Some differences start to emerge from D8 debate

Mostly polite discussion still points to where the candidates will take opposing paths

The District 8 supe debate was generally polite and cordial, and since both candidates are focusing mostly on district issues, there were plenty of points of agreement. Incumbent Jeff Sheehy and challenger Rafael Mandelman both think the city, and the district, need more affordable housing. Both think property crimes are a serious problem.

Both said the three previous occupants of the seat – Mark Leno, Bevan Dufty, and Scott Wiener – had done a good job. Both said we need to raise the salaries of public school teachers. Both talked about their long records as activists. (You can watch the whole debate on our 48 Hills Facebook page here.)

Rafael Mandelman and Jeff Sheehy with moderator Mirisa Lagos

Most of the questions by moderator Marisa Lagos seemed to allow the candidates to focus on areas of agreement: She never asked either candidate to say where they differed. She never asked Mandelman to say what issues drove him to challenge the incumbent. She never asked Sheehy what positions on issues would make him a better choice.

But when you look a little deeper at the discussion, a few key distinctions emerge – and they are likely to shape the campaign.

Mandelman repeatedly talked about how Mayor Ed Lee has failed the city. “I think this city has suffered for years from a lack of leadership,” Mandelman said. And while he said he liked and respected Lee, “he should not have run” for mayor.

Sheehy said that his “biggest defect” was that he was appointed by the mayor (an admission that Lee is not popular anywhere in town, including D8). But he also said Lee is “a good guy who is dedicated to making the city better.”

So to the extent that the record of the current administration is an issue, Mandelman has made it clear that he is not a fan, and Sheehy has made it clear that he has only limited criticism of the man who appointed him.

Sheehy supports arming the San Francisco police with Tasers. Mandelman said that “perhaps this is not the best moment” to give the cops another weapon, considering all the problems with the department’s use of force.

And on housing, we got some insight into the fairly stark differences between the two. Sheehy opposed the Mission Moratorium, and he told the crowd that it was “one of the most misguided things I have ever seen. How do we solve a housing crisis without building housing?”

That’s the position of the Yimby Party and others who believe that the private market will somehow solve the housing crisis, that the construction of enough luxury housing (and all market-rate housing today is luxury housing) will trickle down to the rest of us.

Mandelman said he supported the 18-month moratorium on market-rate housing, saying that the Mission was facing a crisis of luxury housing coming in with very little affordable housing.

That puts Mandelman on the side of the people who say that the market alone won’t solve this crisis and that there are times when the government has to tell for-profit developers that we simply can’t go on the way we are.

There was a little bit of an interesting argument about tenancies in common, which are a back-door way to turn rental units into condos – and which are at the root of many of the Ellis Act evictions in the city.

Speculators buy buildings with tenants who are under rent control, paying a relatively low price. Then they evict all the tenants and flip the units as TICs.

Sheehy’s response was that it was difficult to get financing for TICs – which is not true; if it were, there would be no Ellis Act evictions. Almost every Ellis Act eviction leads to a building sold as TICs.

Mandelman pointed out that Sheehy, years ago, supported a measure that would have allowed thousands more rental units to be turned into condos – something every tenant group in town opposed.

Sheehy said that he wanted to allow existing residents to buy their apartments, preventing future displacement.

Both candidates clearly want this race to be about who can best represent the district. But there are some key differences on the central issues facing the city – and they started, slowly and cautiously, to emerge at the first debate.

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  • PaxSF

    Yes, it’s good that we know now Mandelman is a NIMBY who opposes the creation of more housing, just like Redmond.

    Likewise, Mandelman may be on the side of the reactionary few who supported the Mission Moratorium, but that is certainly not the side of the people.

    The people — meaning, San Francisco voters, as well as voters in D8 — overwhelmingly rejected the Moratorium. So here too, good to know that Mandelman’s views put him out of touch with the district and in opposition to its voters.

    • Rosh HoshHosh

      Yes, the people support Robert Rosnia’s 16th and Mission project. He and his team are ‘brilliant,’ according to the Maximus Web site.

      He’s got this really slick system where he quickly leverages his investments so the profit can be reaped extra quick like. It’s akin to how a short term investment fund deal would work. He’s probably a genius, not to mention a snappy dresser.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=robert+rosania+san+francisco&client=ms-android-verizon&prmd=nimv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi_3o6N2MHXAhWGxYMKHTbmB6wQ_AUIEygC&biw=360&bih=560#imgrc=qjxw4UmexkhUCM:

    • Heart

      How does Mandelman’s saying he supports a focus on building truly affordable housing (as opposed to the glut of market rate we currently have) a NIMBY? Oh. That’s right: YIMBots and BARFbots are lobbyists for developers and realtors. Now I remember. YIMBots and BARFbots could give a shirt about tenants rights and renters.

      • Porfirio666

        Heart sees bots everywhere. Yes, all who oppose his views are botting bots. I’m a Russian bot myself.

      • Don Sebastopol

        How can you have affordable housing without market rate housing?

      • Watson Ladd

        Remember that in SF every market rate building either funds affordable housing or includes it on site. Stopping market rate housing is what we did for 40 years and it didn’t work.

    • Don Sebastopol

      If the moratorium did not apply to D8, then that voters rejected it may not be meaningful. Many are in favor of things in theory, but not if it impacts them personally, like a large development near them. Also, D8 is split between progressives and conservative with progressive in the northeast and conservatives in the southwest. And one can be progressive on some social issues but more conservative on land use issues near them.

  • Andy M

    Interesting that this leaves out that Mandelman said he didn’t think there was space for a Navigation Center in the district.

    • playland

      Of course.
      Navigation Center???
      Not in my backyard!!!!!

      • Porfirio666

        Mandy doesn’t want smelly homeless people in his district, though he wants to “do his part.” Tim didn’t want to criticize Mandy in his puff piece.
        NIMBYism: Asking other people in other parts to do the job.

      • Don Sebastopol

        I would not want a homeless shelter in my backyard either. I would not vote for anyone who would put one there. Maybe the majority of those in his district agree with that.

        • Porfirio666

          Right, “Not in my back yard! Repeat your mantra again and again.

    • Porfirio666

      Tim doesn’t report MandyNews when it violates the approved orthodoxy.

  • Porfirio666

    It appears that you and Joe Fitzgerald at the SF Examiner saw different debates. Joe thinks both candidates were trying their best to be Scott Wiener. You had you pink glasses on, as usual.

    Mandy showed some nice NIMBY colors (and failed to meet the Prog purity test):
    “Mandelman questioned a homeless navigation center in District 8. “I’m not entirely sure there’s a spot in District 8 where that exactly makes sense,” he said, “but I do think every district needs to do its part.”

    “Throughout the night, Mandelman, Wiener’s one-time supervisorial opponent, repeatedly likened his record to the lanky senator. Hell, he name-dropped Wiener so many times I thought the nearly 7-foot-tall politician would magically appear like Beetlejuice.”

    http://www.sfexaminer.com/district-8-debate-will-real-scott-wiener-please-stand/

    • playland

      You know, Joe Fitzgerald might get voted off the island if he keeps this up.

      Glorifying Scott Weiner? What kind of team work is that?

    • Don Sebastopol

      Everyone is in favor of supportive housing if it is not within two blocks of their house. I can understand that. I wouldn’t want to live near a homeless shelter.

      • Porfirio666

        Don, on cue with the NIMBY mantra: “In favor, but not within two blocks of my house”

        • Don Sebastopol

          Everything is not black and white; there are nuances. Voting to help someone does not mean they want to impose something on someone else. They may want to feed the hungry but not in their kitchen. Would you take a homeless person into your house? If so, you are a better person than most.

          • Porfirio666

            True. Everywhere in Frisco-town is within two blocks of somebody’s house. Maybe we should float the homeless out in the bay somewhere.

          • Kyle Huey

            Art Agnos wanted to use decommissioned aircraft carriers.

  • 潜心学习,认真拜读!

  • Kraus

    Anyone — like Pandering Mandy — who supports putting a moratorium on housing creation during a housing shortage is unfit for public office.

    • Don Sebastopol

      I agree the demand is greater than the supply, but why are we obligated to meet the demand? If Mandy supports preserving the quality of life in his neighborhood he may be fit for public office.

    • Heart

      Silly Sonja. Promoting alt facts again. The City’s Planning’s housing dashboard reveals that San Francisco has built +217% beyond its 2020 target for
      market rate/luxury housing creation. Time to focus on building housing for low and middle income earners. Next you’ll tell us all to hold our breaths and wait for the trickle down housing to trickle down and for the market to take care of the revaluation of values. Too bad you and the YIMBYs don’t support building desperately needed and truly affordable housing; I guess if you did the developers and realtors would cut off your funding.

      • whateversville

        Wow, you still think Kraus is Sonja because Kraus rhymes with Trauss? You must be Art Agnos, then?

        “Too bad you and the YIMBYs don’t support building desperately needed and truly affordable housing;”

        YIMBYs are putting by-right approval for 100% affordable housing on the ballot, and have supported BMR projects in the past. Reasonable people can disagree about whether increasing the inclusionary percentage will create more or fewer affordable units.

      • Watson Ladd

        How do you propose paying for the affordable housing? Market rate construction funds affordable units. If we want to meet the below market goals, the easiest source of revenue is from fees for newly upzoned areas.

  • Don Sebastopol

    What is the crisis? What’s wrong with a moratorium? Of course, without market rate housing there would be no below market rate housing, so the moratorium on one is a moratorium on the other.

    I am in favor of Ellis. If affordability is the crisis then adding to the supply of homes for purchase is a good thing making ownership more affordable. Sheehy said that he wanted to allow existing residents to buy their apartments, preventing future displacement. That seems like a good plan to me. It would improve the neighborhood.

  • Curtis Jensen

    I’m getting a little tired of the gross distortion of representing those who favor construction of housing as believing it will “trickle down” or reduce rents. That is simply not the position of anyone and is merely using an alarmist buzz word to scare progressive and liberal voters in SF. The actual belief is that allowing construction of market driven housing reduces the pressure on the TOP of the pricing scale, and as such SLOWS the increases at the bottom. The NIMBY position addresses no pressures on any end of the scale and simply allows rents and housing prices to continually increase. Ultimately construction of housing on the low income and affordable end is going to require either government as developer or deep tax and construction incentives for developers who operate for profit to buy land and suppress it’s profit potential by operating or selling the units for below or at the low end of the scale market rates. Quit taking us for idiots.

  • Tamara Ching

    Jeff has more advertising around The Castro than Rafael and needs to toss more ads up physically. Jeff has done an OK job but we need an intelligent and diligent supervisor who interacts well with the majorities of communities he/she must serve. Rafael can best do this without any ties to the last three mayors. Enough said.

  • missionraised

    The Mission 18th moratorium, was not anti-housing. The issue was the type of housing that was being built, that did not meet the needs of the local community rather hurt it. The Mission continues to be hurt to this day. We were not allowed to decide what best works for us and have a plan that would benefit everyone. It has hurt the Latino working class and poor.

  • sugarntasty

    Wasn’t bemused either candidate Rafi, has potential criticism stop reverting Mr.Microhouse?
    Whom that mocker Scott Wiener agitation really Rafi,going endorse Scott condoms,yeah this was risqus. So be it “District 8” never to late we been neglected with superficial politicians Jeff Ed selected you called “HIV official” insult LGBTQ society politically profiled how? Jeff false display of acknowledgement Pride Events and Health care donations mention gentrification,wrongful terminations and homophobic. No longer liberal San Francisco forgotten Rafi only looking continuation of Scott legacy whom wasn’t popular! Jeff and Rafi neighborhoods formerly LGBTQ,…quota me accurately diversity presently anti-LGBTQ. Simply price out and employment preference,where housing Jeff developments displace LGBTQ residents. Since darling husband oppose “abolishing Ellis Act” Rafi insecure since…Democrats influence. Whom going be next creep,ignoring social blight in sight of San Francisco. Jeff and Rafi not alienated political groups,decided whom going win soon…Rafi saying Scott impeccable. I lost trust towards your agenda,Scott reason of urban blight enough Rafi are. You indirectly saying if your elected eventually,Scott going to be Ed Lee successor win 2019 mayoral race?

    Plenty problems within District 8 gentrification,income imbalance and failure to address LGBTQ
    poverty! Ratio affluent yeah buying with cash dashing away from are problems,Rafi whom
    supporters and Jeff the affluent! OUT hotel/Condo developer increase density 28 or 33fl,argument case shadow. 1745 Market St and U Haul dealership behind zoned high density,
    …seeking waiver high increase odd,housing seldom mention during debate! Jeff and Rafi
    where losing allure of illuminate “Rainbow” those eligible ownership OUT hotel/Condo affluent
    not incline to support political speculators. Using heritage to defeat once respected LGBTQ,
    society commerce Jeff don’t use this charade. Friends Ed Lee and Londonfrown critical of
    LGBTQ society aloof urban planning reason gentrification cause disparity! Disgrace Marc Leno fighting for (LGBTQ) mayoral irrelevant economically San Francisco homophobic affluent this new residency detest. Empower of united LGBTQ society continue on Pride events segregation has increase. Jeff discuss TIC units sold due: lottery have devise housing and job policies District 8 irate upon question general interest during debate! Rafi figure Scott going win mayoral race 2019 over Marc Leno eventually vice mayor Rafi or senate race. District 8 needs efficient representative problem NAIOP and BOMA S.F Rafi and Jeff.Jeff Kawa influence your candor. During debate LGBTQ impartial towards gentrification a joke!