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Home Featured Farrell as mayor: How did this happen?

Farrell as mayor: How did this happen?

Plutocrat Ron Conway tried to bully the supervisors to get his way -- and it backfired

Ron Conway, Big Tech's power broker

How did Mark Farrell, one of the most conservative members of the Board of Supes, wind up with the support of progressives to become interim mayor? How did Jeff Sheehy, who has generally voted with the moderates, and who initially supported London Breed, wind up being the swing vote for Farrell?

You can thank Ron Conway – and the fact that Breed was reluctant initially to give up her D5 seat to take the interim job.

Ron Conway, Big Tech’s power broker

From what I can gather, if Breed had scheduled the meeting to choose a new mayor two weeks ago, or even last week, she might still be on the job. The progressives had five votes; the moderates had five votes. Nobody could count to six – so Breed would have been able to remain as both board president and acting mayor, possibly until the June election.

But then Conway started acting like the plutocratic bully he is, and his attempts to scare off any potential challengers seems to have backfired.

In the past week or so, Conway has been calling supervisors, and, as Sup. Hillary Ronen described it last night, threatening them, telling them he would destroy their careers if they didn’t side with Breed.

That allowed the progressives to change the dynamic in the race: As Ronen pointed out, the same billionaires who have wrecked the city over the past two administrations, causing massive displacement and a staggering wealth gap, were fully behind Breed. And people what want a change in the direction of the city’s policies were going to look for someone else.

That’s actually a stronger political argument than the “separation of powers” case that Sup. Aaron Peskin made. He’s right – it’s strange, unprecedented, and not a good idea for one person to run both the executive and legislative branches of government for an extended period of time.

But in the end, challenging a billionaire who is linked to failed policies and is trying to singlehandedly control City Hall proved to be a winning strategy.

Breed was never likely to get six votes to be interim mayor, and even if she did, she would have had to give up her seat on the board. That would mean she’d be out of a job entirely if she lost in June.

When Sup. Norman Yee nominated Farrell, and Farrell agreed to accept the nomination, Breed lost one of her potential five votes; with two supes in the running, and thus unable to vote, there were only nine votes left. On the first round, Breed got just four.

Farrell is termed out in November anyway, so he only loses a few months in office. He will, however, have to step away from his lucrative finance business, which he continued as a board member. The mayor by law can’t have an outside job.

For the progressives, the idea of Breed running as an incumbent, with that huge advantage, was alarming. “I don’t think vulnerable communities in San Francisco can survive” a long-term Breed administration allied with Conway and Big Tech and Real Estate, one progressive leader, who is not on the board, told me recently.

So they took the only play they could get, knowing that Sheehy (who is not close to Breed) might be the swing vote for Farrell. Sheehy, who is in a close race for his D8 seat, winds up with a mayor who may endorse him, but at the very least will stay out of the race and not support his opponent, Rafael Mandelman.

With only four months in office, it’s unlikely Farrell will do much of anything particularly dramatic one way or the other. He might try to position himself to run in 2019 — but there will almost certainly be an incumbent in that race.

It was, some of the players admit, a gamble: Choosing a white man who wants tasers for the cops, opposed free City College, and is a venture capitalist, over an African American woman will be hard to explain.

But as several speakers noted, this was really about politics and power – and the most important goal of the city’s left was a mayor’s race not dominated by an incumbent.

The strategy clearly wasn’t spontaneous – the progressives knew in advance what was going on, but it was the best kept secret at City Hall in a long time. As one source who is not on the board told me: “I think they were too confident and underestimated the progressives.”


  1. If you mean electric as in racist electric. One thing for sure. Hilary won’t be getting many votes from African Americans, although Progressives and their YIMBY political views will remove the remaining blacks from town. You can’t build new housing without displacement. That’s a fact.

  2. Ha. I had a couple years at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

    My name is Rosh. Sorry I missed your kick-off. My aunt’s available for volunteer work .. just let me know.

  3. Oh, right — it was “spontaneous”.

    That’s why Farrell’s wife and kids just happened to be at City Hall, dressed to the nines, and ready for the photo op and swearing in 5 minutes after the vote.

    Come on, Rosh, you’re smarter than that.

  4. The vote was necessary to break the cycle of what had become a series of roll-over positions for supervisor and mayor. If Breed wins, then it’s a clean win. And why is Peskin the mastermind anyhow?

    Norman Yee seemed oblivious and nominated Farrell, but was he really oblivious? Cohen was flip flopping like a fish outta water — what was up with that? Jane Kim is practically a ninja (black belt in tae kwon doe), how do we know she didn’t steal the secret recipe? And backk to the original point — is Farrell more like T. Roosevelt, or is it actually Peskin? Back to the chambers, who was the guy in the plum colored snap-brim hat? And is ‘Kraus’ really Trauss? Is this whole thing really a Conway master plan and we’re all duped?

    There’s just too many questions to pin it on Peskin. Hopefully there’s a board game that can clear this up.

  5. You really have to be more sensitive to “Geek_Girl”.

    She has “anger issues” and is unable to muster the intellectual wherewithal to advance cogent, fact-based arguments.

    Accordingly, name-calling is really all she has to offer.

  6. When Farrell runs in 2019, this should give him a leg up. However, if Breed wins it will be more difficult for him. He should pray for a progressive to win.

  7. Oh… who are you kidding Mr. White Male? — it’s always about race, intersectionality and identity politics. What fairyland do you live in?

  8. No, that’s actually not the point.

    The point is such “machinations of marginalization”– as Peskin is indulging in — can often have outcomes that are completely unexpected and radically contrary to the intended effect.

  9. Ahh, I see. Both assumed higher positions after their bosses unexpectedly ceased to live. Wow, it’s just uncanny.

  10. I don’t know anything about Haney’s sexuality.

    I said he’s looking hard to beat. But it’s early and I don’t get to vote for D6 supervisor anyways.

    My aunt does though. She lives at the Raman on Howard @ 6th. It took me and her over a year to line up that place. We are very happy about it.

    I know today Trauss had her D6 campaign kick-off next door. Hopefully she’s looking out for the Raman SRO tenants, and my mom’s little sister.

  11. So your a hypocrite — who doesn’t like to be called out on their hypocrisy which is reasonable enough, I suppose, for someone of your persuasion.

  12. Ronen’s speech was a heaping steaming mound of obsequious “identity politics” blather — absolutely cringeworthy; quivering lips, tears and all.

    (Peskin — in his Machiavellian-behind-the-scenes way — at least had the political sense to have his lackey Ronen function as his “beard”.)

  13. Another fact: I don’t give a shit about what you have to say. As I’ve written before, I don’t support any increase in housing without improving/expanding the infrastructure and services ahead of development. This actually happens in cities where there is solid city planning. Here, our City Planning Department is really a permit processinh/variance advocacy unit. And because this doesn’t happen, it is costly. Remember that fire that burned the 172 unit building under construction near AT&T Park? It burned to the ground, according to the SFFD, because the proper hydrants were nowhere near the building. Got that? Why wasn’t having these types of hydrants nearby a requirement before work began? It is truly idiotic. There are hundreds of other examples.

    And I also support a hard freeze on any new office buildings until the ‘housing crisis’ is addressed.

    Call me NIMBY, YIMBY or whatever you want. I see no difference between you and a screaming lunatic 6th and Market, except that the lunatic is probably a likable person.

  14. “Do Something Nice” asserts:

    “Oh shut up, I’ve long advocated for SF to be a city of 1.5 million people.”

    OK, I’ve called you out on this statement before and I’ll call you out on it again.

    The previous time you mentioned it, you proposed that SF should reach the 1.5 million mark in the reasonable — from your perspective — timeframe of 20 years.

    So ….If you’re truly progressive and honest about your support to grow SF’s population from the present amount of approx. 875,000 to 1,500,000 within 20 years then you should be advocating vigorously and continuously for massive “SUPPLY SIDE” housing production.

    Accordingly, from this moment forward you should declare yourself, honestly and forthrightly as a YIMBY.

    To do otherwise would be hypocritical.

    To accommodate that increase in population would (conservatively) require — figuring 4 persons per home — the creation of at least 7,813 new homes per year.*

    * (1,500,000 – 875,000 = 625,000; 625,000 / 20 = 31,250; 31,250 / 4 = 7,813)

    Note: We are currently creating — due to our incredibly slow and dysfunctional planning, entitlement and construction processes — about 2,000 homes per year.

    Historical Fact: From 1945 until the late 70’s — prior to embarking upon the present onerous regulatory regime — we were more productive; as we created about 3,200 homes per year.

  15. And you and your reactionary fellow travellers are funded by NIMBYs, rent-seeking millionaire hippy homeowners, nativists and confused neo-Marxist ideologues.

  16. Breed has basically refused to even acknowledge the finance limit agreement that her two leading opponents have adopted. She doesn’t want to even acknowledge that big money in local politics is a problem, because that would only increase the call for change and fairer elections.

    Although it wasn’t mentioned by the press in their reporting, the top alternate pick of the crowd at the recent S.F. City Hall meeting as to who could be a true interim mayor was City Administrator Naomi Kelly — a black female — who holds the position that Former Mayor Ed Lee once held, before becoming interim mayor for the remainder of Gavin Newsom’s term… only to later break his promise to the people of the city by running for mayor.

    Both Naomi Kelly and Sup. Jane Kim were nominated for — but refused to accept — the position of interim mayor of San Francisco. Video of this is available at http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=10&clip_id=29619

  17. What happened was definitely not about race.

    Although it wasn’t mentioned by the press in their reporting, the top alternate pick of the crowd at the recent S.F. City Hall meeting as to who could be a true interim mayor was City Administrator Naomi Kelly, who holds the position that Former Mayor Ed Lee once held before becoming interim mayor for the remainder of Gavin Newsom’s term… only to later break his promise to the people of the city by running for mayor.

    Both Naomi Kelly and Sup. Jane Kim were nominated for — but refused to accept — the position of interim mayor of San Francisco. Video of the full meeting is available at http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=10&clip_id=29619

  18. “Beauty and charm”, that’s your dog-whistle?

    Good god, no wonder your cracking open champagne at the election of a white venture capitalist who wants to give tasers to cops.

  19. Thank you self-appointed white savior. Care to lecture us on just how little we matter? Great job letting us know who is and isn’t as smart as you.

  20. Unnamed sources, – check
    Opinion presented as political reporting – check
    Mindless backing of a propertied elite that self describes as “progressive” – check

    What a pity that SF lacks decent political coverage. And how ironic that the country’s tech leader is itself a news desert.

  21. You can build less than you otherwise would. I’m amazed you aren’t familiar with counterfactual comparatives.

  22. This is from my favorite Sonja Trauss article right now:

    “In an effort to clarify my own thinking, and double check that my mental model didn’t have any hidden internal inconsistencies, …” she’s created her own model.

    If you’d like to check out all the double / quadruple hyphens, punctuation outside quotations, exclamation mark ending paragraphs, parenthesis upon parenthesis, underscore / money sign / embedded link, bar graph / line graph / unidentified color composite graph — and lastly, but not leastly, the clarified statistics, then click here: https://marketurbanismreport.com/does-adding-expensive-housing-help-the-little-guy/

    Hilarious she’s dumped Breed already to pander Farrell. Desperate times call for desperate measures I guess. Haney is looking hard to beat in D6 https://www.matthaney.com/

  23. You don’t think Conway and Co. would have railroaded Kim if she had been Board President? And by the way, Feinstein stepped down from Board President when she became Mayor. Breed did not.

  24. You need to be more polite. Your name calling is offensive. If I were Geek Girl’s mama, I’d feel like I failed.

  25. No. In fact I’m suggesting tripling the quadruple of the inventory of commerically zoned retail space, and getting the city to subsidize heritage businesses in new better spaces, with five times the foot traffic.

  26. New buildings are far far greener than older buildings. We are not packed. We need better transportation and new technologies, and we will get along just fine.

    All we need is infrastructure.

    How old are you geek girl? 27? 29? You sound young and awfully naive.

  27. Oh Jesus. I didn’t say 24th. Or people’s homes. I said Mission St. I wouldn’t touch 24th. I would let it organically morph. The same way it was heavily Irish and Italian when my parents were kids, it morphed into Latin in the 70s through 90s, and is morphing into something else altogether. I like how every 30-40 years it gets reinvented.

    Remember that’s the whole energy and raisin d’etre in SF. The place gets reinvented every 30-40 years. You may not like the changes, and I know I don’t often like them, but the changes are what keep this City relevant.

    Someone here wrote about how people want to seal this City in amber. And that’s the last thing jay needs to happen.

    Keep a cultural district as in North Beach. But realize that all this shall pass.

    The next earthquake will be coming along within another decade, the place will burn to the ground, and all this sound and fury will be forgotten.

  28. I won’t forget how the progressives got rid of the black lady, then Ronen accused her of being an Uncle Tom. That was a defining moment.

  29. Not much if what you write makes sense.

    I’ved in the deep heart of the Mission since 1986 (lived in North Beach for a few years too). I am a contractor who hires lots of day laborers, many of whom who were in Newsom’s program 1996-2010. They benefited greatly by the voucher program. Food and shelter. It worked. They got housing and health care. Two workers were transgender and got full transition services from Newsom’s programs. You are misinformed.

    I also have five kids who attend public schools. I am deeply involved in this city on lots of levels, so I’m not whistling Dixie here. I used to work for the City too, in the homeless outreach in the 80s.

    I’ve read lots of your posts, Geek Girl. You seem to be an expert on everything under the sun, yet your assumptions fall short and show you don’t have lots of hands on experience. Keeping reading articles and posting online, and stay glued to your laptop. Meanwhile the rest of us who live in the real world will keep correcting you.


  30. Again, dimwit, you can’t “build less”—how does one unbuild? That’s like a person growing shorter. And again, why are you rebutting an argument I haven’t made here? You’re not up to a rational argument yet. But do keep trying…with somebody else. Bye.

  31. Talk about cockadoodledoing: you are the queen of that Sonja. How’s the D6 race coming? Christine Johnson’s entry will no doubt present quite a dilemma for YIMBYs and BARFbots.

  32. Hey Laurel,

    Yeah, the City is becoming more Aegist everyday. I don’t think the Examiner was able to find a worse shot of Angela or they’d have run it.

    Sad thing is that they’re the fairest rag of all and they’re circling the drain.

    Alioto for Mayor!


  33. We’ve got a choice: build more, or build less. So which makes it easier and cheaper for people to move here.

  34. Yeah, I can’t agree with that, Laurel.
    I don’t think that Conway would have supported her if she wasn’t African-American, and female. He thought he was pulling a genius move, supporting someone with her life story and his politics.

  35. Yeah, I can’t agree with that, Laurel.
    I don’t think that Conway would have supported her if she wasn’t African-American, and female. He thought he was pulling a genius move, supporting someone with her life story and his politics.

  36. How does one build less? That’s a contradiction in terms. Sorry, that’s not the conversation I came in on.

  37. Explain to me how building less keeps the interesting people here, instead of forcing them to move into Oakland.

  38. Elements trapped in amber are dead. You trolls need a better metaphor when commenting on this vibrant city.

  39. I lived in NYC for a long time. You had to be very rich or very poor to live in Manhattan. Most everyone else who wasn’t wealthy lived in 6-10 story buildings built in the 1950s-1970s. These were located in The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens and you took the subway to get to work in Manhattan.

    Every time I drive through the Richmond and Sunset (which are San Franciso’s outer boroughs) I can clearly see why there is a housing shortage in San Francisco.

    There might be a dozen or so historic SFHs homes remaining on the island, which are usually protected by preservationists.

  40. “…they have nothing to say.”

    That’s not true, your assertion that it would take too long and thus wouldn’t work has been argued back and forth in a ton of these threads. You’re basically saying that because it would take a long time to fix it therefore shouldn’t even be tried.

    That’s like being against increasing cancer research funding because we may never know if they’ll find a cure or not. And even if they do, the FDA has to approve treatments and that takes a very long time. What about the people with cancer now?!

    Squirrel, I learned something interesting about you in our back and forth’s that we’ve had. You moved here at a time in which supply was high and demand was low (early-mid 90’s, correct?) and entered the rental market at market rate which, at the time, was affordable to you. As you say, there was “plenty of room” then. Well, now there isn’t plenty of room, and what little is available is expensive. If more gets built then there can be plenty of room again.

    Prices also do not need to “come down” in order for them to be affordable. Every minute that they plateau or rise only with inflation means more people can afford to live here. Minimum wage is going up and wages in this area in general are very good in comparison to the rest of the country. A few years of sideways movement in housing prices combined with more vacancy will mean less displacement from the area. The opposite is a continuation sharp increases in price due to tight supply, with housing costs continuing to rise to ridiculous levels.

  41. This is not the island of Manhattan, which by the way, is much larger.

    Just as an FYI to anyone else who might be reading @Geek__Girl:disqus’s post, on planet earth Manhattan is 22.8 square miles. San Francisco is 46.9 square miles; more than twice the size of Manhattan.

  42. If you want to preserve that ‘charm’, it will come at a cost. Such restrictions promote scarcity. Carmel is v charming.

  43. Again, you are suggesting the destruction of hundreds of small businesses, as well as the displacement of people from housing. The Mission street is lined with numerous stores, shops, and restaurants. It is home to some wonderful businesses, shops, and ethnic food. It is another means to destroy the culture in this City.

  44. I blieve Vienna’s social housing is being privatized.

    At any rate, it is not the shining example those who’d like it to be can claim.

  45. Farrell is out in a very short time. If he tries anything radical, it will simply be overturned by his replacement. I know you are hoping for him to be a tyrant, but I doubt that will happen.

  46. ROTFL! No, they didn’t “railroad” Breed. She was hoist by her own petard. She could have told Conway to shove it, that she was not for sale, she could have made it clear that she was willing to give up being supervisor, and take her chances with losing in June, and being out of office, etc. But she made her choices and she had to face the consequences. She was not entitled to be the Interim Mayor, and was certainly not entitled to be the acting mayor until June while holding on to her seat as supervisor and President of the Board.

  47. Really? Where will the water come from? Where will the sewage go? How much traffic do you think we can handle? This is not the island of Manhattan, which by the way, is much larger. We are already pretty much packed.

  48. And I am sure you would have no problem with destroying the culture in the Mission District. Already the 24th Street corridor is being turned into a hipster paradise at the expense of the Latino community there. Mission Street is home to a lot of businesses that you would blissfully pave over. That is people’s livelihood and homes you want to run roughshod over, No thanks.

  49. What voucher program? Are you talking about “Care Not Cash?” That was a bad joke. He took away the little bit of money that some people got, by lying and claiming it was being spent on drugs and alcohol. He then proceeded to slash the services it was supposed to pay for. What it resulted in was a system where people who got assistance were guaranteed a bed in a shelter, and others were turned away. He made it sound like people would be given real housing, but they were not. In fact, he closed at least one shelter, and a number of drop-in centers that provided needed services that helped homeless people. He also pretty much destroyed the PAES program that helped people get job training and find jobs. And he improved public parks in SOME areas. I imagine you live in an affluent part of town. He didn’t help the poorer areas, and he used Rec and Parks as a political tool.

  50. ROTFL! Just how stupid do you think people are. The Twitter building was, as the article says,”renovated.” Big difference from “Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s put dirt and plants and water on top of City buildings and grow gardens. Twitter spent a lot of money on its headquarters. Or do you think they just hauled wheelbarrows of dirt up the elevators and started dumping it? Bottom line, you are either completely ignorant, or totally dishonest.

  51. Somebody’s pandering, that is for sure.

    What is it exactly — besides both being mayors and both being born to wealth — that T. Roosevelt and M. Farrell have in common? Pretty sure Roosevelt was never a venture capitalist. Almost positive Farrell has never shot a White Rhino. Idk .. I give up .. do tell.

  52. For four months. She was going to be in for four months. This whole thing was a power play to maneuver a more progressive ally into the mayorship, and to prevent Breed from becoming Mayor. And calling Breed a moderate or a conservative is insane.

  53. I consider myself very progressive, but her speech rubbed me the wrong way. She came off as an apologetic guilty straight weak white lady blaming everything on straight white men. Ultimate Victim. Cringie. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I want powerful positive energy coming from my Supe. Not a cringe fest of tears.

    I’m gay, I have relatives who are African American and Asian, and I bow down to no-one in my love of diversity…. But this stuff is what makes me cringe. The blame game and the categorization of white people and straight people as being all bad guys blah blah blah. It’s not doing anybody favors.

    We stand strongest together. Blaming isn’t going to work. Best for us all to work together, hand in hand…. Which is why I was appalled that they’d go kick out the first black female mayor over what amounts to air, and fear, and just nothing at all. Ridiculous.

    And I was just beginning to warm up to Ronen. I really hated her predecessor, and didn’t vote for her. Still, I was starting to like her because she really is doing good work in the Mission. But then she goes and does this…. Ick.

  54. Right. A plague. The same plague that helped bring 100,000 high paying jobs into the City during a deep recession, rather than having the jobs go down into the Valley. I agree that Conway needs someone to reign him in, but saying he is all bad, or did nothing but bad to the City, or is a plague…. Just is not accurate. Misses the whole point that this City is booming and doing very well, but desperately needs some balance and something to benefit the people left behind in the boom.

  55. I agree. She is crazy as a loon, but would be a fantastic mayor. She knows the homeless issue better than anybody, and actually succeeded in making things better in the 80s and 90s. She is liberal as the day is long, and also a sharpie when it comes to getting business on board. But nobody under 50 knows who she is, in SF anymore, do they?

  56. Hold on. In this instance, I seriously doubt they would have railroaded Breed had she not been African American, female, and a bit of a novice. I found it sad and frustrating that the one time the Board decided to undo the tradition of having the President become temp mayor, (Feinstein and Lee had benefited), they decided to pull the rug out from under an African American female. That pissed me off. And made me extremely sad for London Breed. I was really pulling for her.

  57. Of course it could. I’d rather it not. But until the suburbs do their part to build affordable housing–and they have failed miserably–the housing needs to go somewhere to preserve the families and existing citizens’ rights to afford to live here.

    The ONLY thing that ever brought down or stabilized rents, EVER, was to have more housing. If you don’t build it, eventually the entire city will be free of renters, working people, and normal people who send their kids to public school.

  58. Nope. Building up six to ten stories all along Mission St, all the way out past Geneva, would do the trick. And yes, I live near here and support that. And nobody would be bothered by the loss. Maybe 10-20% of the structures along Mission are architecturally significant and worth saving. It’s also a major transportation hub. Require 30% affordable units, and it’s a win win all around.

  59. Why are you targeting SOMA and the Mission? Why not Balboa Park and Glenn Park BART station? What about the acres of single family homes one can see in the Southwest of the city?

  60. It is actually the only answer. You don’t destroy the city by building scattered skyscrapers. You use solid city planning, by raising Mission St, Geary Blvd up to six stories. Maybe Harrison, Bryant, Gough, Market too and change zoning of the Avenues for multi-family. Oh, and definitely down 3rd Street–they are already building a whole new city over there and it’s okay by me. It can be done. Add Bayshore and Hunter’s Point. My good friend Phil is a crazy left wing urban planner, and we disagree on so much–this argument, building up to six storied or more along corridors–is his idea, and I agree, it’s a solid solution.

  61. That’s not true. Gavin’s voucher program was a success, and got more people off the streets. And if you have children and raise them in the City, as I do–five kids, all in public school and all big users of public parks–he was phenomenal in directing funds to renew the City’s playgrounds. The schools are much better, too. He gets lots of credit.

  62. @geek__girl:disqus – Relax! I said in in advance that the list would not affect your thinking. Only an ignorant fool like me would produce a list of existing buildings that you said cannot exist.

    To anyone else — her babbling about existing buildings not being able to support living roofs makes no sense. For example, one of the buildings on the list is Twitter headquarters, which we all know has been around for decades.

    You can see more about this roof here:

    Green-Roofed Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco

  63. And there is something wrong with wanting to win the mayor’s race? And are you actually trying to make anyone believe that Ron Conway has not done worse? Conway’s “super power” is deep pockets, and a willingness to spend huge amounts of money to attack and smear any opponent who dares challenge him. He pumps money into elections to sway voters. He will resort to lies, distortions, whatever it takes to win. He is basically corruption incarnate.

  64. Let me give you a bit more detail, so you will realize what an ignorant fool you have made of yourself. Newsom was not talking about building NEW buildings, with roofs designed to hold that much load, like, oh say, the NEW Academy of Sciences building in Golden Gate Park. He was talking about putting all that dirt on top of existing buildings, that were not designed to hold that much of a load. No, your ignorant attempt to refute what I said has NOT effect on my logic. It simply shows your desperation and dishonesty in attempting to score some imagined win. Oh, and you link is not valid.

  65. Re:

    Gavin Newsom, who could not understand that putting tons of dirt and water, and plants on top of buildings would be a recipe for disaster

    This won’t affect @Geek__Girl:disqus ‘s thinking, but in case anyone else is interested, here is a list of buildings that currently have these living roofs full of dirt water and plants:
    Mapping the Many Living Roofs of San Francisco

  66. You seem to ignore the fact that San Francisco is limited in size. We are 49 square miles, 7 miles x 7 miles. As pointed out, those places have much more room, and are not bound by water on three sides, and next to another city to the south. Where do you propose to put those five story buildings?

  67. 5 stories are not high rises. Have you ever heard of Paris? Ever seen a picture of Paris? And we don’t need to preserve every single old, non-earthquake resistant building in the city. We shouldn’t have single family zoning anywhere in SF and call it a sanctuary city. What’s more important: ensuring people aren’t displaced, or views for rich white people like Aaron Peskin’s constituents?

  68. So, you think building high rise buildings are the answer? Ever consider that San Francisco has a certain beauty and charm that would be lost in such a move? And what historic structures would you sacrifice in such an effort? So what if people can’t see anything except the tower next to them.

  69. Do you really think that San Francisco can support 1.5 million people? You are as ignorant as Gavin Newsom, who could not understand that putting tons of dirt and water, and plants on top of buildings would be a recipe for disaster. Do you understand concepts like infrastructure? Do you think those 1.5 million won’t mean an increase in water use, traffic, waste…

  70. Yes, Vienna does have that type of housing – and most of it has vast parks and/or open space surrounding it.

    Having an overly dense city with little sunlight and airflow is why cities expand beyond their borders. It is unhealthy.

  71. True. Look at how the City declined under Gavin Newsom, who did everything he could to wreck Muni. And who spent most of his time coming up with absurd ideas that, fortunately, never got past the drawing board. And Willie Brown, who raised corruption to an art form.

  72. Oh, let’s see… How about the idea that one man can dictate the policies of the City. Like insuring that Uber and Lyft can get away with any abuse they choose? Like allowing AirBnB to violate the law without consequences? Stopping the the City from being overrun with behemoth tech shuttles? Be honest, you don’t care about “affordable housing.” You simply want SF to be a techie paradise.

  73. Conway had a lot of help “ruining” SF. From the Do-nothing Mayors to the grandstanding supervisors. He didn’t do it all on his own, and most of the blame lays at the feet of lousy governance and incompetence, not at Conway.

  74. Tim Redmond, Calvin Welch, and friends have long histories of opposing more homes. The effect is displacement, and they dress these policies in a guise of social progress. Damn straight I’m pissed off.

    Vienna has social housing that rises 5 stories everywhere. Yet no one in the Most Leftist City in the US (TM) calls for this, except the conservatives.

  75. Ms. Breed would have been pushed around like a floor mop by the SF machine and SEIU. She has neither financial nor managerial experience to run a $10,000,000,000 budget. Mr. Farrell has financial background and will only be in office five months. He just needs to keep the trains running.

  76. Here’s another big lie: YIMBYs are just regular ole renters looking for a break. Take this, for instance:

    “He may have received the blessing — and the big bucks — of Silicon
    Valley’s biggest power players, but Brian Hanlon has one more
    demographic to charm: developers”


    Hanlon won’t have any trouble charming developers, nope none at all.

  77. You are wrong. “SF conservatives” have also fought against growing the city. It is only libertarian nutcases like you who have consistently advocated growing the city in a “wild west” manner, with no regulations, etc.

    And conservatives blocking projects in SF goes back several decades. Even Caspar Weinberger led the protest against building The Fontana complex when it was proposed.

    Your rabid tone, your obsession with progressives and your idiotic, anything goes approach to growing San Francisco is just as much to blame for us not moving forward as anything else.

  78. At one point she said that of the tech moguls:

    The policies they championed are the ones that have decimated the African-American community in this City and are doing the same to the Latino community. LGBTQ people are being pushed out in alarming numbers, and I believe the Asian American community is the next in line.

    Really? Ron Conway decimated the African-American population? Does that mean that we should reinstate the name Justin Hermann Plaza? Because everyone always pointed to his policies in the 1970s. Now you are saying that the decline in the African-American population has only been going on for a decade?

    And tech is going to push out the Asian American community? Have you been to a tech office lately? The heads of Google and Microsoft are Asian, Apple is run by a gay man. The concept that tech companies will turn away talented Asian or LGBTQ people is laughable.

    Look, it was a good progressive speech. It doesn’t have to be “true” in order to be a good progressive speech.

  79. You know, that’s funny, because every time I mention that even by YIMBYs own estimates it would take decades for prices to come down enough to be affordable to even “middle income” people, they have nothing to say. Not to mention that this is just plain asinine. But even if there were some magical spell that made this true, what happens in the meantime?

    I already know that Watson Ladd here opposes rent control. He’s stated that ONLY building more is the solution to the crisis. Perhaps if I see him yelling out the fifth or 80th story window of a building on fire, I’ll go shopping for wood to build him a ladder.

    The lies are in the framing, in the relentless insistence that progressives have had supreme power in the last 40 years, in the omission of so many factors that have led to the wealth gap, in the complete lack of class consciousness or analysis of power, in the bizarre and racist equation of themselves to oppressed people….

    And since I’m tired of responding to the same accusations made to progressives over and over, and because I actually have to work for a living, I’m just going to copy this to cut and paste into future comment forums.

  80. It’s rather amusing seeing the so-called “progressives” crowing about their supposed “victory” with the appointment of Supervisor Farrell as the interim Mayor.

    I, for one, am quite happy to have someone as capable as Mark Farrell — who is not beholden to “progressive” group think nor subject to any other political distractions — as our chief executive between now and June. If he really grabs the bull by the horns — a la Teddy Roosevelt — he could achieve a lot of interesting things by then and surprise everyone. We’ll see what he’s made of.

    The added bonus is that, via Peskin’s cynical maneuver — and especially Supervisor Ronen ridiculously pathetic and obsequious speech — the “progressives” have inflamed this coming election with a good dose of schizophrenic, self-immolating, identity politics and they might very well be gobsmacked how forcefully this backfires upon them.

    Breed, now more than ever, can energize her base and consolidate the reasonable/practical middle of the electorate while Kim and Leno battle it out at the margins and split the vote as they are forced to compete with each other by seeing who can pander the most to their extremist “progressive” base.

    This is going to be fun to watch.

  81. And what policies have you pursued that would have done that? The fact is the “progressive” faction has fought against making SF into a city of 1.5 million people.

  82. To folks like Hillary Ronen, only people like Chris Daly and Aaron Peskin 1.0 are allowed to be “gross” and to threaten people. You need to understand that.

  83. When someone says it isn’t about race and gender, you can be very sure: IT IS ABOUT RACE AND GENDER.

  84. The era of Ron Conway isn’t over. Witness his support of Breed – at Lee’s funeral – and the bullying of people to support her.

    I’m sorry it ended this way for Breed, but as I wrote above, she had plenty of time to distance herself from him and chose not to It was a stupid mistake and now she is paying the price.

    My supervisor is Peskin and I support him. But if Conway supported him, I wouldn’t have voted for him. It is really that simple.

  85. Oh shut up I’ve long advocated for SF to be a city of 1.5 million people. I want the city to grow and the quality of life to be better for all San Franciscans, without massive displacement.

    Conway thwarted meaningful regulation of AirBnB for 6 or more years. Ditto for regulation of Uber, Google buses, etc. Sorry bud, but you had your shot. Your time is over.

  86. They can’t refute you so they’re going to do what progressives always do – insult you personally and insist you’re an undercover right-wing plant. They’ve been doing it for 40 years.

  87. It’s hilarious how “electrified” progressives were by Ronen’s speech. Everyone else thought it was ridiculous, her babbling, screeching and bawling about how she can’t sleep at night, caterwauling about “gross white men” – better, more convincing speeches took place during the Cultural Revolution. The sad fact for progressives is that the majority of people in SF don’t share their views. Most people are doing alright. While things in the progressive echo chamber are terrible (and let’s face it, things in the progressive echo chamber are ALWAYS terrible), there’s a whole world out there where people are doing just fine. And to them, this kind of shit sounds hysterical and overwrought.

  88. Where is the lie? We have the planner involved with Calvin Welch’s downzoning of the Haight explaining what it was intended to do to housing prices, on tape. The EIR for the 1970 downzoning of the West Side explains it was going to make housing unaffordable. What have SF progressives done to restrain housing prices over the past 40 years.

  89. And the millionaire homeowners who fight every new home in SF didn’t contribute to our problem? The failure to locate navigation centers in every district wasn’t a contributor?

  90. What policies did Breed have that Conway wanted that you opposed? It’s clear that SF “progressives” want to preserve the city in amber, even if that means driving out the black community, while the “moderates” understand we need development to make affordable units.

  91. She’s aware of that, and that’s why it would’ve been ridiculous for her to resign. She is not wealthy like Mark Farrell and Jeff Sheehy — she does not have that safety net.

    She needs her job. She is my supervisor. I want her to do well.

    Ron Conway? The era is over. Now he’s just another billionaire contributing to campaign expenditures. There are several other of those in town.

  92. Give me a break. Conway has ruined San Francisco and if you can’t see that, it is your problem. I was very disappointed that Breed didn’t distance herself from Conway.

    She made her bed.

  93. DiFi lives in Pacific Heights, but she used to live in Presidio Terrace. That house was originally the clubhouse for the Presidio golf course. The rest of the homes came later.

    Are you drinking and posting? Your rhetoric certainly doesn’t match your user name. I guess people have better intentions when they first sign up.

  94. Feinstein has a home in Presidio Terrace, so I knew that the BOS would act on that street.

    I would have liked to have seen Breed win or lose based upon her record and vision. But she didn’t renounce Conway, and to me, that is unforgivable.

    If she becomes mayor with Conway’s money and in Conway’s shadow, she is a piece of shit and should not be trusted.

  95. It seems to me Breed has made ethical decisions lately. As her constituent, I would like to commend and thank her.

    She didn’t rush the vote, but she timely and fairly scheduled it. A lot of things were beyond her control, and she did good job of letting them run their course. If she wins for mayor it’ll be legit.

    Farrell does have power. Did you think the Presidio Terrace homeowners would get their street back? He’s a negotiator, and he will have the same Venture Capital job in June that he had while he was supervisor. He’s co-founder after all.

    It’s Sheehy who took the beat down last night. Check out the fun piece by Joe Eskenazi here: https://missionlocal.org/2018/01/mark-farrell-is-your-new-mayor-and-pandemonium-ensues/

  96. I know. Conway was an early investor in Google, Facebook, Twitter and Paypal but he thought he could get really rich by manipulating San Francisco politics. Every time I read in 48 Hills that Conway needed San Francisco to lay down for Airbnb I had to laugh. Because it amounts to less than a rounding error for Conway. His efforts would be far more profitable elsewhere.

    And he was able to control Ed Lee…how? Lee was a not very ambitious 60+ year old just inches away from a ginormous pension. He didn’t need help getting reelected (he didn’t even campaign).

    What Conway actually did was intervene with the tech companies to encourage them to be good citizens. He got Google to pay the Muni fares for disadvantaged youths during the shuttle bus dustup. He got tech firms to hire paid interns from local schools. He set up committees so that tech companies could discuss with schools the skills most in demand from their graduates. Look at his Twitter page. It is all about helping dreamers.

    He most likely did try to throw his weight around. He probably didn’t drunk dial people to do so. He wasn’t as heavy handed as Chris Daly.

    But you need a bogey man. Otherwise you might have no external source to blame and you might have to look inward at your own actions if you didn’t like the way that things are going for you.

  97. Breed could have resigned from the BOS and she would probably still be mayor.

    Breed possibly could have renounced support from Ron Conway and still be mayor.

    It isn’t about right or left or black and white; it is about reducing the influence of plutocrats.

    Yes, Farrell is wealthy and white, but he has no power and he will be out of a job in June.

    As a progressive, I support what happened.

    This is all Breed’s fault.

  98. Stop using Conway as an excuse, the progressives did this because they want to win the Mayor’s election. Using the Conway boogieman is sad and lazy. Wealthy interests donate and help every politician in this city and in a race for mayor literally no one is clean. If Hillary Ronen is so disgusted by Conway then why did she take his call? Conway’s only superpower is a phone and the fact that he has all the supes’ numbers, a superpower he shares with literally thousands of other people (including Tim).

  99. KittyP,

    If you really want someone independent of them all vote for Angela Alioto.

    Go visit the Shrine she built to St. Francis in the Nuova Porziuncola across the Piazza from Cafe Trieste where the Jewish Cabal and the Sicilian Mafia meet for coffee and conversation for a hundred years or whatever.

    Or, they do in my book anyway.

    Look at what Alioto is about by looking at this video of the shrine she built as an offering to her God and her City.


    When you’re done with the rest, come back for the best.

    Aioto for Mayor Again



  100. That was Class of 2000,

    Amos was photographed at Glide on the Sunday before the Tuesday election and he had President Clinton with his arm around him and it was front page in the Chronicle and … ??

    Two days later Gerardo Sandoval dusted Amos at the ballot box.

    And, that’s ‘Judge Sandoval’ to us all for a few years now.

    I should do an update on the SF BOS Class of 2000 soon.

    I covered them closer than their POA tails.

    Last I heard Chris Daly was working for a union in Vegas and commuting home to Fairfield.

    Gonzalez just won the ‘biggest’ (if you consider immigration important) trial of the last couple of years indirectly defending the Sanctuary City status of SF.

    I’m telling you that with a DA like George Gascon and a Public Defender like Jeff Adachi that this place can become either a metaphoric or physical site of a Trump vs Sanctuary Armageddon.

    On other hand, loving the team Evans (deacon at Baptist church where old freeway died at Octavia) and et al have built for the Giants.

    They have like 4 gold glovers in infield.

    Alioto for Mayor!


  101. I’ve read Joe’s article in the Examiner and it’s a political gossip column. Second hand accounts and rumors. Interesting nonetheless but not very convincing of anything.

    I really am struggling, and have for years, to find any credible evidence that Ron Conway is the boogieman people paint him to be. So because he’s a billionaire tech investor with political ties I’m supposed to believe he’s this omnipotent puppet master? There are a ton of influential aristocrats pulling every which way in politics and always have been.

    The conservative right equivalent of this is George Soros. Back around the 2016 election cycle Soros was blamed for EVERYTHING. Protestors? Paid by Soros. Democratic politicians? Owned by Soros. Fake news? Soros’ idea. There was no convincing argument for Soros being the Democrats puppet master just like there isn’t a convincing argument for Conway being SF’s puppet master. But, if the boogieman suits your agenda and easily answers your concerns, latch on to it and perpetuate the narrative. Blaming Conway gives the progressives the perfect bad-guy to excuse their own shortcomings. Rich billionaire keeping everyone down is the perfect distraction from a reality in which the progressive’s base is waning due to failed policies regarding housing (the #1 issue for everyone) the fact that no politician can ever pass the progressive litmus test.

  102. Amos Brown was the one who evicted a tenant so he could move into their place and run as supe from a district he hadn’t lived in. A real charmer.

  103. Oh, she can, and she does. She thinks following the billionaires will get her far, and she’s right. Just like the very white Newsom.

  104. That leaves Angela?

    Her legislation cutting out smoking in restaurants and bars has probably save a few million lives over the decades since she authored it.

    As Newsom’s ‘Homeless Czar’ her 10 Year-Plan took thousands off the streets.

    Alioto is the real deal.

    Go Giants!


  105. I wish people would stop bring Racism and Sexism into this. It’s not about Race or Gender, it’s about power and profits. Breed is next in line in the Willie Brown, Gavin Newsom, Ed Lee legacy. Its a rainbow! Black, White, Asian, Black Female – so stop playing the Race/Sexism card.
    This is about money and power. Who will do the bidding of Conway and his ilk? Breed and Farrell both qualify. Greed is does not discriminate.

  106. It’s not about racism or sexism, it’s about profits. Breed is next in line in the Willie Brown, Gavin Newsom, Ed Lee legacy. Its a rainbow, Black, White, Asian, Black Female – so stop playing the race card.
    This is about money and power. Who will do the bidding of Conway and his ilk? Greed does not discriminate.

  107. Squirrel,

    Did y’all know that Amos Brown and Willie Brown got the local chapter of the NAACP tossed out of the national organization for fixing the election to the local chapter’s leadership?

    That was around 40 years ago.

    Now, Amos is head of the organization and he is for sale as he has always been.

    Did you know that Amos took $5,000 a week in return for endorsing Arnold Schwarzenegger?

    When I asked why he endorsed Arnie Amos said, “I like his policies.”.

    When I asked which ones he couldn’t think of one.

    Wonder what total cost of that parade of cost Conway yesterday?

    Go Giants!


  108. First of all, to call any of these Supervisors “progressive” is absolutely laughable!

    Every one of them has sold out ordinary San Franciscans time and time again!

    Secondly, “moderates” are corporate conservatives, and it is ridiculous to think that Breed’s Black skin somehow makes her more liberal than Farrell.

    Slightly, for sure. But she is Willie Brown’s pawn, his former babysitter.

    The irony of “progressives” appointing a right winger who was caught in an electoral fraud is off the charts!

    Leno and Kim will be disasters. (Their record already shows that, despite a few liberal measures and legislation).

    Breed will be much, much worse.

    Her temper, her foul mouth, the Shrimp Boy Chow allegations against her….all these are red flags.

    Plus the fact that she has been a miserable supervisor for D5, one who caters exclusively to these neighborhood pro-gentrification groups.

  109. “failed progressive polices of Tim Redmond, Calvin Welch” They are not policy makers. There hasn’t been a progressive mayor for most of those 30 years, nor a progressive board for much of that time either.

  110. I hope you will own up to your own mistakes, or should I say lies, about the progressive legacy and your idiotic trope of build baby build.

  111. Farrel. will. be. mayor. for. four. months. And he cannot run in June. Progressive Supes knew that they would piss of Breed’s base, and that this would look bad to the black community and be felt in a very real sense as betrayal. But the reality is that Breed’s true base, the Conway gentrification base, was already mobilized to back Breed and to capitalize on people’s ignorance of Breed’s true record on housing. If you read the article, you would understand that Progressive Supes did not have a good choice here.

    If anything, I hope that all of this will motivate Progressive groups in SF and elsewhere to start having conventions and joining in an effort to support and groom Progressive people of color to run for office. We are partly to blame for situations in which someone backed by the corporate elite can hide their politics behind their identity.

  112. You think the white 48Hills crowd give a fuck what blacks think? You haven’t been paying attention, then.

  113. Right, so you cut off your nose to spite your face? Breed is to the Left of Farrell, but now Farrell is Mayor. Progressives are better off because of this? Yes, Breed loses the power of incumbency in June, but A LOT of people are seriously pissed off by her removal last night, and her base is fired up. This could totally backfire on the Progressives come June.

    And frankly, when Tim writes something like:

    “It was, some of the players admit, a gamble: Choosing a white man who wants tasers for the cops, opposed free City College, and is a venture capitalist, over an African American woman will be hard to explain”

    it really comes across as Progressives not really give a crap about those issues, that they’d be willing to sacrifice them for politics and for a better shot of winning in June.

  114. The best thing about being a San Francisco Progressive is that you get to blame other people for your own failures.

  115. The dishonesty and selective memory by the progressives never ceases to amaze me. “the same billionaires who have wrecked the city over the past two administrations, causing massive displacement and a staggering wealth gap”

    Let’s not forget the misguided and failed progressive polices of Tim Redmond, Calvin Welch, etc. 30+ years of fighting housing development at every turn created the mess we’re in. Did Lee’s policies exacerbate the problem? Sure. Will the new federal tax policies make inequality worse? Absolutely. Are progressives to blame for decades of constrained housing production? Yes.

    Until everyone can own up to their mistakes, we will never be able to have an honest discussion.

  116. London Breed is Ron Conway’s choice. Mayor Ed Lee’s body was barely cold when Conway backed Breed at Lee’s funeral. Supervisor Ronen’s speech changed the atmosphere in the chamber–it was electric.

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