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UncategorizedThe Agenda, Nov. 9-15: What comes next in SF...

The Agenda, Nov. 9-15: What comes next in SF politics …

… And two great birthday parties, for a young labor organization and a veteran community newspaper

An event not to be missed: Angela Davis helps celebrate five years of Jobs with Justice
An event not to be missed: Angela Davis helps celebrate five years of Jobs with Justice

By Tim Redmond

NOVEMBER 9, 2015 – A weakened mayor, a revitalized Board of Supervisors, and elections a year away that could expand or devastate the shaky progressive majority on the board … all during a worsening housing crisis. That’s the shape of San Francisco politics for the next 12 months.

The election of Sup. Aaron Peskin doesn’t guarantee that every progressive measure anyone has dreamed about will pass and become law. On most votes, Sups. David Campos, John Avalos, Jane Kim, and Eric Mar are on the left flank, and Sup. Norman Yee – who represents one of the more conservative parts of town – is often with them, particularly on land-use issue like short-term rental. Yee supported Peskin and was at his victory party.

But that doesn’t mean Yee, who will be up for re-election in November, will always be there.

And Lee, who is in his final term and probably will never run for anything else, can veto bills at will if his tech allies urge him to, with no impact on his future prospects. (If, as rumored, Hillary Clinton sees Lee as a possible ambassador to China, his decisions on short-term rentals and land use policy won’t be an issue).

But here’s what I think we can expect:

The short-term rentals issue will come back. There will be legislation that mandates only legally registered units can be listed on Airbnb or other sites, and it will get six votes.

Supporters of interim controls in the Mission will be back, asking for a delay in market-rate housing – and if the board doesn’t do that (which requires a super-majority) every major project will get appealed to the board, and some of them won’t get the six votes they need.

It would make sense for developers to accept reality here: 18 months is nothing, and a community stabilization plan might put more mandates on the people who are getting rich from building luxury condos. But if they keep fighting even reasonable controls, project after project could die on the table.

Here’s the real change: If Campos doesn’t want a project in the Mission, it won’t get six votes. Peskin would never vote against his strong supporter. Same goes for Soma – if Jane Kim has a problem with the 5M Project, then the 5M project has a very big problem.

That’s going to be the new calculus: As big projects move forward, they are going to need to get progressive support. Because pretty much anything major can be appealed to the board, and Peskin is a deep believer in district elections, and has consistently deferred to the wishes of his colleagues on their own turf.

In other words, even if the progressive bloc can’t pass good things over a mayor veto, it can stop bad things.

That means we may see more situations like the Giants project: Kim demanded 40 percent affordable housing – and since the team realized she might be able to block the deal, they agreed.

Peskin’s not against development, and he’s not averse to cutting deals. But the deal is going to have to be a lot better than what the mayor has been proposing, for both commercial and residential development.


All of this plays out around the next big election, which is only 12 months away and has already started. The odd-numbered districts are up this fall, and they have typically been home to the most progressive board members: Campos in D9, Avalos in D11, Matt Gonzalez then Ross Mirkarimi in D5, Peskin in D3, Eric Mar in D1.

Now, of course, D5 is represented by Sup. London Breed, who votes more conservative. And D7 is Yee, who often sides with the progressives.

Still: there’s no way a progressive majority survives without victories in three districts where incumbents are termed out – that’s one, nine, and 11.

I have heard nobody seriously talking about going after Yee in D7. I know that tenant lawyer and organizer Dean Preston is looking at challenging Breed.

But the Richmond, the Mission/Bernal, and the Excelsior/Portola/Sunnyside/Vis Valley, are going to be the focus of very intense (and probably expensive) campaigns for seats without incumbents.

Meanwhile, Kim and Sup. Scott Wiener are running for state Senate, which will create a lot of political energy – and if Kim wins, the mayor will appoint her replacement. Given the abysmal record he’s had appointing supervisors who then have to run for re-election, he will have to consider somebody who the progressives can accept – or we will have a repeat of the D3 campaign.

Oh, and let’s not forget that in June, all of the seats on the Democratic

County Central Committee are up – and control of the local party is a top priority for progressives. So there will be well-organized, well-funded efforts from both the left and from the real-estate industry.

Isn’t there an election for President of the United States, too?


For five years, Jobs with Justice has been on the cutting edge of linking the labor movement with the progressive community. The local chapter of the national organization has pushed for everything from the $15 minimum wage to anti-displacement and tech accountability to a retail workers bill of rights.

Basically, wherever the left and labor come together, JWJ is there.

There’s a five-year anniversary celebration for the group Thursday/19, and it features the legendary Angela Davis. The event celebrates Unite Here Local 2, the Plaza 16 Coalition, and the Fast Food Workers Fight for 15.

6pm – 8pm, Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission. Get your tickets early at jwjsf.org.


And for 45 years, El Tecolote has been the voice of the Mission, the voice of Latino San Francisco, and one of the most important community newspapers in the city. It’s founder and editor, Juan Gonzalez, has also been the chair of the Journalism Department at City College, training generations of the city’s reporters and editors.

The bilingual newspaper will celebrate its birthday Friday/20, with music, food and drink, and a roast of Gonzalez, who has been such a part of the local media community for so long that it’s hard to imagine local journalism without him.

It’s free. 7pm, Grand Theater, 2665 Mission. See you there.

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. Yes, I do support taking away the board’s power to appoint a mayor.

    Sorry, to disappoint you on the devil standard

  2. At the minimum, there’s still lots of infill in the Bay Area (SF and San Jose) that can occur. And no, I’m not talking about parks and green spaces– I’m talking about parking lots, used car dealerships, and shuttered businesses. And there’s also plenty of room in the East Bay IF there’s the will to build transit.

    Of course, that would take commercial/ manufacturing property off the tax rolls, but the alternative is mass displacement, which is currently happening.

    Take it from an outsider, the low-slung architecture and low density is not normal for a major metropolitan area, which is what the Bay Area is, like it or not.

  3. I don’t think people like SPUR are examples of either type. They are Good Government types, who believe in well planned growth. Scott Weiner is not a libertarian but instead a pragmatic realist who tries to solve problems, not advance an agenda.

    I agree with you that Progressives have been at the forefront of so much good social change. I agree with all the things you have stated, that is why it is such a disappointment to be so tragically wrong about land use policies. It will be their fatal flaw, as this is one of the prime factors driving gentrification and rich people tend to be more conservative. I used to consider myself a Progressive until they jumped on the tech hate bandwagon and still ally with them on many things, like bike lanes. I will probably be voting for Bernie Sanders in 2016.

  4. In all fairness though, I did like Halloween in the Castro. It was one of a number of fun, free events for young people that the city killed off, along with the Love Parade. She fought the NIMBYs, and the NIMBYs won.

  5. Moved here? Oh you don’t know me at all. My family has only been here for 100 years. So you’ll excuse me if I don’t defer to your expertise on how San Francisco should be. Twat.

  6. I get it. You are a Peter Pan who never grew up and came here because you thought you could get away with it. And now in your sagging middle ages you are still dealing with the Fillmore while preying that you do not get evicted

    I could not live that sadly or pathetically.

  7. And that leisure time is spent trolling people with more talent than you. I’m beginning to get the picture buddy. I’m going to go finish the poster I’m doing for The Fillmore. Enjoy your money.

  8. Neither Jane Kim nor Scott Weiner have had much in the way of work experience outside of politics. Neither has golden boy Chiu. Ed Lee is a career bureaucrat.

  9. Borrowing just shifts. Even borrowing followed by default is a tax, the cost is just distributed a bit differently.

  10. You see the inherent contradiction in your claims to be such a
    Productive member of the city but have time to dick around on the internet all day, no?

  11. No, spending can be funded by borrowing, but in the end that doesn’t work out well. The best approach is to reduce taxes, borrowing and spending.

  12. You assume that it’s taken no effort on my part to be where I am. In any event I’m not interested in who you want to be. That’s your business. You’re trying to make me someone else. I’m sorry I can’t help make the world more the way you want it to be.

  13. And, like Peskin, he could not hold down any other job other than a much maligned supervisor. The guy was a waste of space and skin and you only like him because of your ideological bias.

    Dude, who is the great under 50 hope for progressives?

  14. I would not want to be anyone who cannot flourish through their own efforts but rather relies on the enforced kindness of strnagers

  15. If you’re counting that way, then you’re not comparing apples to apples. He got 99% of the votes cast in the race. Ed Lee got 56% of the votes cast in his race, only 53% of the vote when you consider all votes cast, and even less of the total pool of registered voters, if you want to go there.

    In answer to your other question about the ballot measures having more ballots cast than the total ballots cast, that is because that first total only counts ballots cast on the first card. With that in mind, Ed Lee got even less than 53% of the vote, because some people only chose to vote for propositions. That said, it is unusual for there to be more ballots on the second card than on the first. Perhaps that will change when they’re finished counting.

  16. So you admit that you cannot live in SF on merit, means or ability, but are rather clinging desperately to some regulation?

    I would hate to have so little control over my destiny.

  17. That would effect people who rent after the law changes, if it happens. It can’t retroactively change my lease. Imagine them trying to evict 200k people all at once. Never gonna happen.

  18. Demographics are gradually changing SF so that, at some point, the ageing relics who are desperately clinging to their rent controlled homes will be out-voted by people who want an equal playing field rather than a system that rewards passivity and inertia.

    You are a dinosaur.

  19. There’s already public policy in the form of rent control which isn’t going anywhere so there’s nothing to debate. I’m sure for the small number of speculators like yourself that would profit from a remova of rent control this is sad news. But most San Franciscans are fine with it. They understand that it helps keep vital workers in the area, to say nothing of the cultura contributions we make. It sounds like you’re doing fine so why not just be happy with what you’ve got? If you don’t like a city
    With progressive values why did
    You move here?

  20. OK, so you cannot cite any sound public policy reason why you should be subsidized to live in Sf just because you think you deserve it?

    Neither can I.

  21. Sad that you think money gives you control over your life. Control is an illusion. Tell anyone who gets cancer.

  22. The mayoral race was a phoney race because everyone knew that Lee would win. Lee didn’t campaign and many people who would have voted for Lee if it had been tight instead stayed away or had a fun vote for a nobody.

    Greg is desperate for the revolution and so his views are hopelessly skewed. But the mayoral race is the biggest test of the political climate in this city and Lee waltzed it. Greg wants to downplay that but then he would, wouldn’t he?

  23. What is the public policy imperative i having you stay in SF? Why should any of us care whether you leave or not?

    Sounds like you are desperately clinging to a rent controlled apartment because you have no control of your life. Sad.

  24. What makes you think I work in a cubicle? I make my money by providing vital and valuable housing services to the cubicle dwellers.

  25. BTW, you might know this – why is it that several of the props (A, B, D, F) have more votes totaled than were ballots cast>

  26. Currently, Dennis Herrera has 148,808 out of 186,863 ballots cast. So, thats slightly less than 80% of the vote. Almost 40,000 voters chose not to vote for him; I know not their reasons.

  27. There are enough things here grandfathered in, including myself, that make it a great place to live. But if someone wanted to pay me 100k to vacate my apartment I might consider buying a house in Portland as it’s much more like the San Francisco I used to love.

  28. quite simply, bull$hit.
    You lost me that those who care are NIMBYs. Maybe you meant those who only care about themselves?
    Progressives in San Francisco are virtually all NIMBYs. This is despite the fact that Progressives in most other cities in this country do not do everything they can to block housing – believing that housing for all is the greatest good.
    Sue Hestor, Calvin Welch, Tim Redmond: The old guard is still kicking. The tide is shifting though. Today, our progressives are the equivalent of climate change deniers. There is only so long that one can stick their head in the sand and pretend like doing nothing is doing something.

  29. It would take a lobotomy. I’m not a rube, I won’t live with them…also my life here is great. No reason to ever move.

  30. Oh come on. Indulge us.

    Zillow.com, the real estate site, places values on properties – even if they aren’t For Sale. They have this one feature called “Make Me Move”, which is kinda a wish-price for something that is not for sale.

    So, what would it take for you to move to Hayward? An apt for $500/? A house for $75,000? A $30/hr job? A series of great, cheap bars? The A’s next door? What?

  31. Obvious troll is obvious. But we view success and failure very differently obviously. To me spending your life in a cubicle farm is the ultimate failure. none of those drones can do what my friends and I can do.

  32. So you won’t take that comparable apt @ 48 & Quintara to travel to you NPO job downtown instead of the studio in Hayward?

    How about a bunkbed in Hayes Valley then? Supe Kim is making it happen, baby.

    The real problem is all the good-paying jobs. Get rid of those and people will leave in droves. Then your rent will go back to $700/.

  33. Did Kim come up with the Twitter tax break or was she just the messenger?

    I personally dislike her – intensely so after “Kim 2.0” was carried and passed. Totally one-sided. And pandering.

    I don’t see her heaving to a ‘movement’; only of being as careerist as many a Pol is – if not more-so. In North Korea she’d be cutting back on the calorie rations to serve the ones who will get her ahead.

  34. I think you are making too much of it. I see a lot of the 42% as being a ‘protest’ vote or ‘discontent’ vote. Given real alts, I’ll bet Lee would have come in far higher against a Leno, an Ammiano, a Peskin, a Kim or anyone else with plausible potential and lefty cred. Remember that scourge Willie Brown? vilified yet 60% !

    I think it does speak to a certain discontent. But its amorphous, and theres virtually no penalty. Why is it that even names like Pelosi and other big-name-but-relatively-uncontested runners only score in the low 80s? Herrera got <80% with no other name on the ballot to check off.

    You could say that 20% of the electorate hate Herrera. Or maybe its that they don't really care; or something else. I personally didn't vote in the uncontested races. I like to think it sends a message – though its tough to manage what that is. But, its just better than "yes Sir". (Oh, and I don't like Dennis; Jose and George are Ok.)

  35. You’re joking. This whole society only benefits the rich at this point. They have nothing to complain about.

  36. Right. Because in your world the poor will pay to commute great distances for lousy jobs and the rich will be close enough to walk, bike, or get shuttled there on their companie’s dime. Personally I’m not going to commute from forty miles away stuck in traffic for a thirty thousand dollar income. I’ll move somewhere else in that case.

  37. Your progress comes at the expense of the existing community. We have lives here and some of us don’t feel like starting over for the benefit of investors and Johnny come lately’s.

  38. About the only thing true in your post is “Renters can easily move to other cities or metropolitan areas” (and then that’s not always true).

    Everything else was complete and utter bullshit.

  39. Do you also support taking away the supervisors’ power to appoint a mayor?

    Or is that your double standard talking?

  40. OK, so essentially what you are saying is that the only poster child you can cite is a trust fund guy who nobody liked and who now makes a living out of buying foreclosed properties in the suburbs?

    You seem stuck in a 2000 time warp like that was your 15 minutes of adequacy. Are you hoping that someone will invent a time machine?

  41. Daly got 150 ordinances and 12 charter amendments signed into law. And in the rare times he couldn’t get something done legislatively, he had a knack for being able to put his finger on the pulse of the city and translate that into initiative that garnered wide support, from sick leave to question time to banning military recruiters at school, and so much more.


    Jane Kim… all you can come up with is Twitter Tax break?

    In all fairness, she’s done a bit more than that, some of it pretty decent legislation. But no way is she a visionary legislative powerhouse in the mold of Daly or even Peskin. In those days, visionary, groundbreaking legislation was getting passed in San Francisco. I just don’t see that kind of talent today. Avalos is perhaps the only one who has proposed anything really exciting, but even he often lacks the political skills to bring it to fruition.

  42. Thank you. As a District 9 resident, I cannot really judge. Our supervisor David Campos is the worst in the history of the City, with the exception of Dan White.

  43. Keep in mind that renters, by definition, are temporary visitors who do not contribute to the community. Homeowners, including landlords of course, are the basis of our City and society. Renters are unwilling to invest in the City and do not ever get contribute economically, culturally, or socially to the community. Renters can easily move to other cities or metropolitan areas as they do not have any real community ties.

  44. Kim has gotten a lot of things done, like the Twotter tax break. Problem is that you don’t agree with that, but that is your problem and not Kim’s.

    And sorry, no, but expletives are not persuasive.

  45. Sometimes when an argument is too absurd, “bullshit” is the most appropriate response.

    I’m fine with supes not appointing a mayor.

    How is Kim “demonstrably” smarter? Did you administer an IQ test, or do you just define “smarter” as “more right wing?” She certainly doesn’t have as much of a legislative record. Daly, in spite of the fact that he wasn’t as ideologically well-positioned with regards to the other members, still somehow managed to work with more people and get more done.

  46. The problem is that spending has not been cut in tandem with taxes, because politicians are spineless.

    Political debates are resolved by values not manufactured data

    Always the research guy; never the portfolio manager. Always the bridesmaid; never the bride.

  47. If that’s what you need to tell yourself to sleep soundly at night, run with it. The numbers are neither controversial nor difficult to understand: the developed world on average taxes around a third of GDP currently, up from around a fourth in the 1960s.

  48. New York and Miami have the most inequality by Gini among US metro areas, D.C., Portland and Riverside the least.

    Median income in San Jose is almost 20% above San Francisco.

  49. Your numbers say whatever you want them to say. SF has almost the highest inequality in the nation AND is the most prosperous. Inequality is your friend unless you are the envy type.

  50. Again, tax rates have declined dramatically since 1970 in the US, UK etc. Even Scandinavia lowered its tax rates, while more recently France rolled back its experiment with 70% income tax rates. Even Obama scarcely messed with the new paradigm

    I’m afraid this debate was settled a long time before you decided that being able to google is a substitute for wisdom and experience

  51. The numbers say, Detroit is roughly as unequal as San Jose, and slightly less unequal than San Francisco.

    Say the words three times aloud. Maybe next time, you can avoid embarrassing yourself with overstatements and errors.

  52. The rich have largely deserted Detroit for the suburbs, leaving Detroit more “equal” but not in a way that helps.

    Which would you prefer? The unequal situation where you have a million and your neighbor has a billion? Or the more equal situation where you have ha;f a million and so does your neighbor.

    Zuckerberg lives near me and instantly made my neighborhood more unequal. It didn’t make me any worse off. In fact it probably helped boost my home value. Win-win.

  53. Detroit and San Francisco have very similar Gini coefficients (2012: .47 Detroit, .49 San Francisco, .47 San Jose). There is no evidence Detroit is ‘much more equal’ than San Francisco.

    Detroit is poorer, but ‘poor’ is not a synonym for ‘equal’.

  54. LOL, the whole point of lowering taxes is to collect less in taxes and reduce the size of the government

    That said, the absolute amount of taxes collected went up as the rates went down.

    And this was a global trend. It wasn’t just the US. The entire game changed when we finally realized how damaging high tax rates are.

  55. Your mistake is looking only at SF. The real city is the Bay Area and not everyone who works in SF needs to live in SF.

  56. Neither is a problem. Inequality doesn’t matter if it is caused by some people being successful. Detroit is much more equal than SF but nobody thinks that Detroit is a better place to live.

    Rent seeking is simply the quid pro quo of people being willing to risk capital to create opportunity and prosperity. Your home and job both depended on a rent seeker.

  57. We tried taxing the rich and it didn’t work because the rich simply rearrange their affairs, assets and cashflows such that they are beyond reach. That is why tax revenues went up, not down, when Reagan normalized marginal tax rates, exactly as Laffer predicted.

  58. SFUSD’s problems run deep. There was a nice interview about growing up in 1940s San Francisco, in which the local recalled his classwork changed for the worse in a disfavored neighborhood. That’s a century of institutional futility. Blaming SFUSD woes on the rental market is misspecified, at best.

    Flipping and speculation are symptoms, not causes. The cause is underinvestment in housing, combined with state, regional and local restrictions on building, combined with individual enthusiasm for obstruction, combined with job growth.

  59. I’ve never been adverse to building in vacant lots and wherever else it makes sense. What I want to see is legislation that guarentees that anyone who gets a not at fault eviction due to flipping and speculation or improvements to existing properties automatically gets moved to the front of the line to re rent a comparable apartment at close to the same rent. If we can build enough to bring prices down then fine, but in the interim we need protections to keep the diverse work force in the city, to say nothing of the necessity for cultural diversity. Right now the city can’t find enough teachers for all the public schools. That’s a serious indication that government intervention is needed.

  60. Absolutely. That is hardly a reason to make things worse for people. Bad enough that the rentier class mostly has succeeded in arrogating society’s income and assets to itself. Worse is to consider downturns acceptable as a result.

    The problem is inequality and rent seeking. Promote policies to help solve them, not policies that make things worse.

  61. Shrinking the population may well be a good idea, but it isn’t something that will happen by refusing to build places for people to live. The only thing that creates is more homeless people.

    People have to live somewhere. Better they live in small, dense apartments in an area that consumes relatively less energy and water than that they sprawl onto even more desert and farmland.

  62. It’s strange because that notion is at total variance with what everyone who is poor says about the current economic boom. The reality is that the gains are only going to the rich and that has been increasingly true for 30 years but especially since 9/11 and then the banker bailouts. Income inequality is well understood to be at the greatest levels since the 1920s and yet people that are benefiting always claim how great things are for everyone. Things aren’t great in this country for the bottom half. Quite the opposite actually.

  63. If there were a lot of cheap SRO rooms with steady vacancies in town, and a lot of decent, low skill construction and industrial jobs going begging, there would be a lot fewer homeless tents around town.

    And yes, it is something of a tautology that if you tax the rich, they aren’t as wealthy and there are fewer of them. Taxing the rich is the worst policy available, except, of course, for all the others.

  64. I just wonder where does it all end? There are seven billion people on the planet and our economic system requires endless growth rather than sustainability. Sure you could build more housing everywhere, and then the Bay Area would have just as many people as LA. Is that what we want this place to turn into? This endless growth paradigm is ruining the planet and lowering quality of life for everyone. At a certain point I think we just have to say that things are good where they are and enact some anti-growth measures to counter the profit motive that just eats everything in its path like locusts.

  65. Rich people can take care of themselves. Everyone else gets screwed when things go bad. Just because the people getting reamed aren’t ‘your’ people doesn’t mean they are not people.

    Economic downturns immiserate human beings.

  66. San Jose and San Francisco for years were remiss in permitting housing, but that changed about five years ago. Starting in 2010, San Jose permitted new construction at about a 50% higher rate than San Francisco. That rate is still too low, but if there is a poster child for the problem, that poster child is SF/Oakland.

    This is not even just a regional problem: the entire country has been underinvesting in housing since the 2000s bubble collapsed. Not only has all the overinvestment from that period now been worked off, but the cumulative underinvestment is now roughly the same magnitude of previous bubble overinvestment.

  67. Wishing isn’t a strategy at all. That being said, the only thing that has ever proven to ease the cost of living in this city is an economic downturn, and they come whether we wish for them or not. It’s inevitable that global markets will effect national markets, and a big enough drop will cause a sudden defunding of VC money in the 100 superfluous emoji-sending, dating, and other unprofitable apps. Of course the big boys like Facebook and Google and Apple are too much a part of everyone’s lives to go under so those workers aren’t likely going anywhere. But there are a lot of people working for a lot of companies that are never going to be profitable and just like the first dot.com, a contraction is inevitable. You’re absolutely right that property owners are benefiting. That’s sort of the story everywhere. That’s also part of the problem in this country right now where you have a certain % of the population benefiting from the system and everyone else is just getting hosed. I’m in the service economy and the boom is not helping my income at all. Because all of the newcomers are going to more expensive brand new bars instead of the old ones. And they’re definitely not buying much art. The years before the first dot.com and after the bust until the current boom were great times in the city. Property values still went up, rental prices increased gradually. Unemployment has never been much of a problem here. Like I said, we’re not Riverside. There will always be jobs in a city this large. I just don’t buy your argument that the poor are suffering less now than before. The poor are simply getting pushed out and replaced with wealthier people. It’s my experience in discussing these things that people that are benefiting from the current situation always try to convince themselves and others that what’s good for them is also good for everyone else. Perhaps it’s a rationalization that allows people to ignore the harm that’s being done. My peers and I are not benefiting from any of this, and there’s no sense in arguing against our experiences. We know what our economic situation is. We know that all of our friends have moved away, that our favorite bars have been booted for ones we can’t afford to drink in, that there are fewer places to see art and music, and that there’s little left we can do in the city that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

  68. So you hate loyalty when it is a moderate, but when Chiu votes for Ed Lee as mayor he is “selling out”?

    Loyalty is good for progressives but bad for moderates?

  69. Sorry but you cannot use the word “movement” without making it look like your real agenda isn’t a better city but rather some kind of revolution.

    Saying “bullshit” is not an argument but rather an indicator that you don’t have one.

    Chiu didn’t “sell out”. That is what you say whenever a Supe doesn’t vote in a mindless kneejerk progressive way. The real issue with Lee’s appointment is that the left fragmented in the way they have been doing for 100 years.

    I’d be fine with special elections every time a Supe quits as long as you are fine with the Supes not appoint a mayor when a mayor quits. A Supe appointment is probably the only way this town gets a progressive mayor.

    Kim is demonstrably smarter than Daly. Unless you define “smart” as being more left-wing and you probably do.

    Your last point may be fair. There are probably less young emerging political talents now than at any time in living memory. But I think it matters more that the left is ageing because the demographic trends favor technocrats rather than ideologues. A less ideological city government that focuses more on practical matters rather than fuzzy issues like social “justice” captures the new reality of SF.

  70. But it was 56% after one round compared with 60% after a dozen rounds. So it is obvious that Lee’s result was much more emphatic this time than last.

    A 60/40 win means that you got 50% more votes than the other guy. That is massive and conclusive.

  71. If Lee could beat Herrera, Yee, Chiu, Avalos, Aliota-Pier, Adachi, Ting, Hall and Dufty then he can beat Leno.

    If Leno had thought he stood a chance, he would have run. Ditto, Ammiano. Both were scared to lose and so didn’t deserve to win.

  72. Better yet, look at the entire Bay Area. Sure the South Bay and San Jose don’t house all its workers, but you can say the exact same thing about SF with a net inward commute of about 400,000 workers a day.

    It is the East Bay that bails out both SF and the south bay. SF and SB/SJ throwing insults at each other is missing the point.

  73. You are ignoring a huge class of existing SF residents who are benefiting from the local boom, and that is anyone who owns property in SF. That is about one third of SF households, and possibly 50% of those who actually voters.

    Throw in all the existing residents who have better paid jobs as a result, or jobs at all, and the small businesses set up to service the newcomers, and we are talking a huge benefit

    As for who suffers in a downturn, that is easy. The poor. It was always so.

    Wishing for an economic crash or an earthquake really isn’t a great strategy.

  74. We agree on free speech if not much else. What’s the point of a comments section if people can’t speak freely? (with the exception of that speech which is not protected by the 1st amendment i.e. threats and incitement)

  75. I got kicked off too. I’m not sure for what. It was either for comparing the 30 Stockton to a rail car in WWII or encouraging the people that want to rename city streets after tech companies to take their own lives. Apparently no one over there is sharp enough to detect absurdist humor and would prefer to just exist in their own echo chamber.

  76. Housing is absolutely driving the problems, but when we talk about housing and only talk about San Francisco and ignore the elephant in the room that is the South Bay where most of these companies are, we’re missing the big picture. San Francisco doesn’t need to incentivize South Bay workers to live here or tech companies to set up shop here. Cupertino was born to be an office park so let it be one. No one would care. San Francisco on the other hand is in real danger of losing its cultural heritage and significance. When it’s as bland as Walnut Creek no one is going to travel thousands of miles to see it.

  77. That cruelty is all a matter of who’s on the receiving end of the downturn. Most of the people that will lose work aren’t necessarily long term residents. And I’m more concerned about them (and myself) then people that moved here recently with money being the primary motive as opposed to being part of the community. I’ve lived here all my life. We’re not Riverside. In a downturn the city is just fine, the housing prices don’t plummet significantly, landlords still draw rental income, there’s still plenty of work. It’s not as if the homeless or people in the Sunnydale projects are benefiting from the boom years. They’re not getting any of those riches or working any of those jobs. They’re on government assistance either way. As far as I can tell the people that are benefiting the most right now are people who moved here for work in one industry, landowners, and people in real estate. Everyone else is hurting because of it. The city can’t even find enough people to teach in the schools. A downturn wouldn’t hurt the city at all.

  78. When RCV is run this year, Ed Lee gets 68% and Francisco Herrera gets 32%. There isn’t an easy to read summary of the 2007 RCV, so we don’t know how much Newsom went up from the 72% in the first round.

    But Greg is right, if Lee had a challenger like Leno who could raise money, he might have lost. At the very least, Lee would have had to debate several times. And that was another reason Sam Lauter was wrong to tell Leno he couldn’t win. Leno would have been much better in a debate than Lee.

  79. “When government wants less of something, tax it”

    And conversely, when we want more of something – subsidize it. (easier to cut than to grow though).

    And I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a corollary of a corollary, but if something is growing, there must be some fertilizer somewhere. So lets see, what do we have growing … homeless tents and start-ups. And what do we subsidize … easy to see the freebies for the homeless; harder to see them for start-ups – but I bet they’re there. So if we taxed Rich people, we’d have fewer of them??? And if we taxed homeless people … (well, neither one of those things are gonna happen). But I would guess that we’re somehow taxing the Middle Class, cuz we got a whole lot less of that.

  80. Thanks. Okay, so he got a ballot measures passed effectively. Doesn’t really say much of his skills in the BOS seat itself.

    The one requiring hearings was just general oversight. The Board and the Mayor were doing a tit for tat thing, and it was out of hand. I don’t see that as reduced by forcing a public process. Good for him.

  81. Why not try to get enough places built so housing is not in such bafflingly short supply? There is no pretty way to ration.

  82. >”What issues do you remember him having an impact on aside from gardening drives in the parks.”

    I don’t remember the specific name of the measure, but right before Peskin left office he got a proposition passed regarding Muni that was, of course, sweet for the union but horrible for the rest of the city. One of the provisions was that Muni salaries were pegged to the be the 2nd highest in the nation. So there was no worker motivation and no need for serious negotiations.

    Elsbernd collected signatures to repeal the salary provision and it won by, I think, 70-30.

    So, yes, he has done some effective things and hopefully there will be future opportunities to mitigate some of the upcoming damage to the city that will result from Peskin’s election.

    P.S. As a D3 resident I want to humbly apologize to the rest of the city. The shame runs deep.

  83. How could he reduce powers of other supervisors? I google his name and Prop E, and couldn’t come up with anything that did that.

  84. I think you’re giving Sean a lot more credit than he deserves.
    What issues do you remember him having an impact on aside from gardening drives in the parks.

  85. Sean orchestrated the reach around from the right that put Chiu into the Board Presidency after Chiu screwed the progressives. He was more effective in the minority than progressives have been because he had the Mayor or the Mayor had him as Sean was smarter than Newsom by measures.

  86. Peskin did not run a progressive the sky is falling campaign by any means, he ran an affirmative populist campaign.

  87. She always sides with Ron Conway. She sees what happened to Olague and knows who she’ll get spanked if she ever gets out of line, so she doesn’t bite the hand that feeds her. Breed is the most predictable member of the Board. Even Farrell went against the mayor once or twice. But Breed’s vote will always be loyal, because she’s not her own person.

  88. “But “putting the movement first” smacks to me of being unduly ideological”
    Everything is ideological. Ron Conway is as ideological as they come. The lie is that some ideologues (like yourself) try to play coy and claim they’re not ideologues.

    “Personally I prefer a supervisor who can understand both sides and whose
    votes are never totally predictable. Campos and Farrell both fail that

    “As for leaving office mid-term, that cuts both ways. When Newsom went to
    Sacramento, the majority progressive board at the time came up with Ed
    Chiu sold out. Everybody knows this story by now.

    “you cannot reasonably claim that the process is “good” when Peskin wins but the exact same process is “bad” when Breed wins”
    The process is always bad. I prefer democracy. When there’s a vacancy, the people should decide who fills it. Then we wouldn’t have this problem. Just because sometimes the outcome is good in spite of the process, doesn’t mean the process was good.

    “She is smarter”
    I don’t think so. Have you administered IQ tests to each of them?

    “works better with others”
    Daly got much more done. He and Peskin were the two most productive legislators in terms of getting laws enacted. You have to work with others to get stuff passed, and I thought you liked people who “get stuff done.” I get it. You only like it when they get stuff done that YOU want.

    “2000 is ancient history and you can’t keep digging up relics from that board without looking like you have no future talent.”
    Looks like that’s exactly what the conservatives are counting on by running retreads like David Lee and Ahsha Safai. The only difference is that these guys are losers.

  89. Last time was last time. This time Ed Lee made a very weak showing. 56% against a bunch of people nobody heard of. PS… where does one get this “textbook?”

  90. Lee won last time with an entire field of household names running against him.

    Part of the reason that Lee’s win doesn’t look so impressive this time is because he won after just one round. Had there been multiple rounds like last time, then most likely Lee’s total would have easily exceeded the 60% with which he eventually defeated Avalos.

    And 60% is the textbook definition of a landslide.

  91. Putting the city first is fine. But “putting the movement first” smacks to me of being unduly ideological, as if running the city is less about fixing the streets and more about advancing the revolution.

    Personally I prefer a supervisor who can understand both sides and whose votes are never totally predictable. Campos and Farrell both fail that test.

    As for leaving office mid-term, that cuts both ways. When Newsom went to Sacramento, the majority progressive board at the time came up with Ed Lee.

    As for D5, Lee actually appointed a progressive, who then promptly went and lost to a moderate. So you can’t really blame Mirk for Breed. And you cannot reasonably claim that the process is “good” when Peskin wins but the exact same process is “bad” when Breed wins without revealing a significant bias.

    I happen to think that Kim is a far superior supervisor than Daly (or Walker) quite aside from any ideological position. She is smarter, works better with others, and is at least capable of seeing both sides. She is progressive without hating anyone who isn’t, which was always Daly’s problem.

    2000 is ancient history and you can’t keep digging up relics from that board without looking like you have no future talent.

  92. LOL, so you’d be happy with any President who agrees with you? I’m shocked I tell ya, shocked.

    Breed is a good choice precisely because she is neither a kneejerk leftie nor a kneejerk rightie. Rather, she actually thinks about the issue and decides on its merits rather than based on ideological bias.

    No wonder you don’t like her.

  93. I’m always amazed at how you manage to pack so many untruths and misleading insinuations into so few words. It almost always takes longer to correct your falsehoods than it does to sling them, but that’s a testament to your first-rate trolling skills.

    -The board president can be changed at any time by a vote.
    -It’s not about a black woman vs a white man. This has no more to do with the fact that Breed is black than with Peskin being Jewish. You don’t have a problem with Jews, do you?
    -This has to do with the fact that Breed is a rubber stamp crony.
    -For what it’s worth, Peskin is neither old nor particularly rich.
    -And who said it has to be Peskin anyway? I’d be happy with Eric Mar, David Campos, or even Norman Yee or Jane Kim. John Avalos would probably be my #1 choice.

  94. The problem is not so much with being ambitious, it’s that like many politicians she puts her own ambitions above the welfare of the city and the movement that she’s supposedly a part of.

    You bring up a good point about Campos, Leno, and I would add Mirk to that as well. Well Leno never claimed to be about anyone but himself anyway. He was never a progressive and never claimed to be one. Why some progressives ever looked to Leno as their savior, I have no idea.

    Campos and Mirk did the exact same thing that Kim did. There is a *slight* difference, in that their districts are “safer” than Kim’s, but even so, I was still unhappy with Mirk that he ran for sheriff in mid-term. After one of his standard speeches about why he should be sheriff, I told him point blank, “Ross, I’m sold on you being sheriff. I’m not sold on you giving up your seat to some crony of Ed Lee.” He had a convoluted answer about how a citywide win for progressives would somehow help build a movement that would allow us to keep the BOS, etc. etc. It sounded to be a bit of a stretch. I voted for him anyway, but look where we are now. D5 is a mess we’re still trying to clean up, and we don’t even have a progressive sheriff anymore.

    And Campos too… although here we would’ve lost a seat either way, and D9 would be one I that could be won back more easily. As it turned out, we had a star candidate step in to contest D3. Of course Chiu ran as a progressive too, but we already expected this from Chiu. He’s such a sellout that even one of Ed Lee’s appointments isn’t much worse than Chiu.

    What I really liked about the Class of 2000, was that we had politicians who largely did what they did because it was the right thing to do. I didn’t agree with every one 100% of the time, but they put the movement and the city first. People like Daly, McGoldrick, Peskin, Ammiano… we just don’t have that caliber of people these days. Well we do have Peskin…. I keep telling Jake to run for his old seat too.

  95. And 150% area income is the new 100% was the new 50% (while area income is going up as poorer people are moving away).
    I don’t like rationing either, but it’s better than nothing.

  96. I don’t blame progressives particularly. The current imbalance is due to many factors, many of which cannot be fixed no matter what policies are adopted.

    That said, any policy that deters the provision of supply will exacerbate the situation.

    Most policies just tinker around the edges.

  97. D5 is an interesting place for sure, and I say that as someone who lived there for a good while. It’s at the geographic center of the city and probably borders more other districts than any other.

    Areas like Cole Valley and Buena Vista are ultra expensive, while you’ve also got the Western Addition.

    I’d agree that Breed is moderate for that district but that is cancelled out by Lee being too liberal for his district.

    But overall I’d say the BofS skews disproportionately left. 6/11 progressives doesn’t square with the city-wide elections where Lee wins easily, and where F and I lose.

  98. Y, can you name a city that doesn’t mostly ration by price?

    Isn’t that why people like money and devote most of their time and energy to getting it? Because it gets you better stuff?

  99. True, D1. SFist takes its lead from their NYC site (Gothamist) which is notorious for its political correctness. They will censor any comment that doesn’t fit with their self-styled smug and snarky agenda.

    Eve at SFist tried to block my IP address once, but she evidently doesn’t realize that it’s easy to swap them.

  100. If you look at the prop F results map, D5 was one of the solid ‘yes’ areas, along with the Mission and the Tenderloin, except for Ashbury Heights/Cole Valley and Forest Knolls, which have long been more conservative. Gentrification hasn’t affected how D5 votes, at least not yet.

  101. I don’t recall him being very effective despite being of the BOS era where long winded speeches got a lot of play.

    He seemed to back off whenever his vote would have been a deciding factor.

  102. You forget that old favorite — rationing based on a paper bag filled with cash.

    If City Government actually gets as involved in the housing business as some here want (as opposed to the platitudes and wishful thinking we’ve gotten so far), expect a return of cash under the table. I wish this was mentioned more often. It will happen.

  103. I disagree that progressive policies have much to do with it – or even NIMBYism.

    Take the Balboa Park BART station. Why wasn’t that slated for development as a ‘transit village’ when it was built? Talk about lost opportunities. So now that we are in a crunch, why aren’t we looking to relocate or better utilize the MUNI yard across the street? There’s a lot of housing potential in the area.

    But my point is that there have been hundreds of lost opportunities over the years because our city planning department doesn’t really plan doesn’t have a vision to grow the population, and, according to Planning Commissioner Moore, they are mostly a permit facilitation entity.

    That Van Ness and Market has languished for decades is another example. You can scream NIMBY and you can try to blame progressives, but the truth is that there is ZERO vision coming from any of our leaders.

  104. You’ve already lost the moderation debate to Tim, myself and the others here. You need to move on.

    And if Tim censored based purely on activity, you’d be taken down as well as me. Pots and kettles should get along.

  105. In case you haven’t noticed, other than one sentence and then responding to you, everything I’ve written here has been about the topic. And my one sentence was motivated to encourage moderation here on this site, not to engage you.


  106. I have no idea which of those were mine and which were yours and others. Nor do I care – that retro-active censoring happened after the debate was over.

    More generally SFist is a for-profit site so they like to censor a lot to try and cultivate the kind of eyeballs that generate ad revenue. I don’t hold back just to boost their revenues. Tim opposes censorship and most people here like that approach to free speech. The only person I know who has comments removed from 48Hills is marcos.

    Care to discuss the topic here?

  107. Yes, I have no idea how we could ration homes in any way other than by price, except for the small number of BMR homes where some kind of lottery applies, and randomness is hardly a coherent policy.

  108. Jim is correct. The two dominant land use policies in SF are rent control (which deters owners from offering long-term rentals) and NIMBYesque zoning, which deters new build.

    You may agree with both of those policies in terms of the effect they have on the city, but it is really hard to argue that they boost the number of available homes, and have the effect of lowering the marginal cost of housing.

  109. “I support rationing. When do we get to decide who gets what?”

    Unless we increase supply, exiting housing is/will continued to be rationed by price.

    The mission already had a de facto moratorium during the development of the eastern neighborhoods plan. Barely 100 units a year have been built in the last decade. Not building condos doesn’t cause prices to fall. For better or worse, there is no legal avenue to bar new residents from purchasing property or entering into leases. If people want to move to SF, we need to build to accommodate them.

  110. Interesting analysis. I agree that Yee is not a solid progressive vote unless he wants to completely ignore his conservative constituency. But I tend to agree that he may win again.

    Not sure I agree that D5 will fall, given that many areas of D5 have gentrified and now have some of the most expensive homes in the city. It’s demographics are increasingly similar to Wiener’s district.

    If Breed holds, then progressives need to win both D1 and D11, and neither is structurally progressive in the way that D9 is. It will come down more to the personality of the candidate, and of course demographics.

    Not sure why you hate on Kim. She usually votes lefty, aside from the Twitter tax break. She even backed Mirk despite supporting Hennessy last week.

    And what the heck is wrong with Kim being ambitious – I don’t recall you complaining when Campos wanted to move up and let Lee appoint a replacement,

  111. The president is not up for election as far as I know. And progressive trying to remove a black woman to give an old rich white man more power is not very progressive at all.

  112. If by “that troll” you mean me (and you are far more of a troll and post far more than I do across all sites) then I am not aware of any comments of mine that have been removed from SFist. I don’t even post there very much, unlike you.

    That said, the life cycle of a thread there is about two hours and I don’t typically look at stale threads to see what has been culled.

    Either way, try and stick to the topic rather than issue personal remarks – that is why Tim really should be censoring here

  113. I support rationing. When do we get to decide who gets what?

    From people who supported the moratorium:

    “Data from the Planning Department show that there are only 13 sites left where we can develop affordable housing through traditional financing structures. There were only 18 until recently, but five have been purchased by developers. We’re quickly running out of land. . .

    . . .We need to plan. We need to find new sources of revenue for truly affordable housing.

    But the moratorium doesn’t stop there. It also protects blue collar jobs and arts and cultural uses, which are so important for the Mission! How? By putting a temporary stop to all the demolition and conversion of light industrial (PDR) spaces.”

    If the choice is between mindless building of luxury condos because the one-size fits-all supply/demand model or a mindless moratorium that has some good objectives, I will choose the moratorium. Both choices have their downside, but the mindless continuation of what we are doing now will cause permanent harm. Not so with a temporary moratorium.

  114. With both economic and military conflicts brewing, Ed Lee does not have the gravitas for such a job. We’re not talking Caroline Kennedy in Japan.

  115. Opposition matters. Today’s opposition influences the political conversation that creates tomorrow’s policy.

    Shortages mean rationing. If housing is in short supply, how can building places for people to live not be the first, best step?

  116. I’m not wishing a downturn at all. But I’ve lived though several downturns, being laid-off a few times and lost a good portion of my retirement savings more than once, so it’s easy to see that companies living off of VC sugar daddies or ridiculous valuations are going to face a day of reckoning someday.

    There’s nothing new under the sun. Today a peak, tomorrow a valley.

    As for the folks with bullhorns, do you really think that they have the any advantage in this power struggle? This is class warfare and you don’t seem to recognize it as such.

    There are several approaches to developing a city and growing the population that do not mandate displacement of the working class and the creation of a wealthy enclave. But not for San Francisco. We are enslaved by the greed of the developer/investor class who lust for higher profits and they have used their wealth wisely, purchasing votes, exemptions and policy.

    Even the resident troll here sees SF’s trajectory: He is salivating at the thought of SF becoming like La Jolla or Paris, where SF will be “an affluent enclave of high-achievers surrounded by poorer towns that spew service workers into the city every day.”

    Is that your vision too? Because building a lot more market rate housing is fueling that fire.

    (BTW, that troll had all his comments deleted at SFIST. It was gratifying to see blog moderation)

  117. Better policies, whether taxing luxury development or aggressive municipal building, will never happen as long as the folks with bullhorns and bully pulpits natter about blocking or ceasing development instead.

    Wishcasting a downturn in local employment as a way to reduce housing demand and ease a housing shortage seems cruel. Wouldn’t it be kinder to hope that big tech companies do something constructive?

  118. “When government wants less of something, tax it. The profit motive is powerful.”

    How likely is it that to happen? With the threat of a veto by Lee and the 2/3 voting rule, you may as well be discussing breeding unicorns for profit.

    As I understand the moratorium under prop I, BMR development wasn’t stopped.

    I agree that it wasn’t the best idea – I saw it as more of a ‘hail Mary’ attempt more than anything else. But Christ on a tortilla, you and others made it sound like it is the end of the world. It is 18 months. By then, Twitter could be HQ’d in Mumbai and Square could be bought by PayPal and liquidated.

  119. If the goal is fewer luxury apartments, isn’t blocking development the least desirable policy during a housing shortage? Both perfect and bad policies may sometimes be enemies of good ones, but that doesn’t make bad policies perfect. They are still bad.

    When government wants less of something, tax it. The profit motive is powerful.

  120. Political philosophy has nothing to do with blocking development. San Francisco seems to attract two types of people – those who care and do not want change (aka NIMBYs) and those who think they should be able to build whatever they want where ever they want (free marketeers). There are many conservatives who are NIMBYS and there are many progressive libertarians who are free marketeers.

    If blaming progressives for this housing crisis makes you feel good, go for it.

    Regardless of the housing crisis, civil rights, LGBT rights, and environmental laws are among the thousands of GREAT policies that have been created by progressives. Oh and bike lanes too. Show me the conservative voting bloc that support a bike lane.

    I think we are witnessing a progressive Renaissance.

  121. The new anti-development board will block everything and then whine and moan that there is a housing shortage. Mark my words, the Progressives will not change their spots. They have done everything they can for the last 40 years to block market rate development. This is their last hurrah.

  122. At SPUR’s post-election recap, and Latterman was just salivating over the prospect of retaking the BOS in 2016. I think he’s premature.

    Norman Yee is much safer than anyone thinks. The winning combination of Chinese and progressives should be enough to carry the day. And yes, there are progressives, maybe 25% or so in D7, but that’s a huge chunk that Yee automatically has in his column as long as he stays relatively friendly toward tenants.

    Peskin will be there for 9 years. Conservatives can forget about D3 now.

    D9 will stay progressive no matter what.

    D1 and D11 are the real battlegrounds, but progressives only need to win one of the two, because D5 should flip… *IF* progressives don’t shoot themselves in the foot and run multitudes of candidates like last time. Of course that’s a big “if.” And of course the same holds for D1 an D11. OTOH, Latterman was gushing with excitement about the “quality” of their candidates in D1 and D11. I found it bizarre, because it soon became evident he was gushing about old losers David Lee and Asha Safai. He seems to think that more experience should yield different results, but I’m not so sure that re-running old losers is going to turn out differently… unless progressives shoot themselves in the foot, which seems to happen a lot.

    Overall, progressives would probably have the advantage, if not for Jane Kim. Fuck Jane Kim… this is exactly the kind of crap I’m talking about when I talk about careerists who are interested in advancing themselves first and foremost. This is primarily why I supported Debra Walker -not because Kim’s slightly to the right on this or that issue (well that too, but that’s not the biggest problem with Kim). The biggest problem is that she has “careerist” written all over her. The Class of 2000 just didn’t pull crap like this. You DO NOT give up your seat when you KNOW the mayor is going to appoint some conservative asshole. You DO NOT turn around and abandon all the people who worked hard to elect you that way. Actually, one member of the Class of 2000 did that, and he was roundly criticized for it. Gerardo Sandoval tried to run for Assessor, and he lost many progressives in that race. The next year, AFTER he was termed out, he ran again for citywide office, now with the full backing of the whole progressive community, and got elected. If Jane abandons her seat to climb the career ladder, it will be a lot harder to gain it back, because there’s no Aaron Peskin waiting in the wings.

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