Thursday, March 4, 2021
News + Politics The Agenda, June 27-July 4: Why Kim really won,...

The Agenda, June 27-July 4: Why Kim really won, helping victims of the Mission fire …

... a Google bus survey, saving a 99-year-old's home and more: we look at the week ahead



The supporters of Sup. Scott Wiener are trying to downplay the stunning victory of Sup Jane Kim in the primary of their state Senate race, explaining that Kim’s narrow victory was just a “Bernie Bump.” The theory: After Senator Sanders endorsed her, his supporters all voted for her, and in November, with Sanders not on the ballot, they won’t show up and Wiener will be victorious.

It turns out that’s not exactly true.

Ads Jim Stearns, one of the city’s top political consultants, pointed out at a VisionSF forum Friday night, the numbers suggest that Kim got a boost – but not from Bernie alone. Her boost was both a Hillary bump and a Bernie bump; she did well because of the turnout.

“When we vote, we win,” Stearns told the mostly progressive audience.

Check out the charts that Stearns put together, that show the margins of victory for Bernie, Hillary, and Jane Kim:

You can see where Bernie won in SF:


You can see where Jane won in SF:


And you can see where Jane beat Bernie:


So the only argument the Wiener folks can make, if they want to make it, is that lower turnout helps him. I don’t think that flies as a political argument – and I also don’t think if flies in November, when turnout will also be high.


Laura Waxmann and Laura Wenus at Mission Local have a great scoop: The Graywood Hotel, which was damaged in the recent fire, was being managed by a very dubious housing startup that has been trying to turn SRO hotels into higher-priced tech-worker housing. The startup, called Negev, has run into problems in the past when tenants displaced by fire weren’t able to move back in – because their low-cost rooms had been converted to frat-style bunkbed housing for young employees of tech companies who saw it as similar to college housing:

On its website, Negev offers five locations throughout the city with rooms renting between $900-$2,000. The hotels come with descriptions like “social, ambitious and driven interns,” aiming to match tenants with similar interests and personality types.

“People who are paying those prices are also being duped, believing that they are coming into [tech or student] housing,” said Bakhta.

Instead, the now burned-out SRO with 26 rooms housed a mix of long-term tenants, fixed-income renters, seniors, families and formerly homeless tenants.

The intern and the student said they stepped into a reality that was quite different from what was advertised.

“The way they promoted it, it sounded like it was was all students living together,” said the student.

Some longterm tenants of the Graywood who were “inherited” by Negev after the company took over the hotel’s management roughly two years ago said that they had been offered buyouts ranging from $2,000 to $3,000.

“They offered to buy me out several times,” said Kimberly Walley, a Graywood resident of five years. “I told them that [money] did nothing for me.”

Paul Miranda, a U.S. Marines veteran, and his partner, Michelle Thompson, were also offered a buyout two years ago. The couple had been living at the Graywood for some four years and paid $681 for their room.

“They were trying to be a co-op thing,” said Miranda. “The refurbished rooms come with bunk beds and futons. They don’t look like our rooms.”

In this case, the owner of the Graywood has ended his contract with Negev, but the tenants, some of whom have lived there for many years and are paying way-below-market rents, won’t be able to move back in for some time. It’s not clear how much the city can do to force the landlord to expedite repairs, but some fear that if time drags out, and temporary housing options expire, the existing low-income tenants will be forced out of the area, and the new tenants will pay much higher rents.

So what the displaced tenants need now, more than anything, is cash – money to pay the much-higher rents they are going to be charged while the landlord repairs the damage to the Graywood – and the much-higher rents that the renters who lived in the two adjacent buildings that are total losses will have to pay, since a building that is demolished and rebuilt is not under rent control and previous tenants have no right to return.

On Thursday/30, El Rio will host a fundraiser to help the displaced people. It’s a community effort: The organizers are Sana Saleem, 48hills reporter, and Todd Lappin, who runs Bernalwood, joined by William Fitzgerald and Zach Mellette of Google, and Edwin Lindo, of the Frisco Five. The MC is 48hills Publisher Marke B.

All donations will go directly to the families, and will be matched one-to-one by a corporate sponsor. The Mission Economic Development Agency will process all the donations and will take no fee. $10 at the door, nobody turned away. El Rio is kindly donating all the bar proceeds from 8pm to midnight.

Should be a great community event.


The Board of Supes takes up the Affordable Housing Density Bonus again Tuesday/28. Last time around, after some complicated discussion with the city attorney, the item got continued.

It’s a test of the politics of the Board – Sups. Aaron Peskin and Eric Mar have a version, Sup. Katy Tang has a version that the mayor likes, and unless there’s a middle ground that they reach somehow, the swing votes (like Board President London Breed) will have to decide which side of a close vote they want to be on.


So guess what? The SFMTA wants your opinion about the Google buses. Sort of.

The agency has been forced to do a study of alternatives to the giant tech shuttles clogging up neighborhood streets (and driving up housing prices). The concept, promoted by Jane Kim and others, is that the shuttles could “stage” somewhere on the edge of town, and the people who ride them could (gasp) take Muni or ride bikes (like the rest of us) to get to the staging area.

Where would that be? That’s what the MTA wants to know. The survey doesn’t ask the key question – would you like to get the tech shuttles out of the neighborhoods and prevent traffic problems and displacement? – but if you respond with an alternative, maybe that vote will count.

You can go to the link here.


An out-of-town landlord is trying to evict a 99-year-old from her home in the Western Addition. Iris Canada, who has lived in the Page Street unit since the 1940s, won a court victory that allows her to stay – but only if she pays the landlord’s attorney’s fees, which are more than $150,000. She clearly can’t afford that.

There’s some sticky stuff about her signing away her limited rights to the unit so the landlord can convert to a condo, but the bottom line is that she’s 99. And she’s going to be evicted so somebody else can make more money on the unit.

There’s a vigil for Canada Monday/27 at 6pm, 670 Page Street (at Fillmore).


The Soma Filipino community is deeply unhappy with the deal that would allow the construction of 1.5 million square feet of (mostly market-rate) housing and office space at Fifth and Mission. The South of Market Action Committee is holding a fundraiser Thursday/30 to help fund the battle to block this gentrification bomb. Special guest is my friend David Talbot, author of The Season of the Witch. 5:30pm, Soma Grand, 1160 Mission. Details here.


The movement to make City College free is growing. The Budget and Finance Committee will be discussing Wednesday/29 a proposal by Jane Kim to put a measure on the November ballot raising taxes on real-estate sales of more than $5 million – the “mansion tax.” That would raise enough money to allow SF residents to go to City College free. It’s a potentially huge deal both for low-income San Franciscans and for City College, which would see a huge enrollment increase. There’s a rally Tuesday/28 on the steps of City Hall to support the plan. You can sign the petition here.

Busy week. Let’s get to work.

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.


  1. <.

  2. This is quite different that the GSP that I’ve heard about thru the SFAA
    and there is no mention of City funding assistance to the LL. I’ve inquired about this, and typically the highest paying tenants are housed first, while the lowest paid languish. While there may be other factors hindering their quickly getting into a temp unit (pets, too many roommates, smoker, etc), if the City was willing to make up the difference, I wouldn’t expect to see that.

    Additionally, how does the City come to a price point for particular apts (in which to ‘make up the different’?) If I said I was willing to accept a tenant paying $650/ but my 1BR goes for “$5000”, wouldn’t there be any question, inspection, or other verification of that price level? Apt rents can vary from neighborhood to ‘hood, and even from bldg to bldg. So how would the City determine a ‘fair’ rent?

    Maybe there is a second or other GSP, in which you participated. I’d be interested in helping.

  3. Jane Kim “won” because PG&E hates Scott for trying to regulate them. She’ll be toast in November, and when’s she’s finally termed out of the BoS, look for her to pull a Midgen and get a cushy state appointment to an oversight board for which she is supremely unqualified.

  4. I can see the city approving some funds for such a subsidy on an exception or case-by-case basis. But I do not see any reference in the GSP documentation that mandates the city to make up the rent differential in all cases.

    So I think the first step for any tenant would be to determine whether such a subsidy really is available in their particular case. With proof of that in writing, a landlord might then be willing to rent to the tenant on the basis that they will receive a market rent AND will get vacant possession back in 24 months.

    Without that written proof I can’t see many landlords going for this.

  5. […] Why Jane won: Since Jane Kim pulled ahead in the June 7 State Senate race her opponent Scott Wiener has been making various excuses for why he didn’t win with a double digit margin.  See Tim Redmond 6/26 […]

  6. ‘Progressive San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim’s come-from-behind surge in the state Senate primary was boosted, in part, by a last-minute, $40,000 ad campaign paid for by a political action committee whose key contributor was Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’

    #PG&E’s money put extra wattage in #JaneKim's state Senate surge. via @sfchronicle— Matier and Ross (@matierandross) June 22, 2016

  7. I participated in the GSP, and although the tenant was charged a 10% increase from what they had been paying prior to the Rolling Stock fire on 16th/Shotwell, the City did pay me the difference. I was told that the subsidy would continue until the tenant found another place, or 2 yrs, whichever came first. Since I only had a 1 bdrm available at the time, and the family had 4 people and a baby on the way, they continued looking for permanent housing, and found a place in the Bayview within a few months. At least they spent Christmas in a flat, rather than their car, which was their only other option at the time, as their hotel room allotment was up. I received a check from the tenant, and a separate check from the City for the difference, so I didn’t suffer a loss at all. If the tenants can find a place, they should ask the landlord to participate in the program and see how it can work.

  8. You’re missing an important point. The so-called Good Samaritan program relies on a landlord somewhere having a vacant unit AND being willing to participate in the program.

    Very few landlords do, and the reason is that the rent they can charge is limited to just 10% more than what the tenant was paying before, so it’s not attractive to a property owner.

    And contrary to your suggestion, the city is under no obligation to make up the difference to the landlord, and I’m not aware of any funds that exist specifically for that purpose. If the city did that then the program would be a lot more popular.

    The details are here:

  9. Displaced tenants can get city subsidies to pay the difference between their past rent and new market rate rents, for up to 2 yrs from the fire. Contact Supervisor Campos’s office for details. It’s a City program called the Good Samaritan program.

Comments are closed.

More by this author

Supes reject condos where seniors were evicted

Crucial vote sends a message that a building cleared by the Ellis Act will never get a lucrative permit.

Is the US finally talking about taxing the rich?

In Congress, and in New York, progressive legislation is on the agenda. Still waiting for California.

A varsity letter at 79, a rally to free Malik ….

... plus saving homeless hotel rooms -- and should people who bought a building cleared by eviction get a financial bonus? That's The Agenda for March 1-8

Supes call for investigation of Ferris Wheel money

Revenue goes not to the city, but to a private entity that's part of an FBI corruption probe.

Denmark, taxes, happiness, racism …

... plus saving the SIP hotels, cracking down on serial permit scofflaws, and more problems with private prisons. That's The Agenda for Feb. 22-28

Most read

Supes reject condos where seniors were evicted

Crucial vote sends a message that a building cleared by the Ellis Act will never get a lucrative permit.

Good Taste: Toto’s Pizza returns to SF after decades, Lazy Susan turns the tables

Plus California Mochi lives on, Awesome Bars satisfy that craving, perfect farmer's market picks, more food news

Big new cuts at City College

ESL, Disabled Programming, and other classes (and faculty) will be terminated after this spring.

The Ferris Wheel is about a lot more than some rides in the air

Chan, Peskin say any contract needs a vote of the board. The bigger issue is privatizing the parks.

You might also likeRELATED