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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

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UncategorizedWhy teachers protested the Google buses

Why teachers protested the Google buses

Suddenly, a neighborhood parking area becomes a tech bus stop — with no notice or input. Where will this happen next?


By Erin McElroy and Tim Redmond

FEBRUARY 12, 2015 — Everyone in San Francisco politics likes to talk about supporting teachers. The mayor’s even going to do a housing ballot measure aimed in part at keeping teachers in San Francisco.

But when the needs of teachers clash with the needs of the tech industry, guess who wins?

Last Friday, at 8am, teachers at San Francisco’s bilingual public Fairmount Elementary School joined with anti-eviction activists to block three private tech buses on San Jose Avenue at Dolores Street. Buses from Google and Facebook were blocked as activists protested the takeover of what had been four parking spots for teachers at the school and neighboring residents by a newly implemented tech bus stop.

It’s remarkable what happened, and could be a precedent for other areas of the city: The MTA took an open, un-metered curb section and painted it white, creating a no-parking zone. Then the agency allocated that white zone exclusively to tech shuttles for four hours in the morning.

The shuttles are only allowed to stop in Muni stops – and in white zones. And while it’s hard to create a new Muni stop, it’s pretty easy to make a new white zone: Just send a crew out to paint the curb, and suddenly community parking is the private purview of tech buses. Here’s a list of all the existing Google bus stops; note that a bunch of them are now white zones.

This used to be a place where anyone could park; now, in the morning, it's open only to tech shuttles. Is your neighborhood next?
This used to be a place where anyone could park; now, in the morning, it’s open only to tech shuttles. Is your neighborhood next?

Teachers and residents had not been consulted before their parking stops were privatized this past month. After a packed public meeting at the Upper Noe Valley Rec Center on Wednesday night where the focus was more on opposing the expansion of residential parking than the co-option of existing parking, teachers decided to take action themselves.

We’re only talking about four parking spaces here, and it’s rare for the left in this town to show up to support more parking. But in this case, there was a larger point: The parking wasn’t taken away to make room for more bike lanes or public parklets. It was to allow private luxury shuttles to stop right next to a bilingual public school.

There are other parking metered spots in the city, such as on 16th between Capp and South Van Ness, and a new one behind the nearby Safeway, that now have restricted public parking so that only private tech buses can use them at rush hour. As far as we understand, this was snuck into the SFMTA pilot program that began in August 2014 that now requires registered tech companies to pay $3.55 for every public bus stop that they use. Since the program began, we are witnessing an increasing number of spaces other than bus stops become tech-bus loading zones.

A video of the action by Peter Menchini can be seen here.

Claudia Tirado, the third-grade teacher who led the demonstration, is not only being ousted from her parking spot through collusions of high tech and “secret handshakes” with the SFMTA, but she is also being evicted from her home by Google’s head of e-Discovery, Jack Halprin.

As Tirado implored, “Please come and stand up for parking and less congestion in the area….. We need our school to be safe for us and for our children. We need parking for the people that serve these children.”

A recently created map by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project shows the loss of youth in San Francisco over the last 30 years: http://www.antievictionmappingproject.net/youth.html. Indeed, as Tirado alluded to, we are increasingly seeing tech corporations and their employees privileged over youth, poor and working class families, teachers, and existent city infrastructure.

In this city, gentrification does not only mean being displaced from one’s home, but also from public spaces and city infrastructure. From playgrounds to BART plazas to public bus stops, we are seeing public spaces increasing privatized. In a city in which people are being kicked out of their homes and crowded into small rooms just to pay rent, public spaces are increasingly valuable. In this case, we are seeing tech bus zones privileged over what had been public parking used by teachers. And once again, those impacted most were not consulted in the conception of the rezoning plan.

The Chron mentioned the event briefly, in a story that suggests that the “anti-tech” movement is dying. Actually, there was never much of an “anti-tech” movement in the city; the movement has from the beginning been critical of intersections of venture capital, tech corporations, displacement, real estate speculation, development, and money in politics. The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project and 48hills both use technology to chronicle abuses of power.

There have been demonstrations against tech companies that don’t pay their taxes, and against business leaders with an agenda that promotes the private interest over the public interest. But mostly, the anti-gentrification movement in this city has been fighting against displacement – against the idea that richer people can come into San Francisco and drive out longtime residents who don’t have as much money.

That’s why the teachers were out protesting last week: They don’t get private shuttles to take them to work, and they don’t see why the giant companies that pay for those private coaches should get priority, for a pittance, over people who live in the neighborhood and teach at a local school.

And that kind of political action isn’t obsolete, or pointless; it’s our only hope.

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. Most people who do not work for tech companies cannot afford to take a luxury shuttle bus or an Uber. Maybe there should be a density study to see how much impact all the tech companies are having on the downtown area. I know young people who work in tech want to live in SF-but do they have to take over and displace everyone who is not? LEAP is a new luxury Shuttle bus option that costs $6.00 each way. Do you think the general laborers that clean your offices or serve you food at a restaurant can afford $12.00 a day for commuting? The Luxury Market for Uber, Lyft, and LEAP exist and do well because public transportation in SF sucks and always has. If fast clean and affordable public transportation existed-the need for higher priced options would not be as needed.Many lower waged employees have to take Uber because it is the only way they can get to work on time otherwise they can wait for trains, buses and/or cabs that are always late . BTW-how many of these luxury buses are driving and taking up huge amounts of space on the roads and taking away parking with only a handful of passengers on board? Ever notice that they have the windows tinted? Maybe because the nearly empty vehicles are causing more problems than they are worth? How many cars are they really taking off the street if they are replaced by hundreds more Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, etc drivers all hustling to get a techie picked up in less than 60 seconds so they can go to a lunch meeting or to a bar? It is not as if the meetings that they are going to are bringing more money or jobs for regular people. Just more overpaid techie college grads getting overpaid to write code for the next “shared” start-up. Get ready for the next tech bubble to burst and the people making $15.00 an hour working for companies like Lyft realizing that they can flip burgers for about the same and actually get benefits.

  2. Exactly. If the Bay Area transit network was effective there would be no need for these shuttles. CalTrain is inconsistent, BART doesn’t go down to Silicon Valley and Amtrack is expensive and slow. If there wasn’t a need for efficient, low cost and reliable transportation down to Silicon Valley there would be no need for these buses. I think the loss of 4 parking spots is well worth the benefit of having these buses (and fewer cars) in San Francsico

  3. Hi, Guest #n. How is your day?

    The joke, not to spell it out too laboriously, is that we are all hypocrites. You, me, Sam. all of us.

    Probably the most interesting property I own is the building that my mother’s mother’s grandfather, a man who was killed trying to effect a rescue in a flood, built. My mother is sentimental, so instead of selling it, she bought out my uncle and gave it to me.

    Guest #n+1, Walnut Creek is my brother’s birth city, not mine. I do try to tell you how to live, sure. That’s our thing here, I think. But if I am wrong, so be it.

    I am not too shamed that I have not come up with an original idea. Neither has any of us. We are like dwarves perched on the shoulders of giants.

    C’mon, Guests #1 through #n: play nice!

  4. Left and right agree that the purpose of government is to siphon the public sphere dry on behalf of private interests.

  5. The reason people are taking to the streets to protest is that, short of suing, there are few ways to get your voice heard these days. Stopping traffic gets attention faster than almost anything else you can do. The media is bought and paid for by the private sector that prefers more Hollywood news to local events. Candace Roberts protest song was put on YouTube prior to the November elections, by it took this long for us to discover it. Thanks to 48hillls for bringing it to our attention.

  6. You are making a very important point about the loss of public resources to the private sector. Tech buses are basically extensions of corporate work-spaces. They allow workers to start working once they get onto the bus which is great probably for both the workers and the companies. Tech shuttles are not simply transportation systems, they are mobile offices. While I do not like the way the city has worked at integrating the shuttles, I do think they serve an important environmental service. There needs to be more thoughtful integration and acknowledgment of the use of public resources by the private sphere. The city of San Francisco has done a really poor job at valuing our public resources and our public sphere. As the private sector becomes richer, so should our public sphere. Yes, have tech buses but also have parking, transportation, and housing for public school teachers. We need to recognize and value the assets that are held by the public and make sure they are generously funded. Right now, the system is out of balance and the private sphere is sucking all the money toward itself making the pool of resources extremely generous for a few and extremely limited for the majority. There is nothing wrong with successful businesses but there needs to be a commitment to keeping the public sphere and its assets alive so that the majority of citizens have the resources which enable them to be productive, competent participants in society. Public transportation, equitable wages and benefits for public workers, child care, well-funded and accessible public education, functioning regulatory systems, a well-funded judicial system, and a functioning public health system are all parts of the public sphere which benefit both private enterprise and the general population. We need to restore balance to where the profits from the economy are distributed to make sure the public and private spheres are equally healthy.

  7. If he had such an option, your husband could drop the children at school, park at a park-and-ride transit hub near the 280 freeway on ramp and take the shuttle to work. Many people in the neighborhoods support parking garages, near bridges and freeways, as the best solution for keeping vehicles, especially large ones such as the tech shuttles, off the city streets.

  8. my children attend the public school in question. my husband takes one of the “tech” buses reassigned to that spot. oh, the moral quandary; what’s a local working artist to do?! the parking spots are public street spots; they are not located on the school site, and don’t belong to the teachers or the school — they belong to everybody. claiming otherwise undermines this story’s credibility and the real point: these tech companies can be made to pay into the public system they are taking from, and may even be happy to do so to improve their public images; have our supes stopped hand-wringing long enough to insist they do? if the city gave them away without proper compensation, that’s on the city’s head (and we should fire the bums). mind you, there is apparently a state law on the books that prevents private companies from buying into public resources…it’s intended to prevent them from buying up everything. maybe we need to focus on reforming that law in a way that makes sense in current times. i’m weary of the binary and ahistorical nature of this conversation (all “tech” workers are bad interlopers; “gentrification” is a new, wholly damaging phenomenon; protections for city inhabitants of all income levels cannot be legislated). it’s just not that straightforward. jobs are jobs.

  9. There is another issue with someone from Walnut Creek trying to tell us in the city how to live.

    WC is the ultimate troll. He argues here with everyone, just for the sake of it, and yet never comes up with an original idea.

    Book learned.

  10. Ah, Guest, that may explain why he is so keen on “facts” without understanding that politics has very little to do with facts, and everything to do with values, belief and debate.

    Left-brained people aren’t good in crowds.

  11. If they disregard the law, fine them. If muni can afford to hire officers to go after people so broke they dodge bus fare, they can go after corporate buses.

  12. Great! If tax payers win, then maybe we can provide private transportation for teachers and also give them housing so they can live near their jobs. I’d easily support a measure which puts more money into the public infrastructure to support teachers. Let’s get the money and start helping our public school teachers.

  13. Hey Outbound Delay, you obviously hold the moral high ground with your concern for the common good. FYI teachers pay in 8% of their meager salaries toward their pensions and do not receive social security. And your concern about a lack of guaranteed pensions for tech workers, whose starting salaries are more than my mother made after teaching your little brats for 50 years, brought a tear to my eye. (You obviously weren’t a student of hers because you aren’t from here and do not exhibit any signs of a decent education.) And I suppose you, in your concern for our public good, buy the school supplies for classrooms full of public school students out of your own pocket and spend your free time tutoring poor kids, and grade papers on your own time well into the night every night. Please, don’t insult us as if you understand the meaning of the “public good.”

  14. I don’t think it’s creepy, but I do think they could put in more charter schools to attract the middle class. If they put them in areas that were in the poorer areas of town the middle class would not complain about getting their kids there & would even want to move there to be nearer to that school. In LAUSD they would do “magnet” schools like that, but I think more than magnet schools, they need to get French bilingual & based on French schools and German bilingual & based on German schools here. The German ones actually would go longer too, and more subjects would be taught.

  15. Doesn’t being a hypocrite include you, WC? You’re a homeowner, and, I think a professor, right? Making the big bucks right?

  16. Swedes are rich, according to Bloomberg, and yes they are rolling back a bunch of taxes

    Also really wealthy Swedes have been going to HSBC to dodge taxes

    And another tax scandal in the USA regarding Princess Madelein of Sweden dodging taxes

  17. I’m not Sam, I wrote that SFUSD does it by zip code. How do I know? I worked at SFUSD. Read. There’s not much difference in zip code and census tract, they’re going by RACE.

  18. Of course. They don’t have to work in SF either. His point is that SF is exclusive. I get that. So leave it to them to pay more for the teachers, waiters, etc., to bring them back. If they still have their own jobs after 5 years.

  19. There are good reasons why it’s rare for the left to support more parking – because it’s a terrible idea.

    Just as you argue that in general renters are less well off than landlords, and thus equitable policies should support renters – in general people that take buses are less well off than people who own cars.

    Obviously that’s not true in this particular case.
    But we are still talking about taking four of the thousands of nearby parking spaces, and changing them from being used by 4 private cars a day to being used 40 San Francisco bus-riding residents.
    (Oh, and it looks like private cars can still park there after 10 am.)

  20. Well, you could believe the World Bank or the OECD.. or you could believe your lying eyes.

    Criminy, Sam, you can do better than this.

    Are you drunk? I don’t handle failure well then.

  21. Oh, Sam, you poor little lamb.

    Sam: SFUSD does it by zip code
    Wcw: SFUSD CTIP1 is by census tract

    You have absolutely got to start trading, Sam.

  22. I said above: under 18s in the census:
    1950, 20.5
    1960, 24.4
    1970, 25.4
    1980, 20.7
    1990, 16.2
    2000, 14.5
    2010, 13.4
    2013, 13.4

    I have my idea what happened, and it has nothing to do with whatever closeted complex prompted your outburst.

  23. Google “Scandinavia” rolls back welfare state” and you get 2.5 million links. Not the one you cherry-picked.

  24. Any system that rations based on choice rather than geography will correlate based on race, because neighborhoods sadly are still segregated. The CTIP1 preference on one-fifth of tracts is a rounding error by comparison with the primary effect.

    If you can’t see that, more power to you, and once again I wonder: maybe you should go into trading.

  25. SFUSD CTIP1 is by census tract.

    You’re starting to charm me, Sam. If you state something as fact, it is sure to be false. The only question is, how? It’s like Where’s Waldo.

    Have you ever tried trading? Stocks, options, futures, all that jazz? You should.

  26. I find it really interesting that there’s just a 1.2% drop from 10 years ago to today. I remember when the SFUSD less than 10 years ago had 63k students in it, now it’s 53k, and probably next will be 43k. They need to start opening up charter schools in all the “poor” areas of town so that people will go to them. Open up a French bilingual charter school, a German bilingual charter school for starters, or at least a school based on the German schooling system. I know there’s a Japanese bilingual bicultural school but it does NOT teach how people are taught in Japan, for instance.

    Also another significant drop is due to people getting into private schools and homeschool/unschool, probaby 15% in SF or more.

  27. You mean the Greg who ran away from here rather than risk that his real life identity be revealed? That Greg?

    FYI, Scandinavia is rolling back its highest tax taxes and its welfare system.

  28. When a kid cannot attend the closest school to him because a policy says he has to go elsewhere so a more economically “disadvanged” kids can take his place even though that other kid is from further way then . .

    That is a quota-based busing system even if there is no quota and no bus.

  29. SFUSD does it by zip code, which is another way to racially ration. They have a “weighted formula” if you live in certain zip codes (ie, the poorer areas) you get to the top of the list in the “wanted” schools like Rooftop. If you live across the street from Rooftop you probably won’t get in & this happens over and over again.

  30. All kids never get their choice of school. Northwestern rations, Berkeley rations, and SFUSD rations. SFUSD chooses not to ration by geography. Its system is designed to promote diversity.

    It’s a lot of things, but it’s not desegregation busing: the district is prohibited from considering race.

  31. Good link to the OECD charts. They prove what long-time poster Greg was saying here for years. Most of the countries with the highest incomes are Northern European. They have higher tax collections and their quality of life indicators are often much better than the US.

  32. Wrong. “Busing” does not literally mean that all kids take a bus to school

    Rather it is a term used to describe any system where kids do not get their choice of school due to ideological factors

  33. Kids old enough for Muni might take _a_ bus. Not one is ‘bused’ because there is no ‘busing’ here. Words have meaning: school choice is not ‘busing’.

  34. So again, and as usual, you cannot refute him on either his logic or his fact, and so resort to cheap personal attacks.

    Please comply with Tim’s civility imperative here, or Marke will block you.

  35. I would not wait on Marke growing up. He moved here, like many do, to avoid doing so.

    But if you have not by now learned how to ignore posts that you don’t like or agree with, there really is no hope for you. Marke cannot save you from yourself.

  36. Except that almost every nation in the west now has a maximum tax rate of 40%-50% and in every case, they are now collecting MORE REVENUES.

  37. Sf gets around the formal ban on using race as a factor by simply using economic status, which of course everyone knows correlates to race

  38. WC, explain to me the rationale of a kid in Noe being bussed to Bayview, and in terms that do not involve some sense of the word “quota”.

  39. Jeepers, Sam: Laffer won the Father of the Year award from the West Coast Father’s Day Committee in 1983.

    In all seriousness, Laffer deserves more credit than most of his ilk for intellectual honesty:

    ‘Usually when you find the model this far off, you’ve probably got something wrong with the model..’

    Back on topic, here is a survey of experts:

    ‘The tax rate t maximizing revenue is: t=1/(1+a*e) where a is the Pareto parameter of the income distribution (= 1.5 in the U.S. and easy to measure), and e the elasticity of reported income with respect to 1-t which captures supply side effects. The most reasonable estimates for e vary from 0.12 to 0.40 (see conclusion page 47) so e=.25 seems like a reasonable estimate. Then t=1/(1+1.5*0.25)=73%..’

    I’ll take the Cal prof over the ideologues, thanks.

  40. That’s my thinking too. I don’t understand why they wanted to charge for being a good commuting company. They should pay their bus drivers a LOT more though.

  41. There has always been shuttle buses going downtown & to other places all over SF. And they do not pay extra. In the past it was white vans.

  42. Guest (how many of you are there?), to reiterate:

    ‘busing is the practice of assigning and transporting students to schools in such a manner as to redress prior racial segregation of schools, or to overcome the effects of residential segregation..’

    As San Francisco is prohibited from using race in its assignment process, there can be no busing. SFUSD uses a lottery instead of geography to ration school capacity. Call it ‘school choice’ or ‘lottery’, please.

  43. I think she’s a trustfunder getting monies from the SF gov’t in the form of grants.for the org she founded. It pays her rent in Bernal.

  44. guest, if you want to critique a statement that freeways were ‘mostly finished’ and that we were ‘pulling back on.. construction,’ you need to show significant expansion to the core network, not ancillary, remote new builds.

    Instead, by the ’70s there was less building:

    ‘ Freeway revolts sprang up across the state in the 1960s and 1970s, killing or delaying several projects such as a freeway in San Francisco between the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, and an expansion of Interstate 710 through South Pasadena.’

    This includes AB561, the bill I cited that killed Highway 77 through Moraga passed in 1972.

    We’re here to help, guest. We’ll reacquaint you with history, fact and logic, one gentle correction at a time. Enjoy!

  45. C’mon, Sam, think. I believe in you. You can do it!

    – SFUSD has school choice
    – popular schools don’t have enough room
    – SFUSD rations popular spots in a lottery

    Instead of rationing school capacity by home location, SFUSD rations by lottery — with results superior to those of simple geography, see 2008 ranking datum.

    When your kid got turned down by Friends, did you think there was a quota involved?

  46. The issue should not be whether the shuttles are necessary but whether people freely choose to take them

    Unless of course you hate choice.

  47. If my kid has to take any kind of bus (schhol, muni or private) to get to school because the city says he cannot attend the closest school or the school I want, then that is bussing.

  48. Again, it is a quota if my kids to not attend either the school closest to me or the school I want. That happens because the quota is full.

  49. I don’t know how often that occurs, and I’m sure many more folks ride regular public transit to the stops, but its still a good point. It only further underscores the need for large centrally planned public transit so that these shuttles aren’t necessary.

  50. Laffer is an award-winning economist. You are an anonymous commentator on a blog. Gee, who should I believe?

    Laffer’s point is obvious. If taxes rise above a certain threshold, then tax evasion and avoidance increases and/or people decide to work less. It’s hardly rocket science.

  51. Stock options are not a retirement plan. They are a speculation. If the start-up fails, as most do, their options are worth nothing.

  52. EyeGee, there is no established policy of having to pay to use streets. Any licensed, registered and insured vehicle can use SF streets for free. That is the purpose of streets.

    As for Muni stops, a fair price has already been established. If the price were to be raised then the shuttles would be free to stop elsewhere.

  53. “Don’t forget that many folks drive to the shuttle stops and park in the neighborhoods.”

    [citation needed]

  54. Guest/Spam,

    None of the executives at my company fund their own retirement. They get lucrative stock options worth millions. They get more money in a year than the rest of us wage-slaves who make up 98% of the company will make in a life time.

  55. Walnut Creek Whiner can’t read.

    “…thousands of families left cities like SF and Oakland for the more bucolic suburbs that had more space, safer streets, less noise – (wait for it….), better schools and relatively manageable commutes.”

    “By the ’70s the area was pulling back on freeway construction.”

    Oh, you mean the 12-lane freeways to Manteca, Fairfield and Morgan Hill were completed in the 1960’s? I thought they were all 2 and 4-lane highways back then. We learn something everyday.

    Great, another know-it-all poster who thinks what s/he wants to think regardless of the facts or the ability to empathize with other points of view. And we wonder why SF can’t move forward on any important issue.

    Hopefully one day Marke will have time to take off her party dress for 10 minutes and give us the ability to mute commenters who post a lot more words than sense. The signal-to-noise ratio in the 48 Hills comment section must be the lowest ratio of any website ever created.

  56. Nobody is saying Google, et al., can’t use our streets for the luxury buses that shuttle their employees to their workplaces down on the Peninsula. We just want them to pay for using stops and streets, just as all of us “normal” commuters do. Everytime I get on MUNI, it costs me $2.25.

  57. Don’t forget that many folks drive to the shuttle stops and park in the neighborhoods. So these shuttle buses are not removing that many cars from the streets of the city. They are removing the cars from the freeway. Keep that in mind for your arguments.

  58. worth, if you dont know what a DB pension scheme is than you would do much better than to expect any credibility here or elsewhere

  59. This is such a complicated issue. I don’t think that a private company should be able to usurp public property without paying, but I also think that these buses, even if they are luxury buses, are a better use of space than individual parking spots (which I, personally, think is a terrible use of space) because they’re providing a service for a great many more people. These buses only exist because the city is happy to have the private sector pay for transit improvement instead of investing in a better transit network. Shuttles are becoming more and more common because so many areas in this city and region do not have adequate transit options. Without transit you either need to own a car (which means you need more parking), or you need a private shuttle.

  60. Laffer is an ideologue and a snake-oil salesman. His estimates will be entirely political. All his numbers tells you is that he thinks he can’t sell anything lower.

    Expecting individual actions to provide public goods is an idea. How does that work: everyone pays the tax he wants? That sounds familiar, let me think..

    ‘In a higher phase.. only then then can.. society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!’

  61. “several”cars? Most schools have 30 -80 teachers…a very low % of them, then, get parking permits…I don’t know what a DB scheme is, and I certainly can’t understand “get out of here”. Perhaps there are at least two guests…Sam and another… anyhow, why don’t you give us your opinion on hilary clinton and michael savage, sam?

  62. As if you would know. Face it, some people are toxic and aren’t worth inviting to a party, meeting or strategy session. Ask around about some of the many lefty losers who were active 10 years ago. Now you never hear from them because they weren’t nearly as effective as they thought they would be. Or read some of the comments here, which includes one loser after another who think their words will make a difference. The world is filled with delusional people, but the key is learning to identify them and avoiding them at all costs.

  63. Please see above. The word ‘busing’ does not mean ‘using Muni to get to school,’ and the SFUSD does not engage in desegregation busing. It is forbidden from using race in its school assignments, and it does not do so.

    Please stop treating language the way Big Brother did. Words have meaning. Please learn them, then use them right.

    You can do it, Sam. We’re all rooting for you!

  64. Sam, SFUSD’s lottery implements school preference using a lottery and ranked choice. See http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic781759.files/10.2%20School%20choice%20in%20San%20Francisco.%20Clayton%20Featherstone.pdf

    There are no quotas. SFUSD is prohibited ‘from using race explicitly in its assignment process.’

    Neighborhood schools are no panacea. ‘In 2008, had SFUSD simply assigned students to their neighborhood school[, ] almost 40% of 9th graders would be assigned to a school they didn’t rank.’

    I called the system ‘well-intentioned but ultimately harmful.’ SFUSD’s main goal needs to be improving schools, and it’s my sense that the lottery alienates most precisely the parents it should welcome.

    But don’t call something a quota when it isn’t. When language loses all meaning, you have _1984_.

  65. An allocation system implies a quota because it would be trivially easy to just place kids in their closest school, as most parents want. The only issue would be where parents want their kid to go to a school other than the closest, and then they would have to be put on a waiting list.

    It’s a quota system when a kid in Noe Valley has to attend a school in Bayview because the Noe school has too many whites and the Bayview school has too many blacks

  66. marcos, it is instructive that you never seek to determine or establish what people actually want. But only focus on the tactics of trying to implement what you think they should want.

    Typical activist.

  67. While you pontificate ideology, Guest (marcos) poor people are deprived of affordable housing by that very same ideology.

  68. Hey, Marcos. That’s an excellent chart. It makes intuitive sense that commercial rents for quality office space might correlate with equity prices.

    It makes a lot less sense to think the same for residential rents. Here is that chart:

    Sure, rents are up and the Nasdaq, too, but the correlations just aren’t there.

    Apartments aren’t offices.

  69. These things can be changed but not by whining about them. In order to change these things first those closest to those who desire to change them have to be held accountable for intercepting demands for change while claiming to fight for change. The AEMP and the CCHO are front and center in calling for change and then cutting deals for their own benefit that preempt change.

  70. So concerned about two whole BMR units that you’d never think of stopping the ongoing strip mining of our neighborhod!

  71. Those are just words and hopes. The issue, as always, is who pays. Increasingly the trend is for individuals to fund their own retirement.

  72. Laffer puts the sweet spot at about 40% marginal tax, which is where the US is, federally anyway.

    You can certainly ask the wealthy to give more, and they do give enthusiastically and prolifically to charity. Demanding that they do is another matter.

  73. Yes, it seems to go over the heads of a lot of people, which is why i never fail to remind them that SF has a de facto school busing mandate.

  74. Any allocation system creates implied quotas. Any system that imposes kids to attend a school other than the one closest to them entails an increased use of buses to get kids to their non-chosen school.

  75. I’m glad its cultural status was worth the Marsh’s successful effort to get two BMR units removed from the plans for a development next door. Well done! Who needs subsidized units anyway?

  76. There is a difference progressive taxation and asking wealth to shoulder the entire burden — but not a very big one. Analysis of optimal tax rates I have seen suggests the wealthy should face a total marginal rate (at all levels, not just Federal) around 70%.

  77. Schools are a major reason families leave; the comment to which you replied says as much.

    There is, however, nothing resembling a ‘quota based school allocation system’ in the city. SFUSD’s well-intentioned but ultimately harmful school choice system features a lottery, but no quotas.

    There also is a refreshing absence of PC nonsense. The only PC nonsense I saw was at privates during school tours. Privates know their market.

    One for three isn’t bad, Sam. Next thing you know, you’ll comment without any falsehoods at all!

  78. Hi, Sam! Please, let’s stick to the facts. I’d really appreciate not having to correct you any more.

    When it takes three asterisks to make an eight-word sentence of yours cease to be false, however, you bring out my helpful, avuncular side. Please check your numbers before you post, and please pause before making ideologically comfortable claims.

    Good luck!

  79. There are anti-displacement activists who have no interest in connecting to the greater anti-corruption and anti-privilege attitude arising in SF today, so there is no movement, just acting out for its own sake in lieu of organizing.

  80. Looks like someone had problems socializing in the educational context and is working through those issues via public policy.

  81. Teachers are more important than most all other workers, deserve all manner of accommodation, compensation, job and retirement security.

  82. Teachers are mission-critical to the economy and don’t get paid commensurate to market froth, thus we need for teachers to be part of our community.

  83. You need to throw out the terms left, right, progressive and conservative when discussing these issues. The folks who are concerned enough to do something about it are not politically aligned. They just don’t like what is happening to their city.

    There is an anti-displacement movement in San Francisco, and the growing world-wide anti-privilege attitude is gaining momentum here, along with concerns about the efficacy of the disruptive sharing economy, so you could say there are some elements of anti-tech.

  84. The Marsh has a place in Berkeley, or did have. They are one of the few small theater spaces left in the city that serve as what some people call “incubators” for developing talent. Not that everyone cares about developing local talent, but there are some who do.

  85. Gary, having half your pension funded by other people is huge. Nobody in the private sector gets unlimited equal matching by their employer in their 401K.

  86. Agree, I see no reason why teachers can’t live in Oakland and take BART and a bus to work. That is clearly what they expect tech workers to do.

  87. Ron, I used to live on the same block as a SFUSD school and each day there were several cars parked on my block all day showing teacher stickers. Why is this blatant preference by the city towards its own workers tolerated.

    Your pension deal is way better than you would get in the private sector. You are not even forced into a DB scheme. get out of here.

  88. Many parents move out of the city because of SFUSD’s busing and quota based school allocation systems and not just the cost.

    Or, as in my case, move my kids to a private school to avoid all the PS nonsense that is rammed down kids’ throats in the public system.

    It’s not just about money.

  89. Assumptions that you are in a position to advise others may be at the root of what you are not conceding is an ineffective strategy.

    Stick to the facts.

  90. Okay, so after a year of complaining that these buses used Muni stops or too high-traffic areas, the city and companies agree upon an out-of-the-way stop elsewhere. And now, lacking that justification, you fabricate this much flimsier excuse (this single street parking space a block away from a school is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL, I tell you! How could teachers EVER do their job without it?!) to complain about.

    Did you publish this when you realized no other news source could manage to take that seriously?

  91. Actually, STRS is the teacher retirement system. Money is deducted from the teacher’s pay check each month, and the district contributes their share as well. I have been sustituting in SFUSD for 17 years, and work nearly every school day (180 days in a school year, as required by state law)> I also work summer school if I get the opportunity. My “pension” will amount to about $110 a month (before taxes are deducted), but then 40% of my measly social security benefit will be confiscated because (you clever trolls fill in the reason why, because no one else seems to know the reason)…I just wanted to set the record straight, but I suppose I will be attacked for all the usual trivial reasons people are attacked in this response section. Oh, regarding teachers being able to park anywhere…actually , very few teachers are given parking permits (call SFUSD for exact info); many either ride the bus, the BART (a large majority of teachers live outside the city due to inaffordability of San Francisco), move their cars every two hours (very tricky, difficult, often resulting in $76 parking citations, which is nearly half a day’s substitute pay) or walk/bike to school if lucky enough to live nearby. I haven’t read 48Hills in a couple of days, it seems Sam must be going by Guest now, or perhaps has died, or something…never since reading this post have I not seen his name ad nauseum addressing any/every story. How refreshing not to see Sam and have to divert the eyes. This is my first comment, have at it, hates..

  92. The banking system had to be recapitalized; none of us would have enjoyed the alternative. Would have been nice if there had been more receivership and fewer handouts, though, and maybe a few prosecutions of the more blatantly criminal.

  93. Not yet, but it is being phased in. It took a few decades of mismanagement to get into that mess and it will take a few more to fix it.

    It is pretty enlightening that I don’t see the anti-pension people screaming at the bank bailouts that cost much more and are also taxpayer funded.

    This is Reagan’s legacy. Government workers are seen as being worse than uber-wealthy criminal bankers.

  94. Wow: a comment identifying and stereotyping people as necessarily identifying and stereotyping people.

    It’s just like I always say: don’t be a hypocrite — be a hypocrite!

  95. If Sandyd never heard of it, it must not be important.

    Anyway, Marsh isn’t worth billions so it should probably be bulldozed to make for more people who truly contribute to society by developing apps that make fart noises or text Yo! to all of their closest friends who they’ve never actually met.

  96. Most of them already were. They aren’t fully matching the state’s catchup contributions, though, are they?

  97. You don’t need to tell me families left the city: I was born at Kaiser on Geary, my brother at Kaiser in Walnut Creek.

    Cost is a real problem. You left out schools, though. Housing cost and schools cover pretty much every parent we know who has left SF.

    Not that it matters, but the freeways were mostly finished by the ’60s. By the ’70s the area was pulling back on freeway construction. AB561, the bill that killed Highway 77 through Moraga, passed in 1972.

  98. Why did the teachers protest the buses?

    Because they’re a bunch of whiny little bitches, that’s why. Being a teacher doesn’t make you a fucking saint. It makes you someone who chose a profession that pays poorly, which is not the fault of the tech industry or the buses that transport their workers. Grow up.

  99. Exactly, there actually Are many more important things than convenience and speed…
    Unfortunately those two words have become the guiding principle of the day in almost all aspects of life.

  100. Don’t forget that because of the 2012 pension reform, all state and local government employees will eventually be contributing at least 50% of the money needed to fund their own pensions.

  101. The interstate highway system was built in the 1960’s and ’70’s. Literally tens of thousands of families left cities like SF and Oakland for the more bucolic suburbs that had more space, safer streets, less noise, better schools and relatively manageable commutes. That’s why SF rents were so cheap in the 1970’s – families moved to the burbs. If you doubt this, pull the same census data for Walnut Creek, San Rafael, Redwood City, San Carlos, Foster City, Castro Valley and other suburban towns that were a short commute to SF. During the War on Crack in the mid-1980’s to early 1990’s, the city tore down many public housing projects and started making the streets “safer” for white kids to move back to the city who had grown up in the burbs. The Lower Haight and Western Addition especially lost significant numbers of public housing units, which made them feel safer for more affluent white Boomers and X-Gens to move into those neighborhoods.

    Kids costs lots of money to raise and you need a much bigger house to raise a family than most houses in SF provide (lots of 2/1’s and 3/1’s were built before 1980.) Only very rich families or very poor families living in subsidized housing will be raising kids in high-income cities like SF, Manhattan and west LA. The demographic shift will never go back to families and children unless something unforeseen happens in the future.

  102. The Marsh? I saw Josh Kornbluth there way, way back, and have been to several shows since. While not a devoted patron, I am a fan. The city would be the poorer without the Marsh.

  103. Safety is often improved by these kinds of streetscape enhancements. By adding features like benches, you’re promoting utilization of the space and natural surveillance.

  104. Midcareer CA teacher salaries average 55-68k. Even if you bump that 25% for state pension contributions, that’s not that much, and teacher pensions are not equivalent to 25% of salary.

  105. @Sam: LOL! No thinking person says “raping and pillaging” in the context of pensions (or even introduces the issue of pensions when the discussion is clearly about parking, transit and evictions) unless that person is attempting to detract from the issue or is just being a compulsive right-wing troll.

    It is your most common tactic (introducing another topic) as is your use of provocative and often disrespectful rhetoric in your initial comments, followed by your “I’m just a civil man who is misunderstood” comments when someone calls you out for being an asshole.

  106. Obd, CalPERS is about 80% funded at current market values. That shortfall is large, about 3% of state GDP. You can close a shortfall in a decade by spending a quarter percent of GDP each year.

    ‘Pillaging’ puts you on team innumerate, it seems.

  107. That is a sophisticated argument, based on the diminishing utility of money over income and wealth.

    Fairly apportioned tax schemes are progressive.

  108. “Sorry, nobody who’s ‘on the team’ says that teachers getting pensions are ‘raping and pillaging’.”

    There, Gary, I corrected that for you. Your view of thought purity doesn’t have so much anything to do with with left right or center, but which team you identity with.

  109. Oh, the marsh – the theatre that found out a new building was going up next door and proceeded to attempt to extort money from the developer for building improvements. The Marsh theatre who successfully lobbied the SF board of appeals to lop off the top floor of the building – in direct violation of the CA housing affordability act. A decision which was eventually reversed in an unprecedented move by the board.

    “The theater and its advocates claim to support housing developments coming into the neighborhood, but want to formalize certain conditions to keep theater operations running smoothly during and after construction. Marsh executive director Stephanie Weisman said issues with sound from the demolition, construction and eventual everyday use of building is “what’s most important to us.” She said she does not want loud construction sounds to “upset performances,” and after building, she wants to ensure that whatever business opens on the first floor is not a loud bar or other entertainment venue. As to the condos design, Weisman said the theater is worried noise from decks “are going to bleed right into our theater.”
    Weisman also is asking for consideration for the theater’s youth programs that are held during various times during the week and would be disrupted by loud construction and heavy machinery noises. She said the theater is asking that the developer officially agree to limitations on various items, such as sound levels of equipment, hours of construction and a lease agreement for the commercial space to become a restaurant or other business that doesn’t have entertainmentuses, such as a bar.”

    Who even heard of the marsh before this?

  110. Yes, a dirty secret is that teachers can park in any residential zone without getting a ticket. There is a sticker that they put on their windsheild, and then DPT walks on by.

    Teachers get privileges the rest of us do not AND they have those sweet pension deals that we all have to pay for.

  111. His argument seems to be that if you have money than you should pay for everyone else. That’s about as sophisticated as he gets.

  112. Once you understand that teachers are “good” but tech workers are “bad” then almost any kind of double standard can be consistently applied.

    Progressivism is all about identifying and stereotyping people.

  113. Gary, what he means is that whose who don’t enjoy a public sector pension have to pay for them PLUS pay for their own pension.

    So private employees pay double and public employees pay little or nothing, and get a sweeter deal (a DB plan).

    That causes divisions as you and he are demonstrating here

  114. OutBoundDelay Sorry, nobody on the left says that teachers getting pensions are ‘raping and pillaging’. Nor do they rant about ‘progressives.’

    You are a right-wing nutcase, using Tea Party talking points, trolling here and probably posting under multiple names.

  115. There are some things that you cannot change and then all you can do is whine about them, which is what AEMP and 48 are doing here.

  116. The mayor has made a decision. And with 60% approval, his decision represents the city’s wishes. The shuttles poll positive.

  117. Instead of blaming Google for figuring out a way to get their worker’s cars off the street, you should be applauding them, but because they are successful they need to be punished.Ah, you have to love the hypocrisy of teachers. I live near Harvey Milk Elementary and I see teachers parking their cars all day for free in residential neighborhoods, often partially blocking my driveway. I have to pay to park when I go to work, why do teachers get a pass? These tech workers are not driving to work and as MUNI is just plane lame, their employers have to provide private transportation.

  118. It’s not just unique to teachers. We’ve had three school bonds in ten years. In each instance, the money was supposed to be dedicated to capital improvements and each time, it’s squandered on admin salaries and other foibles.

  119. Let’s try this – if I sell you an apple for $75 billion and you sell it to someone else for $100 billion, then how much money did you make? Bonus question: what’s 1% of that profit? Will you gave to eat at the soup kitchen that night? Does this help at all? I’m worried that this is a losing cause…

  120. Artists have been slow to chronicle the anti-displacement movement by the sharing economy, but that may be changing. If you haven’t checked out this singer you may be in for a treat:
    Candace Roberts was dismayed by threats to the Marsh Theater and wrote the song that is fast gathering an audience: “Not My City Any More” http://www.candaceroberts.com

  121. Welcome to the “shared economy”, where all pubic property is up for grabs to the highest bidder. If you don’t like it now, wait and see what happens next.

    There is a process that involves public notice before any curb changes can be carried out, but the public notice part of the process is a joke to say the least. Ask the folks on Polk Street who just watched notices going up in the morning and disappear during the day.

    The only way you can really be sure to catch all the changes coming is to download and read the Streetscape engineering hearing agendas. When you see something you object to, you must go down to the hearing at 10 AM and protest or write an email or letter to the Streetscape department. Then you can repeat the same motions before the MTA Board and the Board of Supervisors.

    Having fun yet? Protesting by stopping traffic is a lot more direct method of letting the world know how you feel about the SFMTA policies of taking public property for the “sharing community”.

  122. I know…remember the fuss that Tim made about free Sunday parking? But it is perfectly fine that that those spots were always free.

  123. I totally agree. I just want the Mayor to make a decision, one way or the other. Go with the folks with all the money or stand for what you say you care about in terms of making San Francisco a livable community for all.

  124. Dude, is there someone in your family or office or perhaps you can find someone in your local library who can teach you how to read a financial statement? They didn’t make $66 billion dollars. They made $14 billion.

    Let’s try this. If I sell you an apple for 75 cents and you then sell it to someone else for $1.00 then how much money did you make? Did you make $1? Or did you make 25 cents (the difference between what you paid for the apple and what you eventually sold it for)?

    Does that help at all? I’m worried that this is a losing cause.

  125. “Teachers and residents had not been consulted before THEIR parking stops were privatized …” These weren’t their spots. It was an open section. Entitled whiners.

  126. ” If you try and charge too much for these shuttles to use Muni bus stops, then they will simply stop elsewhere and then the city gets no money at all.” The bullshit never stops with these wingnuts. Here’s the facts, Jack: Google, according to its own financial reports (http://investor.google.com/earnings/2014/Q4_google_earnings.html).raked in $66 billion last year.Google can easily “afford” whatever pittance the city might dare charge (1% of $66 billion comes to $660 MILLION dollars, after all). The city should aggressively ban these shuttles until they get a big healthy – and continuing – portion of that incredible stream of money.

  127. Wrong. I’m to the left of all y’all. I dream of the day when we all get the benefit of a long retirement or even when working itself will be a lifestyle choice for all of us, not just for those in the top 5% or the bottom 30% of the economic spectrum, made up of those who have rushed to the endzone and condemned the rest of us (the middle class) to a fate of working till we’re 70.

    Unfortunately for us, there are no professional politicians who benefit so well by pandering to us. The tea party and Rush is the intellectual and morale equivalent of Tim Redmond and the San Francisco progressives — self interested, short sighted ideologues who have forsaken the battle that benefits everyone for the ideological pissing match that benefits only themselves and their allies.

  128. It seems like a reasonable location for a stop, since the spaces don’t front any residences or businesses. Hell, close off the right-turn slip, put a bench and a couple trees there and you’ve got yourself a public plaza AND replacement parking spaces.

  129. Yea, I think Sam and others are part of a Tea Party collective that does nothing but troll sites like this.

    Teachers are going to be “raping and pillaging”? That’s pure Rush.

  130. The loss of youth in San Francisco is a real issue.

    The past 30 years are the wrong time period to measure it.

    Videlicet under 18s in the census:
    1950, 20.5
    1960, 24.4
    1970, 25.4
    1980, 20.7
    1990, 16.2
    2000, 14.5
    2010, 13.4
    2013, 13.4

    The sea change is between 1970 and 1990.

    Anyone who pins this on recent events is either stupid or disingenuous.

    The anti-eviction guys seem super serious, so I am going with stupid.

  131. The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project and 48hills both use technology to chronicle abuses of power.

    That is much easier than organizing to stop abuses of power. So long as “the most vulnerable” get to “tell their stories,” democracy is served and gentrification proceeds apace. There is no effort in these demonstrations to create a presentation that appeals to anyone but the participants.

  132. The 1996 Affordable Housing bond was supposed to house teachers firefighters and cops. Instead it was diverted to house “the most vulnerable.”

    How can we trust the Mayor’s Office of Housing to follow through on its commitment to house teachers when it asks for money to house teachers when it spent the money we gave them last time that was supposed to house teachers to build in-patient substance abuse treatment centers and very low income housing?

  133. Don’t worry Erin and Tim, the teachers will get the last laugh. Once the teachers’ guaranteed pensions kick in on the backs of us taxpayers (and which techies don’t get, by the way), they will be raping and pillaging the public good in ways that make snaking parking spots by a bus look like utter and complete child’s play.

  134. I like what Gary says, but the spots should also have been metered no? I don’t know where these parents and teachers drive from, but I pay for parking every day, or move my car out of 2 hour residents’ zones when I don’t put my bike on Caltrain, maybe this was 2 hour parking? I generally oppose the high end gentrification of the peninsula and the city, and I think people should live close to where they work for so many social reasons that benefit us all. But it is true that a major network of private buses should have to pay for its private network of lots and stops, and encourage its users to use public transport to get to a hub like Gary says. I have no issue with the tech buses, they solve a lot of EIR problems and create company community allowing people to meet who might not otherwise meet (at a large company) and they free up working parents for some personal admin on the bus using wifi) but it was an incredible gap in PR handling that is shocking for such sophisticated companies that generally want to do good in the world. They should have planned and rolled the program out far more carefully, if not only for the optics and the avoidance of PR nightmares. . .

  135. Ban the shuttles as they are now. Create hubs at Caltrain, Glen Park BART etc and let the employees use public transportation to get to and from the hubs.

    Creating a separate transit system in a major city without engaging the city first shows the arrogance of these companies.

  136. There is a lesson here. If you try and charge too much for these shuttles to use Muni bus stops, then they will simply stop elsewhere and then the city gets no money at all.

  137. I also wonder about non-tech shuttle buses: senior shuttles? Airport shuttles? Do they get a permit to park in these spots?

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