First mayoral debate has no winners and too much agreement

None of the candidates made a case for why they are different than the others; that's a problem when the city is in a serious crisis and so many voters are undecided

The first mayoral debate of the spring had no clear winners or losers; in fact, none of the candidates stood out as dramatically different from any of the others. That may be in part because this event was sponsored by the decidedly moderate United Democratic Club, with the decidedly conservative Chronicle Editorial Page Editor John Diaz asking all of the questions.

There’s clearly a lot of interest in the race: So many people came out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon that the Koret Auditorium at the main library filled to capacity, as did an overflow room, and still people were turned away.

Chron Editorial Page Editor John Diaz moderates the debate that was, well, pretty moderate

The candidates had a chance to define themselves as different in a crowded field, and I don’t think any of them did that.

Mark Leno came the closest: From the start, he said that he is convinced that “we need a new direction at City Hall” and that he would offer “a fundamental change from the status quo.”

Sup. Jane Kim, who ran for state Senate as the candidate of the Bernie Sanders left, never talked about radical change. She described how she had supported every single new development in her district, and worked with developers to create much more affordable housing than anyone else in the city.

An overflow crowd watched a very mild debate

She did say that approving development gives landowners an increase in value and that some of that value needs to come back to the city.

But overall, the tone was set when Diaz asked the really annoying question that the candidates could have used to show why they are not all the same (and they have very different positions on key issues, most of which did not come out at this debate).

Diaz asked about “leadership” at a time when the city is bitterly divided; he wanted to know how the candidates would bring people together. They all said the same thing: I can work with people I don’t agree with, I can unite and not divide, we all need to work together for solutions.

Mark Leno stands with his supporters before the debate

Leno said he worked with Republicans in Sacramento. Kim said she worked with developers to create affordable housing. Angela Alioto said she worked with people “who hate each other” to find solutions to homelessness. Breed said her colleagues who don’t always agree twice elected her board president. Amy Farah Weiss said she’s an expert in collaborative leadership.

Nobody said this:

It’s no surprise that the Chron and the UDC want to talk about bringing people together, because that papers over the central issues. This city is divided because people are under immense, unrelenting pressure, brought on by a tech boom that has vastly enriched a few and impoverished many others, and left the vast majority of the city scrambling to hold on. When you grow too fast, with too much economic inequality, you create divisions; the middle-class folks who just want to buy a home find that the only way to do that is to evict a long-term renter who is a little less well-off than them. People point fingers; people get angry and confused. It’s the fault of the past administration that we are in this situation.

It’s fine to talk about brining everyone together, but what we need now is a mayor who will kick the billionaires out of the room, kick them out of City Hall, and open the way for the rest of us. If that’s divisive, fine; it’s the reality we live with. We can’t all work together when some of us are using our wealth to wreck the city for everyone else. They’re already at the table and have been there too long; we need to defeat them, not embrace them.

I guess that’s too much to ask for a mayoral candidate in 2018.

I give Kim and Leno credit: They were the only two who said, when asked about homelessness, that prevention is as important as responding. Both said that we have to stop the wave of evictions; 70 percent of the homeless people in SF once had a home here. It does little good to create shelters and navigation centers if they fill up as fast as you build them because more and more people are thrown out onto the streets.

Sup Jane Kim before the debate

Leno suggested that the city ought to sue the speculators who are abusing the Ellis Act by purchasing building after building and in each case claiming they want to go out of the business of being a landlord.

Weiss correctly pointed out that it does not good to put people in shelters or medical facilities if they are released back to the streets with no place to go. She’s a fan of Seattle-style “supportive villages.”

I was really disappointed to see that every single candidate in one way or another endorsed state Sen. Scott Wiener’s new housing bills. One after another, they talked about the need for density on transit corridors, the need for the private market to build more housing (with some percentage affordable and some protections, which are not yet in the bill and I can’t imagine will be effective, against displacement).

They all seemed to be buying into the concept that all growth is good, and that we don’t need to control or moderate it.

What nobody said:

We have a housing crisis in part because City Hall under Ed Lee decided that attracting tech companies and their high-paying jobs was more important than protecting existing vulnerable communities. That was a mistake. We also have a housing crisis because we have allowed SF to become a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.

Wiener’s bills will allow more luxury housing and more displacement in this city, where there are a lot of transit lines. Cupertino and Mountainview, where there is less robust transit, won’t have to build as much dense housing.

And yet, they are allowed under state law and Wiener’s bill to approve as much commercial office space as they want, and collect the revenue from it, without building any housing at all.

Why should Peninsula cities and tech companies be allowed to outsource their housing problems to San Francisco? Why aren’t we demanding limits on commercial development in cities that won’t allow new housing? Why is our response based on accepting the status quo and not challenging it? Why do we make it easier for Peninsula cities and tech companies to screw up our own housing market by allowing them to run luxury shuttles from our neighborhoods?

Why don’t we realize that building market-rate housing in places like the Mission inevitably leads to the displacement of both residents and long-term community-serving businesses, that these projects Wiener would fast-track are gentrification time bombs?

I guess that’s too much for a mayoral candidate in 2018.

When it came to traffic congestion, we saw a few minor differences. Breed is not in favor of a London-style toll system that charges drivers for the right to head into congested areas; Kim and Leno said that’s an idea worth pursuing. Breed then said that the city is going to have to deal with the massive increase in Uber and Lyft vehicles, although that’s a new position for her: In most of her time on the board, she has made little or no effort to regulate these companies. Kim, in one of the high points of the debate, noted that “it’s hard to imagine the growth in this city in the past five years. We have added one-eighth of the population. Our city is just not built for that many cars.” She supports congestion pricing. Leno pointed out that there are 50,000 Uber and Lyft vehicles in the city every day, making 170,000 trips. Planning at the MTA, he said, “is not working.”

Much of the rest of the debate was entirely predictable. Everyone thinks car break-ins are a crisis, and that we need more cops on the streets (well, Weiss said that putting more money into cops wouldn’t solve the problem, and that we need to address economic justice, which is true, although it appears that a lot of the car thefts are part of a big crime ring).

Everyone supports sanctuary city.

Everyone said it might make sense to change the City Charter so that the board president can’t also be the mayor for more than a short period of time. Leno went further and suggested that the mayor shouldn’t be able to appoint supervisors.

But I walked away thinking: None of these candidates told me why they are different, really different, from the others. They all talked about bold leadership, but didn’t take on bold policy challenges.

The reality is that Breed has a very different record than Kim, and has a very different approach to issues than Leno (and frankly, those are the three candidates who are going to be at the top in June).

I’m glad Leno and Kim have signed onto a pledge to reject superPAC money; it’s too bad that Diaz didn’t ask about that, and put Breed on the record.

I have watched, been a panelist on, and monitored mayoral debates for 30 years, and some of them have had a dramatic impact on the races. But tonight? If I were an undecided voter, after listening to a 90-minute debate, I would still be undecided. And the election is only four months away.

  • bear on the peaks

    Yawn. Didn’t any of these candidates pay attention to the 2016 presidential election? The people are tired of thed same old players, making the same old promises. The candidates all agree the city needs to be fixed, but they all were in positions of power as the homeless tents went up, one by one. Sad!

    • Ragazzu

      And who was mayor when the tents went up?

      • Geek__Girl

        Ed Lee, of course.

      • SF Sunset Guy

        Ed Lee didn’t do it all oh his own. It’s just another measure of this City’s inability to get anything done…

        San Francisco’s Mayor Ousts Homeless Camp
        (NYTimes.com – AP)
        Published: July 6, 1990

        SAN FRANCISCO, July 5— After months of charges that he was waffling on the matter, Mayor Art Agnos has ordered the police to break up a sprawling encampment of homeless people just outside City Hall.

        The Mayor’s order, issued last week and made public Tuesday, has been denounced by advocates for the homeless, who contend that a new city program intended as an alternative to the encampment will only break up homeless couples and force many people into jails, doorways or alleys.

        Mr. Agnos’s order will take effect Friday. It directs the police to begin enforcing laws long on the books that bar sleeping in public places, and it signals the end of his tolerance for what critics have come to call ”Camp Agnos.”

    • Do Something Nice

      We had a high turnout in the November 2016 election – 80.71% of registered voters voted.

      And 84.47% of those voters voted for Clinton. Trump only got 9.43% of the votes.

      If anything, the November 2016 elections should have right-wingers like you fleeing SF.

      • bear on the peaks

        I notice that certain people here sure like to bandy about labels like “right winger,” “racist,” “nazi,” “white supremist, etc.” at individuals they do not know, making presumptions about race, who one voted for, where they grew up or live. I learn a lot from reading these comments, many of which are edifying, except when certain people – and it’s always the same people – resort to name-calling and being puerile.

        • Do Something Nice

          “Right winger” is 100% descriptive of you and your posts. It is in no way related to Nazi, racist, etc. I have no idea if you are racist or a Nazi but I assume that you are not.

          And you never bothered to address my point – voters in SF in 2016 clearly voted for the ‘same old players,’ so you are wrong.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            SF voters would elect Mussolini if he had a “-D” after his name.

          • Do Something Nice

            If you think so poorly of your fellow San Franciscans, why do you stick around?

            And seriously, the Republican was Trump. Many San Franciscans held their noses and voted for Clinton in an attempt to prevent the monster from becoming president.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            Family here, job here. Most San Franciscans haven’t had an original political thought in their lifetimes, yet somehow think “other cities are looking at us” for inspiration. Is it any wonder Jonestown metastasized here?

            Trump is a Republican of convenience. I wouldn’t be so sure about Clinton, support was very high, especially against Bernie – there was a lot of resentment about his personal appeal and persona, not to mention the upset factor. Think about how Nancy Pelosi has never had a real challenger, and has been the rep around here for over three decades. That’s a lot of political lemming-ness. It’s reflexive and pedantic.

          • Do Something Nice

            I supported Bernie and voted for Clinton in the November election. I liked some of Sanders platform, but I also had issues with him and his approach. I don’t at all like Clinton but given the choice was between Clinton and Trump, and given that we do need to shatter that glass ceiling, I saw advantages to having Clinton as our president.

            But Christ on a tortilla, political lemming-ness has been perfected by Republicans. That’s why they are so successful.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            of course I wanted Clinton to win, and was very surprised and disappointed that she didn’t. A bit angry in fact. Spending a billion dollars, for Obama’s third term and her campagain was like a comedy of errors while wincing, not laughing. With that said, my vote for president isn’t worth the ink used to print it, so my write-in protest vote it was.

            There is also a version of lemming-ness among the self-described “left” or “progressives” as well, and it’s ingrained and vitriolic as well. I think the Republicans are successful because, in good measure, the Democrats are so weak, and are barking up the wrong trees, and also in part, selling themselves short.

          • Do Something Nice

            Clinton lost because of Comey, sexism and an incredibly bad campaign. Even her bombshell announcement about Miss Universe was ill timed, played way too early.

            And I agree about the left and progressives, even though I consider myself progressive and to the left of most.

            I’m pretty disgusted with everyone, including the press and have mostly tuned-out.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            I’m right there with you. I used to be a news – politics – theory – global events junkie and I can barely read the Economist each week. It’s become excruciating. Clinton lost because of those reasons but not in that order IMO. Crap campaign, no ground game, no message, the twins of idiocy at the DNC; Wasserman Schulz and Donna “Debate Questions” Brazile; took all sorts of liberties with swing states while both she and Tim Kaine was too busy to visit them, instead, he giving speeches in Gringo Spanish to audiences in red states. Totally useless in my opinion. More than even sexism was the notion that the most well versed, best prepared and most experienced candidate in recent memory was triangulating at every turn, inherently dishonest, evasive and offered nothing substantive when people were looking for some sort of change or enthusiasm – like Bernie, or previously with Obama… Having Obama voters vote Trump is telling.

          • Mussolini this time had a “D-” at the start of his name, and as noted, only got 9.43% of the vote.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            Trump is a Democrat? What does that make Hillary?

    • Geek__Girl

      Actually, only two of the candidates were in positions of power when the tents went up. Kim and Breed. Leno was termed out, and the rest had either never held office, or were not currently serving.

  • Kraus

    How about this “radical thought”, Tim?:

    Nobody said the things that you wanted them to say, because the things you believe are not true.

    • Porfirio666

      Very well put. YIMBYs are the real Progressives in SF.

      • Geek__Girl

        Like anyone would believe this. You are certainly in a position to speak for progressives.

        • Porfirio666

          Claro que si. El progressivismo gira de nuevo. La historia nos espera.

          • Geek__Girl

            Whatever. It is not worth the effort to put this through Google Translate.

        • Kraus

          So it appears that you’re the only one of your cohort holding down the fort and defending “the lost cause” this fine morning.

          (I guess everyone else has more important things to do — like prepping for their respective Superbowl parties.)

          Evidently, even your “progressive” pals, Leno and Kim, are jumping on the YIMBY bandwagon with their support of Scott Wiener’s pro-housing policies.

          It’s a conundrum –Who’ya gonna vote for now?

          • Geek__Girl

            Well, it certainly won’t be for you.

          • Kraus

            For Mayor, Silly.

          • Geek__Girl

            Oh, that’s right, you are running for Supervisor in District 6. Still won’t be voting for you.

      • sfsquirrel

        Says the person who comments on Brietbart about their hatred of Social Security and Medicare. Yeah, you know a progressive when you see one.

        • Porfirio666

          I was trolling over there. You should try it sometime. Very entertaining.

    • Geek__Girl

      We haven’t heard much about your claims because they are a massive load of bovine manure And no, you and you band of phonies are not remotely progressives. You are simply trying to con people.

      • Kraus

        Take it up with Kim & Leno; they appear to be abandoning your leaky boat.

  • badpenny

    “Leno suggested that the city ought to sue the speculators who are abusing the Ellis Act by purchasing building after building and in each case claiming they want to go out of the business of being a landlord.”

    Heb has my vote, right there.

    • Don Sebastopol

      How is going out of business after purchasing rentals an abuse? If the units are converted to owner occupied there is no abuse. If re-rented, then yes, is would be an abuse.

      • badpenny

        Purchasing property that is less expensive because it had tenants, evicting them through Ellis, and then selling at higher price empty is pure speculation and is wreaking havoc on SFs middle class and poor. Ellis was designed to allow small landlords to get out of business, not for wealthy foreign speculators to destroy rent control and mine the city for profit.

        • Don Sebastopol

          If they are increasing the supply of owner units it should lower the price so more of the middle-class can become owners. I think most of the conversion are the smaller units sold to speculators by mom and pop who wanted to get out of the business or could make more money selling than from rent controlled units in a desirable area. Unfortunately, the number of Ellis evictions are too low to make much of a difference. There is no havoc wreaking.

          • badpenny

            As someone Ellis’d twice, I beg to differ, Pollyanna.

      • Whamadoodle

        Mark Leno was speaking about people who buy REPEATEDLY, not just once, and each time PRETEND “gosh, I’m going out of the landlord business” over and over and over, which is obviously a fraudulent attempt to flout the law.

  • Watson Ladd

    Nobody would need to kick anybody out if we build more homes. But the landed millionaire class Tim represents thinks their views are more important. Market rate housing in the Mission has never displaced people: it’s replaced vacant commercial sites.

    • Geek__Girl

      Actually, it has displaced quite a few people. But hey, don’t let the truth stand in your way.

      • Watson Ladd

        How?

        • Geek__Girl

          People have been forced out of neighborhoods by evictions, so new housing can be built. And those “vacant commercial properties” became vacant because the rents were jacked up to force the businesses out to allow new construction. And in San Francisco, a lot, if not most, commercial sites have housing above them, so it is not quite as benign as you try to imply.

          • Watson Ladd

            Meanwhile Calle 24 is protesting replacing a Walgreens with a 10 story residential tower that will include a considerable number of onsite affordable units.

            If you care so much about those areas, why not upzone the rest of the city to match in the name of geographic equality?

          • Geek__Girl

            First off, I doubt it is just replacing a Walgreens. It would no doubt include other buildings. And of course, I am sure you would gladly gloss over the fact that many depend on Walgreens for prescriptions, and other items. When lived in the Mission, I used my local Walgreens quite regularly. I would not have been happy with it being torn down. And if it is the one I suspect, there are other places in that block that are worth saving.

          • Watson Ladd

            Here is the planning document: it is just the 1 story commercial building that is being destroyed and being replaced with the same amount of retail footage.

            https://aca.accela.com/ccsf/Cap/CapDetail.aspx?Module=Planning&TabName=Planning&capID1=14HIS&capID2=00000&capID3=01SAD&agencyCode=CCSF

          • Geek__Girl

            Yes, and that Walgreens is an essential part of that neighborhood. A lot of people depend on it. I suspected that might be the one. And I understand why people want to protect it. Not that you would care.

          • Watson Ladd

            And in the process of protecting it several hundred affordable units won’t be built. There is a pharmacy a mile away: not great, but I’m sure if there is demand it will be met.

          • Geek__Girl

            Thanks for proving what has been quite obvious. That you are a soulless drone who follows a flawed philosophy born of Ayn Rand and such. Screw everyone else, you want yours.

          • Whamadoodle

            Says the xenophobe who wants only people like her to have a comfortable life and be allowed to live here.

          • Geek__Girl

            Now that is really lame.

          • Watson Ladd

            I would have said the same thing about the NIMBYS who protest navigation centers, new market rate housing, and new affordable housing all over this city. Why is it that a pharmacy is worth denying 100 affordable units?

          • Geek__Girl

            And how many market rate units? And how are they defining affordable? Affordable to who? Are these going to be low income housing? At 30% of what a person makes? Or will there be minimum incomes, which are usually quite high. I love how words like affordable or below market rate are tossed about, without people realizing how meaningless hey actually are.

          • Geek__Girl

            The is my biggest problem with the YIMBYs. You don’t give a damn as long as you get yours. You want to ram you views down other people throats, no matter how much they object. You are all a bunch of wannabe tyrants.

          • Watson Ladd

            So where do you think SF should build housing to accommodate everyone?

          • Geek__Girl

            That is not for me to say. I certainly don’t think we should just run roughshod over people and neighborhoods. It is not a issue that is subject to simple answers.

      • Don Sebastopol

        Any measurements of that?

        • Geek__Girl

          https://www.antievictionmap.com/#/sf-evictions/

          5.8k evictions in the Mission….

          • Watson Ladd

            And were any of those of people on sites where housing was later built?

          • Zhoosh

            Also, the 5.8K is for a 20 year period (1997-2017). It is probably notices, not evictions and according to rent board statistics 60% were filed because of non payment of rent or some other material breach.

          • Don Sebastopol

            Yes, even if all were evicted, 290 evictions a year compared to 16,250 rental units is about right. The 20 year trend is fairly flat.

          • Geek__Girl

            Nice attempt at a dodge. First you claim no one was displace. Then it was pointed out that the “vacant commercial sites” had Housing above them and almost six thousand have been evicted in the Mission. Do you seriously still claim that no one was displaced? Yeah, you probably do, since you think you are clever.

            https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2015/10/28/s-f-study-documents-sharp-decline-in-missions-latino-population/

            https://www.citylab.com/equity/2015/08/mapping-gentrification-and-displacement-in-san-francisco/402559/

            http://www.sfchronicle.com/the-mission/a-changing-mission/

            https://www.urbandisplacement.org/sites/default/files/images/case_studies_on_gentrification_and_displacement-_full_report.pdf

            Well, they have been.

          • Watson Ladd

            What I’m asking for is the address where existing homes were torn down to build new ones. Surely it won’t be hard to find one? Instead you’re pointing to people who left because of high rents, which is the same thing that draws real estate investors in to build more homes.

          • Geek__Girl

            You can ask all you want. I am tired of your tactic of repeatedly asking for such crap. I am pointing to people who were evicted, forced out by high rents and who had their housing torn down to make room for more.

          • Watson Ladd

            Surely, these people who had their housing torn down to make more lived somewhere? I agree people have been displaced by high rents. But rents aren’t high because of all the new construction: they are high because there is too little construction.

          • Don Sebastopol

            There is nothing out of the ordinary about the number of evictions. The 20-year trend is flat. 290 evictions a year in the Mission compared to 16,350 rental units is not much, less than 2%. There are also evictions where there is less gentrification. We don’t know the race or income of those evicted or if they left the neighborhood or the City. If half of those evicted left town it would be consistent with other data that between 1%
            to 2% of those who move do so because they were evicted. In 2016 there were 1,797 eviction notices citywide. According to other studies, around 60,000 people leave the City every year (replace by those moving in).

            There are studies showing less low-income mobility (moving out) in areas being gentrified compared areas not being gentrified. People move all the time for many different reasons. Gentrification may actually slow “displacement.” It does however, discourage more low-income people from moving in.

      • Whamadoodle

        Keeping housing scarcer, like keeping any product scarcer, raises the price on the existing inventory. Making more of a thing lowers the price of it.

        • Kraus

          “Whamadoodle,

          You appear new to this forum and, based upon your comments (drawn from hard experience), you seem very thoughtful and reasonable.

          “Geek_Girl”, “sfsquirrel” et al, however, are so-called “progressive” ideologues, that don’t believe in “supply and demand”.

          You see, to them, San Francisco is a magical land where such fundamental economic truths do not apply.

          To them, ideology trumps everything, and they are not interested in practical solutions to people’s pressing problems.

          They believe that housing developers are “evil”, despite the fact that the home that they live in was built by a developer (unless, of course, they built it themselves, which is unlikely, since they disdain practicality.)

          It’s all quite logical.

          • Whamadoodle

            Thanks, Kraus. I might well get around to annoying you with my opinions too 🙂 But, although I’m left-wing myself, I do agree that two failings in the Bay Area’s left-wing thought do seem to be, first, a failure to acknowledge that scarcity of housing makes it more expensive (this is basic supply and demand), and second, a really alarming “they’re not REAL San Franciscans/Oakland folks/etc.” anti-immigrant attitude which somehow exempts their own selves (even if they or their parents changed the culture and displaced less-privileged working class people when they came), and which recalls Trump.

            What we’re facing, in my opinion, is a manifestation of a NATIONWIDE problem–that unlike in countries, like Germany, that track workers’ wages to CEO wages, our middle-class wages have become stagnant, while executives’ and board members’ income has skyrocketed from 40 times what their workers make to 350 or 450 times that much. Thus, while my schoolteacher parents spent a mere ONE year’s salary on a home in the 1970s, a schoolteacher today must spent TWENTY times their year’s salary on one in San Francisco. That is impossible, it’s a nationwide issue (in states where home prices are lower, wages are commensurately lower), and it’s not caused by Twitter moving in and getting a tax break.

            If they had a plan that was well thought-out and well articulated, I’d be happy to hear it. But the fact is that we’re a growing state (in terms of both the economy and the number of people here), and homes must be found for them. We have to build them. But instead, both the article and the commenters here have this odd, vague idea that “we have to stop attracting Those Kinds of Companies” (which kinds of employers are okay, then?) and that Those Kinds of Companies need to go “away” (back to San Jose, as the article suggests? Or out of the state? Or out of the USA? They never define what exactly they mean), and this will somehow magically cause homes and rent to be more affordable, because…

            …there will now be fewer middle-class people, and more of the “right kind of people” (“with roots here,” as geekgirl xenophobically put it) will be bashed back down to making $20,000 a year?

            Um… yay?

          • Geek__Girl

            The problem is not so much with building more housing, but with where, and how these fools want it built. Funny how they never suggest talking over, oh say, St. Francis Woods, Sea Cliff, Pacific Heights, the Marina, or Presidio Heights. They want to bulldoze the Mission, pushing out small businesses, and the people who live over them, in favor of new high rise condos with a few “affordable units” sprinkled in.

          • Whamadoodle

            Well yeah, because none of the owners WANT to get rid of their Sea Cliff houses–would you, if you owned one? And I don’t want any homeowner in the Mission to be FORCED to sell & bulldoze, so I think what we’re talking about is that the homeowners in the Mission would VOLUNTARILY be happy to sell (and I haven’t seen any proposal that will force them to do so. If you show me one, I’ll be against that).

          • Watson Ladd

            I’m pretty sure SB 827 would do just that, while leaving the Mission mostly alone because it is already zoned for those heights.

          • Geek__Girl

            Poppycock!!! You just basically made a deceptive claim. The Mission is under siege. There is an effort to tear down buildings that include housing, and replace it with pricey apartments and condos. Whwere are the people who live in those places supposed to go while the few affordable units are built. And affordable to who? At least the practice of torching places for profits stopped.

          • Watson Ladd

            Here is a zoning map of SF: http://sf-planning.org/zoning-map Light yellow means single family housing. Purple, along Mission street means much higher heights.

            The biggest impact of making 8 stories is on the West Side which currently is 1 story SFH and extremely expensive. SF has steared development to poor areas like the Mission.

            The Monster in the Mission replaces commercial. SF has vacancy controls that mean most multifamily housing can’t be torn down to upzone.

          • Watson Ladd

            That’s not what’s happening. Almost all of the construction is on vacant sites or commercial sites. Landlords are rehabbing apartments, and we don’t have vacancy controls so when they go back on the market they are more expensive. The eviction that happens is not due to new construction: it’s hard to get a permit if you evict someone, but rather high costs making people resort to the Ellis act to find places to live.

            Current SF zoning concentrates development in the Mission. We need to put new homes somewhere. So why not on the West side?

          • Zhoosh

            San Francisco = Venice, Italy. Fine just the way it is.

    • Don Sebastopol

      I would agree that gentrification replaces not displaces. In fact, gentrification slows down lower socioeconomic people from leaving the neighborhood. But when they do leave, they are replaced by those with a higher socioeconomic status.

  • zutsa

    Just pointing the blame at tech companies and their employees. I cannot think of a clearer example of scapegoating.

    Unemployment in the area is one of, and has been one of, the lowest in the country for almost 10 years now. Wages are some of the highest in the country. Those that live and work in the Bay area have much higher spending power than those in more impoverished parts of the country. There are many places that have still not bounced back from 2008, but the Bay has rebounded big time. And still no one can afford rent. Because there’s very, very little to go around. The techies struggle too.

    But go ahead and just blame “them” because you don’t want your neighborhood to change.

    • Geek__Girl

      Actually, the unemployment figures are very misleading. There is quite a large number of people who are either underemployed, or have given up looking for work. They are not counted. Even if they have skills, they are excluded from work in the tech industry because of age, or other issues.

      And you know, people have a right to not want their neighborhoods to change. But, no, the “gentry” must prevail. After all, they are better because they have more money.

      • Kraus

        Please point to that “right” in the Constitution.
        (It’s interesting, how you’re all about “rights” and very light on “responsibilities” — a very typical, so-called “progressive” bias.)

        To the contrary, people have a responsibility to accept — and even welcome — change.

        “Everything flows and nothing stands still” — Heraclitus (circa 500 B.C.)

        • Geek__Girl

          And you are full of crap. No one is under such an obligation. And where that right is spelled out is simple. The right to not lose life, liberty or property without due process of law.

          • Kraus

            A neighborhood is not your property and have no special rights over someone else’s property.

          • Geek__Girl

            A neighborhood is the property of the people who make it up. Gentrification is simply destroying that, so wealthy people can move in.

          • Porfirio666

            And the people who have to pay 50% of their income toward rent, the ones you call “idiots”, are they part of the neighborhood mix, too?

          • Geek__Girl

            Any financial expert will tell you the same thing. Paying more than a third of you income for housing is a bad idea. But, hey, it’s not my problem.

          • Kraus

            It’s only “Geek_Girl’s” problem to the extent that she likes to exacerbate it.

          • Geek__Girl

            It’s not my problem. You are the one who is pushing Rand’s views, not me.

          • Porfirio666

            But hey, if you have to work for a living, you may have no choice but to pay much more than a third (“idiots”–your word) of your salary for rent when you live in a state where housing demand far outstrips supply. Why the housing shortage means California has a high poverty rate:
            http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-jackson-california-poverty-20180114-story.html

          • Geek__Girl

            It is caused when people feel they have to have better housing than they can rightfully afford. I doubt those who are making $75k a year, and paying 50% of their income for housing would not be able to find somewhere more affordable with a bit of effort. But then they would not be in a “hip” neighborhood with the right bars and places to eat. I have long argued that status is about proving how stupid you are.

          • Porfirio666

            So you suggest that middle-class people move to Alabama?

          • Geek__Girl

            Only if they want to. I can tell you, they could live a lot cheaper there. But, oh dear, no avocado toast….and no $25 to $100 cups of coffee.

          • Porfirio666

            You are saying that the way for poorer people to dodge the adverse effects of this housing shortage is to move somewhere else, where the cost of living is cheaper, where coffee prices are better?

          • Geek__Girl

            Now there you go again. I said nothing about poorer people. I was referring to those who come here for the riches. They can make money anywhere.

          • Porfirio666

            No, you were referring to the “idiots” [your word] who have to pay 50% of their income for rent.

      • Don Sebastopol

        So me the data.

        • Geek__Girl
          • Don Sebastopol

            I am aware of the impact of discouraged workers on the unemployment rate. I suspect the national data has not changed all that much. During previous recoveries the unemployment rate actually went up as the economy added more jobs as discouraged workers returned to the labor force. SF has been in recovery for some time. I was looking for SF data.

            There are indications some of these workers are getting jobs. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of Blacks who both work and live in SF increased by 4,437, Latinos by 7,607 and those with less than high school by 16,000. Since employers with a lot of lower skilled jobs, such as insurance companies, have been leaving SF for decades I would guess many of these are service jobs created by gentrification. Since the
            Black population has declined overall, I would guess the Black increase are mostly those already living in SF.

          • Geek__Girl

            What I am simply pointing out is that “unemployment rates” are a fraud. Lee touted them as proof of what a great mayor he was, but they were not actually reflective of the real situation. A lot of people are hurting, but swept under the rug.

      • zutsa

        By most measures, not just the unemployment %, The Bay has been doing well. Obviously not every single person directly benefits but compare this other parts of the country. Like, I dunno, Flint, MI. You’ll see we’re in a much better economic situation and that is a fact.

        You can argue that California’s safety net is comparatively lacking and I’d 100% agree with you. Social services are absolutely struggling and we see it on the streets every day. But it’s not tech’s fault. Tech isn’t even the biggest industry in the area, Medical is. Tech has also been big here for going on, what, 25 years now?

        The “gentry” is not the techie making $75k a year and paying 50% toward rent for a shit studio in SOMA. The real gentry is the homeowner and landlord who got in early and are fighting tooth and nail to keep the gates of the area closed by resisting development. The real gentry are those paying unfairly low taxes on their properties due to Prop 13.

        “And you know, people have a right to not want their neighborhoods to change.”

        Would you say the same about an Arizonan with a Trump hat on talking about Mexicans entering their neighborhood? Serious question.

        • Geek__Girl

          I would say that someone making $75k is rather low paid for a techie. And anyone paying 50% for housing is an idiot. One should never pay over 1/3 of their income for housing. No, that is not a serious question. One has nothing to do with the other. Blocking people from a neighborhood because of race is illegal. Not approving of people trying to push you out of a neighborhood because they want to “gentrify” it not illegal. It is one’s right.

          • Kraus

            There you have it folks, according “Geek_Girl” all those working class folks laboring away in California and having to pay over 50% of their income on housing are “idiots”.

            A very “progressive” assessment from “Geek_Girl” regarding nearly 30% of the population.

          • Porfirio666

            Very interesting link. Evidence proving that the NIMBYs are driving up rents and exacerbating the housing shortage.

          • Geek__Girl

            Yeah, all the building of massive buildings all over are the fault of NIMBYs. The hilarious part is that the YIMBYs real vision is what we see in the movie “Judge Dredd.” The rich living in luxury above the poor living in squalor.

          • Porfirio666

            Fortunately, Gov. Brown is on my side. Build, build, build everywhere. Including in precious little San Francisco. Eliminating local roadblocks to construction is the only way to alleviate our statewide housing shortage.

          • Porfirio666

            And those people paying 50% of their wages into rent, the ones you cited above as “ignorant.” Where do they fit in? Gov. Brown is right. We need looser housing construction laws everywhere, so that your oft-cited “ignorant” classes won’t have to keep commuting from Antioch to fill your latte glass.

          • Geek__Girl

            Thank you for proving my point. They are paying MORE THAN THEY CAN AFFORD.

          • sfsquirrel

            I agree with you on everything except “anyone paying 50% for housing is an idiot.” Sadly, some are forced to do just that. They are not idiots; they are exploited by an unfair system that I’m sure you abhor as much as I do.

          • Kraus

            “sfsquirrel”,

            The “unfair system” you abhor results from the NIMBYism that you espouse.
            Heal thyself.

          • Geek__Girl

            How about you cut the crap.

          • Kraus

            You first 🙂

          • Geek__Girl

            ROTFL!

          • Geek__Girl

            The ones we are talking about here are people who just have to live in San Francisco, even though they have no roots here. They are pushing out people who do.

          • Watson Ladd

            Funny, I didn’t know you were Ohlone.

          • Geek__Girl

            Funny, I’ve known for some time that you are an idiot.

          • Whamadoodle

            Since you’re the one making a xenophobic argument against newcomers moving here, shouldn’t you be directing your anger at newcomers like sfsquirrel, who moved here from elsewhere, and not natives like me?

            If you really want to insist on making such a xenophobic argument, that is?

            Watson was correct in pointing out your hypocrisy. I was born and raised here, sfsquirrel is the newcomer who moved here, and — well, you don’t say where YOUR ancestors came from or when YOU moved here, but it wasn’t before the Ohlone. Watson made a good point.

            Your people changed the culture here when they came. So did mine. So did sfsquirrel after me. Your argument is therefore hypocritical–you rail against newcomers moving here and making a living, but really, you just want YOUR kind of people–the “right kind of people”–to be the only newcomers who are allowed to move here and make a living.

            Hypocrisy, that’s all.

          • Geek__Girl

            I suppose in your view, the Native Americans were xenophobes when they objected to the Europeans who took their land. And I suppose you think the Cherokees were downright bigots when they tried to stop Andrew Jackson from taking their land. You and your YIMBY friends are all, quite obviously, followers of the teachings of Ayn Rand, whether you realize it, or not.

          • Whamadoodle

            What the??

            Yet since you’re NOT Native American, you’re saying you want yourself to go away? Why the eff don’t you, then?

            Hypocrisy.

          • Whamadoodle

            Yeah, that’s funny, because I was born, was raised, and spent 4/5 of my LIFE in the Bay Area, but because I ended up getting a job in biotech and rode on a company bus, I ended up being “the ones we are talking about here” too.

            And the xenophobia is ugly. No outsiders with “no roots here” are welcome? Jesus Christ, OK then, Donald Trump.

          • Geek__Girl

            Thanks for the straw man argument. We have to have some restraint before things get totally out of control. We should be requiring that companies take steps to minimize the impact. For example, why can’t Google invest in building housing closer to their headquarters? They certainly have the money, and there is certainly far more room down there? Or Facebook, or any of the other tech companies? They could either make it a perk for employees, or they could charge them a reasonable rent. They could even keep it at about 30% of their salary.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            Funny, I’ve known for some time that you are an idiot.

          • Geek__Girl

            And I have known for some time, that your opinion is worthless. And clearly unoriginal.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            original to you! Your words sunshine!

          • Geek__Girl

            Exactly.

          • Whamadoodle

            That’s not what you said in the post I replied to here. You’re pretending “straw man argument” and substituting something you never said in the first place? Nice try.

            You said: “people who just have to live in San Francisco, even though they have no roots here.” Which is an argument for xenophobia, which presumes that people who “have no roots here” (which, as mentioned, doesn’t describe me or many thousands of workers you’re smearing, but it DOES describe sfsquirrel, who I notice you haven’t railed at to leave) are somehow less desirable than yourself.

            Who the heck told you YOU are the thing that makes the City what it is, and that the people you scream at aren’t? God. You make stuff up that’s false, then say I have to prove the thing you made up is false, and scream “jerk” and whatever namecalling you need to puff yourself up and put others down. People who lie, make stuff up, scapegoat “outsiders,” prance around as if you’re the only ones who belong here (even though some of the people you scream at have more “roots” here than you do), and namecall are what makes the City great? No, you’re the ones who pollute it. Take your tribalism and xenophobia to a Trump rally, where it belongs.

            Anyway, now that you’ve completely switched your argument (because I guess you’re embarrassed of the “people with no roots” xenophobic one, and don’t want to discuss what you said?), it would be fine with me if we could contrive to encourage Google or Facebook to build lots of housing near their headquarters. Thanks for (finally) making a positive suggestion, Princess I’m the Only True San Franciscan.

          • Geek__Girl

            Let me see if I can make this simple enough that you can understand it. I have no problem with people moving here. That is not the issue. The issue is when people move here at the expense of people who already live here. The problem is when they move into places where someone was illegally evicted in order to make room for them. The problem is when housing, where people live, is torn down to make room for new, very expensive housing, The problem is when neighborhoods like the Mission see residents being pushed out to make room for “a better class of people.” The problem exists when areas that have traditionally been where people could afford to live are “gentrified” to make room, again, for a “better class of people. Does that make it simpler?

            Oh, and I suspect that Google and such would not do that, because a lot of the people who are employed there would insist on living here. Which is odd, since they are trying so hard to strip the City of what makes it special.

          • Whamadoodle

            Since I and the candidates mentioned all not only said we are against having people illegally evicted in order to make room for anyone, nor has anyone ever been evicted to make room for me, I’m not sure who you’re screaming at.

            As far as “new, very expensive housing,” I’m pretty sure ALL the candidates, and again me, are in favor of large proportions of affordable housing. So again, I’m not sure who you’re screaming at.

          • Geek__Girl

            Trauss is basically dishonest. As is Breed. Even if they say they are “for” affordable housing, they use that term differently from what most think in terms of. Let me put it another way. We need large amounts of subsidized housing, housing where people who are on fixed incomes, retirees, people on SSI, people with low wage jobs, and even people who little or no income can live. Then on top of that, we need housing for the true middle class, not what is euphemistically called “middle class” here in San Francisco, but who would be considered wealthy pretty much anywhere else. When they started providing free bus passes to students, the upper limit on income was something like $80,000 a year. In most of the country, that would be consider well above middle class.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            ” they are trying so hard to strip the City of what makes it special.”

            That je ne sais quoi, évidemment?

          • Geek__Girl

            It would not be so bad if those insisting on living here were not also insisting on destroying the things that make, or increasingly, made, San Francisco special. They, for example, would have no qualms about turning Chinatown into more condos for theirselves. They have already pushed many Latinos out of the Mission, and have forced more than a few businesses that catered to the Latino community into closing. Thankfully, Roosevelt’s Tamale Parlor is again serving tamales. But how many overpriced, trendy restaurants do they need? Why do they need to destroy the places where one can eat without needing to take out a bank loan? And I have never claimed to be “the Only True San Franciscan.” Hint: That is another of your straw man arguments. But, thanks to people like you, and Ron Conway, true San Franciscans are becoming an endangered species.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            For example, why can’t Google invest in building housing closer to their headquarters?

            Since when is Google in the housing business? Grasp at straws much?

          • Geek__Girl

            Why shouldn’t they be? They certainly have the resources, and there is a lot of space down there. It would make for a nice perk for their employees. Google is not in the food service industry, but they are well known for providing just about everything their employees could want to eat. So, why not housing?

          • SF Sunset Guy

            and whose choice should that be? yours or theirs? When you take Sundar Pichai’s position as CEO, I guess you can implement a housing program. Your argument – I use that term loosely – is lunacy. Housing hasn’t worked that way in decades and sure doesn’t now.

          • Geek__Girl

            Obviously, it would be theirs. But they should be encouraged in that direction. Imagine how it would benefit San Francisco if companies like Google were able to move their employees nearer to their campus. It would help eliminate the massive buses tearing up our streets and contributing to congestion. It would would free up a lot of housing, and would precipitate a drop in rents.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            obvs. Encouraged how? Tax breaks? Code variances? Nonbinding resolutions?

            They don’t operate in a vacuum. Would it be nice for google people to live close to their campus? I would imagine yes, but right now, that is –
            for many of them – prohibitively expensive or inconvenient or maybe they like living in SF or elsewhere.

            Imagine how it would benefit SF is SFGov would fix the streets they already neglect. Buses or not, SF doesn’t maintain or repair its roadways – but you already know this. Imagine if Muni was competently run and a viable – nay – attractive option to getting around town reliably. Techies aren’t the cause of the housing crisis, they’re more of symptom. SFGov wants to have it’s cake and eat it too. the budget has never been bigger, nor have fewer services of poor quality been offered to residents. There’s already plenty of housing. Much of it is left vacant or are foreign investors’ owned etc. Filling that housing isn’t going to happen unless a lot of dirty water goes under the proverbial bridge.

          • zutsa

            There are a ton of people working for tech companies that make $75k or less. Entry to mid level, non-programmer jobs pay that much. And if you move here from Idaho you don’t have a choice but to pay 50% income on rent. You’re also not thinking of the administration staff, security guards, cafeteria workers, office managers, delivery folks, etc. that service and support these offices.

            ” Not approving of people trying to push you out of a neighborhood because they want to “gentrify” it not illegal. It is one’s right.”

            What qualifies as gentrifying to you may be different to someone else. It’s subjective. You see $5 croissants as a factor of gentrification, but another could just see a savvy baker. You can’t base policy or legislation around this.

          • Geek__Girl

            ROTFL!!!! Ah, so now it is the NON-PROGRAMMING workers. Yeah, how many of them are allowed on the buses? And we both know that security guards, cafeteria workers, and such are not even employees of the tech companies. They are are provided by outside contractors and make very little. The office staff is better paid. But office staff are not techies.

          • Whamadoodle

            “how many of them are allowed on the buses?”

            Uh… all of them? Including contractors too, if you knew what you were talking about?

            Plus, in addition to being paid lower wages than the top programming people, they sometimes have to PAY to ride those buses, which makes it that much more offensive that idiots throw rocks at them to try to terrorize them.

            But don’t be wrong.

          • Geek__Girl

            I’m pretty sure that no “cafeteria workers, or security guards” are allowed on the buses. Some of the office staff, maybe. But if they are being charged to ride, that is another example of arrogance and abuse by some of the tech companies.

          • Whamadoodle

            (Boggle) Uh–dude. You’re INCORRECT. Jesus Christ. I’m telling you: I’ve been on those buses. Yes, workers of EVERY station are “allowed on the buses.” Where on EARTH did you get the idee fixe that they’re somehow forbidden by some rule? Can you show me any evidence of such a rule, anywhere?

            No, nobody’s checking ID and saying “sorry, you’re a cafeteria worker, you’re not allowed to ride.” Where the HECK did you get that ridiculous idea from, anyway?

            Good lord. She just invents stuff that’s factually incorrect and then insists it’s true.

          • Geek__Girl

            First off jerk, I am not a “dude.” Second, I have never seen anything that indicates that “cafeteria works, and security guards,” or anyone else who is not a full blown programmer is allowed on those buses. You will have to provide some more than you lame, “prove I’m wrong” ploy. You are making an assertion, but demanding that I prove a negative. Either you think yourself very clever, or it is obvious why you are just a contract worker. Provide proof, or you are exposed as a liar. Should be too hard. Sorry, when I am wrong, I admit it, but I think you are trying to bluff your way through.

          • Whamadoodle

            Jesus. CHRIST. “I’m pretty sure,” you said. I asked you to provide the evidence that had made you “pretty sure,” because the evidence of my own eyes showed you to be wrong.

            (BTW “Dude” is gender-neutral, namecaller.)

            You choked, and failed to provide any such evidence. Because you have NO evidence. Because you just made a claim that has NO basis in any reality, except that you just invented it because you want it to be true.

            BullCRAP “when [you are] wrong, [you] admit it.” “I think you are trying to bluff your way through.

            Again: WHAT makes you “pretty sure” of that? If you make a claim and then admit you have zero evidence for it, you were talking out of your butt and making stuff up.

          • Geek__Girl

            No, “dude” is NOT gender neutral. It refers to a male.

            Second, you have claimed something. I am asking you to prove it. The evidence of “your own eyes” is worthless here. You should be able too provide a link to something that spells out this policy. I am waiting for you to prove what you claimed. Obviously, you are backed into a corner. Just to be nice, I will give you one more chance. Prove your claim.

          • Whamadoodle

            You’re just a liar.

            As mentioned, you’re the one asking me to prove a negative–how can I show you proof that the policy you claim exists does not exist? What am I supposed to do, show you the non-existence of that policy, the non-existence of people policing the buses, and the non-existence of ANY worker–one single one–who has ever been denied access to their company’s buses? You’re laughable.

            You claimed there exists such a policy. Prove your claim. Show me a SINGLE piece of paper, a SINGLE person enforcing such a policy anywhere, a SINGLE person who has seen such a policy–and no, it’s not worthless, if you had seen such a policy in action and told me so, I’d say, “OK, I believe you if you say you saw it, but I never saw that at my company”–or a SINGLE person who has ever announced publicly that they were annoyed by such a policy.

            You lied. That’s all. Because you want it to be true. If you have to make up stuff like “no-cafeteria-workers-are-allowed-on-the buses” policies that you’ve never seen ANY evidence actually exist to force whatever point you’re babbling to be true, then I can’t stop you. But you just lied, that’s all.

          • Geek__Girl

            Sorry fool, but you are the one asserting that a policy exists that allows “cafeteria workers” and “security guards” to ride the tech shuttles. I am making you to prove that. That is asking you to prove a positive, which (surprise, surprise) you can’t. I am claiming you are wrong, and your inability to prove that you are right is indication that you are making crap up, and have been caught. You show me where this claimed policy exists. You show me what the policy is about who can ride the tech shuttles. You claim to work in this field, and you should have no problem producing a link to something that tells employees who can, and cannot, ride the buses. But you are trying to wriggle out of that. Sorry, you are the one who lied, and now you are caught and trying to back pedal like crazy.

          • Whamadoodle

            Nice try, troll.

            You claimed there was a policy forbidding low-wage workers from riding tech buses. You made it up; you haven’t denied that you never saw ANY evidence of such a policy that you ever saw. Thank you.

            You lied. As mentioned, if you make stuff up and just lie and try to dodge when asked for proof, I can’t stop you. But you are not worth talking to.

            You’re the type who likes to open up her mouth and scream a lot, but never open up her ears, eyes, or mind, and learn a lot. I don’t find you worth talking to, and you have a LOT of nerve posing yourself as some shining example of Little Miss Type of Person Who Makes San Francisco Great. You pollute the place. Have a nice day.

            Treat people better.

          • Geek__Girl

            And you claimed you knew, for a fact, that the policy was different. I simply asked you to prove that. Since you can’t, it is obvious that you are a liar. You see, you are in a position to easily prove that. If you had not made that claim, you would have have a leg to stand on. But you are, as they say, hoist by your own petard. You have made a claim, that if true, would refute what I said, but you now cannot back it up. I made nothing up. I simply repeated what is pretty much common knowledge. You made a claim of specific knowledge, and experience, and now I am demanding (well, no I have come to accept that you stepping in it, and now want to wriggle out), so was demanding that you prove your claim. You voluntarily changed the argument, and now you are caught.

          • Whamadoodle

            No, I didn’t. You lie. I answered: How the fuck am I supposed to “prove” the non-existence of a policy I’ve never seen, which YOU claimed existed? There’s no paper saying that–here, here’s some thin air. If there IS such a policy, you could show it to me.

            What on earth is the evidence that I could show you that shows the NON-existence of a paper, enforcement, guards, or ANY aggrieved people when I’ve never seen that happen (and when I have, in fact, seen security guards, janitors, etc. traveling on those buses–but you say that my word is “worthless”)?

            You’re just either lying, or you’re too damn dumb to understand what “proving a negative” means.

          • Geek__Girl

            I am not asking you to prove the NON-existence of anything. You claimed that there exists a policy that specifically states that low income employees are allowed to ride the shuttle buses, but they have to pay (which is not realistic, since only CONTRACTORS who are allowed to ride are required to pay, and that is because of IRS regulations). Now, you are claiming you have seen such things, and I am saying, well, you are clearly a liar. Your claims of what you have seen are totally worthless. I know exactly what proving a negative means, and that is not what I am asking. You have claimed that a policy exists. If it does, it will be in writing, and made available to all affected. Probably on a web site, or in some form that can be scanned or photographed, So, provide that proof, of the policy that you claim, or admit you cannot.

          • Whamadoodle

            Um. No.

            You lie.

            I claimed that there DOESN’T exist any policy that states they AREN’T allowed to ride the buses. And I only said so because you lied and claimed there WAS such a policy.

            I NEVER said “there is a written policy that states that low income employees are allowed to ride the shuttle buses.” Why the heck would anyone SPECIFY that low-income workers are, any more than they’d specify that for middle- or high-income workers? That’s ridiculous. That’s why there ISN’T such a written specification; nor did I ever say there was.

            What I said was that there DOESN’T exist any policy that states they AREN’T allowed to ride the buses.

            You are lying about what I said. Please quote where I EVER said “there is a written policy that states that low income employees are allowed to ride the shuttle buses.” I’m waiting. You lie.

          • Geek__Girl

            You claimed that they are allowed to ride the buses. Companies put everything in writing, especially something that important. They certainly don’t want everyone and anyone hoping on the bus to ride down the peninsula and save Caltrain fare. I am saying, show what the appropriate policy says.. Not that hard, unless it would prove you are a liar.

          • Whamadoodle

            Um. No.

            In my decades in the workforce, I have never seen a company put out a policy saying, “this only applies to workers making this much $, but not to those making below that much.” Never.

            If you have one to show us, please do. Shouldn’t be that hard, if you think EVERY company constantly puts statements like that out. Otherwise, stop wasting our time.

          • Geek__Girl

            Why do you keep weaving and dodging and avoiding the simple question. Produce a copy of the policy that shows who is, and is not, allowed to ride on the tech shuttle where you work. Obviously, there are rules, and rules are put in writing for legal reasons. That should really not be that hard. But you keep weaving and dodging, and acting the fool

          • Whamadoodle

            Because I no longer WORK at the place where I rode tech buses. Like I said. I haven’t worked there for a good two and a half years.

            And as far as “weaving and dodging and avoiding the simple question,” you’re not seriously pretending you ever showed us proof that you’ve EVER seen a policy saying “this excludes those making less than x $,” as you claimed there was, right?

            You do admit you have NO such evidence, and have NEVER seen or heard any evidence, of any such policy, right?

            Answer the question.

          • Whamadoodle

            Shorter: you made a claim. You said you were “pretty sure” that a policy exists that bars low-wage employees from riding tech buses.

            Again, for the 18th time: WHAT was it that made you “pretty sure” of that? There must be SOMETHING, SOME piece of evidence, that made you “pretty sure” of that. So? What was it?

            Simple question, you’ve dodged every time.

            Answer the question.

          • Geek__Girl

            Well, now, this is an interesting twist. You did all that weaving and dodging and just now suddenly, uh, remember, that you haven’t worked there in two and a half years. And, oh, you didn’t keep a copy of the policy but you did read it, so you can make a claim about what it said. Yeah, just admit you lied. Oh, and I might add, you can ONLY speak to the policy at one, possibly, even likely, imaginary, company. Seriously, game over. You lost. Get over it.

          • Whamadoodle

            No, Little Miss Can’t-Be-Wrong, I said EIGHTEEN HOURS AGO that I used to work there and didn’t work there anymore–that’s what I meant when I told you “I made LESS than $75k a year when I rode a tech bus,” that’s what “MADE” etc., past tense, and “RODE a tech bus,” past tense, means. Keep lying, though. Since you’re making stuff up about imaginary forbid-the-poor-from-riding policies you have no evidence of, might as well add another lie about me “just now suddenly” remembering that thing I told you YESTERDAY and that you read and replied to.

            For anyone wondering why I’m done with this conversation, the above lie refers to the subthread this is part of:

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/48hills/first_mayoral_debate_has_no_winners_and_too_much_agreement/#comment-3743266139

            Anyway, we’re agreed that you’ve never in your life entered a tech bus, right? And therefore, you have zero idea what actually goes on on one, right?

            I don’t know where my comment went where I said “feel free to have the last word,” but it seems to have been deleted. But given that you’re a proven liar (I didn’t “suddenly remember,” I told you to BEGIN with, a DAY ago, that I RODE a tech bus, “when I rode a tech bus”) or aren’t bothered to actually read before you yell things, there is no point talking to you, and please have the last (doubtless mindlessly repetitive) word.

            You are empty. You are also self-righteous. And you say false things. Say them to yourself.

            It would have been quicker if you’d just admitted the truth: “yes, you’re right, I’ve never entered a tech bus and have no idea who is allowed to ride one.” But I get that you’re frightened to admit it when you’ve been caught making things up, so feel free to screech the last word.

          • Whamadoodle

            Because I don’t WORK at a company with a tech shuttle anymore. Like I said at the beginning. I haven’t for over 2 years. As I said, you’re the sort of person who likes opening up her mouth, finding a scapegoat, and screaming at them mindlessly, but who doesn’t like opening her eyes, ears, and mind to take in information and think about it. Small wonder that your reading comprehension is challenged, and that you missed that little detail.

            And when I did work there, I remember the policy being emailed to us that said that contractors have to pay to use the bus (and contractors are low-paid, medium-paid, and high-paid, FYI), and that permanent employees (who are also low-paid, medium-paid, and high-paid) did not. I never saw one WORD about “those who make less than x dollars are forbidden to use the shuttle,” sorry.

            It would have wasted less time if you’d just admitted “OK, you’re right, I don’t actually have any idea what on earth goes on on a tech shuttle, who rides them, or anything like that, and yes, you’re right, I made up that stuff about how cafeteria workers are forbidden from riding them. I have no idea what I’m talking about there.” You know, since you’re all about admitting it when you’re wrong, as you claim, and since you choked when asked either for ANY evidence of that, or even to explain WHAT made you “pretty sure” of that imaginary thing nobody has any evidence of.

            But anyway, in the absence of any such evidence, I’ll go with: you have zero idea what you’re babbling about, and you have no idea on earth who gets on tech shuttles, and just made something up that sounded good to you when you screamed it. I’d GENTLY suggest maybe not opening up your big mouth and ‘splaining about things when you don’t know what you’re talking about, but it’s your choice.

            In any case, you’re boring me, and we both know that it’s true that you have zero idea who rides tech shuttles, that you just made it up and pretended you did, and that you’re frightened to just admit that.

            Last word is yours.

          • Geek__Girl

            And you claimed that you KNEW for a fact, that there was a policy allowing low wage workers on the tech buses. I am simply saying, “Okay, provide evidence that your claim is true.” But you obviously cannot. Again, you walked into that one, and now you are caught in an outright lie. You clearly made something up, thinking you would get away with it, but you can’t. Just provide proof, and you win.

          • Whamadoodle

            No, I claimed I knew for a fact that there WASN’T any policy FORBIDDING them from it, which you claimed (without evidence) that there was.

            I never ONCE claimed that there was some piece of paper somewhere saying “by the way, in case anyone thinks these buses are only for high-paid programming bros, let it be known that cooks, security guards, janitors, and other lower-echelon employees are allowed to ride the tech buses.” I never ONCE claimed there was some written policy specifying that low-wage workers WEREN’T forbidden from riding–for what reason WOULD there be such a written paper saying that? You lie.

            (God knows why the hell, in your weird fantasy, anyone WOULD bother to put in writing a policy saying “this will not exclude low-wage employees, by the way”–when does any company EVER say that, when they make a policy for all their employees?)

          • Geek__Girl

            No, they would put in writing a policy that says who is allowed to ride on the buses. You are desperately trying to twist this around, and while it is all mildly amusing, it is clear that you are caught, and trying desperately to wiggle out. Rather fun to watch. Simply provide proof of what the company’s policy is. That’s all you have to do. Obviously, there is such a policy, and it is made available to employees.

          • Whamadoodle

            I don’t have Google’s and Apple’s or anyone’s internal documents as to their tech bus policy.

            Neither do you.

            Anyway, you’re a liar.

            I NEVER said “there’s a piece of paper somewhere that specifies ‘by the way, these buses don’t forbid low-wage workers,” and you lied when you claimed I said that. You lied.

            You, however, DID claim to know there was a policy that DOES specifically forbid low-wage workers. Then when I asked YOU for proof, you had none–and still do. I get that you’re Little Miss Can’t-be-Wrong, so do you actually have anything new to say, or is this frantic tapdancing leading anywhere other than your evasions of your lack of proof for your assertion?

            Anything new to add, or would you like to repeat yourself again?

          • SF Sunset Guy

            Welcome to Jennifer’s house of mirrors. You hit a nerve. Projection aided by what should be amps blasting white noise and screens showing snow.

          • sfsquirrel

            Oh, don’t worry about the cafeteria workers — YIMBYs are looking out for them. In about 30 years, those luxury condos will come down in price about 10 percent, and some enterprising landlord will make rooming houses out of them, with bunk-beds that will only cost them about 60% of their earnings to rent.

            Zutsa and Kraus will make it their personal responsibility to go find those workers in all the far flung places they will have been forced to move to and bring them back — even if it means taking time out from ruining some other lives to do it. You, know, because they know about responsibility.

          • zutsa

            Office staff definitely falls into the “techie” stereotype that gets perpetuated and fought against. Also, what do you think would happen to the security, cafeteria, and other jobs if tech started to dissipate from the area? You think the 3rd parties that employ these people will keep paying them out of charity? They get laid off, and don’t have the benefits of severance. You wish ill upon tech then you are also wishing ill upon all those that work for/with them as well. That’s why scapegoating the entire industry is not fair.

          • Geek__Girl

            That’s the problem. Most, if not all of those cafeteria, security, and bus driving jobs, are farmed out to contractors. They do not work for the tech companies, and are paid very low wages. They don’t get benefits. And again, I don’t wish ill on the tech companies. I do wish they would show more responsibility, like hiring these people, and paying them more appropriately for what they contribute. I would also like to see them end the outrageous culture that has risen up around “tech.” The “brogrammer” culture is horrid, and leads to sexual harassment, widespread discrimination, and people being total jerks who feel privileged to run roughshod over anyone, and anything they don’t like.

          • zutsa

            So the tech companies get all the blame for the 3rd party companies being unfair to their employees? Why place the blame on them and not the companies that employ them if their working conditions are so sub par? More scapegoating. Here is a fact: if Salesforce packed up and left tomorrow there would be a ton of service folks unemployed immediately. But they aren’t packing up. They’re here, and their presence benefits the economy at large. That’s why municipalities compete to bring these jobs to their area. Because they’re good.

            Again, the “brogrammer culture” is a stereotype. That’s like saying everyone that works in finance is a Madoff, everyone in Hollywood is a Weinstein. It’s not that sexual harassment and discrimination in tech isn’t a problem, it’s just that you can’t judge an entire workforce and form housing legislation/policy around it. You’re trying to rationalize not building housing for the people that work in this entire sector because “brogrammers” are jerks.

          • Geek__Girl

            Why? Because the tech companies are contracting with those companies, and COULD EASILY REQUIRE BETTER TREATMENT. This is a problem that exists beyond just tech companies. A lot of businesses try to get around things like paying Social Security by making workers “contractors.” I had an experience with this when I worked for a guy who turned out to be a total crook in Florida. He decided to make us all “contractors” for just that purpose, among others. The tech companies farm out certain jobs for similar purposes. They don’t have to pay these workers Social Security and benefits, and in many cases, they company employing them doesn’t either. This is part of the so-called “gig economy.” A few years ago, while I was back in college, I did some work through Task Rabbit. I thought it would be a good way to pick up a little extra cash, and at first it was. But when they changed their model from one of bidding on jobs, to one of being “assigned” jobs based on setting a minimum acceptable rate (which they strongly pressured one to make as low as possible), it became a royal pain. I was expected to be available at inconvenient times, got penalized for not responding to requests when I was in class, and made considerably less money. I only did programming and other technical work. I had some interesting jobs, but I eventually quit and never looked back.

            And no, the “brogrammer culture” is not a stereotype. It is reality. No one claims that ALL programmers are of that ilk, but the vast majority are. Not that many years ago, programming required real skill. Now, with a device like the iPhone being something like 73 times faster than a Cray XMP (the fastest computer available i the 1980s, costing millions, and requiring massive air conditioning and other expensive support to keep cool) and memory being measured in GBs and even TBs, writing an acceptable bit of code is trivial. Not need worry about size or speed. Which is probably why a lot of programs are not nearly as fast as they could be. On my first programming job, I joked that the more I added to the program I was writing, the smaller it got (a lot truer than no). It also got faster as I optimized code. I asked questions of the people supporting us, like how certain ways of calling things affected size and speed. I even rewrote a canned floating point conversion routine that we were given by them to make it smaller and faster. Unfortunately, the first version had a small bug that I missed. When I came in the next day, I got called on the carpet for breaking the code. It took me about a minute to fix the bug, and then I pointed out that it was now faster and smaller, and worked perfectly. My supervisor was still unhappy that I had spent time “reinventing the wheel,” but I was happy because it was the one part of my program I had not personally written. A Geek Girl has to have her pride.

          • Whamadoodle

            I made LESS than $75k a year when I rode a tech bus, and people were screaming about how tech buses were the worst oppression since white people–uh, many of whom are the same white people now complaining about “gentrification”–started moving to the Mission and to formerly working-class Irish, Italian, or Russian neighborhoods decades ago. I made WAY less than that.

            And I felt very lucky to have that contract position and the crappy shared in-law it paid for. You know why? Because until that contract, I spent years working in the Bay Area where my HIGHEST-paid contract was less than half that $75k (and that was for only one of those years; most years were less than $20,000, following the recession in 2001-3).

            I worked my way out of that and was finally able to get back into the middle class again, and people are screaming “get off the bus and join us!” and throwing rocks at other people’s buses (never at mine, as it happened). And I thought: “and what? I should get off the bus and quit my job, and then… what? Once I’m poor again and no longer middle class, will you be paying my rent and food? ‘Um–oops–er–I–uh–no.’ You won’t. So quit telling me I’m not supposed to finally be middle class again, after gutting out year after year at $20,000 lousy damn dollars a year.”

            I can’t believe people are credulous enough to fall for this “let’s pit the poor against the middle class” scam. I’m very much in favor of preventing Ellis Act abuse and the other efforts the article here mocks, and I want everyone who works to be able to afford rent here. But the entitlement I hear in the “eat the middle class” and “get rid of tech” chorus, too often from people who displaced poorer people themselves to come here (often AFTER my own family did), is not helpful.

            Quit scapegoating with cheap “if only the tech sites I’m complaining on go away it will be OK” slogans. Propose solutions instead. (That’s a message to this article’s author, too.)

        • sfsquirrel

          Do you think that tech workers coming here for high salaries are the equivalent of people fleeing their countries because of violence and/or economic devastation caused by the very system that makes Americans relatively rich? Serious question.

          Do you think that well-funded individuals coming here to change our laws and landscape are the same as hard-working individuals who just want to put food on the table, to have a table to put food on, and to give their kids a better life than their own? Serious question.

          • zutsa

            “Do you think that tech workers coming here for high salaries are the equivalent of people fleeing their countries because of violence and/or economic devastation caused by the very system that makes Americans relatively rich? Serious question.”

            They’re both large swaths of people relocating themselves for economic opportunity. On a functional level, they are very similar, yes. Just because podunk Ohio isn’t as tumultuous as the worst cities in Mexico and South America doesn’t mean the motivations and behavior are more different than they are similar. Exactly why generalizing and scapegoating doesn’t work. If you lived somewhere where jobs are scarce and you get offered an opportunity around here you’d do it too.

            “Do you think that well-funded individuals coming here to change our laws and landscape are the same as hard-working individuals who just want to put food on the table, to have a table to put food on, and to give their kids a better life than their own? Serious question.”

            False dichotomy. The techie making 75k and paying 50% of take-home pay to rent in a shitty studio are not “well-funded individuals”. They are not colonists. They are not changing laws. They are in the same boat. The divisiveness isn’t helping anyone. The mid-20’s techies that moved here in 2011 are now raising families too and have the same concerns. You want to fight the billionaire CEOs then I’m on board but this crusade against the average Bay office worker is tired.

          • Whamadoodle

            Thank you. People want to pretend about this, and they make it a “Riche-pigges are oppressing us! Quick, let’s ignore the rich and attack the middle class!” narrative. That benefits precisely the rich themselves, and doesn’t accomplish a single thing to benefit any poor person in California.

            It’s cheap. It’s a way to look righteous by finding someone to scream at, but there’s no pretending it’s well thought-out, proposes ANY solutions (“get rid of all the companies now!” Uh wow great idea eyeroll), or is anything but a cheap way to avoid actual logical, factual, or deep thinking about how to actually solve any of the problems here.

          • Geek__Girl

            You are actually comparing well educated tech workers, who are drawn by inflated salaries to poor refugees? Clearly, you have NO shame. Wow, how low will you stoop?

          • zutsa

            Drawn by inflated salaries? You mean a job? There are places in the US that are as impoverished and as dangerous as some of the worst parts of the developing world. My point is that they ALL deserve opportunity. Whether you come from El Salvador or Flint, MI. We’re still all part of the same 98%. People will come here, whether it’s to work as a janitor or as a programmer, because there are jobs here and jobs are good. Those people need places to live and their kids need places to live.

          • Geek__Girl

            No, I mean inflate salaries. And absurd perks. As long as VC is paying the bills, these companies pour out lavish salaries for their chosen one (generally white males who fit their “brogrammer” culture) and make a grands show of how “successful” they are, even though they have never turned a profit, and are living on the generosity of the companies hoping to strike it rich. It is all about appearances. When, or better, if, they make it to an IPO, they all might get their imagined pot of gold. Or the whole thing may burst like the Dot Com Bubble. At least now they are smarter about not rushing into IPOs. In fact, some are rushing the other way, because they know what will happen.

          • zutsa

            You’re stereotyping so hard right now. We all know the ping pong tables and ball pits are ridiculous but they are the exception, not the norm. You can argue we’re in a tech bubble right now but you can’t twist that around into justifying wanting to get rid of “them”.

            Regardless of tech all you need to do is look at a chart of housing production and overlay that with population increase over the past two decades and you’ll see the deficiency. Again, tech isn’t the biggest industry in the area. Again, stop worrying about what other people do for work.

            Houses. People. Too few of the former, more of the latter. I want more houses, you want less people. That’s fine if that’s your stance but lets not pretend it’s progressive.

          • Geek__Girl

            I don’t want “to get rid of them.” Shoot, they will eventually implode. I want to see things like AirBnB regulated, as well as Uber, Lyft, and other “disruptive” companies that run amuck. Ed Lee, and others (Breed, Chiu, Cohen, and Weiner) shielded them from the law at Conway’s demand. This needs to end.

          • zutsa

            That’s fine. I agree with that also. Reasonable regulation. That is very different than blaming those companies employees for ruining the city. As Tim is in this post. As many other “progressives” love to do. As we see in just about every single article related to housing written by a “progressive”.

            Are you denying the very existence of the “Us vs Them” mentality when talking about housing in this region?

          • Whamadoodle

            Does it disturb your narrative that I was born and raised in the Bay Area, and that I and tens of thousands of workers like me did NOT “come here for high salaries” from anywhere, but were born here? And that until I managed to get work in the life sciences–finally–I was making poverty wages for YEARS? Serious question.

            And for that matter, as a native, I think your xenophobia for those coming from other states or countries (apparently, you’re OK with it as long as it’s a country suffering “violence and/or economic devastation caused by the very system that makes Americans relatively rich,” but in that case, would you refuse Chinese or Indian immigrants, or are they different?) to make liveable wages here STINKS.

            I wonder who you or your ancestors here displaced, and what opportunities they sought when they came here. By your logic, do you think that refugee farmers fleeing the Dust Bowl disaster, who found greater prosperity in California than they had in Oklahoma, should have been met with xenophobia too? Serious question.

            Or, even more nonsensical, were they only okay when they were suffering and poor, and then the minute they started making middle-class wages, would you have said they were suddenly unacceptable gentrifiers? Serious question.

          • zutsa

            Squirrel moved here in the mid to early 90s. A time in which @sfsquirrel:disqus describes it as having “plenty of room” and presumably payed market rate upon moving here. Supply and demand was very favorable to Squirrel at the time, but now fights the idea of that being the problem today. Or, as we’re seeing in the comments here, likes to argue that the “Demand side” (or the people who live and work here who aren’t Squirrel), are the problem.

            You’ll notice that the people that want to talk badly about tech, or newcomers, or new apartments and condos, etc. already have a comfortable place to live and a solid job. They’re confident that both the housing market and job market can plummet around them and they will be fine, so they cheer it on. This can be out of nostalgia (“The City is losing what makes it great!”), this can be out of xenophobia (“They are ruining the character of the neighborhood”), this can be out of greed (they own and pay little taxes via Prop 13 and benefit from the scarcity; higher home values or higher rents).

            Regardless, we should be working together. We’re all in the same boat but people in these comments will argue with me until the day’s end about how we’re not. How much more privileged anyone that works at a tech company is. How they’re the problem. They’re being duped by the upper classes of this city to have a class war at the bottom.

          • Whamadoodle

            Thanks zutsa–LOL, no wonder sfsquirrel fled when I asked “I wonder who you or your ancestors here displaced, and what opportunities they sought when they came here.” So sfsquirrel came here because… s/he found it a wonderful place to live, and found him or herself able to afford rent, and ignored the fact that s/he had comforts that a growing number of homeless and displaced didn’t have.

            You’re exactly right about the cage match between poor and middle-class workers being trumped up (pun sort of intended) and often due to xenophobia–and the fact is that the suffering of the working class and the squeezing of the middle class is a NATIONWIDE problem. (In fact, we should feel glad we HAVE any middle-class that tech supports, since some areas of the country don’t have a middle class, & the alternative is to have 100 or 200 rich people lording it over nobody but working poor.) Middle-class wages have stagnated since the 70s, while executive pay has gone from 40 times what their workers make to 400 times as much. (Coincidentally, you could buy a home in 1970 on a teacher’s salary, and today you can’t.)

            That’s not fixed by kicking Twitter out of town and going back to a situation where the only jobs are making sprout sandwiches at a bohemian cafe for less than $20,000 a year.

          • sfsquirrel

            I can’t take you seriously when you keep supporting an agenda that only helps the wealthiest class of people. So either you are the one being duped or you are one of their mouthpieces. You are so fixated on my personal story of moving here during an economic downturn that you miss the fact that my issue is with the YIMBYs and not all tech workers.

            Tech workers enter the conversation because they are who the YIMBYs purport to be speaking for — likening them to poor pitiful immigrants that “nativists” won’t welcome. And that is just plain racist. To the extent YIMBYs represent tech workers, it is only the highest paid ones. I know some tech workers, even ones who have been well paid (some have gotten out of tech), and they don’t buy into the YIMBY agenda. Some are deeply troubled by it. You should be too if you really care about the middle class and working class.

            Unfortunately, when you make comments stating that you don’t believe rent control should be expanded, it’s really hard for me to believe you care at all. And when you attack progressives with the same old tired YIMBY talking points, engage us in long exchanges in which you twist our words, then call us divisive and say we should be working together, well, sorry, that’s just manipulative.

            Oh, and please tell your new friend Whamdoodle that I wish I made $75,000 a year. I have never come anywhere close to that.

          • zutsa

            No one is talking about the YIMBYs here. You don’t like YIMBYs and the YIMBY agenda, and they represent only the highest paid tech workers (huh?), and so because of that tech workers need to come into the conversation. What?

            The YIMBY group and Sonja Traus and those people aren’t the only ones who think we need more housing.

            It’s very, very simple. There are not enough places to live around here. Lots of people want to live here. If we build more buildings in which people can live, less people will have to move, and more people can afford to live here. Forget labels, ideology, forget where they came from, forget what they do for work. All people will benefit from there being more places to live. Period. This just makes sense.

          • sfsquirrel
          • zutsa

            Speculation exacerbates the problem but is not the cause, and curbing by manipulating the market will not solve the issue. What drives speculation? Supply and demand. Why have speculators honed in on areas like SF? Because supply is limited and demand is high they view it as a lower risk with higher reward.

            If you want to fight speculation then you’d be for more housing. The last thing a foreign investor would want to see is a 60 unit building going up next to their vacant condo. They’ll sell immediately to someone who wants to actually live in the condo or risk their returns diminishing over time. Right now, with nothing drastic changing in the neighborhood, they can look forward to their vacant unit getting more and more desirable as supply continues to shrink.

            Alternatively you can attempt to deride demand. We can’t control the wonderful weather or the geographic proximity to beautiful places like Tahoe, Napa, Monterey, Big Sur, etc. so what can we control? You really want to hamper the economy (take food off of people’s plates tables, to use your analogy. If a tech office closes the security guard’s job is gone too.) in order to stabilize housing costs? That’s reckless.

          • Whamadoodle

            You could have told me that yourself, and I’d have said “did you read the rest of the words around that figure, or is your reading comprehension lacking?”

            But then, I guess, you’d have to address the little problem that YOU are more of a newcomer here than I am, that I spent YEARS making poverty wages, and that even still, I don’t go Trump-voter about it and yell “these newcomers like sfsquirrel need to go away,” nor did I say that when you got here in the 90s (and I had been here for years before you ever came). And I gather you’re ducking that.

            I am sorry that you’re still in poverty, and I wish you weren’t. But if your idea is that just because you never made it past poverty wages, you’re mad that I went from poverty to something better, then… um I’m so sorry, but eff you for wishing that on me, pal. I don’t wish YOU to remain poor or suffering just to make me feel comfortable, but you wish that on me? Get back.

            God. Then I’m so sorry, but if you have that kind of bitter envy and ill-will toward the people of this city that you wish them ill, and wish us all to remain in the same kind of poverty that you feel bitter about when you suffer it, then how do you get off pretending to be the Right Kind of Person who makes San Francisco great? You’re not. I wish everyone, poor, middle-class, or rich, who expresses that kind of hatred and wishes for other people’s downfall would kindly leave our city, rather than pretending you’re somehow righteous.

    • Don Sebastopol

      Agreed most have benefited from increased inequality. The number of Blacks and Latinos living in SF who have steady jobs has increased, as have the number of those with less than high school education.

      • K Walker

        lol

      • Porfirio666

        The Don, speaking his true colours:
        ‘Most have benefited from increased inequality.’

        In fact, “increased inequality” has not benefitted poorer Californians, who are forced to live inland and commute to jobs nearer to coastal California.

        • Don Sebastopol

          I should have said most poor and middle class benefit from a growing economy. Where the economies are growing there is increased inequality.

          I doubt that many poor are “forced” live inland and commute to jobs nearer the coast. It my be true that those who choose to live inland must commute to find jobs. But I doubt many commute for very low-paid jobs. It would not make economic sense.

          Some employers such as insurance companies with a need for a moderately skilled labor force (high school graduates) are relocating to inland communities. For example, State Farm recently moved to Bakersfield.

          The economic outlook for the Central Valley has improved slightly over the past few months. The unemployment rates are declining.

  • Porfirio666

    Of course everyone place nicey-nicey. Under the ranked-choice voting system, people with strong opinions lose. Winning the election requires not criticizing anyone or anything. Playing it safe. Never proposing radical change. The Jean Quan playbook.

    “I was really disappointed to see that every single candidate in one way or another endorsed state Sen. Scott Wiener’s new housing bills.” Yes, playing nicey-nicey. But I was very pleased about this.

    • Geek__Girl

      I’m sure you were.

      • Porfirio666

        And proudly so. “Viva el YIMBYismo! Viva la revolucion!”

        • Geek__Girl

          ROTFL! What a crock!

          • Porfirio666

            “Todo el mundo a las barricadas! Hasta la victoria!”

          • Geek__Girl

            I suspect your candidate will not last long when the votes are counted. But have fun being an ass now.

          • Porfirio666

            El pueblo, unido, lleva la YIMBY corona.

          • Kraus

            Όλα αλλάζουν και τίποτα δεν παραμένει ακίνητο!

          • sfsquirrel

            Translation: I am the love child of Putin and Charles Koch.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Do you think Don Sebastopol assumes Sonja Trauss will vote for Mark Leno since both Sonja and Mark descend from Russian Jews? Or do his race oriented voting theories only apply to people of color?

            Also…

            Does Hanlon speak Russian? Are you really Dean Preston? Can we out everyone on her? Am I next? Did porfirio drink the yimby cool-aid? Did Redmond just mention AFW? Is Putin genetically more Asian or European? Who’s going to win the election?

          • sfsquirrel

            I was just quoting from Scott Wiener’s Twitter feed where he responded to the fact that the Mayor of Beverly Hills called him the love child of Putin and Charles Koch (or the Koch brothers) because of SB827 – which Hanlon purportedly wrote. Whoever Kraus is, I’m sure they know about it.

            I don’t think Dean Preston has time or interest in contributing to this forum. I hope no one can truly be outed but Kraus sure does sound like Hanlon, who is very public and very nasty. I think Sonja Trauss will vote for Breed but no idea what Don Sebastopol assumes about that. I don’t have any other answers to your questions. Did you feel threatened by something I wrote?

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Hey, thanks for replying. It seems you and Foginacan know each other, and it seems like you are tied into D5 housing issues. I’m just wondering to what extent you are politically involved in housing legislation.

            I was trying to help you out deciphering Kraus. It is Sonja that has the Russia connection, and who studies their language and history. I don’t believe the account is shared.

            Putin is the whitest Asian you’ve ever seen — check out his face. Don goes on and on about racial voting blocs, and I think it’s ironic that he exempts caucasians. Dean fights the good fight, but you can’t enter the political realm and be beholden to none.

            Brian Hanlon? I thought he owned the vintage Honda repair shop in soma. That dude knows every bolt on a cb750 (aka the motorcycle that toppled the Brits hold on the industry).

          • sfsquirrel

            Oh good – I could not tell your intentions. I am actually wondering if I do know Foginacan but with both of us anonymous, I’m not sure. lol. That said, I would rather remain anonymous, so I won’t disclose too much.

            I don’t know your Brian Hanlon — the one I’m referring to is the head of CA YIMBY and is credited with writing some of the awful legislation promoted by Wiener and Skinner.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            It’s O’Hanlon who owns the Honda shop. I’m just not much familiar with Hanlon yet, but duly noted.

            I don’t know what Preston is up to, but the yimbies have used social media in an extremely effective way. They’ve decided it is worth their time to weigh in these comment threads. They also post articles within their media groups, which leads yimby supporters to comment sections.

            It is similar to how they approached Sierra Club. They are looking to undermine anyone who poses a threat to their agenda. The ‘old guard’ is a primary target, and must evaluate it’s response.

          • sfsquirrel

            Yeah, they are going full bore on the personal attacks against me. I guess I must be doing something right. lol. I joined the Disqus fray because there are not enough progressive commenters here. But the YIMBY side seem to have endless time and energy.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            My take is that if you look at yimbyism as a movement it has been very successful from a legislative stand point, but it doesn’t seem to have the same traction for electing candidates. It’s too polarizing of a position, especially for RCV elections.

            Despite Tim’s insinuation that all the candidates support sb827, I don’t believe it. If there is firm evidence then I would like to see it.

            Kraus has already seized upon Tim’s single statement and repeated it throughout this thread. It’s spin from a loose comment.

          • Porfirio666

            Gov. Brown and a growing majority of Democrats support SB827. The bill is key to alleviating the housing shortage in California.

          • Porfirio666

            Yes, we use algo-rhymes to explain the consequences of housing supply shortages statewide to the lumpen proles. Lock the YIMBYs up!

          • zutsa

            I agree it is getting too personal and I regret calling you out @sfsquirrel:disqus . Our conversations are much more productive when we talk about economics as opposed to personal histories / labels.

            I honestly hate the YIMBY movement. From an optics standpoint they look terrible. They, as in their organizations, take money from developers. Sonia Traus says way too many stupid things. Their groups that I’ve seen on Facebook really exemplify the white-guy techie stereotype. I get it. I agree with them on almost everything but I hate how easy of a target and punching bag they are. I think beyond YIMBY, however, there are a ton of people who think we need more housing indiscriminately. Most probably don’t even know what YIMBY/NIMBY means, but to them the overall idea of building more makes sense. It made sense to me. Looking back at the history, the charts, the numbers, I cannot see how we haven’t simply fucked up by not building enough. I have been thinking these things for years. Only recently has there been a label to put on it and attack. Because of this, I refrain from promoting “YIMBYism” as a label, and instead prefer to express my opinions from an economic and objective standpoint. At least, I try to.

          • sfsquirrel

            Well, Zutsa, if you are truly sorry, then I hope you will understand if I take a wait and see approach before I ever engage with you again. (And even when you are respectful, I don’t always have time to argue the finer points with you.) Using a part of my personal story against me — out of context — was a low blow, as was ganging up on me with that loose cannon.

            If I were not anonymous then that would be chilling. But since I am, the personal attacks don’t keep me up at night. What does keep me up is a fear of losing my housing and my community. I am in the thick of things, watching people get evicted or getting threatened with eviction. That’s where I come from. It’s not about tech workers but large corporate landlords taking advantage of a tech boom that has not helped a lot of people here.

            And clearly I don’t agree with you that building more market rate housing is going to help me, or anyone but the developers and speculators. That is fine if we disagree, if that is your sincere belief. What can I say. I’m going to keep challenging that idea. And if you start up again with the YIMBY line about progressives, well I’ll probably challenge you on that if I’m in the mood.

          • zutsa

            I deleted it. I understand your motivations. We’ll all argue the finer points at the next one.

          • Porfirio666

            YIMBYs ae concerned about the housing shortage in California and want to do something about it instead of relishing in the status quo.

          • Porfirio666

            We have more passion. We are concerned about the housing shortage in California and want to do something about it instead of relishing in the status quo.

          • Whamadoodle

            It’s a little rich when you brag and preen about how you’re better than everyone else because you’re “not arrogant and entitled,” continually personally attacking anyone who is not The Amazing You (“you certainly extrapolate a lot from little information, which is the YIMBY way”), and then howl “OMG personal attacks” when people point out that you actually do certainly say a lot of arrogant and entitled things. If you don’t like being told that, then don’t bring it up yourself and attack others with the same words you don’t like and then play the martyr and strike the Jesus Christ oppression-olympics pose, next time.

            Sorry to interrupt your self-congratulation and lying (“tech boom hasn’t helped many people here,” s/he says, in a place where 1/5 of the jobs are tech jobs).

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Also, if this comment thread from Feb. 3rd is compared with the comment thread from Tim’s similar article two days later, it seems obvious this thread was shared on a yimby forum and the feb. 5 article was not.

          • Porfirio666

            Almost correct. Most of the YIMBYs are merely bots. I’m a Russian bot myself.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            The yimbies are similar to the alt-right with their use of social media to spin the truth and proliferate their talking points.

          • Porfirio666

            Rosh, you are seeing phantoms everywhere. I’ve lived here in SF for nearly 30 years, and all of the YIMBYs here are making perfectly sensible arguments about alleviating the housing supply shortages throughout California. You and I disagree. But I would never accuse you of being a bot or a stooge of a radical organization, whether on the left or on the right. Drop the paranoia.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Thanks for your concern. You called yourself a bot, wasn’t me. I stand by what I wrote.

          • Porfirio666

            Apparently you don’t understand irony and humor.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Whatever.

          • Porfirio666

            Yes, Beverly Hills is NIMBY ground zero. So of course the mayor is screaming that Wiener is Putin/Koch/Satan.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            Yes. To Everything! You get a Yes, You get a Yes, we all get a YES!

          • Porfirio666

            No, Rosh, I’m Chris Daly dressed up as Jesus.

          • Kraus

            “Google Translate” would be more accurate, but, of course, it would require more effort from you.

          • Kraus

            “Geek_Girl” sez:

            “I suspect your candidate will not last long when the votes are counted.”

            Girl, Didnt’ you bother reading the article? To Tim’s consternation, everyone is fundamentally “my candidate”, since they all support pro-housing policies like Senator Scott Wiener’s SB-827! I can’t lose!

            Accordingly, my ranked choice vote is as follows:

            1. Breed (She’s a strong, capable person; a good negotiator; she’s done a fine job as President of the BOS and I like her personal story.)

            2. Leno.

            3. Any one of the others (chef’s choice.)

          • Geek__Girl

            That’s nice. And again, you are still full of crap.

          • Kraus

            So I take it that you won’t bother voting.

          • Geek__Girl

            No fool. I always vote.

          • Kraus

            For whom? — as it appears that nobody up on that dais in Noe Valley (even the minor candidates) supports your agenda; they’re backing the YIMBY-led, pro-housing agenda as evidenced by their unanimously-expressed support for Scott Wiener’s SB-827.

          • Geek__Girl

            This may come as a shock to you, since you clearly have no understanding of boundaries, but it really is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. And unlike you, and your fellow nut cases, I am not a single issue voter.

          • Kraus

            Just what I thought; poor “Geek_Girl” has no one to vote for. 🙁

          • Geek__Girl

            Oh, because I won’t tell YOU who I am going to vote for, you make such a silly claim. I have a reasonable idea of who I will vote for, but again, IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. You really have no sense of boundaries. You are so full of yourself you think you are entitled to order people around. You are not. You are a minor candidate in a supervisor race that you will almost certainly lose. I knew that the first time I read about you.

          • Kraus

            “Geek-Girl” is angry and all alone on her tiny ideological Fantasy Island; shouting into the wind.

          • Geek__Girl

            Yeah, sure. Obviously I terrify you, as you seem quite obsessed with shouting me down, and trying to silence me. You’ve been outed. We know who you are, and you are fooling no one.

          • Porfirio666

            Quality post! Body parts mentioned!

  • Don Sebastopol

    Evictions are not the cause of chronic homelessness. That survey of 70 percent was biased in favor of the temporarily homeless.

    Getting out of the landlord business after purchasing a building is not an Ellis abuse if the units are converted to owner occupied.

    Gentrification leads to replacement not displacement. But if residents of the Mission don’t want to see a lot of new development, I could support them.

    For most voters, especially homeowners who tend to turn out vote more, housing affordability may not be a burning issue compared to other issues. I suspect that many are so fed up with
    crime and filth, even some progressives would vote for Rudy Giuliani if he were to run.

    • Do Something Nice

      Nonsense. In San Francisco, ‘gentrification’ is really the strong preying upon the weak for profit. It is anti-social behavior and should be illegal. Certainly, those profiting from gentrification should be shunned and scorned. They are the fucking carpetbaggers of our time.

      “Gentrification is a process that hides the apparatus of domination from the
      dominate themselves. “

      “That ‘those people’ lost their home. . .is pretended away, and reality is replaced by with a false story in which the gentrifriers have no structure to impose their privilege. They just naturally and neutrally earned and deserved it.
      And in fact the privilege does not even exist. And in fact, if you identify the privilege you are “politically correct” or oppressing them with “reverse racism” or other nonexistent excuses that the powerful invoke to feel weak in order to avoid accountability. “

      Spiritually, gentrification is the removal of the dynamic mix that defines urbanity – the familiar interaction of different kinds of people creating ideas together. Urbanity is what makes cities great, because the daily affirmation that people from other experiences are real makes innovative solutions and experiments
      possible. In this way, cities have historically have provided acceptance, opportunity, and a place to create ideas contributing freedom.

      Gentrification in the seventies, eighties, and nineties replaced urbanity with
      suburban values from the sixties, seventies, and eighties, so that the suburban
      conditioning of racial and class stratification, homogeneity of consumption, mass-produced aesthetics, and familiar privatization got resituated into big buildings, attached residences and apartments.

      Just as gentrification literally replaces mix with homogeneity, it enforces
      itself through the repression of diverse expression. That is why we see so much quashing of public life as neighborhoods gentrify. Permits are suddenly requiring for performing, for demonstrating, for dancing in bars, for playing musical instruments on the street, for selling food, for painting murals, selling art, drinking beer on the stoop or smoking pot or cigarettes.

      Gentrification. . .replaced urbanity with suburban values . . .so that the suburban conditioning of racial and class stratification, homogeneity of
      consumption, mass-produced aesthetics, and familiar privatization got resituated into big buildings, attached residences and apartments.” –Sarah Schulman

      • Geek__Girl

        Well put.

    • Geek__Girl

      No, they are the start of it. Chronic homelessness does not happen overnight.

      They often are not actually converted to own occupied. But a lot of people get away with it.

      That is a really absurd claim. Replacement is displacement. The people who live in the neighborhood are pushed out, and replaced by the newcomers. That is the definition of displacement.

      Rudy Giuliani was full of talk, but his actions just resulted in lawsuits forcing him to stop.

    • sfsquirrel

      You seem to live a very sheltered life, out of touch with the insecurity so many of us face.

      • Whamadoodle

        Since you moved here in the 90s (?) and lived comfortably, while the homelessness problem that started seriously in the 70s got worse and worse, could someone have said the same to you when you moved here?

        • sfsquirrel

          You sure do extrapolate a lot from very little information — which is the YIMBY way.

          • Whamadoodle

            You sure do offer very little information (by your own admission, then) — which is the way of someone who’s too dishonest to answer the question, because he knows he’s been busted as a hypocrite.

          • sfsquirrel

            The answer to your question is no. I have always been low income and tread lightly. I am not arrogant and entitled like the YIMBYs. I have never had funding from real estate speculators to push a dishonest agenda that will harm everyone, like the YIMBYs. My agenda here is to push back against this agenda despite the odds of success against this great wall of money. But here’s a link for you to chew on as you ponder supply and demand: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/27/building-homes-britain-housing-crisis

          • Whamadoodle

            Jesus, you’re “not arrogant”? Have you listened to yourself and read your posts? You’re the most arrogant person ON this board, man. You argue explicitly in terms that make clear that only you and people who share your own cultural sensibilities belong here, and that others are outsiders deserving xenophobia (even though you were once one yourself). Let OTHERS pronounce on how not arrogant you are, I don’t think that’s the kind of thing one gets to pronounce about oneself and then accept your own award for.

            Your article has some figures to support the idea that, in its words, “House prices won’t fall until the tide of cash flowing into the market abates, for
            example by tightening mortgage credit, or shrinking the pool of
            buy-to-let investors.” (Though it’s funny they mention bitcoin bubbles–according to bitcoin enthusiasts, bitcoin became dear precisely because it had a FINITE supply, and wouldn’t ever grow.) But it puts you in weird company: Trump’s new pick for Fed chair argues for higher interest rates too. Neither you nor Trump seem aware of the fact that crashing borrowing by making money dearer means also crashing the economy. Your concern, as always, never includes the financial crisis you want to visit on OTHER working-class or middle-class people. They don’t count.

            But if you want to “shrink the pool of buy-to-let investors,” I’m open to hearing your ideas about how to do so. Got any?

            But (again) tellingly, you evaded the question: did you move here from somewhere else, a couple of decades ago? And if you did, weren’t you doing better than the homeless, whose problem was increasing by then? I have LONG, not always, been low income too, and “tread lightly” (no one has ever been evicted to give me a place), yet for some reason, I’m your villain? So… DID you move here from somewhere else? And WEREN’T you doing better than the homeless when you did? If so, you’re no different from me (except that I’ve been here longer than you, I was born and raised here, and so since you guys have this xenophobic, Trumpian “no newcomers” line to push, you deserve it more than I do).

          • Kraus

            “Whamadoodle”,

            What did I tell you?

            Ask “sfsquirrel” what their finest quality is and they’ll tell you it’s how “humble” they are! 🙂

          • Whamadoodle

            Between sfsquirrel telling me I shouldn’t have gone from poverty wages to making a living wage as if it would be good if everyone making a living wage should go away so that only people making low wages exist here, so that s/he can afford his or her rent again; and geek_girl saying newcomers shouldn’t come to live here even though I was born and raised here decades before sfsquirrel ever moved here (and not seeming to notice how xenophobic and bigoted both their attitudes are)…

            And geek_girl is now just making stuff up about some imaginary rule she thinks there is against janitors & cafeteria workers being forbidden to use tech buses, even though she can’t show ONE memo, ONE worker’s testimony about being policed and told “no, you can’t ride,” ONE piece of evidence that anyone is checking for that, or any other piece of evidence to show such a rule has ever existed anywhere, as she claimed–and she says I’M the one asking her to prove a negative! No, Einstein, you just made a positive claim of the existence of a rule. Prove its existence. She just made this lie up.

            I just can’t with these people.

    • Zhoosh

      Evictions are not the cause of chronic homelessness. That survey of 70 percent was biased in favor of the temporarily homeless.

      Well, the city’s official homeless census says that 12% were evicted. It doesn’t say how many of those evictions came about because of non payment of rent.
      http://hsh.sfgov.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2017-SF-Point-in-Time-Count-General-FINAL-6.21.17.pdf

      I was there last night and Leno did what Tim always does. He mentions the fact that 70% of the homeless were living here originally and then he goes right into his eviction/Ellis speech. So people wind up equating the two.

      The survey says that twice as many people lost their housing at the insistence of a friend, family member or partner as opposed to a landlord. 22% said that their alcohol or drug dependencies got them kicked out.

      But if you want to limit the relatively small number of evictions then you have to come up with a program that will pay their rent indefinitely. I don’t think that you’re going to be able to stick the landlords with this one.

      • Whamadoodle

        Thanks for the link, that is helpful and informative; I didn’t know about those percentages.

        I would definitely not demonize the landlords who DON’T abuse the Ellis Act, and your figures show that Ellis evictions aren’t the sole or even the main cause of homelessness here.

        I would agree with Leno, though, that the landlords who serially abuse the Act, buying building after building & evicting people, each time saying, “oopsie! I’m going out of business… again” should be popped for it. Even if that only solved 12% or less of the homelessness problem, that would be a good thing. The homeless who are drug- or alcohol-dependent or those who are mentally ill (a HUGE percentage of homeless, though not most of the homeless) are a separate issue.

        • Zhoosh

          I would agree with Leno, though, that the landlords who serially abuse the Act, buying building after building & evicting people, each time saying, “oopsie! I’m going out of business… again” should be popped for it. Even if that only solved 12% or less of the homelessness problem, that would be a good thing.

          Yes, Leno is right. I think he tried to create legislation saying that you had to own the building for 5 years before an Ellis. But then of course the old landlord would just do it before cashing out. Leno’s legislation when nowhere.

          But I think you are missing something regarding the 12%. It is the percentage of homeless who say they were evicted. Almost certainly the vast majority couldn’t pay rent as opposed to being Ellis’ed.

          We don’t know the percentage of people who get evicted and therefore become homeless. I’m sure that many of them decide that a roof over your head in Vallejo or Stockton is better than the street in San Francisco. I know I would.

          • Whamadoodle

            Oh, oh, oh–yes, I think I misread it, then. I thought you were saying that 12% of the homeless were Ellis evictions; but you’re saying that 12% of the homeless were evicted, period, for any reason or in any way.

            In any case, either one bolsters what I’ve been saying, I think: that although it’s totally laudable to stop Ellis fraud by landlords, it’s also true that that is NOT sufficient to solve the housing crisis.

            The housing crisis is a nationwide issue, related to wage stagnation in the middle class & poor versus the executive class, IMO.

          • Zhoosh

            You can see the Ellis counts here:

            Rent Board Annual Eviction Report

            There was a total of 127 Ellis evictions in San Francisco last year.

            There were another 397 owner-move-in evictions.

            Combined, they make up 27% of the 1,881 eviction notices served. Almost every other one involves some type of breach by the tennant.

            So that’s why the Anti Eviction Mapping Project reports total counts on a two decade basis.

          • Whamadoodle

            Thanks for the factual information, Zhoosh; it lends more weight to your comments than others here seem able to manage.

            I’m about done with the mindless screamers on this page, so unless people who are honest who haven’t weighed in yet have more substantive comment too, I’ll probably consider my piece said.

            But God, if this comments section proves one thing, it’s something I’ve seen over and over again:

            it’s always the people who preen the most about how they’re the type of People Who Make San Francisco What It Is, and how we’ve got to save them and keep them, the People Who Make San Francisco What It Is, and keep out other, Bad sorts of people who are Ruining San Francisco and are Not People Who Make San Francisco What It Is, the ones who are bragging that they’re the former that are always the biggest, most obnoxious, self-congratulatory, self-righteous pills who ever made a person groan and want a drink.

  • sebra leaves

    Missed this Mayoral debate, as I attended the much more divisive Senator Wiener Town Hall. This event attracted a crowd of people from outside the city and a lot of folks from Wiener’s district 8, who oppose the housing legislation he is pushing, outlined in this article: “Scott Weiner’s War on Local Planning”: https://48hills.org/2018/02/wiener-war-planning/

    All of the issues involving housing, displacement, homelessness, crime, and economic inequalities are based on the belief that “unlimited growth is good”. Where in California has dense housing resulted in a decease in displacement, homelessness, crime, or a better lifestyle for residents?

  • sfsquirrel

    I have not seen any of the debates yet, but it is concerning that everyone has to give lip service to the developers who pour so much money into our elections. But that does seem to be the reality since Citizens United and since the right-wing YIMBY invasion. Of course, there are different levels of lip service — that of talking and that of ass-kissing.

    • Kraus

      That’s right, “right-wing” Amy Farah Weiss is raking in the big bucks due to Citizens United.

    • Porfirio666

      Excuse me. The YIMBY movement is left-wing. It promotes housing construction in all counties, which will alleviate the housing supply shortage and help poorer Californians, Gov. Brown, Scott Wiener, and David Chou understand that. The dying denizens of old San Francisco do not understand. Fortunately, however, they are getting more ancient and dying by the day.

  • Whamadoodle

    “What nobody said:… Why do we make it easier for Peninsula cities and tech companies to
    screw up our own housing market by allowing them to run luxury shuttles
    from our neighborhoods?”

    Well, because that’s nonsense. God this “tech buses are evil” canard is soooo popular, but it’s SUCH a pile of illogical, fact-free BS. Tech buses take cars off the road and prevent precisely the traffic congestion that this article acknowledges is a problem. Even the most optimistic (for those who hate tech buses) estimates from studies that advocates have shown me admit that 60 to 70% of the workers on those buses would NOT move house, even if the buses went away. That means that all the tech buses are doing is saving the environment by having more commuters on buses instead of in cars.

    And the basic idea that “we’ve got to just get rid of tech companies and we should never have encouraged them to come; if we drive them out, it will be well” is ridiculous. The whole STATE is a boom state, and the whole Bay Area and Southern California areas around LA are the places that are booming. And we WANT them to boom. Advocating for artificially bashing down this or that city’s proportion of businesses, so that wages can become low enough that rents are cheap again, is just… dumb.

    By all means, we’re challenged by such drastic rises in rents and home prices (and you’d better believe I personally have been, so don’t even come with this “you’re one of the gentrifiers” bulls— that 18,000 of you probably just incorrectly assumed). But suggestions such as stopping Ellis Act abuse by speculators are better ways to deal with that than… what? What does this author want? For us to discourage all business from being here? “Tech companies not welcome?” “Healthcare companies not welcome?” “Banks not welcome?” No businesses welcome? So then they’ll move across the bay, and… gentrify Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Hayward, and the rest of the East Bay more than they have already been gentrified?

    Seriously. Think this stuff out, for Christ’s sakes. Don’t just snarl, “yeah! It’s those damn rich people with their rich, newfangledy iPhone video games! Now get off my lawn!” and pretend that if we just picket Twitter, that’s some sort of solution to anything.

    • Zhoosh

      I love the things said in this post…but you gotta try and keep it well under the 500 words you used. It required about 8 internet attention spans to read that post.

      • Whamadoodle

        Thanks Zhoosh, I love you, I agree with you, and I ask your forgiveness–lack of concision tends to be a failing I admit that I have. If I had more time to edit, I’d do better.

        As Abraham Lincoln reputedly said, “forgive the long letter–I had not time to write a short one.”

        • Zhoosh

          Don’t admit that it’s your doing…find someone to blame as a scapegoat. Ron Conway is responsible for your comment being too long, not you.

          • Whamadoodle

            XD

    • Geek__Girl

      And this is a total load of crap. IF they had to commute by car, they would be more likely to seek housing closer to work.

  • Commentor

    …different from.

  • Whamadoodle

    More concisely:

    Sometimes if you spend so much time complaining “nobody agrees with the Brilliant Me and My ever-so-superior ideas!” the reason is that 1) you aren’t articulating them well, 2) they’re illogical and not fact-based, or 3) both.

    Everyone has this nebulous idea that “the newcomers” shouldn’t have come (which newcomers? What are their attributes? If it’s “tech workers,” tech companies and biotech companies employ positively TENS of thousands of lower-middle-class and working-class workers, so this “they’re all rich tech bros” stuff is garbage); that “Mayor Lee should never have let tech companies come here” (so… which workplaces are to be acceptable, by your Majesties’ rule? Only schools, firehouses, police stations, coffee shops, sandwich places, and… that’s it? Maybe a hotel or two, or are their owners too rich?); and that the companies should all “go away” (where to? To the East Bay, where precisely the same gentrification and affordability issues are already occurring? To another state, leaving California as poor as Arkansas, instead of the engine of the US economy? To another country, leaving America as poor as Russia?); and that that will somehow bash people’s wages from middle-class wages back down so that EVERYONE is making poverty wages!

    Um… yay?

    And this will somehow solve the NATIONWIDE problem that middle-class wages have been frozen for 4 decades, while house prices have gone up 10-fold or more?

    Right. No it won’t. The “just get rid of tech companies” “idea” is as badly thought-out as it is badly articulated. It’s a DUMB idea. That’s why people don’t want to adopt it. Think more.

    • Y.

      “…you aren’t articulating them well…”

      • Whamadoodle

        No, they aren’t.

  • BenB

    Always cogent analysis by Tim Redmond. I was hoping that there would be questions from the floor. I wanted to ask about the half of SF’s population forced out in only 7 years. Surprised by the stats Leno cited 50k ride share vehicles and 170k rides. That’s less than 4 fares a shift! How are those drivers making a living ?

  • SF Sunset Guy

    Leno pointed out that there are 50,000 Uber and Lyft vehicles in the city every day, making 170,000 trips. Planning at the MTA, he said, “is not working.”

    Did Leno cite any thing for this claim? Even the MTA’s max number is something on the order of 6400 vehicles. The planning at the MTA – not working – I’ll take at face value.

    • Zhoosh

      According to the SFMTA there are a total of 45,000 cars but not all are on the street at the same time. They estimate the weekday peak at 6,500 cars on the street.

      A Profile of San Francisco Transportation Network Company Activity

      So Leno took the 45,000, rounded up to 50,000 and made it sound like they were all on the street at the same time.

      Because that’s how Progressives roll.

      • SF Sunset Guy

        His standing on this is just disingenuous at best. I’m actaully not sure it matters who the next mayor is, meet the new boss, same as the old boss. SFGov’s orgy of taxing, spending, corruption, wastefulness and incompetence will continue unabated.

  • For your consideration

    Tim, it sounds like you should have run for mayor.