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Friday, June 18, 2021

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UncategorizedTom’s Town: The real story of 'the tech against...

Tom’s Town: The real story of ‘the tech against eviction’ event

Google seemed to take the later approach and announced on Thursday that the company would be picking up the tab for Free Muni for youth for the next couple years. Apparently I, and others, who cried foul at the paltry amount these corporations are paying to use our Muni stops for their lux busses, weren’t just blowing smoke when we said that companies that used our bus stops could meaningfully contribute for their use. See? Tech companies CAN contribute more than a single damn dollar at a time to our public transportation infrastructure if they really want to.

After months of neighborhood conventions and a jam-packed citywide convention this past month, tenants across the city have our marching orders. The revival of Harvey Milk’s Anti-Speculation tax, an idea first floated at the 2013 Harvey Milk Memorial March by Brian Basinger and Tommi Avicolli-Meca, has come out of the conventions as the most popular first step to get us out of our affordability and eviction crisis.

The tax would require that speculators pay a fee to the city on properties that they flip and resell in six years or less. As we all know, many of the horrible eviction stories we’re hearing are coming from folks whose longtime homes have been bought by new, money-hungry opportunists who have no interest in being landlords for the existing tenants and every interest in flipping the property ASAP. This tax should give them pause and hopefully tenants some reprieve.

As the co-president of Harvey’s namesake club, I couldn’t be more happy to work to pass a piece of legislation that he worked so hard to get off the ground. This legislation originated in the queer community decades ago, it was brought back as a solution to our current crisis at the biggest Milk Memorial march in memory, and I’m hoping to see lots of queer leadership on the issue to get it passed. No word yet on whether the initiative will be put on the ballot by a signature gathering campaign or if it will get their via the Board of Supervisors — but if it’s the later I’m hoping to see one of our queer supervisors sign on as a sponsor.
MOVIE TIME: This is the time of year that any movie critic worth their weight in movie theatre buttered popcorn has Oscar predictions abound. Unfortunately for anyone reading this far into my column I am not worth my weight in anything movie related. I am the air pop of movie critics. The only two films I have seen that garnered any sort of nominations are 20 Feet From Stardom, which is nominated for Best Documentary (read more in my previous Tom’s Town review) and Star Trek Into Darkness, which is nominated for Best Visual Effects, and if memory served kicked ass and looked really cool. Both of these movies will undoubtedly win which means that future Oscar hopefuls need to be sure to get their movies on my very bare plate as I clearly have a midas touch.


Tom’s Top Two Things To Do This Weekend

My official highly biased top two things to do (which I will be doing) are going to the season premier/4th birthday party for my baby, Hard French, on Saturday and the season premier of one of my favorite parties, Swagger Like Us on Sunday. Both will be at El Rio in the afternoon. Both will be more fun than you can handle.

While you’re in that neck of the Mission also be sure to hop up to Knockout on Saturday night for the 2nd installment of WOMAN aka WOMAN II. This is the weirdest drag party in town which means it also may be the best. Some of my favorite queens and DJs will be there and you should be too.

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) 48hills.org, follow @supermarke on Twitter.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. “The SPUR magic bullet of building more market-rate housing was mentioned far too many times”

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    Oh, come on. It was barely mentioned at all, Tom. There was _one_ person who brought it up, Campos was asked to comment, and he dismissed it and promptly changed the subject to evictions again. It’s what happens time and time again when activists are questioned about the housing shortage, to much annoyance. There’s not even much serious talk about how to get more BMR housing built, beyond just demanding that developers build more to the point of unprofitability.

    And this is why a lot of tech people, uneasy though they may be about seeing senior citizens lose their homes, will find it harder to get on your side: while you’re concerned about the anxiety longtime residents feel and seek more security, newer SF arrivals are also frustrated that the competition for the remaining available housing is insanely intense and just want a reasonable chance to find their way in here. Meanwhile, the focus of affordable housing activists is almost exclusively on helping existing residents stay here, with near-zero consideration for how to keep the city accessible to a new generation of SF residents as well (whether working in tech or in anything else). One gets the distinct impression this is by design, in fact – you can actually hear Redmond’s glee as he writes about fantasies of exiling the Twitter office drones to Stockton.

    You don’t just get to say “Oh, yeah, maybe we need more housing, but … eh, whatever, let fat cat developers figure that one out” and brush it off. The housing shortage is real, the causes predate the recent tech boom, it has significant negative effects on both existing and potential new residents, and the city’s planning process has been exacerbating it for some time now. Street protests about evictions alone won’t change that.

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