Barry Chang, the mayor of Cupertino, California, told The Guardian that he recently went to Apple’s headquarters in the city to talk about traffic congestion, but had barely made it into the lobby before security scored him off the property.
“They said ‘you cannot come in, you’re not invited’. After that I left and have not gone back,” Chang said.
Lots of folks in the 60,000-person town in the heart of Silicon Valley are beginning to organize around their overburdened city, according to The Guardian. They claim the region is struggling with aging infrastructure and booming companies like Apple whose effective tax rate is often quite low. Citizens are also concerned about traffic and nose.
Some are trying to put a stop to more development, which they argue brings more congestion on the roads, parking and train system. However, Chang says limiting new development would damage the regional economy and that the real solution should be higher taxes on the wealthy and companies such as Apple.
However, getting local politicians to battle the company is hard, Chang said. He recently proposed that Apple – which is building a massive new “spaceship headquarters” – should give $100 million to improve city infrastructure. To move on the proposal, the mayor only needed to get a single vote ‘yes’ among the three other eligible council members. He failed to get that vote.
Who knows? After being asked to leave Apple’s headquarters, next time he may ask for even more money. Hey, it’s not like Apple lacks the money.