In 2008 Elisa and her family bought a plot of land in Menlo Park and built a “smart” house— self-cooling, self-heating, with solar panels. The whole thing cost $450,000. Ten years later, with the start of Facebook’s fifty-six-acre expansion, the house has doubled in value. “It’s fantastic,” Elisa says.
At a recent community meeting, Elisa got a chance to ask a question of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO. Referring to the local children of color, who don’t match the well-educated, international profile of Facebook’s employees, Elisa said, “What about the young people, those who need jobs, from within this community?” Zuckerberg told her he planned to invest in the local schools and to make other contributions to the area. Elisa says she was satisfied. “As long as they stay conscious of not leaving out the little people from around here, then it will be okay. This,” she says, “can only be a win-win situation.”