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Saturday, October 16, 2021

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UncategorizedNew SF political group launches with fall election focus

New SF political group launches with fall election focus

VisionSF seeks to bring volunteers out for the key housing measure on the November ballot


By Tim Redmond

OCTOBER 3, 2015 – A new political group with roots in both arts and activism launches Saturday afternoon with a rally at Brava Theater on 24th Street aimed at getting volunteers for five November ballot initiatives that seek to change the city’s housing policies.

VisionSF was founded by a group of San Franciscans, led by author David Talbot, who were frustrated by the direction the city is going. From the group’s opening statement:

We are San Franciscans who don’t always agree on politics – but we are deeply concerned about the future of our city.

The San Francisco we love, the city and community we helped build over many decades, is being destroyed. The creative and diverse people who have made this one of the world’s great cities are being driven out by a housing crisis created by the worst city planning decisions we have ever seen. City Hall is increasingly dominated by a small number of very rich people who seem to have no connection to the heart of the city. The city has been handed over to forces of uncontrolled greed and expansion that have little or no concern for the city’s demographic mix or its world-renowned aesthetic beauty and cultural heritage.

The group’s steering committee includes Talbot, former City Attorney Louise Renne, former Supervisor Christina Olague, housing activist Calvin Welch, writer and community activist Julie Levak-Madding, of VanishingSF, and Gordon Chinn, former director of the Chinatown Community Development Center.

The event Saturday is designed to get people involved in the initiatives that Olague says collectively represent a step toward solving the housing and displacement crisis.

“We are often accused of opposing things, but progressives want to promote a better vision for the city,” she told me.

It’s not just speeches and politics; the event will feature music and video and comedy. Among the speakers and presenters:

Former Assemblymember (and comedian) Tom Ammiano; Sara Shortt, director of the Housing Rights Committee; Sup David Campos; and activist Cleve Jones.

Entertainment will include singer-songwriter Thomas Heyman, the Pangea Futbol Club,
and comedian Mike Evans. Filmmakers Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails will preview “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” and Christina Pelosi will show a trailer from her sister Alexandra’s documentary “San Francisco 2.0”
But the main idea is to generate energy for the fall election, particularly for Props. A, F, I, J and K.

Here’s the rundown on what those are:

Proposition A is a $310 million housing bond that has pretty much universal support at City Hall. It would provide money to rebuild dilapidated public housing and to construct new units at all levels of affordability. Nobody thinks this is the entire answer to the crisis, but it’s the first housing bond in some 20 years and it’s hard to find anyone who thinks it isn’t long overdue. The way the bond is set up, it won’t raise property taxes.

Proposition F would increase regulations on short-term Airbnb-style rentals. It would fill the gaping holes in the existing law, written by former Sup. David Chiu with the help of Airbnb’s lobbyists. The current law limits the number of nights a unit can be rented and mandates that only the owner of a place (or a tenant) can rent out his or her own space – in other words, a landlord can’t buy a building, evict all the tenants, and turn it entirely into an Airbnb hotel. But even the City Planning Department admits there’s no way to enforce that law. The rules require every owner to register his or her unit – but of the 6,000 or so places on the Airbnb market every night, only about 10 percent bothered to register. So there’s no way to track whether the hosts are following the law.

Prop. F would bar hosting platforms like Airbnb and VRBO from listing any units that don’t have city registration numbers. That means the platforms – in the case of Airbnb, a multibillion-dollar company – would have to take some responsibility for making sure that they and their hosts are following the law.

Proposition I would put an 18-month moratorium on new market-rate housing in the Mission District and would block any project that demolishes light-industrial space, currently known by planners as Production, Distribution, and Repair (or PDR). It would also mandate that the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors come up with a Neighborhood Stabilization Plan to prevent further displacement in a part of town that has been ravaged by the tech boom.

It’s not unusual for the city to designate certain neighborhoods for a temporary moratorium, and the supes voted 7-4 in favor of this plan. But that type of zoning control requires eight votes, to the proposal fell short – and community activists managed to gather enough signatures in a very short period of time to put it on the ballot.

Proposition J is an effort to preserve and save small businesses and nonprofits that have been around for decades – many of which are now facing displacement as landlords seek to rent space to higher-end users that serve the new technorati. Prop. J would give modest grants to small business that have been in San Francisco for more than 30 years and would give landlords a subsidy if they give long-term leases to those businesses and nonprofits.

Proposition K is a measure that would make affordable housing a priority when the city decides what to do with surplus land. San Francisco owns a lot of property, and some of it is underused. The measure ensures that any land the city isn’t using gets set aside for what right now is the absolute number one need: Housing for the people who work in this city.

The event starts at 2:30.

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. Wow, swinging back by a year later. Bitter resentment isn’t a good look on you, Jim. You get laid off from your cushy little tech job? Not have enough to do with your time?

  2. How did your hate campaign work out there for you? I will enjoy watching you turds flushed in November.

  3. Yep, capitalism cannot exist absent a heavily regulated environment.

    Libertarians are the four year olds of economic theory.

  4. So every day then, just like the Fed delivers?

    TARP, ZIRP, NIRP – whatever flavor junk you want as long as it’s “free”

    edit: haha “capitalism” – amirite?

  5. The actions of the US military keep the capital intensive aspects of petroleum exploration, production, refinement and distribution safe from disruption as well as keeps pliant often regimes willing to provide petroleum to the US in place. Absent those hundreds of billions spent per year, costs socialized for particular value, the very fragile and vulnerable system would collapse.

    Bring that shit on, Rand boy!

  6. You do know that petroleum exploration is funded by other nation states and private entities around the world, right?

    You seem to be conflating the actions of one nation with the globe.

    Libertarian Capitalism here in the US would arguably contribute very little to that global market.

  7. As a deep ecologist who opposes the industrial rape of the earth due to capitalism and communism alike, I welcome libertarianism because within moments, absent the warm coddling support of the state, resources coerced from the people to protect capital, the petroleum exploration, production and distribution system will collapse in no short order due to lack of enforcement at every point of vulnerability. The costs of petroleum would rise to shock levels were the costs of protection of that capital intensive system included in the price of the commodity rather than socialized through taxation.

    Please, bring libertarian capitalism on!

  8. “And if I am on the wrong side of freedom then why do most election results go the way I like, including the GOP takeover of the House and the Senate, and Ed Lee’s inevitable landslide re-election?”

    Um sure, why not?

    See my comment above.

    “You are not entitled to anything here.”

  9. “Most immigrants to the US come here for opportunity, for success and for the American Dream. They don’t come here for socialism, which barely exists here. They come toe scape from socialism. Nobody ever built a wall or fence to keep Americans in.”
    What on earth are you talking about? The US has been a beacon of socialism and social justice since WWII. Fence or wall building has nothing to do with socialism and a lot to do with cult of personality regimes e.g. Mao, Stalin, and Castro and failed non-communal and centralized executions of state run capitalism.

    So many of the things we take for granted here in the US to make our lives comfortable, to enrich ourselves both mentally and fiscally while feeling a sense of security both physical and financial security require the absolute socialist communal agreement and socialist fiscal policy.

    Roads / Highways, the military, VA, coop, credit unions, the police, libraries (non private), museums (non private), the IRS, 501c3s, 501c4s, 501c5s, 501c6s, PBS, fire departments, farm subsidies, corporate subsidies, corporate bailouts, TARP, ZIRP, NIRP, jails, the VA, Medicare, Medicade, “universal” healthcare, the CIA, the FBI, Unemployment Insurance (the scourge of socialism!), Unions, Union pensions funds, Federal and State Pensions, Welfare, FEMA, Public Defenders, NASA, OSHA, DOJ, DOE (especially DOE spending), the SEC, the National Park Service… there are literally hundreds of more examples.

    None of these things would exist outside of a socialist state because they all fundamentally operate in the public good and with a communal acceptance and… funding.

    Taxation enshrines our absolute adherence to socialist principals. To paraphrase Gavin Newsom “Whether you like it or not”.

    Individually each state’s ownership and control of property and sale of goods is absolute socialism when enacted in ‘the public good’ – e.g. state liquor boards, the SBOE, property use and taxes, rent control, land use laws etc etc

    Sure you can pretend that there’s free market that is guided by the “invisible hand” but it’s plain to anyone with a few brain cells to rub together that we’re operating in a completely controlled market where the market maker is the US Govt. acting on behalf of the people. It’s the biggest investor, the biggest customer, the biggest cheerleader and it’s all controlled.

    Are you familiar with modern socialism? Have you ever been to modern states in Europe? Africa? Asia? India? South America? Have you seen how things are run there?

    In 2015 The US socialist state run capitalism is only marginally better than Japan or South Korea.

    PS you’re still a coward and should be perma-banned under Disqus’ terms of service for being a troll. You are owed nothing and entitled to nothing online.

    PPS Tim has ALL of our emails – they’re in the disqus mod panel. If you ran your own website you would know this.

    Please be civil and do not reply.

  10. C’mon Starchild, I’ve successfully drawn rings around your ideology when we’ve chatted in person to the point where you have nothing left to say.

  11. OH, and BTW – you simply assume I have a blanket hatred of tech, which I don’t. HOWEVER, when I close my eyes and think of the stereotypical techie that I *do* tend to hate – guess what? It’s a white dude.

  12. Oh fuck you, anti-tech = anti-asian. Race baiting know-nothing. If you actually looked at the link, you’ll see it breaks down per employee type. Go lecture someone you’re smarter than… oh, wait, that’d be child abuse.

  13. I suppose it’s a positive sign of progress that so many people and groups are getting attacked with allegations of being “libertarian” these days — even those who, like Oboed, clearly indicate a conservative perspective (“most election results go the way I like, including the GOP takeover of the House and the Senate, and Ed Lee’s inevitable landslide re-election”). The freedom movement’s ideas are spreading, and some people obviously see this as a threat.

    Treating libertarians as the enemy doesn’t seem very smart on the part of those leftists who do it though. Why alienate the swing voters and risk making them see you as the enemy and conservatives as their friends when you could instead court them and seek to build bridges on issues where we agree, and get more of the opposite result?

  14. ACS data includes all workers and is not a cherry picked self-selected group as your data is. Anti tech hatred *is* anti-Asian hatred.

    There is a long history of anti-immigrant anti-Asian politics in San Francisco, read up on the history of the Asiatic Exclusion League and the anti-Asian race riots of 1907. This crowd is just the most current incarnation of this kind of nativism.

  15. Recently I asked Louise Renne (a prominent member of this new political group featured here) what her vision for the City was. She could not articulate one, except to talk about how the city was changing too much and too fast, that we needed to be able to drive and park our cars as we had in the past, and that we need to build parking to match the number of anticipated new residents. In fact, her whole vision could perhaps be summed up as “Where is my parking space tomorrow?” Having heard so many good things about Renne in the past, I was profoundly disappointed to find someone so stuck in the past. We need mobility solutions, not more parking. We need market rate and lots of innovative ways to fund below market rate housing, not curbs on density or building new office and residential buildings. Renne and this new group’s vision is profoundly reactive, neither historically sound nor forward thinking.

  16. Most data shows that vast majority of tech workers are white, so it’s not a race card being played so much as it is a red herring being thrown out to tar this group with accusations of racism:


    Sure, asians make a strong showing when you lump together the entire continent / sub-continent, but there’s hardly grounds for this accusation of anti-asian racism.

  17. Who the Hell cares if a company is half white, 2/3 white or all white?? If you don’t like their hiring policies, then don’t buy their products.

  18. If you care about the environment, you would be in favor of more construction because city dwellers use less resources than suburbanite or rural dwellers.

  19. I arrived here in early October and voted one month later in November 1989. My first vote was to create the SF Transporation Authority.

  20. The SFIC/CCHO is hardly NIMBY. They’re all too willing to “play ball,” as in cut crap deals with developers so long as they get paid their fee. Most of their back yards are nowhere near where luxury housing is infesting San Francisco.

  21. You are a troll because you regurgitate the applicable libertarian line by rote in response to whatever comes down the pike. When challenged, you play stupid or make personal attacks. It is not what you believe in, rather how you engage that makes you a troll.

  22. Shaw has created not one single unit of housing, he master leases SROs from the landlords and subleases them to tenants on authoritarian terms.

  23. “The percentage of Asian tech workers grew from 39 percent in 2000 to just more than 50 percent in 2010 in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties combined, according to Census Bureau statistics.”

  24. It’s worse than just the Groundhogs Day effect, it’s like these people have all come out of the woodwork, thinking they’re relevant again.

  25. “We need to engage in real planning for the future, not this stop everything idea that vanishingsf proposes.”


  26. Is there more diversity on the steering committee than is reported? Because I looked up the bios of all the members listed and sure enough, they are all proud members of the Me Generation. I am so tired of Boomers trying to tell the rest of us what to do and how to do it. They also only have one person of color in their group, which is kind of pathetic.

  27. I agree with you 100% on these things. We need to build enough housing, but also enough Muni lines, enough parks and enough schools to support them. We need to engage in real planning for the future, not this stop everything idea that vanishingsf proposes.

  28. Tim Redmond is not a reliable narrator of the past, I have pointed out his inaccuracies many times here. The only housing Progressives wanted built during the 90s was subsidized housing. I used to read the Bay Guardian every week and not once do I remember them taking a stance in favor of market rate housing.

    If history is as you claim, you should be able to come up with some old stories in The Guardian or quotes from HANC or BHDC or perhaps from Tom Ammiano or Sue Hestor. If you can prove your stance, I will change my mind on this.

    The only person who I would consider a Progressive leader who fought for more housing in San Francisco was Chris Daly. It was part of a deal to get more low income housing, but still, he fought the food fight and won and now there is space for thousands of more people here now thanks to his hard work.

    Why don’t you tell me what you do for a living first and then I will share what I do. I am not a real estate developer.

  29. “Most tech workers are in fact Asian and not white and I detect more than a hint of anti-Asian racism in the mostly white anti-displacement crowd.”

    Care to provide data that shows that most tech workers in SF are Asian? And you playing the race card is total bullshit.

  30. My ‘rigid’ ideology has been consistent for about 20 years: We need a 20-30 year plan to smartly grow San Francisco’s population to 1.5 million. What we have is, yes, ridiculous barriers, some caused by NIMBYs, combined with free marketeers who think that they should be able to build whatever they want where ever they want and city officials, politicians and a city planning office that are all incompetent or worse, accepting money from those who will benefit from breaking rules and/or ignoring problems.

    And not all citizens who stop projects are NIMBYs. There is a legitimate concern by some regarding what type of urban landscape is appropriate for San Francisco. I think it is a fair concern and instead of reacting to this bullshit “crisis” we should instead be planning for the future with full transparency about what each vision will look like 20 years from now.

  31. It will be interesting to see if they come up with anything other than the tired refrain of “build no market rate housing” which Progressives have been forcing on San Francisco for the last 40 years. Progressives held a majority on the Board of Supervisors from 2000 until 2010 and also during the Art Agnos days.

    Most tech workers are in fact Asian and not white and I detect more than a hint of anti-Asian racism in the mostly white anti-displacement crowd. Please don’t race bait, especially when your statements are easily verifiable as false. The percentage of San Francisco that is non-Latino white has been steadily declining for at least 30 years. Nothing recently has changed that.

  32. What makes you a troll Sam is that you are congenitally NASTY. You begin with nastiness, perpetuate nastiness and end with nastiness that drives out others, except those who routinely fall for the aggressive baiting, witness this ping pong thread.

    What makes you a troll Sam is that you are repetitive. You almost never have any new information to offer, or an imaginative perspective. There are plenty of conservatives I have enormous respect for. You’re not one. You’re a hack.

    What makes you a troll Sam, is that you’re pathologically arrogant, that’s it’s about pure domination by whatever means for you, never about wit. You don’t fence, you bludgeon. In short, you’re a bully.

    PS Capitalism IS war, war on nature, war on the human commons, war of all against all with a handful of winners and masses of losers. State socialism is no better, but my children’s generation will create something new and more humane or perish. My progressive SF community rejects capitalism. We’re a minority, but a potent one.

  33. Actually both were participants in the problem. It is only your rigid ideology which keeps you from seeing this fact.

  34. Sure we do. How else do you explain Social Security, Medicare and the national highway system? We don’t do quite as much as Northern Europe yet, but that is easily remedied.

  35. I have no view on who should live here, as long as they add value to the city and do not need subsidies from those who do.

  36. Sam is not concerned in the least over skyrocketing rents – he just believes that you don’t belong in SF like he does

  37. Inequality doesn’t matter if it is merely a reflection of some people being very successful and creating much wealth. In fact it is desirable

    Detroit is much more equal than SF, but I do not see you moving there.

  38. SF beats every city in the country for inequality, over-priced housing and catering to the extreme rich – SF has surpassed every city; you cannot even compare SF to New York or LA – apples and oranges and the greed just oozes everywhere in SF – however, this extreme hubris will not end well

  39. My main interests are Europe and the booming developing economies of Asia. Can’t say I really care about other places – what have they ever done for me?

  40. Was it resisting Manhattanization that led to the forest of high-rise office buildings in downtown?

    A job well done, evidently.

  41. “We” have been supporting murderous regimes “south of the border” since “the Halls of Moctezuma.” The most recent wave of “Mexicans” are mostly indigenous people from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, as well as Mexico; all countries “we” have a long history of destabilizing through economic terrorism, coups, and the “war on drugs.” As for Asia, large numbers of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, and Thai people are still coming here as direct consequence of the war on Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos. You obviously don’t think anybody is a “people” except Euro’s, but that’s why we love you Sam.

  42. Give it a rest Sam. You lost, the Nazi Ukrainians lost, the “rebels” attempting to overthrow Assad lost, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya are lost, and soon Lebanon, Yemen, and Palestine will be lost to “America.”

  43. Excess capacity is a stretch, but I did address that…

    Even in a housing glut, new residents add to supply and demand. There are exceptions.

    If you needed a 1 bedroom for $1,600, and you’re a single mom who wants to get out of a bad Ingleside block, and move just 6 blocks over, you would have had to compete with families immigrating, and piling in, or the single person, with a decent job,and okay credit, moving from the Midwest, maybe with some relocation money. Who gets the apartment?

    Nobody wants to remember that Bernal Heights, with all it’s supposed progressives, was the most inflated market in the city by 1990-92. At the time, Bernal was still pretty scrappy. Why isn’t it scrappy today? We have 20 somethings crying about 360% rent increases, but lost is the turnover we had going back to 1977 or whatever. People like David Talbot will foam at the mouth about Tech, because it’s topical, and fresh kale for his social group, but there was someone there before his friends moved to town.

    But let’s take it further….
    How long before you voted?

  44. Yes, because mobile devices do not work outdoors.

    I’m starting to see why you don’t earn enough to afford to live here

  45. Ducking is not something you can claim. You respond to every post, stalking and harassing me seemingly for no reason other than that you disagree with me but cannot refute me.

  46. That’s enough mindless preaching from you on this Sunday, Spam. I’m going out to enjoy one of the many SF parks built by that evil socialist WPA. [Unsubscribed.]

  47. Earl provided data and Rag trotted out cliches. The contest wasn’t even close. Destroyed? crushed? Annihilated? It’s all the same

  48. It is perfectly reasonable that if you are going to ask other people for money so that you can afford to stay in SF, that you be required to demonstrate your value to those whom you are asking to pay your bills.

  49. No bargains, maybe, depending on how you define that term. But still 45% cheaper than SF, meaning that tens of thousands of people who cannot afford SF can afford Oakland

  50. “If Tim has a problem with me, he has my email address. ”

    Ditto for me being civil – Tim has my email address. See how that works? If you don’t like my colorful language and apt descriptions of you, you should find another site.

    And your idea that your comments dominate this blog because “other people not posting, presumably because they cannot answer my points. Some people would rather duck than admit defeat.” reveals what an arrogant bastard you are.

  51. As Tim Redmond has pointed out, progressives wanted housing at a time during those years when downtown had a hard-on for constructing high-rise office buildings. Resisting Manhattanization was a good thing.

    Hey, do you have anything to do with the business of real estate? If so, you really should disclose it so that we know you have something to sell.

  52. And when Sara Shortt contextualized her piece in Medium about Prop F with “been working on housing issues in San Francisco for almost 20 years,” my immediate reaction was that of Donald Dasher in John Waters’ “Female Trouble” when an applicant to the Lipstick Beauty Salon worked for the Telephone Company: DISQUALIFIED!

    Given their product, you’ve got to really wonder if they want 50%+1 or more people to vote their way or if they just want to be seen taking a righteous stand.

  53. The Ukrainians I know are a lot more worried about Russia. You do not move from the Ukraine to the USA because you love Russia and hate America.

  54. Sounds like the problem is other people not posting enough, thereby artificially boosting the percentage that you claim. (Although did you seriously count all my posts? That’s weird)., Presumably because they cannot answer my points. Some people would rather duck than admit defeat.

    If Tim has a problem with me, he has my email address. The one email I got from him thanked me for my valuable contributions and enthusiasm for his site. I’d be willing to bet he hasn’t told you that.

    If you don’t like the vibrant and civil debates here, maybe YOU should find another site.

  55. But you keep on engaging me by responding. But never on the topic – only to throw out a childish personal attack.


  56. Again, no data, just a pick list of favorite socialist demons.

    Not everyone can afford to live in SF and many who are here should not be and do not need to be. If you really are of economic value to the community, then you will be paid enough to live here. If your paycheck doesn’t cover the rent, chances are you are disposable.

  57. Wrong. I supported the Central Subway, BART extensions, the new terminals at SFO and HSR.

    But they are generally funded by state or federally. They do not raise local property taxes.

  58. I agree, but I think I am a classic NIMBY rather than these Vision folks who don’t really want to buld new homes anywhere in the city.

    And I happen to live in a hilly leafy part of the city where density and height are not architecturally and infrastructurally possible anyway.

    My real beef is when someone claims to support affordable housing and then simultaneously claims that we should not build anything anywhere. That is oxymoronic.

  59. This is true. But demographics may help because boomers are approaching the age where they get sick, disabled or die off. All those units hoarded off the market by rent control and Prop 13 could be freed up in the next couple of decades. If that coincides with an economic slump, then SF would become affordable again. Never cheap, but affordable.

    And of course many millenials will inherit those valuable pieces of real estate.

    I’d give natural causes a much better shot at creating affordability than 100 VisionSF circle jerk meetings

  60. Welch has devoted his entire life to achieving housing affordability in the city, and the city has the least affordable housing in the nation. What does he think we could possibly expect from him that would improve that situation that he hasn’t already thought of, tried and failed with?

  61. Nope, they have feel good progressive circle jerks every time they want to latch their vampire squid blood funnels into noncombatant San Franciscans for free labor and money.

  62. I just read the list of people behind this and attending. Good god, this has to be the biggest feel-good progressive circle jerk I’ve ever seen. No doubt they’ll be attending this via transit powered by their own sense of self-satisfaction.

  63. Isn’t Shortt a Trust Fund baby from New England who came here to save San Francisco from itself?

  64. If you really want to solve the problem of rising housing costs, you have to be honest about all the causes, not just cherry pick the ones that make you feel good about yourself. If you prefer to pontificate to your ideological allies how bad the tech buses are, be my guest. Just don’t be surprised when you attempt to solve things is either ignored (which it most likely will be in the current political climate) or succeeds in actually making things worse, which misguided initiatives like Prop I will do.

    The Millennials can see how badly Progressives have screwed everything up. They can see how the Old Guard Boomer’s got what they wanted for 40 years and caused a housing crises. They are not stupid. They want to be able to afford to live here and most of them want to stay and grow old here, but they can’t figure out how to afford it. They realize that the common sense solution is to build more housing. The Boomers have had their way for so long they don’t realize that there is a new generation rising that is going to push them aside if they continue to be obstructionists.

  65. You are not a NIMBY but you don’t want any construction in your neighborhood: you just want construction in someone else’s neighborhood. Guess what? That makes you a NIMBY.

  66. Show me where this map is. If you wish, I can list the 50 or so neighborhoods and we figure out which ones are getting new “monster” sized construction on them. I am sure it is much less than half of them.

    If we are talking about those currently under construction it is much less than 1/4. Only The Mission, Mission Bay, Rincon Hill, SOMA, The Financial District, Lower Haight and The Tenderloin have anything like that going on right now that I can think of.

  67. So you are opposed to using the public purse to build roads, schools, railroads, water and sewer plants and other public infrastructure? You really are some kind of fringe libertarian.

  68. Did members of VisionSF vote for this or did the nonprofit hacks on their board vote to endorse it? Oh, yeah, it is not a member org and it will not exist after the election. Just another Popular Front operation to get the electoral goods and then fold.

  69. I’m still standing. Theories of green cities like that 2012 Citylab piece are totally undone by the advent of the gig economy. Literally tens of thousands of amateur car services currently clog SF’s streets–many coming from the suburbs at peak traffic times.

    We’re talking Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, Postmates, Task Rabbit, Caviar and on and on (not to mention Google Shipping and Amazon Express). Last December, Lyft alone claimed to have 35,000 local individual drivers. This is in addition to the unlimited number of giant tour buses allowed on city streets, out of the purview of the SFMTA.

    In this climate of deregulation, none of this has been measured for environmental impact, CEQA or otherwise. This is no small thing.

  70. There was no housing shortage when many of us moved here, there was excess capacity and prices reflected that.

  71. And they come here to get their resources which we are forced to subsidize a military to take from them.

  72. This is not original or intelligent, it is recycled nastiness. Do you expect for Calvin Welch to be involved with anything that empowers San Franciscans to meaningfully participate in taking government away from the neoliberals who pay his tab?

  73. The CCHO/SFIC poops out groups like this before every election where their economic interests are at stake. They’ve done this basically five times in the past ten years with names like the progreessive convention, congress or whatever. Because the CCHO/SFIC is put into place to ensure that there is no actual organizing going on, they will dissolve this once they’ve gotten what they want–Prop A passed, Prop C defeated so that they can get their city money and lobby for it without having to disclose to San Franciscans how our tax dollars are used to lobby for more tax dollars for commuter operators all while the underlying problems of housing and homelessness get worse and worse.

    Prove me wrong.

  74. Hmmm. Go to hardly strictly bluegrass or go watch a bunch of tired, old progs trot out the same old fact free, idiotic nonsense that got us here in the first place. HSB for me.

  75. Refusing to engage you and indulge your troll-like behavior is no indication of my ‘ability’ to refute anything.

  76. The demand for civility here comes from Tim. A big part of that is not posting only to attack another contributor. I adhere to Tim’s request; why don’t you.

    Again, the moderation criteria here are set by Tim because he is paying for the bandwidth here. Tim values my contributions and that should be good enough for you.

    As for being repetitive, that accusation could be leveled at anyone here. Has anyone failed to notice that all the regulars here have a regular shtick that they parlay over and over? Perhaps it is sad that nobody here ever convinces anyone else of anything. Or perhaps that is what conviction means. Either way, it’s a redundant issue.

    Most immigrants to the US come here for opportunity, for success and for the American Dream. They don’t come here for socialism, which barely exists here. They come toe scape from socialism. Nobody ever built a wall or fence to keep Americans in.

    And if I am on the wrong side of freedom then why do most election results go the way I like, including the GOP takeover of the House and the Senate, and Ed Lee’s inevitable landslide re-election?

  77. tomtip • 12 hours ago

    This election is an easy one.

    Yes on D. No on the rest. Re-elect Lee. Dump Mirk the wife beater.

  78. You are routinely dismissed as a troll because your commentary on 48hills is boring, repetitious ad nauseum and blatantly redundant to the political viewpoint of the majority of the readers and commenters here.

    Your failure to recognize that or accept it doesn’t excuse you or make you some imaginary pariah in a non existent community. You are a legend in your own tea-time.

    You are a coward with no robust ideology. That is plain.

    Your very presumption of entitlement to a “voice” here – in the comments section on 48hills – combined with a childish convenient construct of “civility” in light of your now self-admitted deceit would be grounds to immediately blacklist you on Disqus’ own terms of service.

    To take one of your own lines. You are not entitled to anything here.

    Have you ever considered that emigrants come here to fulfil the socialist vision of so many post war American Presidents? That seems to be the case in the past 40 years of social and economic progress in this country.

    Have you ever considered that you are on the wrong side of the current and future definition of freedom?

  79. you have not looked at the map of where things are being built?
    check socketsite_SF and the recent efforts by Mayor Lee to densify by adding 3 stories all over the place… everyneighborhood is going to get some now….

  80. But Gary, I think their point is, you moved in, like every other transplant, taking an opportunity away from someone who already resided in the city, probably in the same neighborhood, who needed a place to move to. You’re in a neighborhood that’s over 80% renters, so even if you moved during a housing glut, you took an opportunity for someone to move out of a lesser desirable area, who could still be there today.

    This isn’t a new problem, it’s just been magnified.

  81. Agreed, although there is an extant plan to up-zone the Sunset district out in the Avenues, at least on the corners of major intersections and transit routes.

    Not so much in the grand scheme of things – maybe a few thousand over a few years.

    But the east-side will always bear the brunt of new build, because that is where rail, freeways, buses and ferries all provide the necessary infrastructure, and that is where most of the new jobs are.

  82. Yes, Gary has carefully refined his definition of “new resident” to exclude people exactly like him.

  83. You can still displace someone even if you did not evict them. The act of bidding for a rental or home purchase will cause someone else’s bid to fail. Your presence, and your ability to bid more than them, effectively displaces them.

  84. You asked a specific question and I answered. Now, being the troll that you are, you are attempting to project my answer into something that it is clearly not.

    Go away, troll.

  85. how convenient for you. So you approve of new residents as long as they replace former residents which are deceased?

  86. Far and away the largest number of immigrants to SF are from either “south of the border” or from Asia. Neither, with the possible exception of Vietnam (or Japan if jthomas is really old) have we fought a war with in living memory.

  87. I guess I live in a better part of town.

    But in any event, we have immigrants from all over the world, most of which we have never waged war on.

  88. You identified the problem as “people moving here” (and I’m sure you moved here from elsewhere too, and so are a part of the cause of the problem).

    Making a unsubstantiated claim like that without offering any solution is pointless. And if your solution isn’t stopping these people moving here, than what?

  89. You didn’t make any substantive comments. You just trotted out your usual combination of hate for anyone who succeeds along with some handed-down third rate socialist cliches.

    You claimed that I want to see high rents. I pointed out a very close by location where rents are still affordable.

  90. That’s not what I wrote, nor is any solution indicated or implicit within what I wrote. Once again, you are delusional.

    And stop fantasizing about incest. The is a family blog.

  91. Very little housing is being built outside of downtown. What is being built in the sunset, Richmond, marina, pac heights, west portal, north beach, Russian hill, bernal heights neighborhoods that is “legoland” – nothing

  92. Great. So all we have to do is ban people from moving here, pull up the drawbridge, and become an incestuously inbred community. Perfect.

  93. OK, so you still have no data or arguments to back up your prejudices?

    Rents in Oakland are 45% cheaper than in SF. You can find much cheaper rents by moving just a few miles and minutes away. sometimes you have to make the effort yourself instead of trying to make others solve your problems.

  94. The only people that ‘created’ the current housing crisis is the 30,000 people who decided to move here in the last 4 years.

  95. TL:DR. Group of NIMBYs, some of which literally helped get us into this current mess, rebrand themselves as the opposite of what they stand for. Second verse, exactly the same as the first.

  96. Oof! Who’s the cliche-monger, ya third-rate McCarthyite relic?

    I repeat, Spam: please stop pretending to be concerned with skyrocketing rents when that’s exactly what you hope for.

  97. Earl produces irrefutable evidence, data and statistics to make his case, and all you have got in return is a few socialist cliches and to call everyone else a troll.

  98. I already explained my position on A. While I think it’s a cute gesture to build some subsidized homes, my “No on A” is simply reflective of the fact that I always vote down anything that increases taxes or borrowing, with the exception of some public safety items.

    The main thrust of the discussion here is the city’s woeful record of building market-rate homes, which of course require no subsidy. We wouldn’t even need to purposefully build subsidized homes if we had enough market-rate homes to go around.

    Prop A will create a relatively small number of units for a few very fortunate lottery winners. I prefer a policy that doesn’t raise taxes and helps everyone by putting a serious dent in the supply/demand imbalance.

    The only “rigid ideology” here is the ridiculous notion that going all NIMBY and building nothing will somehow magically make SF housing cheap again.

  99. “…SF Progressives engage in debating housing issues, and it’s not difficult to imagine that a city governed by policies generated with that type of reasoning would end in disaster.”

    Riiiight. Much better to leave housing policies in the hands of money-grubbing developers, absentee investors, and bought politicians like His Whoreship Lee.

    And trolls, please stop pretending to be concerned with skyrocketing rents when that’s exactly what you hope for.

  100. > (Never a mention of natural resource scarcity from you real-estate shills.)

    There’s a large body of research on various aspects of the wastefulness of suburban sprawl and the virtues of high density.


    I would point out that our little exchange here is a case in point on the fact free manner in which SF Progressives engage in debating housing issues, and it’s not difficult to imagine that a city governed by policies generated with that type of reasoning would end in disaster.

  101. “So, what’s the rather obvious conclusion? Tamp down on market rate construction?”

    Yes, tamp it down. Slow it down. Those of us who don’t want to turn S.F. into L.A. will vote accordingly. (Never a mention of natural resource scarcity from you real estate shills.)

  102. So you are voting against a measure (which is supported by VisionSF) which would “provide people with much-needed homes” because of your rigid ideology.

  103. > News flash: there’s scarcely a city block that isn’t getting an enormous, market-rate monster planted on it.

    There is a phenomena called confirmation bias. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

    Fortunately, actual statistics are compiled on the number of units constructed and therefore we don’t need to argue over who’s perception is correct. SF has added the following number of total net units (including BMR), city wide.

    2010 1230
    2011 269 (!)
    2012 1317
    2013 1960
    2014 3514

    less than 10,000 units. A fraction of what it would take to keep up with population growth, let alone make a dent in the housing deficit.
    This is documented by the SF planning department in their yearly report:


    What was the population growth in those same years? The US census estimates 45,000+ new residents since 2010. That’s net change, so it doesn’t count the 10,000s of people who’ve been displaced by the high cost of housing.


    Given just the last five years, to say nothing of the two decades of inaction prior, it’s not surprising SF has at least a 100,000 unit housing deficit:


    So, what’s the rather obvious conclusion? Tamp down on market rate construction?

  104. Shortt is useless as well. This bunch are NIMBY regressives who have created the mess we are in, along with Hestor of course.

    Shaw is probably the only progressive who has actually created housing in this town. And so naturally the rest of the left hate him.

  105. Hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents have achieved financial security through investing in real estate. There is no shame in taking risks, providing capital and investing to provide people with much-needed homes.

    F and J are just more of the same ol’ policies that got us into this mess in the first place. Interesting however that you do not mention A which is the only Prop that will actually create some new homes. I’m voting against it anyway but only because I oppose all bond measures and tax increases unless they are for public safety.

  106. Wow, this is a really limp organization!

    Campos (the sellout)

    Ed Lee “Run Ed Run” co-chair Olague

    David Talbot (who keeps talking blabber about Ed Lee’s “progressive” roots.

    Gordon Chinn—poverty pimp? Or am I being unfair?

    Totally uninspirational, save for Shortt

  107. “F will become as unaffordable as Monaco.”

    Why your trolling comes off as totally disingenuous, Spam: you care about property values and profits, NOT affordability. You hold renters and average workers in contempt, as you’ve made clear in hundreds of comments. So when you pretend to take sides with them, your bullshit is at its most obvious.

    I don’t believe a word you say, and you can be damned sure I’ll campaign for Props. F and J.

  108. “Houses” in this context generally means homes. Building a lot of new single family homes is irresponsible and, moreover, that is not where the demand is.

    If those condos and loft and town houses being built are “lego” then they would not sell or rent, but they do.

  109. The suburbs already house 500,000 SF workers. They are doing more than their fair share and we are doing less.

    You’d expect the downtown of any urban area to be higher and denser and that is what we are. Given that the land is fixed and the population is growing, we must build higher and denser. I feel sure that the western districts will remain lower-rise if you really value that more suburban feel.

  110. “Nice” cities are typically more expensive cities. You want “nice” without the price, which means you want someone else to subsidize your aspirations.

  111. GI, dismissing any one who disagrees with you as a “troll” is just one of the many ways that SF progressives show their intolerance towards a diversity of views. A robust ideology should be able to withstand criticism, but by lashing out with personal attacks at those critics, you show your own inability to convince and persuade. My purpose here is to improve your arguments by showing you where they are weak.

    Oh, and I only change my noms de plume because of stalking from people like you. Engage here in a more civil manner and that would stop.

    To your point, you claim Vision SF is new and hopeful, but the reality is that it is just a ragbag of the same progressive policies that we have been trying for 40 years now. More rent control, more restriction on how you can use your home, more NIMBYism, more subsidies and where has that gotten us? To the current mess. Your “solutions” are actually the cause of the problem.

  112. As usual, the trolls dominate the comments on 48H driving out anything original or intelligent with recycled nastiness. That’s really too bad. Redmond ought to hire a real human being as a moderator. When 48H went to Disquis, Sam, Son of Sam, Son of Son of Sam and the rest of the gang just changed their logons to continue the aggressive baiting. And the ping pong battles that devolve to one-liner stupidity go on, and on, and on. But that’s the point, to turn what could be a real community with all sides weighing in into a wasteland where no one but swaggering, pathological bullies want to go.

    VisionSF is a new and very hopeful movement for our city. I was at preliminary meetings and know many of the core participants, about 40 people in all so far. VisionSF is progressive San Francisco reinventing itself, attempting to rise from the ashes of the corrupt Mayor Lee Regime and trying to stem the tide of global capitalism in its high tech variant which is invading and reshaping San Francisco into an all white city of gold rushers.

    Can this be done? At this point, the progressives who have always been a minority in SF– albeit a culturally and politically powerful minority– are experiencing both ideological burn out as well as demographic replacement by gentrification. SF may well turn into an urban hip version of San Ramon, a city with a guard house at each entrance checking for income and net worth.

    But it’s damn well worth a try. Because we have a storied tradition of counter-culture and innovation in politics. If any city has a hope of beating back the dark forces of capitalism, it’s San Francisco.

  113. If living and working in a nice city that isn’t overpopulated and governed by pay-for-play politicians makes my opinion irrelevant, then so much for democracy, Ms. Liberty.

  114. I am pretty sure we are already as unaffordable as Monaco. I was looking at Monaco condos last month and they are comparable to our new construction in cost.

  115. Agreed. Many progressives appear to believe that SF housing can be made magically affordable if only we tax and regulate more. Sadly 40 years of exactly those policies is a major component to why houses here cost so much.

    Ultimately there is no substitute for building enough new homes.

  116. True. Most of the build in concentrated in the central and eastern areas. This makes sense because that is where the best infrastructure is, and where the demand is. But all of SF has to have new build, and we need to increase heights and densities, or SF will become as unaffordable as Monaco.

  117. There has been supply but it has been woefully inadequate. SF will exceed a million people in the next decade or two, and they can’t all live in the suburbs.

  118. The rate of construction of market-rate homes is well below the rate of increase in demand for them. Either we build more or the price goes up.

  119. All of those things are contributing causes. You conveniently ignore some based your ideology. I think your ideological blinders make you a poor choice to help make policy decisions.

  120. We built 7,500 units in the last five years and added over 45,000 new residents. Where is all this new housing that has been built recently that you speak of?

  121. No, no new housing being built anywhere in the city. Except EVERYWHERE! That’s why you sound so ridiculous.

  122. Wha’, huh? We’re not getting market-rate housing? News flash: there’s scarcely a city block that isn’t getting an enormous, market-rate monster planted on it.

  123. Too many babies are being born. Too many people think they deserve to live in SF who can’t afford it. Too many people feel it is beneath them to live in the suburbs even though that is all they can afford. Too many immigrants show up here.

    If only we could make SF a shitty dump, then people won’t want to move here any more.

  124. No relevant response? Just an insult? Not worthy of you. The reality is that NIMBYism drives up the cost of housing because it reduces the supply of new homes without changing the demand fr them.

  125. You forgot the Twitter Tax break, Uber, Chinese investment, Google Buses, Academy of Arts, Monster in the Mission, Mannhatinization and tech communes — in short everything except building enough market rate housing to accommodate SF’s rapidly expanding population.

  126. It’s fine for people to be NIMBY’s. I am a NIMBY myself when it comes to my immediate neighborhood. But those who are city-wide NIMBY’s should at least acknowledge that that approach makes housing less affordable.

    You can be a NIMBY or an advocate for affordable housing. You cannot credibly be both at the same time.

  127. NIMBYs? Oh, horrors! Worse than commies! (Actually, real estate speculators, lack of AirBnB oversight, techie influx, a venal mayor, and eviction abuse are some of the true culprits.)

  128. Yeah, let’s give the same NIMBY crowd who created the current housing crises more power over city policy. I don’t think so.

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