Sponsored link
Friday, July 30, 2021

Sponsored link

News + PoliticsMayor Lee's delusion: He tells developers the city is...

Mayor Lee’s delusion: He tells developers the city is doing great

Lots of talk of the business boom, just passing mention of the housing crisis as mayor delivers speech to real-estate industry breakfast

The mayor tells a supportive audience that the boom is making San Francisco great
The mayor tells a supportive audience that the boom is making San Francisco great

By Tim Redmond

SEPTEMBER 24, 2015 – The news that Uber is moving into a building in downtown Oakland has everyone in the world of commercial real estate, tech – and displacement – talking. The move could be good for a city that needs economic development, supporters say – but one expert at UC Berkeley had a warming:

“I hope Oakland doesn’t make the same mistakes San Francisco did,” Miriam Zuk, director of the Urban Displacement Project, told the Chron.

Yes, the word was “mistakes,” as in moving too quickly to attract too many tech companies without first stabilizing existing vulnerable communities and figuring out where the newly arriving, high-paid workers were going to live.

Even the Chron is now recognizing that there’s a serious downside to what Mayor Lee has done; one story calls it a “detour from paradise to parody.”

But there was no talk of mistakes or detours this morning when an ebullient Lee addressed the SF Business Times “Structures” breakfast. In fact, he told the supportive crowd that the city’s in fantastic shape – and he acted as if the housing crisis that is transforming neighborhoods and driving thousands out of their homes is just a random event that has no connection to his economic policies.

The event at the Westin St. Francis attracted some 800 of the city’s developers, builders, investors, brokers architects, real-estate lawyers and others who make money from the industry. Mary Huss, the publisher of the BizTimes, mentioned in her opening remarks that the current boom was creating “tension,” but the mayor laughed it off:

“Tension? What tension?” he said. “The only tension I know is the Giants and the Dodgers.”

He added that, in all of his life in the city, “I am most excited during this time for its past, present, and future.”

More: “It’s a good time for San Francisco. People are working. Cranes are up – I see them.”

Still more: “There are some people who are fearful of change being too fast for them. I believe in change; there is so much going on that is so positive.”

Mayors always like to make upbeat speeches, and this was the perfect venue for Lee to wax positive. But when he came to the problems that nobody can ignore – from the thousands of homeless people on the streets to the lack of affordable housing and the eviction epidemic – he never made any connection to the boom, or the tax breaks and tech-friendly policies that helped create and encourage it.

It was surreal – as if the hyper-gentrification and displacement in the city were the result of an act of God, an earthquake or a tsunami, something that could never have been predicted or addressed and that we only need to respond to after the fact.

Now, of course, today, the mayor is talking about the need to build “balanced communities” and to create more affordable housing. He seemed to be following the lead of the developers, who have always said (and repeated this morning) that the city can simply build its way out of the problem.

He did twice talk about “speculation,” but he addressed it as an afterthought – in any boom, he said, “there is always an invitation to some people who don’t care” – instead of the entirely predictable consequence of the policies of the past five years.

He closed by calling for the creation of “the most inclusive city this planet has ever imagined.”

I can’t imagine how that’s going to happen if we keep going in the same direction. I can’t imagine how anyone who walks the streets of the Mission or Soma and talks to tenants who are either facing eviction or living in mortal fear could say this city is in great shape.

So then Huss turned things over to a panel of developers – John Kilroy of Kilroy Realty (and Flower Mart fame), Alexa Arena of Forest City (the 5M project), Chris Meany of Wilson Meany (Treasure Island), and Lou Vasquez of Build Inc., which mostly does mid-sized residential development. All have major projects underway or in the approval pipeline in the city.

All of them dislike regulations, which they blame for a lot of the city’s problems, and some of them really, really hate the California Environmental Quality Act, which Kilroy called “the most ridiculous law that’s ever been passed.”

That line got some applause.

Meany got even more applause when he said that the city’s major housing problem “is that we have rent control.”

Cory Weinberg, the BizTimes reporter who did a great job moderating the discussion, noted, gently, that there’s an increase in anti-development sentiment, linked to “legitimate pain over displacement.” The developers were having none of that.

It is, Vasquez said, “just fear-mongering.” Arena said it’s “fear and panic.” But they all insisted that market-rate housing development doesn’t cause displacement.

I don’t think they are reading the city’s own studies, which show that building luxury housing actually makes the crisis worse.

But you got a sense of what these folks think is the solution – “our business is a regulated business,” Meany said. “And regulations are dangerous.”

Wow. Good morning to you, too.

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.
Sponsored link

137 COMMENTS

  1. Ed Lee is really a Republican – why the hell can’t San Franciscans see that and send him off to Orange Co with Arnold! They deserve each other.

    Ed don’t even think about going on in California politics after your term is over. Your skeletons will fly out of the closet – Creepy-pig faced-slimeball!

  2. Here are my predictions so far:

    Lee – 70%+
    D3 – too close to call

    A – wins
    B – wins
    C – wins
    D – wins
    F- loses
    I – loses (though it will be close)
    K – wins

    Last election I voted with the majority in every single initiative.

    What do you think is going to happen?

  3. I think the entire route of the J-Church, which is within a block of my house, should be up-zoned. Six stories is more like it, but I could be convinced of 10 stories easily, especially at major intersections like 24th and Church.

  4. Ok well i am happy we can agree that it is an issue. We should prob end our convo on this thread, but we do disagree on the solution. I do not think we can build ourselves out of thisproblem. As other posters have mentioned, SF is littered withthe relics of bad development in the name of progress (fillmore dist, ocean beach condos, etc.) we need a more responsible plan rather than just green lighting every condo project in sf. Not to mention that luxury condos dont help the middle class other than to release a bit of pressure. And these condos are stuck in neighborhoods that cant afford to defend themselves. Do you want a 10 story condo next to your house in noe valley? NIMBY.

  5. I am saying it is an issue, that is why I say we need to build more housing. It is a huge issue that effects everyone. We should have been doing it the last 40 years, but local politics made it impossible.

  6. You know nothing about me. Who says im getting a house? Stop your rhetoric. You obviously are oblivious to the fact that the opportunites you experienced when you moved here are now closed. In todays times, you never would be able to come here. If you consider yourself a benefit to this community, which you very well may be, why would you want to deny others the chances you had? This city would already suck if only wall street bankers could afford to move here 30 years ago. Look, im not saying theres a clear answer. But saying its not an issue is pretty clueless. And painting everyone who even brings up the issue as a Nimby/ slacker/ deadbeat dirty hippy artist, like most on these forums do is really lame. We are talking about people, and peoples lives.

  7. I grew up far poorer than you and don’t have a nice inheritance of a San Fransisco home to look forward to. I was raised by a truck driver with 2 brothers and sisters and 5 step-brothers and sisters. I certainly do not look down on the poor, as I came from their ranks.

    If you were wiling to join the military, server you 4 years, and either go to school on a scholarship or get a job with SFPD, you could guy a house here too. But you are not wiling to make the sacrifice. I understand, these tough choices are not for everyone. Anyone who works as a police officer or fire fighter can afford to live here. I know most of them decide not to, because they can get a bigger house elsewhere. But that doesn’t mean that homes here are priced out of their reach, it just means their desire for space is great.

    My grandfather came here during WWII to build Liberty Ships on Alameda Island and my mother was born in SFGH between VE Day and VJ Day, so I think it is pretty funny that you have decided that I am a “newcomer.”

  8. Let’s bring this full circle. You asserted that Ed Lee “has consistently had approval ratings over 60%.” I asked you to provide evidence of this assertion.

    Turning the question, and normal rules of discourse, on their heads, you asked me to provide evidence that it is not true. I said I am unwilling to do that, since it’s normally the one who makes an assertion of fact to provide evidence to support it.

    At least that’s the way it operates in a normal world. It’s different when one of the discussants is a zealot who is willing to assert opinion as fact and suggest that anyone who disagrees provide facts to the contrary. And that’s what you are $am, a zealot, and unless you understand the distinction between opinions and facts, and that assertions of facts need to be substantiated, it’s just not worth arguing with you.

  9. I’d love for you to air your impressions publicly. That is, without the relative anonymity of hiding behind your smart device and judging by your lame rhetoric, bottle bottom glasses too. You’re a troll and a blithering baboon who didn’t get laid in high school and isn’t getting laid anytime soon either I’m sure.

  10. Social skills? That’s rich! I’d love to meet you socially. You wouldn’t last beyond, how do you do. Seriously, my user name here is also my twitter handle. Hit me up when you’re ready to wow me with your “mad skills” Lochinvar.

    Hahahahaha, social skills…Thanks for the laugh little boy.

  11. Need to make a note here: most landlords in with rent controlled buildings in sf have their property tax subsidized by the working taxpayers of california. Prop 13. Just want to make it clear who us getting the biggest subsidy in san francisco.

  12. And using wealth as a measure of success in life is really quite dangerous and pathetic. Actually this comment underscores everything in this whole thread. This is the attitude that I cannot accept in SF. Complete, boorish, entitled, assinine disrespect. Go away from our City, please. There are many millionaires in SF who agree with me too. Its not about $. Its about seeing the big picture. Which you dont.

  13. When my parents moved to SF in the 60s, they had little more in their pockets than a dream. They got menial jobs, went to sf state, and worked their way up to be very successful professionals. They were able to purchase a home and raise children here. I resent you alluding to them as being misfits, lacking social or economic skills, bad artists or not showering. You are a troll cluck cluck clucking. Your polarizing attitude is disengenuous and childish. Also known as an ass.

    I do not hate everything going on in SF. Some great things are happening too. But the need for someone who moves here to be making 150k a year right off the bat, severely limits the diversity of people that move here. Can you at least understand that? This issue is not black and white, as you make it to be. As always, the answers are in the grey areas. I am not opposed to progress in the City. But it must be managed properly, to protect the communities while out of town developers come in. They do not care about the City.

    Noevalley jim: nice poll you took of homeowners in your street. I know lots of cops and firemen and none of them can afford to own in sf. I dont really even have a problem with real estate prices, it sucks but what can be done about it. I really just hate the overall callous, disrespectful attitude new money people seem to have now in SF about communities that have been here for decades. Its happening, yes, but does everyone have to be such pricks about it?

  14. They are both elements that drive away tourists. And side by side tourists are left disgusted and scratching their heads. Not the progressive city they were expecting.

  15. SF is a state of mind. Its having respect for others. Its tolerance. Intelligent discussion. Looking at all sides of issues. Basically not being an ass. You either get it or you dont. Some people live here 30 years and dont get it. Some move here and get it right away. I prefer the latter, thank you.

  16. Less than 10 percent of San Francisco employees work in tech. How this tiny group have such an outsized influence in your imagination?

  17. Lawyers make more than tech peoples. I know plenty of doctors that are doing quite well, and many small business people. For a supposed local, you don’t know very much about what kind of professions the people are you are doing.

    I even know a few cops and firefighters who own their own homes and are doing quite well. Also an Engineer with Muni and a Nurse, all on my block. A couple of teachers bought a small flat about 5 years ago and are raising a child there.

    Homeownership in San Francisco is still within the reach of anyone willing to make the sacrifices necessary. The problem is, so few are.

  18. There is no bubble. The Bay Area is the engine room of the dynamic and global knowledge and sharing economies, and drives all the success and prosperity we enjoy.

    We didn’t all move here to be bad artists who never shower, you know?

  19. Let me translate. Some people never want to become responsible adults and instead lead some kind of immature deter Pan existence, by moving to SF. Now they cannot afford to.

    Good

  20. So you big theory is that “luxury” homes drive tourists away?

    Do you think tourists come here for the homeless encampments?

  21. Diversity means having both rich people and poor people. There are many poor people here. Why do you begrudge there being a much smaller and out-voted number of rich people?

  22. So you admit you cannot find any evidence to support your refutation, and are relying only on not remembering something?

    It you believe Lee is not popular then you are presumably predicting that he will lose in November. Let’s check back in then and see which of us was proven right by events.

  23. I find your suggestion to “Google it” hilarious, given your clear anti-tech stance. Is there no end to the irony of luddite NIMBYs taking technology for granted, like oxygen, but thinking that the rewarding of those who build it is a sign that the money-grubbing apocalypse is upon us? Envy, pure and simple. If you could have, you would have.

  24. I don’t believe you $am. I think you made that up and that’s why you are unable to provide evidence. Personally, I’m not willing to spend a lot of time chasing down evidence to prove or disprove facts that you make up out of thin air.

    As I said before, the one who makes the claim should provide evidence to support it. You seldom do, which is why you don’t have much credibility.

  25. Great post. The condition of our parks, streets, and overall homeless population is a constant embarassment to SF. Vistors are always shocked and disgusted. Throw in a zillion new condos to ruin the look of neighborhoods, a bunch of chain stores and hm wait, where did all thetourists go?? If Ed Lee could do ONE thing, why cant hey convey some of The Citys obscence wealth into clean parks, beaches, and streets???? W.T.F. This affects everyones quality of life. Is it really that hard Ed? Idiot.

  26. I know i am arguing with a brick wall, but whatever. That fact that you think diversity means “poor people” says a lot. The strength of any society, species, environment, company, city or country is in its diversity. Do you argue this point? A city needs teachers, firemen, waiters, artists, etc. Lets kick them all out to make way for some kids who were given million dollars to “disrupt” the way I buy toilet paper.

    A lot of this new wealth is built on top of itself. Startups with services for other employees of startups. That is a house of cards. Some stronger startups will remain but most of these will tumble down and these kids will have to learn how to interact with actual human beings to move forward in life.

  27. Btw, many people in the past moved here to run forward into the future, to break away from the closed minded think the rest of the country was offering. To be free to be who they wanted to be, without persecution. Away from The old world thinking of money being the only thing that matters. SF has proven to be ahead of the game on so many issues over the years. I fear we will lose that.

  28. They are people with mad skills in a few limited set of skills: computers or real estate really. A functioning community requires quite a few more disciplines. When the big outsourcing of these jobs heads to india and china, i wont be crying.

  29. These days, the people who move to SF are those with mad skills who want to succeed. A few decades ago, it was misfits and people who lacked the social and economic skills to flourish in other places – they cam here in order to never grow up.

    We are much better off now. We have become a city for winners

  30. How so. I see poor people everywhere I go in SF, same as most places.

    Interesting that progressives whines about inequality even though they think that diversity is a positive thing.

  31. Maybe not, but other measures are subjective. The amount of money you have or make is objective.

    And whether you like it or not, wealth is what most people actively pursue, and what people use to measure the success of others.

  32. That would carry more credibility if you provided evidence yourself. I am not “unable” to provide evidence. I am simply not going to expend effort looking it up when your counter claim is so obviously false. I am not your dancing bear and even people who dislike Lee generally admit that he has been popular.

    The real proof will be in November. I will let that speak for itself.

  33. Lets leave race out of it. I think overall diversity is whats shrinking. Cant you at least admit that that is happening?

  34. Recent transplant alert. The hubris is quite shocking. If you really think sf was a hippie theme park losers before you got here, then politely gfy, sir. This is exactly the attitude that everyone hates. Who moves into an area and acts like this? Spoiled children i guess. Bubble, please burst!

  35. Ed lee is a joke. Somebody please run against him. He is oblivious to the destruction of the communities going on around sf. he is a small man who is feeling like a big shot as developers and tech money kiss his ass to green light projects. He thinks they are his friends, with an amazing future vision for sf. They are just using him and raping sf. Ed, they will not return your calls after you are done being mayor. Sorry. And i hate to go there, but how happy are chinese billionaire to have ed lee. What does he tell them when he goes to china? Come on over! Build a skyscraper! Buy an apt building and kick out tenants! Its a gold rush, i will help!

    His plans to build our way out of our issues is ridiculous. The condo building is hideous. This is going to be remembered as one of the stupidist plans right there with tearing up the fillmore and western addition and building the embarcadero freeway. Why is there so much money in sf and we have homeless everywhere and our parks are a disaster. I mean really, wtf. WTF. FYI: in a couple more years our City will be such a joke that tourists will stop coming. Uhhhh, i think that might hurt the economy a WEE bit?? Thanks Ed, for nothing. Please go away. Werent you supposed to only do a half term? Ug i need to go vomit.

  36. You made one very interesting assertion of fact $am, that Ed Lee has consistently had approval ratings of over 60%. I asked you to provide documentation of this assertion. You apparently were unable to. This assertion therefore, is refuted.

    Unlike what you may have learned in your high school debating class, claims of fact must be supported by evidence. This is something you rarely do $am, which, along with your feudal values, makes you a poor participant in this forum.

  37. I made four assertions of fact. You have disproved none. If Lee wasn’t popular then there would be serious progressive challengers. There are not.

  38. Hmm, let’s see, Lee got 50% more votes than any other single candidate last time, is running almost unopposed, has consistently had approval ratings over 60% and is the mayor of a city at the centre of the most dynamic industries on the planet.

    Where is your “supporting evidence” that he’s not doing great?

  39. $am, your assertions of fact without supporting evidence never fails to amaze me. “The voters seem to like what they hear”? How do you know? There’s a lot of local polling going on right now and each survey asks a question about Ed Lee. Are you privy to any of these results? If so, please share and cite your source. If not, shut up and stick to the narrow and constricted base of facts where you actually do know something.

  40. Bob is correct. The only people I hear whining about the city are old people who have been here a long time and miss the supposed “good old times”.

    They/you would rather preserve SF as a hippie theme park for losers than be part of the excitement and opportunity of living in the global center of the knowledge and sharing economies.

  41. Wages have become a smaller component of worker comp, as bonuses and stock options have become the preferable types of compensation.

  42. Do you think all of Manhattan was laid out before there was development? Streets and subways and water mains laid out all the way to inwood?

  43. Comparing SF housing costs with SF salaries overlooks the fact that 500,000 SF workers do not live in SF. It assumes that everyone who works here has to live here, which is clear nonsense

  44. Thanks for confirming the provincial attitude that I’d expected. I’ve been here almost thirty years, not in tech but know many people who are and don’t feel my opinion is worth more than theirs because of the industry they work in.

  45. Those 30,000 clicks on 48Hills are all from the same 30 people who comment here.

    The idea that 30,000 different people regularly read this site is fanciful.

  46. SF has always been majority white and Asian.

    NYC, not so much, but you’re really describing only Mnhattan there.

    but so what? Are some races preferable to other races? Is it better to not be white or Asian? How many of each race do you think SF should have? And why?

  47. Progressives should have had six votes at the time. The problem was that none of them could agree on which one of them it would be, so it ended up being none of them.

    Which is fine by me because mayors could not be annointed.

  48. We are only in a housing crisis if you are a tenant in a non-controlled unit. Controlled tenants and anyone who wns their own home are doing great.

    The “crisis” is only a crisis because city policies create winners and losers.

  49. Why? Lee didn’t say anything that he hadn’t been consistently saying for five years now. The voters seem to like what they hear.

  50. How is the Mayor tone-deaf? I have no way to prove it other than election results, but it appears most people are happy with him. Or is it your message he is tone deaf too?

  51. Tech salaries are 50% in real terms of what they were in the late 1990s at the height of the dot.com boom as adjusted both for CPI inflation and housing price.

  52. Manhattan and San Francisco are converging, transforming from economically, ethnically and culturally diverse refuges into a playground for upscale culturally detached whites and Asians.

  53. How will news of this get out to the electorate? Will the Chronicle cover it critically? Will the 30,000 clickers on 48hills change their minds and begin to oppose Lee?

  54. Is it possible to possible to have to have prosperity without massive displacement and price inflation? Inflation in housing prices can lead to inflation in everything else leading to the decline in the value of the dollars you earn and standards of living

  55. This was not a fumble, this was progressives being thoroughly out-hustled. Progressives never “had” room 200, they made assumptions that made an ass out of u and me.

  56. No, not “again.” You wrote that “You must not have much faith in your fellow city residents and voters if you think they are stupid and can be bought” which implies that said that voters can be bought.

    I never said that, period. I’m not going off on some bizarre “Sam cloud” where every discussion has a thousand tangents of your idiocy.

  57. “Yes, the word was “mistakes,” as in moving too quickly to attract too many tech companies without first stabilizing existing vulnerable communities and figuring out where the newly arriving, high-paid workers were going to live.”

    I agree with this. You can’t really fault Lee for the decades of anti-growth policy that preceded him, but he certainly didn’t do enough to encourage new housing, build on city owned land, and acquire land for affordable development while it wasn’t $2k a square foot. I don’t think he said “housing crisis” prior to 2014.

  58. If my commitment of time and money to progressive politics is insufficient, then you’ve ruled out 99.9% of San Franciscans from your little club. I stopped throwing time and money at this problem once the sinecures folded tent and made accommodation with the neoliberals.

    It is never your opponent’s fault that you lose political contests. Either you blame the rentiers for doing what rentiers do and that does nothing to stop the rentiers or you adapt your approach to learn from defeat and make new, different attempts to win. Demanding that others jump on your sinking ship for the purposes of solidarity is a non-starter. It is not like there are two competing approaches here that both work. There are structural deficiencies in the coalition that cannot possibly win. Until those deficiencies are repaired, then winning is impossible. My participation or abstention has no bearing on that.

    The pattern here is that demands are made on the money and time of noncombatant San Franciscans by the professionals and once secured, those resources are turned against noncombatant San Franciscans for the benefit of the professionals. That is not a sustainable political model.

  59. Again, Conway’s money only matters if the voters are too stupid to see that they are being bribed. Are you really saying that your fellow voters are that stupid?

  60. The process whereby the supervisors can pick replacement mayor is fundamentally undemocratic. That inevitably leads to the playing of games.

    But if the progressives supervisors had not been distrustful of each other, one of them might be mayor today.

    Fumble.

  61. Prosperity is so harmful to progressive political interests. We need more despair, misery, failure and dependency in San Francisco. All this success is screwing up the curve. Come on Mirk, Dufty, social service agencies, do your jobs, bring ’em in and release them to the streets.

  62. Who said anything about my “fellow city residents”? Oh yeah, it was the voices in your head.

    Nobody (no potential candidate for mayor) want to run against Conway’s wallet and his dirty, possibly illegal, tactics.

  63. I believe that the mayor’s tone-deafness displayed at this event for all to see is going to hurt his agenda, including “his” candidates.

  64. It’s not a conversation that I have heard. Except perhaps in city residents enjoying the price appreciation of their homes and seeing how that can fund their retirement.

    I guess we just move in different circles. We’ll find out whose circle is bigger and more representative in November.

  65. You must not have much faith in your fellow city residents and voters if you think they are stupid and can be bought.

  66. Among the minority of leftist whiners, perhaps. The majority see great opportunities in this economic expansion and have little time for the NIMBY’s and doom-mongers.

    If most thought like you, Lee would not easily win mayoral elections

  67. So your views rest on the theory that poor welfare recipients are actually subsidizing the successful wealth creators?

    Good luck with that.

  68. Why should he? The left always fragments and turns on itself anyway. The endless finger-pointing and tribal schisms are as much a part of the left’s DNA as over-regulation and tax, borrow and spend.

  69. You have it the wrong way around. Lee won’t get an easy victory only because there is no real competition. But rather, there is no real competition because everyone knows Lee will win.

    Campos already lost last year, Avalos lost last time around. Ammiano came 4th the last time he ran for mayor and anyway is too old. Leno doesn’t want to risk his record of always winning an election. And everyone else was also on the mayoral ballot last time and did even worse than Avalos.

    Lee will win because he is popular. The fact that you don’t like him is a footnote.

  70. Bob: I was just in Manhattan three weeks ago, and the prices were lower there than they are here, especially property. We’ve become the laughing stock of the rest of the U.S. in this regard, and from what I was told by a friend who just returned from France, throughout Europe too. No, Bob, I’m not an aging baby boomer or use a dial-up modem to check my aol account. You sound like a typical techie who’s come into the city and thinks you own it all. I’ve lived in San Francisco most of my life. I know very few people in the city who have the snide attitude you do; you’re an example of the pig that most of us don’t want here. Change or die? Kiss my ass, Bob.

  71. Artistically, Manhattan is what it is because of its history – especially during WWII when many important artists fled Europe for New York. But it is no longer considered the center of the art world that it once was, in part, because artists have been priced-out of living there. San Francisco was never and will never be on the same level art-wise.

    Architecturally you are right on that. The problem is that developers want cheap, ugly buildings and NIMBYs can’t stand the thought of anything new and exciting.

    But if you think that everyone here who isn’t a baby boomer wants the city to Mahattanize, think again. The public infrastructure is horrible and languishing and NOTHING is being done about it – even though one would think that the city is flush with money.

    I support smart growth, doubling our population to 1.5 million. But not by building only luxury high-rise condos. There is plenty of room for 4-6 floor buildings (on vacant lots and also replacing 1-2 floor buildings) that would increase housing.

    Barcelona is actually smaller geographically than San Francisco, has twice the population and abundant and well-utilized public spaces. Right now we can’t have that because everything is determined by moneyed interests who don’t care about the city and are only here to make a profit or a political statement.

  72. Bob: I was just in Manhattan three weeks ago, and the prices were lower there than they are here, especially property. We’ve become the laughing stock of the rest of the U.S. in this regard, and from what I was told by a friend who just returned from France, throughout Europe too. No, Bob, I’m not an aging baby boomer or use a dial-up modem to check my aol account. You sound like a typical techie who’s come into the city and thinks you own it all. I’ve lived in San Francisco most of my life. I know very few people in the city who have the snide attitude you do; you’re an example of the pig that most of us don’t want here. Change or die? Kiss my ass, Bob.

  73. First: the only people still crying out in anguish over the concept of “manhattanization” are aging Luddite baby boomers using dial up modems to check their aol accounts. Have you been to Manhattan? Artistically and architecturally vibrant and truly multi cultural in a way that San Francisco pats itself on the back claiming to be but isn’t. San Francisco is Omaha with pretty hills.
    Second: there are a lot of people who have moved to San Francisco and continue to arrive. They think differently about the city than you do, and despite what you may think, they are San Franciscans too. You may not recognize the new city around you, but it’s as San Francisco as whatever time and or place that you fetishize as being uniquely quaint and charming SF. Change or die

  74. Thanks for focusing upon what is important. I can’t tell you how valuable your contribution to the discussion is. No really, I can’t.

  75. Tenants who pay their bills and maintain in good standing their contracts with their landlords are squatters.

    The poor who are being displaced should worry about the wealthy because the wealthy – who game the system to avoid taxes – are supporting the poor.

    Got it.

  76. Sam, tomtip or whoever you are today… your troll attitude is TIRESOME… and the idea that Lee’s re-election will be “emphatic” is OPINION. We’ll see, won’t we?

    If Lee wins by the margins everyone predicts the fact there is no strong competition will have a lot to do with it. Leno dropped his bid in a political calculation that had more to do with the money Lee amassed, less to do with his supposed popularity. It isn’t hard to amass a huge campaign war chest when all those profiting from policy driven boom times pay to play.

    Polling shows Lee’s popularity is a mile wide and an inch deep. If the voters are finally aroused by the powerful stench of corruption emanating from City Hall, then the 1,2 3 Beat Ed Lee candidates you mock may make a stronger showing than predicted.

    Politics– like war– is full of surprises. We’ll see, won’t we?

  77. Ma… I mean Foghorn, you’re forever scapegoating progressives from a purist POV. Give us a break. Quit yer yapping and join in common cause, reclaiming a modicum of your tarnished faith in the left.

  78. “The tone of Tim’s writing is that Ed Lee wants to do good, but that he’s being misled”—I don’t get that from the article at all, nor from anything else Redmond has ever written about Lee.

  79. For once, we agree. Ed Lee was very clear that he was running for mayor on a pro-jobs, pro-growth, pro-development, pro-business platform. And 50% more people voted for him over the anti-growth candidate, Avalos.

    Lee’s only crime is doing what we told him to do. And ignoring Redmond’s negative, nihilistic, regressive NIMBYism.

  80. The tone of Tim’s writing is that Ed Lee wants to do good, but that he’s being misled, and if he could only be informed of his errors, he would jump at the chance to mend his ways.

    Ed Lee is delivering precisely the outcomes he was put into office to deliver.

  81. The point of elections is that you or I do not need to base our opinions on the tiny self-selecting group of people that we happen to personally know.

  82. What part of a mayor getting 60% in a runoff election is not “clear” to you?

    What part of him cruising to an even more emphatic victory in November is not “clear” to you?

  83. It is never your opponent’s fault when you lose a political contest.

    Projecting progressive political collapse onto rentiers distracts from the corruption that inhibits a coherent progressive political response.

  84. The city IS doing well according to Mayor Lee’s perspective, which is all about turning it into another Manhattan… and he and some of the supervisors, as well as Park and Rec, are lining their pockets. We’d better all get very serious here in S.F. during the next election, or we won’t even recognize what’s left of San Francisco in two more years.

  85. Money never sleeps and the rentier trolls don’t either. The meme that the voters wanted the current outcome– hyper-gentrification, a glut of idiotic tech startups, swaggering tech bro arrogance, etc.– is OPINION. And it’s based on choices in an election four years ago when the results were not clear.

    Now that the invasion of a Republican-Libertarian mindset into San Francisco’s traditional progressive political space is in full force, we’ll see in the next cycles if the voters approve. Meanwhile, the trolls will spew nastiness using words like “whining” and becoming ever more open about the agenda, to end rent control so that their landlord greed can take full root.

  86. All Ed Lee ever had to do is give the voters what they overwhelmingly told him that they wanted – jobs, growth and development. He did that and Tim whines like a seven year old. What did Tim expect? That Lee would instead implement the anti-growth policies of Avalos that lost badly?

  87. If Lee was wrong on this he would be heading for a massive re-election defeat. Instead he is heading for an easy win. The voters have spoken.

  88. Rent control is a huge problem. In the short term it helps an entrenched minority who squat on a good deal. In the long term it deters property owners from renting out their units.

    How does it help renters to deter landlords from offering homes for rent?

    The best hope for the poor in the Bay Area is prosperity and an increase in the tax base. The worst hope for the poor is to drive out success and then find that there is nobody left to pay for welfare.

Comments are closed.

Sponsored link

Top reads

SF to pay $8 million after cops framed an innocent man for murder

Plus: An urban farm in the Portola, and shadows on two city parks ... That's The Agenda for July 26-August 1.

Review: Wangechi Mutu brings cosmic energies to Legion of Honor

Stunningly reverberating with the collection, 'I Am Speaking, Are You Listening?' tells different stories of art

The campaign against CRT is all about preserving white privilege

That's the story the right-wing politicians don't want to talk about—because it's still a very real part of American life.

More by this author

Muni director talks about cutting lines and changing focus

Post-COVID plans could alter the city's transportation policy in some profound ways.

SF to pay $8 million after cops framed an innocent man for murder

Plus: An urban farm in the Portola, and shadows on two city parks ... That's The Agenda for July 26-August 1.

How did the Housing Authority ignore awful conditions at Plaza East?

Western Addition public housing project has been a disaster -- but a private contractor ran it with very little oversight.
Sponsored link

You might also likeRELATED