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UncategorizedWho really won the SF election?

Who really won the SF election?

Maria Zamudio of Causa Justa::Just Cause: Prop G was part of a larger progressive narrative that did win
Maria Zamudio of Causa Justa::Just Cause: Prop G was part of a larger progressive narrative that did win

By Gen Fujioka

NOVEMBER 11, 2014 — As is customary after an election, there’s been a flurry of commentaries and analyses interpreting who “really” won — besides the actual (and obvious) victors.  Tim Redmond on this site has called the election a win for the mayor and his financial backers.  The Business Times hailed the “huge” defeat of G and welcomed the passage of Prop F (Pier 70) as setting the stage for more waterfront development.   During the elections, the Chronicle suggested that the progressive movement was dead, but a post election Chronicle story reported that the “impressive” results on E and G and passage of J suggested that progressives still set the pace for politics in the city. And Randy Shaw offered his own list of winners and losers in BeyondChron with projections for next year’s elections.  This is, of course, only a partial list of the media post-election analyses.

I’m not going to add to the prognostications about election trends here. For progressives, the more meaningful questions center on what worked or did not work for organizing our communities.

As we have learned from  previous campaigns (recall the joy of the Obama victory in 2008 and the disappointment that continues), even winning an election may be less important in the long run than how a campaign sustains (or undermines) the level of progressive mobilization. Did 2014 unite and engage disempowered communities? Did it grow new leadership or advance new ideas to make real change?

To get some initial perspective on how this past campaign season impacted the grassroots, I spoke with activists on the progressive front lines.

Maria Zamudio, an organizer from Causa Justa:Just Cause, was a part of the Yes on G team that helped pull together the campaign’s voter outreach effort after the campaign sought to recover from the passing of our friend and colleague Ted Guillicksen. Two Saturdays after Ted’s passing, Maria, Fred Sherburn-Zimmer, Tammy Hung, and others mobilized more than 100 volunteers, assembled in three locations across the city, to reach out to voters about Prop G. They kept up that level grassroots involvement through to Election Day.  Here are some of Maria’s reflections:

“In this election we made major gains in organizing working class immigrants, seniors, low-wage workers, parents, and tenants, firing people up around the demand that they, too, deserve to live in San Francisco. From the sweeping win of the strongest minimum wage increase in the country, to protecting a city funds to support youth, to the message of the Yes on G campaign, we moved tens of thousands of people to vote. While it did not win this year, Prop G was part of a larger progressive narrative that did win. That narrative, along with the tools developed and relationships built in this campaign, will be the foundation on which we can continue to grow.”

The Community Tenants Association played a leading role in mobilizing Chinese American tenants to support Proposition G. In the end, a majority of voters in Chinatown precincts supported the initiative


The president of CTA, Wing Hoo Leung, offered the following observations (translated from Cantonese):

“The Community Tenants Association supported Proposition G from the start. But we did not fully realize how important a fight it would be until we saw the lies coming from the other side. The opposition mailers and the ads on Channel 26  [the primary Chinese language TV station]  were aimed to confuse voters and this motivated our members to work even harder.  It was difficult at first because the original Yes on G literature did not fully address the concerns in our community.  Once we got the correct literature we worked every Saturday and Sunday to get the word out.  Some of our members were spit on and the literature ripped from their hands but this only made us more determined.  We were encouraged by the results of the elections. We can see we made a difference and we must continue in our campaign to stop speculation.”

48hillsemilyleeEmily Lee’s regular job is as an organizer with the Chinese Progressive Association.   This past election she worked with a coalition of labor and community organizations:

“Families for an Affordable San Francisco focused not just on electing David Campos for Assembly, but also tied in supporting Prop G and Prop J in the fight for affordability that our communities need.  We prioritized talking to voters as our most important strategy — not mailers, not attack ads, not social media, but actually having conversations with voters about our vision for making San Francisco a city that all families could afford, not just those with six-figure salaries. With a united force of labor and community partners, we were able to make the election more than a contest between two politicians; we were able to lift up the growing inequality in our city and say there is an alternative.”

One of the encouraging aspects of the grassroots campaigns this year were the number of volunteers who were new to elections work. Candy Michelle Smallwood was one of those first timers working alongside greying campaign veterans.


Candy grew up in public housing in Hunters Point, went to college and law school, and still lives in the City.  But Candy never participated in a campaign before.

“This was my first election campaign and I learned a lot about organizing. I learned that just taking the time to explain the issues to our neighbors makes a big difference.  When we explained how speculators are taking away rent-controlled housing, it was like a light went on for people and they got it.  They understood better what is happening in their neighborhood.  It was powerful.  I’m definitely ready for the next campaign.”

Engaging new activists like Candy and growing their involvement as leaders is a key measure of the success of any progressive political campaign. It’s what movement building is all about.  And it is essential to engage this new leadership in planning for what lies ahead.

Let’s go back to the published discussions about “winners and losers.”   In particular, I feel compelled to object to one post-election conclusion that Asian American voters “won” last week’s elections — based upon David Chiu’s victory over David Campos in the state assembly race. That’s the view proposed by Randy Shaw in BeyondChron and shared by some other media as well.

The logic of this claim seems to be that because many Asian American voters voted for Chiu (and Chiu being Asian American) this election was a “win” for Asian American voter power.  On a superficial level, it’s a logic that makes sense and it adds what may be to some an appealing minority-empowerment gloss to a bitterly contested race.

But the reality is that the David Chiu campaign was never framed or organized as a vehicle for Asian voter empowerment.  The campaign promoted Chiu’s rather generic attributes of competence and “getting things done.”  The major issues that distinguished Chiu from Campos (e.g., the legalization of Airbnb) were not in any way Asian American causes.  And from what I could observe, the Chiu campaign did not develop a community-based grassroots effort. In stark contrast, the Campos campaign mobilized from within the Latino, LGBT, and other communities.

As the successful Chiu campaign proves, resource-rich campaigns don’t need to organize on a grassroots level. They can direct mailers, advertisements and calls with targeted messages that are designed to appeal to voters based upon set ethnic or gender identities, languages spoken, economic status, even consumer preferences. Their messages are shaped by polls.

While often successful, this is not the stuff that builds meaningful democratic power in any community — nor is it intended to create any long-term change.  It’s designed to market a candidate or issue to voters. That should not be confused with empowering any particular set of voters, whether they’re Asians, tech workers, or homeowners.

Actual grassroots or community-based campaigns to empower voters have a very different orientation than rich, poll driven campaigns.  For those campaigns, the usual measures of “winning” or “losing” can miss the point.

For example, Randy Shaw listed SEIU Local 1021 as an election “loser,” because the union had supported Campos, Prop G, and other candidates and measures that lost.  But as Local 1021 shop steward and activist Maria Guillen notes, that assessment misunderstands how and why the union makes endorsements.

“We aren’t just trying to pick winners,” Maria told me. “We take positions based upon what our members think are the right positions to take. A lot of times it feels like we are going against the tide, but we need to have the courage to do that. These are fights we need to win over the long term.”

Real progressive campaigns must be prepared to take risks and push the envelope to make meaningful change. And campaigns that seek to change the status quo must also sometimes challenge voters to think beyond first impressions and existing identities and imagine new possibilities.  For these campaigns and issues, it may take two or three elections to reach the finish line.

That logic cannot become an excuse for losing. But nor can such efforts be judged as winner or losers the day or week after an election.  Reform strategies must be evaluated in terms of whether they truly created deeper understanding and support within communities and whether after the elections the work of organizing continues.

The good news from this past election is that we demonstrated that the grassroots in San Francisco can still mount a competitive campaign to support big, bold, groundbreaking ideas for change. Despite rapid gentrification, organizing still matters in this city. As a result of that organizing — and despite overwhelming outside corporate campaign contributions in opposition — Prop G (and David Campos) came close to winning in a low-turnout election. Outspent 12 to 1, the Yes on G campaign came within single digits of winning.

Now the hard work begins to make this the basis for bigger change the next time.

Note: Emily Lee will be speaking on a panel about the outcomes of the local elections called “What’s Next?” to be held at the Bayanihan Center on Thursday at 7pm.
Gen Fujioka’s day job is Policy Director for Chinatown Community Development Center.  He was a volunteer for the Yes on G campaign and is a board member of the San Francisco Progressive Media Center, which publishes 48 Hills.  The opinions expressed in this article are his own.  

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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  1. Remy,
    I’ve not heard that there is a consensus among economists that rent control harms renters. Can you point to a consensus statement on this point? If not, how do you establish this point?

    There is a consensus statement for climate change: The report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, now in its fifth iteration.

  2. “There is a scientific consensus that global warming is worsening…”

    There is also a clear consensus among economists that Rent Control doesn’t work and that on average it harms tenants.

    Can we vote to repeal it now?

  3. Yes, it does seem that most of the posts on this site are attacks on other posters. Guess there’s a bit of history of which I’m gladly unaware.

    I’m saddened cuz I would like to see this City work better, yet it seems to be microcosmed on sites like this – lots of heat and little light. People would rather be right than get things done. (in “The City That Knows How”). Lose-lose, or win-lose; never a win-win.

    For a topic thats supposed to be about who won the election … well, I guess this really IS about who won. We have the dominant Progs and the upstart Mods; one has taken a lickin’ but keeps on ticking’ (albeit with a slightly erratic beat), and the other … if they’ve won then it feels more a pyrrhic victory than real.

    Yet this election didn’t really highlight that contest. What was a Mod measure or candidate? Ok, the Chew vs Compost battle. But neither candidate really represented their respective sides. Shadows of each. Chiu (held my breathe despite AirBnB disaster) – frankly I’d rather see him helm the BOS than go to Sacto – but pols are infamously ambitious. And Campos – his story may be real enuf but he just seems like such a poser. Cartoonish, almost. I’d almost prefer him in Sacto where he’d be a Chihuahua among the Jack Terriers and Mastiffs. But then he’d probably have a sinecure for the next 12 yrs (sad for SF).

    Was Prop A ‘Mod’? ‘F’ (for, ‘we’re fuc*ed)? ‘I’ over ‘H’? (should I change sides?)

    As for Progs – G lost, but J, K, & L won (maybe people thought they were voting on street cars?). I don’t sense groundswell, only a penchant for ‘advisory’ feel-good initiatives.

    I guess ‘Lion’ Lee won. The stench couldn’t be worse. And yet – compared to Lying Leno? Ed, where do I sign up?

  4. SFRentier, have you noticed how Greg routinely makes personal attacks on us and yet throws his hands up in horror when anyone else does it?

    He is also very shy abut revealing any information about himself, which is odd given that he has also claimed to be a high-level political operator in this town, on speaking terms with the Supervisors etc.

    So either he is lying about that (and his “experience”) or Greg is not his real name and he is a public figure posting here on the down-low.

    Either way, it smells funny.

  5. Ok, ok. Greg got me. I admit it. I’m a hateful, fearful right winger as a result of my insecurities. Truth be told, I fantasize of owing a gun. I am also a misogynist as a result of listening to too much Ted Nugent. But I seek to improve. Sunday’s a coming, and I will be attending church- the church of Greg.

  6. Greg, you are contradicting yourself. A troll would be here just to cause mayhem and garner attention. While someone who is paid to post here has no real interest in the place – it’s just a job.

    Neither category applies to me, although I can see why you would try and claim otherwise.

  7. Greg, it suits you to try and dismiss me as a “troll” because that is the simplest one-word attribution you can come up with (apart from “racist”, which you would if you could, because liberals always try that one).

    But all that really shows is that you fear the influence and persuasiveness that I carry. I cut through much of the progressive parroting here with a clarity and incisiveness that undermines many of the positions you take.

    If I were a mere minor nuisance, you would not devote the time and energy that you do. All this cheap name-calling is a cover for the fact that you see me winning debates and debunking you and your colleagues.

    The fact that you keep trying and failing to refute me speaks to the fact that you think I am not just an irritant here.

  8. Not everyone; just you, troll.

    I don’t think folderpete is a troll. In fact, far from the more typical raging, intolerant rightie that we are all sadly familiar with, I think he’s sincere in his beliefs and usually civil about it. He gives the lie to the notion that just because you feel passionately about your beliefs, you have to be a rude, insensitive ass about it.

    SFRentier is far more typical -angry, hateful, bitter. But he’s real. His is the dark heart of San Francisco conservatism, worn on its sleeve. I kind of like that. Not someone who you can exactly have a reasonable discussion with, but I wouldn’t call it trolling.

    You, however, are a true troll in the classic sense, and recognized as such by multiple posters. Prolific, repetitive, one-dimensional. Whereas someone like SFRentier at least provides entertainment value, you provide absolutely nothing that can be remotely construed as constructive. Look up troll in the dictionary, and your picture is right there.

  9. The idea that Greg is a troll is interesting, but perhaps requires an extension to the definition of the word “troll”.

    One can reasonably take the view that anyone who is a communist in this nation is essentially “trolling” out society, given that our nation is right-wing and conservative.

    So to be a socialist in America is to troll Americans. Which implies that such a person would criticize (i.e “troll”) anyone who points that out.

    I’ve noticed that whenever someone here defeats Greg in a debate, he retreats into his “space of trolldom”. That is significant.

    I sense that, in his heart, he knows he is losing the battle for the soul of this city, and that is why he lashes out so inexplicably. I feel for him. I really do.

  10. I doubt that Greg is any kind of professional. He appears to devote way too much time to local political machinations to leave the resources necessary to make any kind of meaningful contribution to society.

    He is one of those who believes that thoughts exceed deeds and that his mere posturing as an ideologue more than makes up for the wasted opportunities of his education.

    If I had to guess, I’d go with some kind of non-profit salaryman.

  11. Greg, I notice that you have elected not to deny my allegation that you are sucking at the public teat, and I feel sure our readers are satisfied with that implicit concession.

    But you really need to lose that losing meme that anyone who disagrees with you is a troll. The reality is that sometimes you just lose the debate.

  12. I’m simply secure enough in who I am that I feel no need to justify myself. Besides, whatever it is that I do, trolls will find an angle for an ad hominem attack. I prefer to let my arguments stand on their merits. But please, continue to speculate.

  13. Greg probably feels that his political “works” benefit society even though you and I know differently. He seems to have that same chip on his shoulder that Campos has, along with a streak of anti-Americanism.

    He has been too embarrassed to tell us what his real job is but I could speculate it is on the public dime.

  14. “leech”? “exploit”?

    I’d call it ‘leeching’ when I kept my family in a high class manner off the earnings and wealth of my friends; and I’d call it “exploitation” when I short-changed my house staff and got them pregnant in the process.

    Am I right to assume that these are the words of a Marxist?

  15. @SFR
    G is probably a doctor. But even in that profession there are those who actually are helpful, and there are those who … aren’t that helpful.

    There’s good in every profession or occupation. And then there are those who aren’t.

    So cut the guy some slack. He probably hasn’t been this happy in 10 yrs.

    ps: luv that nickname – “Compost” – with all it implies. Can’t get more rich, honest or alive, eh?

  16. Hard working yuppies and tech brah’s sure seem to like me, as I provide them quality housing in the tough mission market. Feels great too.

    What, exactly, are you doing for society?

  17. (confusing trying to follow the miriad sub-threads)
    “well let’s put it this way. If landlording were to somehow be made illegal overnight, people would still have housing.”

    That is a short-sighted view, definitely. Outlawing landlords doesn’t immediately eliminate the bldgs, true. And maybe there are other possible ways to ‘organize housing’. I think of Moscow, Havana, and several other places that have ‘outlawed landlords’. Probably not the result you’re truly desire.

    But this is just more ‘head-in-the-sand’ thinking.

    So, lets ‘kulak-ize’ SF landlords. Then what? Appropriate their property? Buy it?? Crash the RE market??? I sense a creepy lust for chaos in that gleam in the eye. With few marginal skills to get things up (and keep them) running, sure thats gonna work for ya?

    Take my property. Go ahead! I’ll be fine. I’ll go live in Thailand or Portlandia or Philly (pretty cheap, and not as nasty as Detroit). You’d probably be doing me a favor.

    But since you can’t seem to answer a few simple questions about what to do with things now in SF, I’m sure that Revolution is gonna work out ‘jus fine’.

    I’m sure Randy Shaw will back ya, and luv ya. But Randy Shaw don’t cotton to rent controllin his properties.

  18. You do realize you look like a total schmuck, bragging about how rich you are? I’m sorry you feel so insecure about your own self worth that you have to spread you peacock feathers while denigrating others. Here’s a suggestion: why don’t you try doing something good for others, rather than just yourself. You’ll feel better about yourself in the end -it’ll do wonders for your self esteem.

  19. No, I just give the impression of having endless time by using time much more efficiently.

    And unless you can point to a poll that EVER had Campos ahead of Chiu (and I know you cannot) then it really doesn’t matter which day the election took place. Chiu would have won.

    Losing with honor and dignity is evidently a skill you have yet to acquire.

  20. I was talking about the sizeable donations I can make with having a net worth, something you probably don’t have, unless you’re a trust fund punk (which wouldn’t surprise me.)

    As for housing available by ther means (i.e. Gov), g’luck with that in Ameica. Fool.

    You’re a smug prick, and I bet you have a menial worthless job that adds little to society. At least I provide housing to (mostly) hard working yuppies and tech brah’s….even they have to live somewhere.

  21. I was talking about the sizeable donations I can make with having a net worth, something you probably don’t have, unless you’re a trust fund punk (which wouldn’t surprise me.)

    As for housing available by ther means (i.e. Gov), g’luck with that in Ameica. Fool.

    You’re a smug prick, and I bet you have a menial worthless job that adds little to society. At least I provide housing to (mostly) hard working yuppies and tech brah’s….even they have to live somewhere.

  22. Greg, if your landlord goes out of business, and your building is Ellis’ed, then you lose your home. How can you argue that would not be a significant and negative event for you?

    You have a home only because a landlord somewhere allows you to.

  23. No, if you could refute me you would. I don’t have “endless time”. I just use time efficiently.

    If the Chiu-Campos election had taken place every day for the last year, Campos would never have won once. Chiu was always ahead.

  24. As for the provision of housing services being noble work… well let’s put it this way. If landlording were to somehow be made illegal overnight, people would still have housing.

    Certain occupations add value. Any society needs those services, and those services wouldn’t get done if their practitioners were to disappear. I happen to be in one of them.

    But the FIRE industries add nothing of value. Society can do without them and people would do just fine.

  25. I never confirmed nor denied the nature of my work. I just said that I was proud of it. I do something that helps people and contributes to society. Rentier made an assumption about what it is. He can assume whatever he wants.

  26. You have endless amounts of time, as if this was your whole life and your full time job. Just because other posters don’t care to engage in refuting every talking point you spit out endlessly, doesn’t mean they can’t.

  27. Greg, if housing is such a precious and scarce commodity in SF, then SFRentier is engaged in the very noblest of vocations i.e. the provision of housing services.

    The fact that people are willing to pay so much for such services is testimony to the fact that he delivers a greater value than someone who works for a no-profit, which is surely the classic definition of a “left pocket; right pocket” job.

  28. 51-49 is very close. It’s close regardless of whether it’s a town council race and 51-49 means 510-490, or if it’s for president of the United States and 51-49 means 51,000,000 to 49,000,000. Either way, suffice it to say that the electorate is very divided.

  29. SFRentier,
    You contribute nothing. You just transfer money from the pockets of your tenants into yours. Your work adds no value. If it can even be called work. Actually, you don’t work. You own, and collect money. Remember, as folderpete says, your actions have consequences. You never know how they’ll come back to you, but they will.

  30. Oh sure “Greg”, what exactly do you do that makes you such a dogooder boastful ass? Work for a non profit that someone else funds? I can promise you this bucko, with all the money I’ll make from SF RE I’ll contribute a lot more to society than you ever will.

  31. “I wish I were being paid. And if I were, I would say so.”

    LOL. Oh sure, every paid troll admits that they’re paid. Because paid trolls are honest people.

  32. ““G” may not be watching, but your actions have consequences. May you be relieved of the worst.”

    You know, I was just thinking the same thought over the weekend as we were browsing the Stanford Museum and reflecting on the tragic story of Leland Jr. By 1884, his dad had become extremely unpopular, because of his robber-baron capitalism. To shield little Leland Jr from all the negative publicity, he sent him on a nice long vacation in Europe and the middle east. While there, he caught typhoid fever and died. After that, dad said that he had nothing left to live for.

    In other words… had dad not caused such harm to the people of California with his monopolistic capitalism, his beloved son wouldn’t have died. You never know how your actions will come back to you.

    Me… I’m happy with my karma. I do work that helps people and I don’t exploit anyone.

  33. Thanks. When I say nonprofits in this context, I mean politicized nonprofits that are on the hook with city contracts and which take positions on ballot measures and nod wink candidates.

    There are many good nonprofits that delver real services without delivering their constituencies to politicians as gifts for their own sinecures as their political agenda fails.

  34. “Can your tenants decide to raise your mortgage, even a little bit?”

    Not my mortgage, per se, but yes they can increase my costs. Water. Garbage, damages, mediation, reduced value to other units … . Next to impossible to get compensation for.

    “Can your tenants decide to build something in your unit, and then charge you a part of the costs?”

    Ok, you got me there. But I did have a tenant that did that (didn’t charge me, except for the REcology when he got rid of it.

    “Hell, your tenants don’t even have the right to decide for themselves if they want to have a pet without written permission from you ”

    I only WISH. Tenants just call it a “companion animal” and – poof – no one can a thing.

    Greg – talk to us about SF problems; not your head-in-the-sand examples.

    And you didn’t even answer the whole issue of nuisances and jury trials. Which you’ll never hear in the main stream press – as no one wants to encourage copy-cat acts.

    ps. “G” may not be watching, but your actions have consequences. May you be relieved of the worst.

  35. Sam, I agree with you that values matter, but not with your assertion that facts are essentially political and belong to those with the most power.

    Here’s a fairly simple example: There is a scientific consensus that global warming is worsening and that our ability to forestall its worst effects is shrinking. The GOP in Congress has been able to get away with global warming denial even though majorities in the U.S. are concerned about global warming. If past is prologue, we’ll see more of the same in the next Congress.

    The climate doesn’t care that a global warming denier will chair the Senate Environmental Committee. It will respond purely to physical inputs that on our current trajectory will eventually lead us off an environmental cliff.

    So yes, facts do matter and they should be invoked more often than the opinion and invective that appears more and more often here.

    And, by the way Sam, you should avoid making up facts, such as the one about faculty pensions you included in a recent thread about CCSF.

  36. “G” willing… gotta love that piety thing.

    Anyhow… I still don’t get this whole notion of your tenants having *more* rights than you have. I can’t think of any rights they have to *their* home that you don’t have to *yours*. By contrast, I can thin of many rights you have in your home that they don’t have in theirs.

    Can your tenants decide to raise your mortgage, even a little bit? Can your tenants decide to build something in your unit, and then charge you a part of the costs? Hell, your tenants don’t even have the right to decide for themselves if they want to have a pet without written permission from you (a right you take for granted, natch).

    It was only recently that the city by law mandated that you don’t get veto power over their love life! And you want even more rights? Gimme a break!

  37. Again, Sam. Prop G LOST in Chinatown. so Asians in Chinatown REJECTED Prop G! Gen is a tired old 60s liberal dinosaur and Rose Pak is a paper tiger.

  38. Greg wants to be able to compel you to rent out your units cheaply.

    And if you refuse, he wants to be able to seize your property with minimal compensation, and run it as a non-profit.

    He’s not interested in persuading you. He wants the power to make your wishes irrelevant. But luckily neither the voters nor the politicians nor the courts will give it to him.

  39. (my, this is a long comment)

    “if you choose to use your home as a rental business, then it becomes the tenant’s home.”

    Just to be clear, I’m talking abt 4 U, one of which I live in. And yes, the other IS a tenants home. Yet – he has more rights than me!?!

    “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to rent it out.”

    Having discovered my subservient status (after ’94) and having been reminded of that (new tenant – similar problems in ’99), I *have* chosen not to rent them out. Result: 2 empty units! Chalk up another Victory for SF tenants! (and the death of the SF rental industry).

    “Make your money by working for a living. You might find you feel better about yourself.”

    I’ve recently retired after more than 40 yrs. My income now is below AMI (don’t think it was ever much above – even counting rental income – when working). I’ve concluded that I can continue – where I am – for the next 20-30 yrs (G willing) with an inheritance that pays off my mortgage, rents fro garages and a remaining tenant (who I am grateful for – but may come to regret that too), and savings from my working life. I live simply, so can afford the “luxury” of ‘peace-of-mind’ living without renters.

    I’m aware that friends and associates are hurting in SF – and *I can’t help*! It would be simpler and less burdensome for me to simply cut them a check for $20,000 each year for the next 5 yrs, than it would be to rent them one of my apts at a level they can afford! THATs the kind of SF you Progs have left us.

    I’ll blow the wad here, and say that if I could rent my apt(s) on a true ‘month-to-month’ basis, I’d set the rent at HALF of what’s got now (which would be abt ’99 levels). Maybe even less depending on the persons & situation. But I can’t do that now (see paragraph above). It would be financial and psychological suicide! And who is the real loser here? (Ans: not me.)

    I only ask that you Progs practice some of your “open-mindedness” and “compassion” and explore new ways to keep SF rental housing vibrant. Before its too late. But (resolving my anger issues) I won’t hold my breathe.

  40. Not many voters voted for Chiu because Campos wasn’t left-wing enough for them. Worst case, they picked neither, which didn’t affect the outcome.

    Salaverry expressed the key issue perfectly. Campos doesn’t go outside his comfort zone. Chiu did.

  41. Tony, that’s not an argument that Asians supported Prop G. It’s an argument that the Chinese who lie in ChinaTown supported Prop G.

    And that is because most of them are tenants. But there are many many Asians in other parts of the city who are home-owners or landlords. In fact home ownership is more popular with Asians than with blacks or hispanics. So it is no surprise that, overall, Asians rejected a punitive tax on their homes.

    A third of the city are Asian in one form or another. Ignore the model minority at your peril.

  42. Greg, it depends what you mean by “close” Chiu won by about 3,000 votes which isn’t a huge number but it’s not a tight finish either. Half that number would still not have justified a recount.

    Moreover Chiu led the entire time in the polls, was never behind, and won easily in June. There was never a time when Campos looked like a winner, even if he pulled in some late support.

    Although the Asian vote is getting the credit here for being more organized than the Hispanic vote, there is also another factor. Many gays voted for Chiu as well, and in fact Chiu set up a campaign office on Castro Street and was often seen campaigning there. That’s a ballsy move for a straight guy running against a gay.

    I don’t recall Campos making much effort in ChinaTown, North Beach etc because he just doesn’t feel comfortable outside of “his people”

    The real reason Chiu won was because his appeal was broader, and that augers well for anyone in Sac.

  43. Greg, no you don’t get it at all. You’re just trying to shoe-horn reality into the narrow ideological box that you feel the need to believe in.

    What we are really explaining to you is why many property owners are changing the use of their building. So it doesn’t matter whether what you think owners should do or not do. What matters is what is actually happening as landlords vote with their feet.

    And what that means is either taking the Ellis/TIC route, or else sell, and the only buyers of a low-rent building are folks who want to Ellis. So rental units vanish and rents go up.

    Moreover, even when we get a natural vacancy, we may still choose not to re-rent, but rather do a short-term deal or sell as TIC.

    You cannot deny that is happening because of all the whining about Ellis, Airbnb etc. All we are doing is explaining to you WHY that is happening. And you seem to be trying to tell us that we shouldn’t but rather put up with it just so people like you can get a sweet deal forever. You surely cannot be that obtuse.

    So it’s been explained to you by people who have actual real-life experience and yet still you bury your head in the sand. And when the last rental unit has been sold as a TIC, and the only rental units are exempt from rent control, you will still be blaming landlords for the death of a business that your policies killed.

  44. “Hey Greg — ITS *MY* HOME.”

    Gee… someone has some anger issues. Nowhere did I say that your home is not your home.

    However, now that you mention it, if you choose to use your home as a rental business, then it becomes the tenant’s home. It’s still your property, but it’s the tenant’s home. And there are certain rules that you need to follow. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to rent it out. Make your money by working for a living. You might find you feel better about yourself.

  45. Ok, just looked at the data -better than eyeballing Cook’s maps.
    Campos did in fact win D9 overwhelmingly, as well as D5 and D11. But Chiu won his district overwhelmingly, narrowly won D10, and won the bits and pieces of D2 and D7 that are in AD17. D8, surprisingly, was almost dead even.

  46. “Get a real job and produce something!

    Hey Greg — ITS *MY* HOME. Maybe more so than some schmuck that moves in with a months Security.

    You may think – and act – like you own it – but you don’t.

    As a former Prog, I can tell that, even with all you think you know, you’re eyes are still closed, puppy.

  47. Use your brains people. David Chiu squeaked by with 51% of the vote. This was an exceedingly close race. For Campos to have lost it in D9, he’d have to make it up elsewhere. In fact, looking at Corey Cook’s maps, it looks like Campos won overwhelmingly in D9 and D5, looks like he won D11 as well, and it was close in 6 and 8. Looks like Chiu won D10 and won massively in D3.

  48. Not buying the poor landlord sob story, and it’s because I know more about the business than you may think.

    So called “mom-and-pop” landlords have no problem getting 30 year fixed loans. Even some not-so-mom-and-pop types. I know one guy who has ten single family homes he rents out, and every one of them is a 30 year fixed. Shit, I know someone who even got it on a 16 unit building. If it’s a huge commercial residential property, maybe it’s harder, but those things cash flow much better anyway. If the going gets tough, selling is always an option.

    The BS about “option on future profitability” -it’s just that. BS. The first rule of real estate investing is that if it doesn’t cash flow, then don’t buy the damn thing! What you’re talking about is extremely stupid and risky. Sure, it may work if the market goes up, but if you crash and burn and bankrupt yourself with a stupid and risky real estate strategy, that’s your problem. You want your tenants to bail you out. I understand a lot more about this than you think. In plain English, you want to have your cake and eat it too. You want the profits to accrue to you, but you want your tenants to bear the risk. Fuck that.

    Opportunity cost… lot of verbiage to say the same thing. I understood you right the first time. You make money, you just want to make even more.

    Get a real job and produce something!


  49. Nicely put guys. Greg truly doesn’t understand rental prop, or even residential property, in SF.

    But what is left out in your explanation is the perspective of the owner-occupier – typically those in 2-4 U bldgs where rent control landed 20 yrs ago. For us, its not a matter of crimped rents (well, yes it is, in some cases, but …); its (Sam said) about the lose of control.

    But also, the shift in power dynamic.

    A landlord-as-tenant actually has less standing, ergo less rights, than a tenant would. Specially around nuisance issues. Loud music? Foot-falls? Threats? Late parties? Obnoxious guests (and hosts!)? These are primarily a matter of “she-said, she-said” and its up to a jury to sort it out. Of course the standard tenant defense is “he’s only trying to evict us to raise the rent”. If I were merely another tenant – another occupant, my concerns would be given the merit they deserve. But as a landlord, I’m a Black man facing an ‘all-white jury’ in SF.

    Most of the landlord-tenant problems of the last 20 yrs stem from Prop I and that political move to bolster Prog power. I can’t say that it hasn’t helped a lot of tenants over the years. BUT, its also put us in the position where that whole segment of the market is evaporating. Small bldgs as rentals are a dinosaur. And no Community Land Trust-fund babies will save it.

    Maybe that is for the best anyway. Harry Bridges called a General Strike and made the Longshore workers aristocrats. But now there are as many of them in SF as … the Royal Family!

  50. Gen, as of today November 12, 2014, Proposition G lost in Chinatown. Your entire argument is based on a false premise. Check the department of elections website and look at how G did in Chinatown. It lost.

  51. HR and SFRentier, thanks and I think the other thing Greg is missing here is the non-financial cost to a landlord.

    Many landlords I speak to can live with some constraints on rents but what really galls is the lack of control over your building, who lives there and what goes on there.

    Rent control leads to adverse LL-TT relationships. Contrast that with locations without rent control,where landlords truly treat their tenants as customers and go out of their way to offer them discounts and/or extra services. But in SF the LL motto is “no good deed goes unpunished”.

    No landlord in SF treats their tenants as a customer but rather as a scourge to be expunged. While tenants cling with white knuckles to their under-maintained home. It’s a win-lose proposition which is always bad in any business and especially in one so personal.

  52. ^ I second that. Solid response by sam. I’ll just add that bldgs in SF almost never sell at cash flow. They usually sell for more (negative cash flow), and the new buyer needs to do buy outs to raise rents or an ellis eviction, if they are turning the property into tic’s. THAT’S the incentive oppressive rent control has on real estate here. Greg, you are clueless about owning rental property. So please STFU.

  53. Ppod, I do not post on “multiple websites”. I post here and on MissionLocal. Very rarely I will post on Streetsblog or SFist. That’s about it.

    I wish I were being paid. And if I were, I would say so. I’m not. Nor does it take much time to post here. I think and write quickly, have procedures in place so I quickly see if there are posts to respond to, and can multi-task, and so am working and doing other things at the same time.

    The notion that there are more Hispanic illegals than other races is neither wrong nor racist. One would expect that to be true because of geographic factors – other ethnicities would have to cross an ocean to get here and so their numbers are fewer.

    Likewise I know that Hispanics avoid the census and other government enumerations and records because I know quite a few Hispanic illegals and they tell me. I hire them which is why I know them and they are very happy to work for me. So no racism there – I probably help them more than anyone else here.

    I’m sorry but your assumptions are all wrong, no matter how much it may comfort you to believe them. Why not stop obsessing about me and engage me in debate on the issues and the topics? There should be no place for personal comments here.

  54. jch, it has often been said that there are no facts in politics, only opinions. And it is impossible to win a debate here by presenting facts unless the question at issue is one of fact such as did X say this or that?

    So what does that leave? Two things, I believe. Values and opinions. So it is a value of mine that SF must grow, develop and be pro-business or it will die. But that may not be your value. And it is an opinion of mine that rent control harms tenants. I cannot prove that but you cannot disprove it. Facts don’t come into it. It’s more a matter of logic, inference and deduction.

    Information is therefore near useless in politics because people have their vested positions and simply ignore any facts that are inconvenient. Politics is about power and not precision.

  55. For months I’ve questioned “Sam’s” motives for posting multiple comments on multiple websites (using a different name on some, but his style and slant are pretty familiar). I also came to the conclusion that he must be working for a person or person’s who wish to advance a specific agenda. I don’t know anyone with that much time on their hands. However, “Sam” insists he isn’t being paid for posting his comments. We know he has been an AirBNB host but doesn’t think the company has to pay back taxes. He is also pro-development, ANY development, regardless of impacts to San Francisco or it’s citizens. If he’s not being paid, my conclusion is he suffers from OCD, an unfortunate condition caused by the constant need to be connected to the online community. Sam will probably post something about “Haters” and the alleged lack of civility toward him. But his comment above strikes me as somewhat racist. His assumption that many Hispanics can’t legally vote, and that nobody know’s exactly how many Hispanics live in San Francisco since they refuse to cooperate with census takers is fantasy. How would Sam know how many undocumented Asians live in San Francisco? Unskilled labor abuses are rampant in many small businesses. Not to mention how immigrants of both communities are common targets of organized crime, but Sam doesn’t acknowledge or accept the real struggles suffered by low income residents throughout the city.

  56. Having watched Sam’s posts for some time, I have to agree with Greg’s assessment. It’s interesting that Sam led off the posts here and they quickly degenerated into a series of hateful attacks.

    Moveover, it’s disheartening is to see the quality of the information presented. I see a lot of invective and opinion, but very little data or facts to support it. There were many opinions about the Chiu-Campos race (including Sam’s distasteful crack about Hispanics who can’t vote) but one seems to have looked at the precinct maps to verify their positions.

    I read discussion threads to learn and on some of them, the New York Times, for example, I do. I also enjoy a clash of opinions when it’s civil and is backed up by solid information. That’s less often the case here. I blame Sam and his cronies in part, but can’t say that others are blameless in taking his bait.

    In essence, these threads are turning into fact-free zones. Earlier this week I posted a couple of abstracts from scientific journals questioning the safety of artificial turf for soccer fields. I assumed someone complained because they’ve been removed.

  57. No, I took 4th Gen as saying that Campos beat Chiu in just the votes from District 9 i.e. the supervisorial district that Campos represents.

    That would surprise me, and amuse me as well.

  58. Greg, again you show how little you understand about the rental business.

    An owner has little choice but to re-finance when the existing loan comes to an end. Most loans on rental properties are not the conventional 30-year loans that regular home-owners like to get (if they qualify and that’s getting harder) but rather 2, 5 or 7 year loans. When they mature, you have to pay it off by taking out a new loan at whatever the rates are at the time.

    Again, some loans are ARMs and the rate constantly changs. And, as noted, if the building is sold, a larger more expensive loan is needed.

    Why would you pay more for a building than it is worth as a rental? Because buildings do not trade as a fixed multiple of the rents, but rather as an option on the future profitability of that building. The rents may go up if tenants move. Or of course the owner may plan a change of use to crystallize the latent value that is currently discounted.

    Finally, you totally misunderstand “opportunity cost”. Ultimately the point of an investment is to achieve a desired return for a given level of risk. That return is realized when you newly rent out a unit but, if the tenant never moves, then the percentage return on value declines to a point where the building no longer meets the owner’s investment goals.

    So for example, if 10% is my target annual return then all is well during the early stages of a tenancy. But after a decade or two it might be only 5%. I’ve seen rental yields as low as 2% on buildings sold as a going concern.

    At that point the owner must switch to another investment. He can either Ellis and crystallize the locked-in value. Or sell, but of course the only buyers will have to Ellis, for much the same reason – the building is no longer viable.

    In the long-term, rent control makes a rental building untenable and, at that point, one way or the other, it will cease to be a rental building.

    And the more that happens, the higher rents are for everyone else. That is the curse of rent control – it eats its own tail.

  59. “Of course a mortgage can go up. That can happen when you re-fi if rates are moving up”

    Why would you do something so stupid? Landlords, and indeed all homeowners, refinance for lower rates, not higher ones?

    “Or particularly if there is a new buyer, who has a considerably higher mortgage and property tax basis, and yet the rents stay the same.”

    Again, why would you do something so stupid as to buy a property that doesn’t have a proper positive cash flow? If you’re stupid enough to do that, then that’s your fault.

    “Moreover there can be considerable maintenance and capital expense increases…”

    Small potatoes compared to the lion’s share of the cost: the mortgage, which eventually disappears to zero. For everything else, rent control allows more than adequate increases.

    “Fnally there is the opportunity cost, which eventually kills you.”

    Translated from corporatese to English: opportunity cost is the difference between making a fat and healthy profit, and squeezing out even more (some amount that would be possible in the absence of any government controls at all). By “kills you,” what is meant is that it kills you to see your tenants being able to put food on their table and maybe enjoy life a bit, when anything over and above the minimum necessary to sustain the tenant’s working capability, really should be going into your (the landlord’s) pocket.

  60. Greg, you are spending increasing amounts of time criticizing other posters rather than staying on topic.

    Do you see yourself as the moral custodian of this space?

    I believe that Tim would prefer civil, on-topic discussions and not these forays into personal attacks where anyone who disagrees with you is either a “troll” or a “racist”.

  61. Greg, you cannot possibly “know many landlords” if you believe what you just wrote.

    Of course a mortgage can go up. That can happen when you re-fi if rates are moving up, as they have been doing for the last 18 months.

    Or particularly if there is a new buyer, who has a considerably higher mortgage and property tax basis, and yet the rents stay the same.

    Moreover there can be considerable maintenance and capital expense increases. In theory they can be passed through but it is a nightmare process involving reams of documentation and a hearing at the rent board, and if your tenants are low income you still won’t get it back.

    And then trash, water, insurance all increase by more than inflation.

    Fnally there is the opportunity cost, which eventually kills you.

    For many landlords only two things keeps them going – the tax breaks and the capital appreciation.

  62. Now, now. Civility, sir. Mind your manners. You seem to be the one flipping out. I called you a “lovely human being” and praised your honesty. I merely highlighted your commentary but mostly let it speak for itself. Perhaps it touched a raw nerve when I held up the mirror to show you what you are. Not my fault if you didn’t like your reflection when you took a good look.

    PS… we all have “ethnic ancestry,” and there’s nothing I’ve ever written that would give you any cause to make assumptions about mine. Not that I mind you assuming I’m white, just that you have no basis for doing so.

  63. I know many such landlords. Moreover, no landlord actually loses money on rent control. They may not get to rip off their tenants to the max, but they don’t actually lose any money. Rent control allows you to charge whatever you want when you first rent the property, and only limits the increase. But mortgage (if you have one) never goes up, so the lion’s share of a landlord’s costs remain fixed in perpetuity (until at one point it completely disappears). With the crazy market rents and having your pick of qualified tenants, San Francisco is a landlord’s dream market.

  64. The progressive beast has been speared, all that remains is for it to lumber across the savannah a while longer, exsanguinating towards its demise. Most operators will continue to cut deals with corporate power to maintain their sinecures, some will fall by the wayside.

  65. A tale of two cities and Campos is going to cut deals with developers and leave his constituents high and dry.

    Our neighbors, third generation Mission resident Mexican Americans, mused of cutting a TV spot calling Campos on his sell out on 490 South Van Ness.

    If all you’ve got are immigrants, some nonprofits and some labor, it does not take a rocket scientist to predict that you’re going down on election day.

    SEIU leaves its members high and dry and subsidizes its buddies and expects to be respected as leaders politically?

    Perhaps they’re sharing drugs with Redmond that they’ve bought with members’ dues. There should be a campaign amongst SEIU city workers to get them to affirmatively opt out of the political component of their SEIU dues.

  66. OMG is that guy ever a misinformed fucking idiot!

    Let me get it straight: he gets an inheritance, buys in bernal when it was relatively cheap, rides the appreciation train, gets market rent (a big deal) by luck, and says it’s easy being an SF landlord. Like I said, total fucking idiot!

    Newsflash: many small landlords have low paying tenants that are benefiting from rent control. This city does everything within (and way beyond) it’s power to take away property rights.

    Nato Green is a lazy and clueless idiot.

  67. And you, sir, are truly a clueless idiot who projects his own insecurities on others. For the record, I have ethnic ancestry in my background. I also didn’t know it’s an “entitlement” to speak my mind. So there, reactionary white boy who flips out at any comment they do not like. You seriously need to grow up, we’re not in Kansas anymore!

  68. The writer says the “Yes on G campaign came within single digits of winning.” It’s unclear (how shocking for an SF progressive!) if he means percentage wise or actual votes. Anyway, here are the latest totals for Prop G (http://www.sfelections.org/results/20141104/):

    114,842 53.95%

    98,037 46.05%

    212,879 100%

    By the way, the vote totals as of today show Chiu ahead of Campos by 2,949 votes.

    In the District 8 race, where the Milk Club, League of Piss Voters, D8 Democrats, SF Greens, and a host of elite progs all were ‘no endorsement’, the total number of anti Weener votes of all the four challengers, myself included, stands at 6,033.

    Lots of ways to slice SF vote totals!

  69. “You must feel good about yourself taking my words out of context. ”

    The “context” is there for all to see. It says a lot about the kind of human being you are (and I use that term loosely), if you think there’s an appropriate context to those words.

    “And I can express myself as I feel, so stop
    Trying to control that”

    Oh, such sense of entitlement! The rentier class indeed! No, no, by all means, please do. I actually prefer your style. Unlike some who hide behind a false veneer of civility, you’re honest about what you are. It’s refreshing, in a perverse sort of way.

    “or worse, accuse me of racism.”

    No need for me to accuse you. You wallow in your racism. You’re flamboyant in your display of your hatred. You wear it proudly.

  70. David,
    Well I definitely like the idea of BDS (in more ways than one). The problem is that some of the stuff sounds superficially reasonable. What do you do when you come across a turd nugget like, this, just to pick a random example:

    “Indeed, the whole push for RCV was predicated on the (nor debunked) premise that a different voting system can somehow magically enable a minority to win an election.”

    Now, I know it’s rubbish. I worked on that campaign, and nothing of the sort was ever said or implied. Just the opposite, it was (and is) meant to be a system under which people can freely vote for whomever they choose without fear that they’re playing spoiler. That way, you get a much more democratic result.

    But to explain it takes time and space, and what do you do when one poster shits out such voluminous amount of turd nuggets that the whole comment section begins to reek like a sewer? You can respond, but then you get comment sections full of flame wars, and the troll is setting the agenda. You can let it stand, but then the whole discussion, the whole agenda, is still set by the same troll. And it has a cascading effect on other members of the community -they see that, and they don’t want to be a part of it. Which of course is the ultimate goal of the troll: to destroy the community, because they’re motivated by hate.

    The only possible solution is to take action of some sort -banning the troll outright… Or perhaps just deleting some posts. Even if it isn’t every post, it still works, because there’s nothing like writing a long screed just to see it unceremoniously deleted. The troll will stop after a while, knowing that there’s a good chance his posts will be deleted. In any event, the site moderator does have to step in.

  71. So Ana, how do you feel about campos putting out legislation that is considered unconstitutional (the very high ellis act payments)? Is that ok or ethical by you?

  72. Lefties are of the belief that if only they can accuse their adversary of racism, that they somehow magically win any debate. So they desperately try and uncover any remark about identity groups or ethnic correlations as an indicator of racism, because that then saves them the effort, in their minds, of actually trying to address your argument.

    It’s lazy but they cannot help themselves.

    The other mess that the lefties get themselves into is that they assume that anyone with more conservative views is stupid. So when someone who is smart, educated, articulate and effective shows up, they really do not know how to handle that, and usually either yell “troll” or otherwise personally attack them.

    As predictable as it is ineffective.

  73. I completely agree with you Marcos. I’ve always thought you were really intelligent, etc, even over at the SFBG, and I’m on the right/middle side of the fence. But yes, it’s true that SF non-profits are dying. I think it’s a good thing. The one that seems to be really good is Swords To Plowshares who do good work with vets. Other than that they can all be mothballed.

  74. Ana can you afford to live in SF anymore? Campos lost in his own district, he will now (gasp!) have to get a J-O-B.

  75. As a Republican, you would be expected to support Chiu over Campos.

    But yes, no bell will be rung when the last progressive leaves town. They will vanish not with a bang but with a whimper, which is apt given that whimpering is their specialty.

  76. On the contrary, I am merely a purveyor of ideas and debate. If others choose to confer me with ulterior motives then that speaks more of them than it does of me.

  77. Sean’s right. Campos appeared to only really target a narrow audience and barely put up a real argument to the LGBT community for why they should vote for him besides “because”. Considering that was his other major demographic group, he really needed to win heavily in that area and not just tie.

    Geographically his major wins were limited geographically to his district, and his support seemed to be made up only of Hispanics, white Mission hipsters, aging white hippies, progressives, and left leaning LGBT.

  78. Ana – I suggest your ck this out:
    If Campos can’t seem to be even a good Supe, what makes you think he’d make a good mayor?

    To my mind, he posters profusely, and to audience satisfaction, but in the end his performances leave much dissatisfaction. Campos is hardly a Tom Ammiano (which is probably why he isn’t assuming Ammiano’s seat in the Assbly). Campos may be “honest” … he has the appearance of good intentions. but … “the path to Hell is paved with good intentions”.

  79. Lol, Tim Redmond’s not going to do an expose on SEIU 1021, he’s being paid by them.


    Notice Chris Daly quit right before this story. This is no coincidence, and it has never been explained why he quit exactly. Most likely he was marshaling 1021’s funds towards defeating Chiu, the man he vowed to haunt, politically. Likely, people within the union became aware of Daly’s grudge match and were going to sack him anyway.

  80. Chinese American voters tend to vote for candidates with Chinese surnames all things being equal including in all rounds of IRV. It is not surprising that Chiu swept the Asian American vote.

    This notion of ethnic self conception above and beyond that as put forth by the identitarian institutional nonprofit operators is as misplaced as their read on San Francisco politics.

    As we’re seeing at the national level, the path forward to contest neoliberalism is a populist path rather than leftist path. Left or right, liberal or conservative, people tend to object to their tax dollars feeding a corrupt political system that is wringing their city dry for get-rich-quick-schemes before their eyes and not only not offering precious little in return, but demanding taxpayer subsidy for it all.

    The institutional nonprofit “left” is joined at the hip with the neoliberal corruption regime and can be counted on to run interference on its behalf. We are getting data points that both the progressive stalwarts are not electorally viable and that there is significant popular discontent with neoliberal policies. Time to try something else.

  81. David Campos for MAYOR. Not because he’s Hispanic and I’m Hispanic, but because he’s a honest candidate who didn’t sell himself to corporations. Who was able to pull a mixed group of ethnicities to campaign for him (Grassroots). I heard Chiu even on my Pandora Ads! he received half a million dollars from Airbnb investors because he voted YES so they would not pay 25 million dollars they owed in taxes. We will show people the POWER of the people! (poor, minorities, progressive, whatever!). This is not about race and if it is, shame on you! Why elect an Asian just because his Asian? Some Whites prefer Asians. But those are losing their city to corporations, if that happens because of their vote it won’t be because of corporations but based on their RACISM. They should RESEARCH and VOTE for true, honest candidates that are fighting alone these greedy speculators that are stealing our LONG SF VALUES.

  82. Here I agree with Sam-whoever-he-am. Campos tried to get traction with his “tale of two cities” narrative. But although he was correct– SF does have one of the biggest national divisions between haves and have nots– Campos could not articulate the issue to techies or homeowners.

    I ran against the two Davids in the primary and must have heard Campos’ “tale of two cities” stump speech dozens of times. It always came across as slightly whiny, chip-on-the-shoulder stuff. And the final appeal was seldom to the morale sense of the haves, it was mostly to gin up a sense of outrage among the have-nots.

    Given the powerful, freighted issue of economic inequity (which by the way lead to the landslide success of the minimum wage ordinance) why was Campos so unsuccessful? Because as Sam notes, he was speaking only to those who already agreed with him. Campos proved incapable of seeing past his own ideological biases or appealing to the “others” not like him.

    As for Sam’s Samism about “victim groups”, that’s just Sam being Sam. Libertarian assholeism runs deep.

    In fact, identity politics is a staple of democracy and there are enough narrow slices of the electorate for a smarter, more capable progressive to create a winning coalition.

  83. You must feel good about yourself taking my words out of context. These groups and their leaders have caused a lot of harm to this city with their wrapped politics.

    And I can express myself as I feel, so stop
    Trying to control that, or worse, accuse me of racism. You’re highly intolerant, and I suggest that you pull the plug out of your ass so you can see things beyond yourself.

  84. SEIU is a horrible union and extremely corrupt. I used to be in it. They do nothing for their members. In fact, it would be great IF Tim, et al, actually did an expose on them & all the other do-nothing Unions in SF.

    For instance Macy’s salespeople not even making the old minimum wage. That Union has high corruption and are completely do-nothings. I know people there that don’t even make minimum wage as salespeople. They are allowed by the city of SF to do “Draw vs Commission” but literally EVERYONE I know that works at Macy’s makes about $100 a week, even though they work full time. And SF allows this. Will someone that actually CARES please investigate this?! Seriously!

  85. “As we have learned from previous campaigns (recall the joy of the Obama victory in 2008 and the disappointment that continues), even winning an election may be less important in the long run than how a campaign sustains (or undermines) the level of progressive mobilization. Did 2014 unite and engage disempowered communities? Did it grow new leadership or advance new ideas to make real change?”

    The longer range vision the author promotes is political common sense. However, I’m not so sure that the 2014 progressive campaign “sustained” or “empowered” the left. And it clearly didn’t “grow new leadership” or “advance new ideas.”

    On the other hand, the minimum wage ordinance did win. Prop K won, and we’ll see a bond issue to fund nonprofit housing as soon as 2015 if no one reneges on the deal made between Lee, Kim and the forces behind them. Prop L from the car people got run out of town on a rail. And Campos gave Chiu a run for his tech IE money.

    So the election was a mixed bag. The consensus issues won big, but in the head to head contest between a progressive (Campos) and a moderate (Chiu), the moderate won a solid victory. So Sam and SFRentier notwithstanding, I wouldn’t put money on an apocalyptic end of the SF progressives. Rather, I think a slow decline if the trends continue.

  86. The left is not going to make it in SF. SF is reverting once again to it’s former more conservative ways before liberals landed in SF (It was R till 1968). I’ve heard people in Tech say it will be 10 years and it will be R again. I’m not sure about that, but I am sure that Chiu victory and Lee’s victory will ensure that SF is going to stay about middle left, not leaning over the left edge. The country is leaning rightward again & there’s a lot of tech people that are libertarian, that hate high taxes and they will not support that kind of stuff. SF is changing before your eyes. If you can’t handle it there’s always Oakland, but you need to get in there now because it will not stop rising.

  87. Ok, just came back from a visit. It seems that really only 1 person is complaining about Sam. Her initials are MHA and she’s pretty wealthy & lives in Noe Valley.

  88. Before replying on Sam, everyone’s fav subject on 48 Hills, I will say again… BDS.. Boycott, Divest, SAM. Just ignore the jerk already!

    However, I found the troll=sadist=bully idea interesting. But the more fundamental problem is anonymity online, which gives the sadistic impulse the space to operate and express itself.

    I agree, “Sam is seeking to dominate and control the discussion.” That alone makes him a jerk. How many group situations have we all been in where some blowhard tries to dominate. And yes, the community does suffer when there are no sanctions.

  89. “fittingly dead”… “adios assholitos”

    Gee, what a lovely human being you are. I was tempted to call you a hateful, racist swine, but in the interests of civility I won’t do that. In any case, your lovely character shines through for all to see in your words.

  90. Gary, your words would carry more weight if you addressed the topic rather than attacked other posters.

    But then the only posts you have made here that I have seen are all attacking other people, so I guess that is just your style.

    Please try and keep this forum civil.

  91. It’s pretty arrogant of you to think that this needs translating, and given that you are wrong and dismissive/disrespectful to the author and have no facts to backup your claims about the Hispanic population, you add nothing to this discussion.

  92. No, I was simply translating what he was saying. It’s a critical dilemma for the left because they are a minority, and will normally lose any election unless they can find a way to skew it.

    Tactics include misinformation, intimidating vulnerable classes of voters, and over-activism. Indeed, the whole push for RCV was predicated on the (nor debunked) premise that a different voting system can somehow magically enable a minority to win an election.

  93. Greg, you’re just annoyed because I humiliated you over your bizarre theory that provisional ballots break progressive. You figured nobody would call you out on that, but I did, and right when an election result went the way I predicted and you did not.

    I get that you are embarrassed by that but, whereas most people would just duck and move on, you now seek censorship for anyone who beats you in a debate.

    Shallow and vindictive.

  94. “Where are you pulling this from?”

    His ass. He knows it’s not true. It’s just to get a reaction out of people, just like the other nonsense he spews. The subject can be anything -provisional ballots, hispanic voters, the color of the sky. He’ll just spew some nonsense just to disagree. It’s done for the purpose of starting flame wars and trashing the site. I have no idea why it’s tolerated, but at this rate Sam will soon be 100% of the commentary here.

  95. I do not think you will find many people who do not believe that the majority of illegals in the US are mostly Hispanic, for reasons that should be geographically obvious.

    And it was Randy Shaw who attributed electoral power to the Asians last week. I simply agreed with him.

  96. Where are you pulling this from? Do you have any numbers to show what proportion of Hispanic adults in SF are non-citizens? Or Asians, for that matter? And Hispanics “do not co-operate with census takers and vote registrars”, any more or less than any one else?

    “The model minority might just be a majority”—I am sure Asian voters are grateful to you for approving of their ancestry. That is, to coin a phrase, mighty white of you.

  97. What’s with all the sam hating? Look, he’s not a troll. Yeah, he posts a lot, but generlly he makes arguments that are on point- even if you disagree. He’s usually polite, and has an amazing respect for Redmond. Just because he has that weird Ayn Randian tone doesn’t mean every leftie here should flip out! For fucks sake, can’t you guys handle any dissent? This by-default-SF-leftie-close-mindedness is numbing.

    As for this post election turd report, let’s face it: prop G got bitch slapped because even some renters think it’s ridiculous. Campos’ crazy ellis eviction pay outs were declared unconstitutional by superior court, and gullicksen is (fittingly) dead. Its a sign- your obnoxious attempts to regulate hosuing in SF is loosing clout. It’s time for SF to grow up and realize it can’t selectively give massive rental hand outs at the expense of private owners. Causa justa? Adios assholitos!

  98. Campos really didn’t try to win over anyone who didn’t already agree with him i.e. the narrow identity groups you cited. That was exactly the sane mistake that Avalos made when trying to beat Lee.

    What Avalos and Campos don’t get is that there aren’t enough “victim” groups in SF to win a city-wide election. To do that they have to reach out to groups like knowledge workers and property owners, and it is quite simply too hard for them to do that.

    So the left is doomed to perpetual opposition, particularly as the demographics change, and especially because the vast Asian bloc shows little interest in self-absorbed Hispano-gay identity politics.

  99. Jay, I am not angry at all. Whatever made you think I was?

    I am very comfortable with last week’s election results.

  100. Greg, you were fairly reasonable on this topic until I humiliated you on the matter of how provisional ballots break and, more generally, in correctly calling Chiu’s victory before anyone else here.

    And then suddenly I am the Anti-Christ and you want to censor me? You would have been smarter to have waited a while before being so reactive.

  101. Sling enuf mud and some of it will stick?

    That said, it seems to me that Sam has issues with the Progs (Progressive movement). And truth be told, the Progs have issues. (Mirkarimi?) If the Progs have any advantage, it would be – as Gen tries to intimate – there is strength in numbers. But there’s a difference btw actual numbers and just saying there are those numbers (lack of LGBT votes for Campos; Hispanics that can’t vote – which probably could be said about Asian or other immigrants).

    The message of getting out and actually talking to voters is scary. Its powerful. And not all the time honest. Or complete. “Lets linch that sharecropper over there cuz I heard he’s no-good” might ring a popular bell. But voting by majority often has its mistakes.

    What the voters want and whats good for the community aren’t necessarily the same. Even if it is a necessary ingredient.

  102. Its kinda standard to use abbreviations in political speech. Maybe saying “Under five year, 24% sales tax” or “anti-speculation effort” or “clampdown on small property owners” or something to your way of thinking would be better – but, you can begin to see the difficulty, nee?

    Usually the meaning becomes clear in the context of discussion.

    I.e. the competing Props H & I might be difficult to distinguish, as they pertained to the same issue (a common theme in SF ballot measures); but more reading/listening is the anecdote; and beneficial to discussion and voting.

    If confusion continues, maybe its a good idea to go back to the reference material.


  103. “And from what I could observe, the Chiu campaign did not develop a community-based grassroots effort. In stark contrast, the Campos campaign mobilized from within the Latino, LGBT, and other communities.”

    I’d like to know what “other communities” the Campos campaign mobilized, seeing that voter turnout maps for Campos showed what we already know – he only appeals to a very narrow Far Left base and could not make any inroads elsewhere. Chiu won a helluva lot more districts and neighborhoods. Hell, Chiu split the LGBT vote because Campos’ only argument was that the seat should go to him by virtue of his identity.

    So either Campos tried to mobilize communities in areas outside of his district and failed, or Chiu was better at it. Likely a bit of both.

    As for SEIU 1021, they are absolutely losers since they don’t only make endorsements, they back them up with significant cash. They wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars from their members, and for what? Not for strong moral stances as this writer insinuates. Supporting James Fang, supporting Prop L, and of course going all in on Campos, while engaging in corrupt activities to do so: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/CWA-accuses-SEIU-local-of-contracting-out-jobs-5820301.php

    Real Losers – Campos supporters who are kidding themselves if they believe he’s some sort of transcendent figure. He isn’t, wasn’t, and never will be. I’m sure there’s someone better out there to carry the progressive torch, cause Campos ain’t it.

  104. Dave, are you new here or just being coy? This is not about one post, but the whole body of what Sam is doing to this site. Let’s just say that with Sam, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

  105. If you look at Sam’s post there is nothing disrespectful in it, no name calling. The response, however, is to ascribe to him “dark personality traits and show signs of sadism, antisocial behavior, psychopathy, and machiavellianism”.

    Get ready to call me a troll then, but here is what I think.

    A major problem with the SF Progressive movement is that they cannot process alternative opinions. Anyone who disagrees with them is just wrong, without merit, no basis to stand on.

    Let’s just call them ‘trolls’ and be done with them.

  106. “Unless you parrot the party line, go away?”

    Nobody is calling for your banning, and you’re a dissenter, so clearly it’s not about that. It’s behavior, not content. And I think you can understand that you don’t have to be throwing out f-bombs to be a troll. In fact, that’s not how trolls generally operate. Trolls operate with insidious destructive behavior, all the while maintaining superficial civility.

  107. “is trying to do to online progressive spaces,”

    OH. I didn’t realize that ‘other voices’ were discouraged from speaking here.

    What I find disconcerting and painful is to see the rather obsessive name calling by a few against one (admittedly prolific, but still ignorable) dissenter. Unless you parrot the party line, go away?

    Its not as if this other voice is not on-point and lucid. It would be another thing is S** were irrelevant, or throwing out f-bombs and such, instead of sticking pretty strictly to the issues, from what I’ve seen.

    Admittedly I’ve only been here a couple of weeks. Maybe there’s residual resentment from the past. Kinda glad I never engaged the SFBG hag-a-thon.

  108. That and his claim that the author is trying to ‘skew and distort the vote’ or something: “”Finally, when you write “the more meaningful questions center on what worked or did not work for organizing our communities” what you really mean is how well did you skew and distort the vote.”

    Conversation stopper/flame war starter – the motivations of an Internet troll.

  109. Hey Sam sorry you are so angry but i have to tell ya its getting a bit boring. Oh and hey if berating Hispanics gets you off well have at it, but i doubt berating people will ever be helpful or constructive, but then again i could be overly optimistic thinking you are trying to be helpful or constructive.

  110. A quick linguistic point here: Using the words “Prop G” assumes the reader knows what you are talking about. i read my voter pamphlet i even read parts of the actual law but today after voting i have no recognition what “Prop G” was. my suggestion is that in the future it would be a good idea to use it’s “name” i.e.: “City of San Francisco Transfer Tax on Residential Property Re-Sold in Five Years” or something similar to make your analysis more accessible to those who are not intimately involved politically with the proposition of which you speak. That also keeps me reading the analysis and not diverting to another web page to re-associate myself with the propositions.

  111. I know that TIm values free speech a lot, but I think we need to look at Sam’s posts in this context:

    “Two studies published in 2013 and 2014 have found that people who are identified as trolls tend to have dark personality traits and show signs of sadism, antisocial behavior, psychopathy, and machiavellianism.[37][38] The 2013 study suggested that there are a number of similarities between anti-social and flame trolling activities[37] and the 2014 study suggested that the noxious personality characteristics known as the “dark triad of personality” should be investigated in the analysis of trolling, and concluded that trolling appears “to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism.”[38] Their relevance is suggested by research linking these traits to bullying in both adolescents and adults. The 2014 study found that trolls operate as agents of chaos on the Internet…”

    Looked at in this context, allowing trolls to dominate the discussion is to truly free speech, what the Koch brothers are to free speech in broader society. Sam is trying to do to online progressive spaces, what CItizens United is doing to the overall media landscape. He is seeking to dominate and control the discussion here. Fortunately, unlike with the broader media landscape, it’s still a choice whether to allow him to lay waste to this site. However, that will be the result if trolling is tolerated. Eventually, the community stops posting, and then stops reading the blog. That is the ultimate goal, of course, and that will be the result.

  112. You miss a crucial distinction. Nobody is suggesting that Chiu somehow orchestrated the Asian vote. Rather the Asian vote coagulated around him by a form of ethnic osmosis. Chiu didn’t ask for that so his hands are clean. But it happened anyway.

    No doubt Hispanics demonstrated a similar affinity for Campos. But of course many of them cannot legally vote, while many others elect not to. And while definitionally nobody knows how many Hispanics there are in SF, since they do not co-operate with census takers and vote registrars, it is clear that the Asians have a clout that does well beyond the Hispanic vote and the rapidly declining black vote.

    What matters is who votes and that is mostly older whites and well-organized Asians. The residue lacks critical mass.

    Finally, when you write “the more meaningful questions center on what worked or did not work for organizing our communities” what you really mean is how well did you skew and distort the vote. Not a noble enterprise and, in any event, the model minority might just be a majority.

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