Y Combinator’s Garry Tan chastises a San Francisco lawmaker again — this time about an email bill


Y Combinator President Garry Tan took to the social platform X on Tuesday to again express his displeasure at elected officials representing San Francisco, where the storied accelerator is based.

This time he was lambasting California State Assembly member Matt Haney, who represents San Francisco, over a proposed late-night email bill he authored.

The tweet read, “Legalize hard work. Haney is spreading nonsense again, from the guy who killed algebra and spun up the fentanyl crisis in the Tenderloin.” He then posted a thread saying, “Is this a foreign op or what?”

Haney is what you might call Tan’s “favorite punching bag.” Back in 2016, Haney led the San Francisco Public Schools board when the district was discussing moving algebra out of middle school. The course was later reinstated in 2024. To say Tan was not a fan of that earlier move is evident in several tweets, including in April 2023, October 2022 and June 2021.

Meanwhile, in 2022, Haney was appointed to lead California’s opioid committee, to which Tan tweeted, “Politics as usual is putting the incompetent supe who presided over 1000s of fentanyl deaths in his SF district in charge of the CA opioid commission. Matt Haney has done nothing to support recovery and treatment…”

Haney defended his work combating the opioid crisis in a February LinkedIn post. In it, he referenced AB 1976, a bill that he described “would build on existing requirements for California employers to have ‘adequate first-aid materials’ for workers.” His goal is to make kits that include the life-saving medication naloxone available “as a fire extinguisher.”

What’s caught Tan’s ire this time is Haney’s proposed bill, AB 2751, that would enable employees “the right to disconnect” after agreed-upon working hours. Meaning they’d have the legal right to ignore calls, emails, texts or messages sent after that time, except in cases of emergency, and employers in violation could be subject to fines, the San Francisco Standard reported.

Haney told the publication, “If you’re working a 9-to-5 job, you shouldn’t be expected to be working 24/7. That should be available to everyone, regardless of the existence of smartphones.”

It’s worth pointing out that the bill isn’t as much to forbid people from working long hours if they choose to, as Tan implies, as to forbid companies from imposing an always-available expectation on workers. However, this idea does run contrary to the startup hustle culture, part of YC’s world, which reveres dedication to work, particularly in the early years.

Tan’s latest tweet finding fault with a California lawmaker is not unique. He went on a rant in January on X about seven San Francisco supervisors that took a violent tone. He later apologized, explained that the tweet was meant to be an obvious reference to a popular rap song and later deleted it.

It didn’t end there, though. In February, three San Francisco supervisors received threatening letters to their homes that included a photo of Tan and the phrase, “I wish a slow, painful death for you and your loved ones.”

TechCrunch spoke with San Francisco board supervisor Aaron Peskin about the letter at that time, and Peskin said he didn’t think Tan was directly responsible for someone sending the letter. However, with its threatening tone aimed at a person, not just discourse on a policy, Tan’s tweet nonetheless did “harm to democratic discourse,” Peskin said.

Attempts to reach both Tan and Haney for comment were not answered at the time of publication. Y Combinator declined to comment.





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