growing ‘sharing economy’ is leveraging technology and innovation to generate new jobs and income for San Franciscans in every neighborhood and at every income level,” said Mayor Lee. “As the birthplace of this new, more sustainable ‘sharing economy,’ San Francisco must be at the forefront of nurturing its growth, modernizing our laws, and confronting emerging policy issues and concerns.”

“The Sharing Economy is promoting sustainability and creating new economic opportunities for San Franciscans across the socio-economic spectrum,” said Board of Supervisors President Chiu. “It’s time for San Francisco to take a comprehensive look at our existing laws and regulations to consider this innovative new economy’s benefits while addressing real community impacts and concerns.”

“The many local companies driving the innovative ‘sharing economy’ are here to stay and will be a growing part of our City’s future economy,” said Supervisor Farrell. “As policymakers, we must make sure our 21st century economy isn’t strangled by outdated laws and rigid regulations written in the last century that never envisioned what technology makes possible today.”

“Whether it’s sharing bikes, cars, apartments or tools, we must bring impacted communities and stakeholders together to develop model policies that protect public safety, reflect our values and ensure that the benefits of the ‘sharing economy’ extend to all San Franciscans,” said Supervisor Kim.

“San Francisco is at the center of a new, sustainable economy where peer-to-peer marketplaces are turning underutilized assets and resources into new jobs, income and community connections,” said Supervisor Wiener. “It’s time to take a fresh look at our City’s laws and policies to address neighborhood impacts and emerging issues while supporting the innovative sharing economy’s real benefits and growth.”

The Sharing Economy Working Group will bring together City Departments, neighborhood and community stakeholders and sharing economy companies to explore San Francisco’s existing land-use, planning, tax and other laws that impact or are impacted by collaborative consumption and explore policy alternatives and legislation to modernize those laws and/or address emerging impacts and issues. In addition to the Mayor’s Office and the Board of Supervisors, the Sharing Economy Working Group includes the Planning Department, Department of Building Inspection, Fire Department, Police Department, Department of the Environment, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Department of Public Health, the City Controller and Treasurer/Tax Collector’s Office. Among the policy areas the Sharing Economy Working Group will focus are:
   · Carsharing, parking-sharing & ride-sharing
   · Bike and scooter-sharing
   · Shareable housing, commercial spaces and workspaces
   · Shareable recreation & green spaces, rooftops, urban agriculture and food
   · Shareable tools, skills and other commercial enterprises

“I applaud Mayor Lee and San Francisco Supervisors for recognizing that the sharing economy and new policies to support it are key to turning cities into the engines of global transformation they need them to become,” said Shareable Magazine Publisher Neal Gorenflo. “Sharing is a rare and practical systemic solution – it simultaneously increases access to wealth, reduces waste, and strengthens the social fabric. Other cities would be smart to follow San Francisco’s lead because of the low cost and massive benefits to citizens, cities, and the world.”

“Collaborative consumption is reinventing the way we live – and San Francisco is at the epicenter of the movement. This has the potential to be a source of great economic strength, as we translate our urban efficiency and creativity into new tools that the rest of the country can benefit from,” said San Francisco Planning & Urban Research (SPUR) Executive Director Gabriel Metcalf. “I applaud Mayor Lee and members of the Board of Supervisors for recognizing the future of our City’s economy.”

On April 3rd at 6 pm, SPUR is hosting an evening forum on The Sharing Economy, featuring Mayor Lee; Leah Busque, Founder and Chief Product Officer for TaskRabbit; Jessica Scorpio, Founder of Getaround; Joe Gebbia, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer for AirBnB; Jamie Wong, Founder and CEO of Vayable; and Jay Nath, Mayor Lee’s Chief Innovation Officer. For more information, go to: http://www.spur.org/events/calendar/sharing-economy .

Last updated: 4/4/2012 5:36:47 PM