Sunday, May 16, 2021
Uncategorized Ed Lee’s State of the City, for better and...

Ed Lee’s State of the City, for better and for worse


By Tim Redmond

The good news about Mayor Ed Lee’s State of the City Speech is that he clearly, finally, understands that he can’t ignore the housing crisis. He’s got a plan, a seven-point plan, and some of it is fine and some of it is good.

The bad news is that he’s still enamored of the free market and private initiatives as a big part of the solution, and there’s abundant evidence showing that the approach hasn’t worked in the past and won’t work now.

The event was a spectacle, as these things have come to be. Not that long ago, the State of the City was a policy address at City Hall. But since Gavin Newsom turned the annual talk into a political road show, it’s become something that looks more and more like the State of the Union address, a glamorous extravaganza, in this case invite-only (with a limited press gallery), on a construction site, with people selected to stand up as examples of how great the mayor’s achievements have been.

To nobody’s surprise, Lee talked about jobs – about how the city’s unemployment rate is the lowest of any major city in the country, how his “relentless focus” on job creation has brought 42,452 new jobs to San Francisco. It’s an interesting number, and one of the things he didn’t address is how many of those jobs went to existing unemployed residents and how many went to people who moved here to take the job. That’s a critical question when you look at the impact job growth is having on the housing crisis.

But he also acknowledged that some people have become “frustrated” (a pretty mild word) with the cost of housing, and he put forward what he called an “affordability agenda.” Not that he’s ever going to back away from his first agenda – helping the private sector make money and hire people: “The creation of too many good jobs has been criticized,” he said, with tech mogul Ron Conway sitting in a prominent seat up front. “But we will never relent in our efforts to grow jobs.”(more after the jump)

Marke B.
Marke Bieschke is the publisher and arts and culture editor of 48 Hills. He co-owns the Stud bar in SoMa. Reach him at marke (at), follow @supermarke on Twitter.


  1. Are you sure, Ed has evaded: policies to correct, mayhem of “housing crisis” going to allow 4 for years? Is this clear effecting, working class, besides “rent controlled” buildings avid, renter getting to many rental increases. How well new remolding incur higher “percentage” eager awaited renters unlimited interest pay any rate “Ellis Act” biggest enemy! Finally where aware of decadence, no longer going to commence see on Nov 3, 2015 allow best candidate to lead improved San Francisco. Enough of lies of this era! San Franternity or San Franhattan these are “trendy” names of “baggage” supporting gentrification adamant. Guess what? Going to fight fair housing is needed!

  2. I am a homeowner in San Leandro but was a canvass director for the Mass. Tenants Organization and was able to get quite a few tenants to join our group by explaining our issues and also offering them legal advice if they needed it if they joined. We had a call in night , where members could call in if they needed help. Today its harder to get into apartment buildings because of security systems but reverse phone directories might work. A big tenant organization with resources is doable, in my opinion. Also we live in the age of brilliant technologies . How much could it cost to flood the city with affordable housing . Why hold back technology to protect inefficiency in a market?

  3. State of the City address is political?
    Policy addresses are apolitical?
    Sure wish leadership motivations were this straightforward.

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