Wiener endorses Breed as battle over SB 827 heats up

Move puts state senator on the same side as group that has attacked his longtime friend and mentor, Mark Leno

State Sen. Scott Wiener endorsed Sup. London Breed for mayor today, putting her squarely in the Yimby camp that supports SB 827 – and along the way, putting Wiener in the same camp a candidate whose allies are attacking his longtime mentor, Mark Leno.

The event took place right across the street from Leno’s headquarters in the Castro.

Sup, London Breed in the Castro with Yimby Action leaders Sonja Trauss and Laura Foote Clark

Wiener had previously endorsed Leno, but not with a major event like this, and while the senator has now endorsed both candidates, Breed is taking full advantage of her new alliance.

It’s the first sign that she and her strategists are seriously working on a ranked-choice voting strategy and have decided the best way to get second-place votes is from the more moderate Leno voters – the ones who voted for Wiener over Sup. Jane Kim for state Senate.

Leno has not yet endorsed Kim as his second choice, although the two campaigns worked together to win a one-two endorsement at the Democratic County Central Committee.

Kim has endorsed Leno as her second pick.

Leno has always supported Wiener, even when the two disagree on policy, out of what he calls personal loyalty; Wiener has, until now, always been a strong supporter of Leno.

Breed may see this as a way to take second-place votes from Kim. But since Breed and Leno are competing for the same moderate votes, the dual endorsement could encourage Wiener voters to rank Breed first. It probably hurts Leno more than any other candidate. And it aligns Wiener with the supporters of Breed who are running an independent campaign that attacked Leno.

“I have known Mark Leno for 20 years, and I have known London Breed for 15 years,” Wiener told me. “I support the two candidates who I think would be excellent mayors.”

When I asked him if he thought his endorsement of Breed would hurt Leno, he said: “I don’t want to overstate my importance. These endorsements can be over-rated.”

Leno’s office issued this statement: 

Senator Leno is proud to have State Senator Scott Wiener’s endorsement in his campaign for Mayor. Senator Wiener is one of a number of elected leaders who have dual endorsed in this race, including: United States Senator Kamala Harris, San Francisco Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Hillary Ronen, Ahsha Safai, Sandra Lee Fewer, and Malia Cohen, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, and others. The real issue here is that Supervisor Breed is the only candidate in the race who does not have a rank choice strategy. 

Breed, echoing sentiments we’ve heard from Wiener, said that “we have to build more housing and get rid of the bureaucratic red tape.” She talked about car break-ins and the need for more police officers. “We have to come together to address these issues,” she said.

But the Kim campaign immediately responded by linking Breed to the Wiener real-estate measure that would upzone more than 90 percent of San Francisco.

In a press release, campaign manager Jon Golinger said that

Scott Wiener’s endorsement of London Breed today just confirms what we already knew:  London Breed is the only Mayoral candidate who fully supports Wiener’s massive giveaway to developers – Senate Bill 827 (SB 827).

SB 827 is strongly opposed by the Sierra Club, tenants’ rights groups and neighborhood advocates because it will promote displacement of working families and it does not require developers to make any additional contributions to transit, affordable housing or neighborhood services.

Jane Kim knows that the Breed-Wiener SB 827 bill is exactly the wrong approach – San Francisco needs more affordable housing, not just more luxury housing working people can’t afford.

I tried to ask Breed, who was posing after the even for a photo with the Yimby folks, what her current position is on SB 827. She never acknowledged or answered the question.

But Breed will have to take a stand on a bill that has become a major issue in this mayor’s race: On Tuesday, a measure by Sup. Aaron Peskin that would put the city on record opposing the bill will come before the full board.

Peskin agreed to accept a compromise that watered down the measure to get it out of committee, but he told me today that he will seek to amend it at the board to clearly and unequivocally oppose SB 827.

49 COMMENTS

  1. “Seems to me that those who build ‘campuses’ (like corp giants – but also universities, hospitals, etc – ought to factor in (build) housing for employees.”
    Agree about that.

  2. Seems to me that those who build ‘campuses’ (like corp giants – but also universities, hospitals, etc – ought to factor in (build) housing for employees. That may halt biz development, but some negotiation ought to be included.

    Of course, places with a housing surplus are going to be favorites for places like a 2nd Amazon campus, but, maybe thats for the best.

  3. Very interesting race, as the middle of the road does not exist and everybody knows it. The ball is in Leno’s court. He is free to let his support for Wiener based on past relationships go, since Wiener is opposing him and his platform for San Francisco. Both Kim and Weiss have included Leno in there 1-2-3 endorsements.

    My question to all the candidates is, how bad do you want to win the hearts and votes of the San Francisco resident voters? If you want to win. You must pick a side and stay there. Yes or No on SB 827. No equivocating. If you think there is a middle ground, watch the videos of the disruptive YIMBY at the SB 827 Press Conference.

    https://youtu.be/J8MTShPX8XQ

  4. Density by itself would not create cultural attractions. There are plenty of places in the world (not so much in the US) with endless blocks of 20-story residential buildings, and they can be dismal.

    Personally, I don’t mind it if the suburbs want one-story neighborhoods, but then they’ll have to hold back on permitting big corporate campuses, despite all the tax income they’d generate.

  5. Not all those on the westside are conservatives. There are a lot of San Franciscans who live out there because housing is cheaper. And bus routes like the 38 take an hour to get from one side of S.F. to the other… but supposedly it should be high density, with evictions of existing residents, some of whom are low income, in rent controlled buildings… only to be replaced by dotcommers in luxury apartments, who will bring their cars and not even take the bus.

  6. Yeah, that sounds like a stinker of a plan. With transit and other problems virtually unaddressed.

    OTOH, was recently looking at googlemaps of Santa Clara. I wonder how they can continue to have suburban style one-story ranch houses with front, side, and back yards – claim all the jobs, and push all those employees somewhere else. Santa Clara seems like a beautiful place to live; and with density could rival SF for cultural attractions.

  7. The developers, realtors, local aristocrats, and big financial real estate backers have their candidates, and they *love* Whiner and Wanton Greed.

    The same developer / big money / financial trifecta that colluded to prop up real estate and rental prices during the subprime crisis by keeping foreclosures empty and off the market, while turning potential rental housing into high-end, AirBnb’ed flats and investment parcels for the very, very rich of the world to safely park their cash in the city where property values never fall, are spending millions to get us to believe that if only we support laws that make all of their land and properties worth millions more, due to no longer having to comply with local zoning and rent control, they won’t flip their property for an insane amount, and will willingly and gladly conspire to devalue all their real estate holdings by building affordable housing, as opposed to evicting rent-controlled buildings and creating luxury condos AGAIN, courting big money foreign investors AGAIN, and letting AirBnb and others run rampant in our city AGAIN, while keeping affordable rental units off the market.

    How stupid do these people think we are?!

  8. From yesterday’s vote, Breed has done exactly as I predicted and punted the issue back to Weiner and unspecified “amendments”. The bill won’t be acted on in any form by June, so it will be only a hypothetical on election day. It won’t alter the already perceived moderate/progressive differences between Breed and Kim/Leno.

  9. If those units won’t be built for decades, that’s not on the City. It’s due to the developers who don’t want to flood the market and see their sales prices go down. Its the developer’s trying to maximize their profits by not being too competitive with each other.
    The whole discussion is about S827 being anti local and pro developer profit. There evidence that local control has only resulted in less developer profits, not less development.

  10. That 65,250 number you quote is a joke. Please read the article you quoted. That includes units that won’t be built for decades. We actually build about 3,000 units per year. That’s the crux of the problem.

    As for “regulating the mechanisms that push people out”, what are you referring to? OMI evictions were 297 last year. Ellis evictions were 201 last year. Again, a drop in the bucket of the roughly 50,000 people who leave each year. The real issue is prices.

    Displacement mostly happens because people cannot afford units. Want to move out of your shared space and get your own place? Can’t afford it. Get married and have children and need a bigger place? Can’t afford it. Want to stop renting and be a home owner? Can’t afford it. That is the issue and the only solution is building more unless you have magical thinking about stopping people from moving here.

    You question that SF has anti-development policies? What are you talking about? This whole discussion is about how SB827 is pro-development and takes away a lot of the local control that has resulted in less development.

  11. I know. Complete ruination of SF. Damm immigrants. They are going to destroy everything.

    Who’s city?

    OUR city!!

  12. I don’t know, but TU gets the replay of the day award. Talk about a smooth recovery .. Go Deepra!

  13. They are always like that. For all the big talk online, when they show up at planning meetings they come off as a really inept cult.

  14. “They shouted over Chinese, Latinx, black and Indian-American speakers.”

    Obviously, rich NIMBYs.

  15. Ohhh shit. If the mayoral race is any indication then a perfect smile is obviously helpful.

  16. We’ll keep our keys, thank you. Somebody has to prevent the complete ruination of SF. I appreciate your concern, real estate troll. YIMBY or YIYBY?

  17. I was at that rally. YIMBYs outdid themselves in their rudeness. Sonja shaking her ass in people’s faces, she and the rest of them trying to shout over all of our speakers. They shouted over a man in a wheelchair. They shouted over Chinese, Latinx, black and Indian-American speakers. They shouted over older people. They have no respect for anyone. They showed their true colors today, white, entitled and out of touch. I could just imagine if a white progressive dared to interrupt Breed during one of her stump speeches. It would make the national news.

    In the end, the Supes voted 8-3 for Peskin’s resolution.

  18. I’ll say. I haven’t read anything this pertinent to the SF political atmosphere since Goldilocks and three bears.

  19. People are being pushed out by other people who stand to gain by pushing them out. Regulating the mechanisms that push people out is the only way to restrain them being pushed out.

    You’re wrong that SF has anti-development policies. Where’s your evidence?

    The fact is that as of the first of the year a record number of units, 65,250, were in the official development pipeline. Developers are slowing down largely because there’s a glut of high priced units already built and that’s the price range they want to keep building.

    http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2018/03/a-record-pipeline-of-development-in-sf-but-actual-building-slows-down.html

  20. Maybe not but is it getting a lot of comments on Nextdoor in the West of Twin Peaks area and the Sunset. It may be a key issue. Kim should benefit.

  21. Even the drop in the bucket affordable housing projects get delayed or thrown out. Everyone’s for affordable housing until it’s near them, then it’s “Well can’t the build somewhere else?”

  22. Yes, because wanting things to remain how they are and/or go back to how great things used to be is a conservative hallmark. Being afraid of who might move into your neighborhood is called xenophobia, another conservative trait. Denial of science, in this case economic consensus, is a conservative go-to. And then we got the Soros-style conspiracy theories surrounding Conway.

    So no, actually, it’s not unusual that the progressives and the conservatives unite on this issue. There are more similarities here than there are differences. Whether it is a rich conservative blocking affordable developments in their neighborhood or lower-income progressives blocking luxury development the outcome is the same: very little gets done, very few homes get built, yet somehow people still keep having kids and the 70 degree weather keeps drawing people here. The rich conservatives grow wealthier as supply remains tight and property values increase, the lower-income progressives don’t have to co-mingle with newcomers and continue to erroneously believe that their advocacy is helping more than it hurts. Nostalgia and xenophobia win for both camps and any economic problems that arise can just be scapegoated away.

  23. It is unfortunate. Cities like San Francisco should have acted responsibly. Instead they tried to block housing because it would cast a shadow on a park 3 blocks away between 4:10PM-4:28PM in May and November.

    That’s why the keys are being taken away.

    And San Francisco isn’t the only one. Here are some other examples that I found by Googling 48Hills. Are these instances of local decision making that you are fighting to protect and extend?

    Why does Mountainview get to outsource its housing problems to SF?

    Why is there no housing for Google and Apple workers on the Peninsula?

  24. Yes I’m concerned for the homeless. And also all the current middle class residents who will be priced out over the long term due to escalating rents and property values caused in large part by the anti-development policies pushed by both progressives like Tim and conservatives on the west side.

  25. I don’t think sb827 will be a big mayoral issue. Mainly because the mayor has no authority over it. Weiner is doing a good job shielding his picks by taking total responsibility. Leno and Breed will say that it needs amending to fit SF.

  26. “There just isn’t the political will…to house all of our residents.”

    You’re obviously sympathetic and concerned about the scourge of homelessness in SF and support housing for the houseless. Because, by definition, all other SF residents have residences. That includes even temporary residents, house guests, hotels, airbnb, etc.

  27. “Time to take the keys away from them…”

    Uh, no. Local democracy must not be usurped by developers, investors, and the politicians in their pockets. Absolutely not.

  28. The cities aren’t supposed to like it. They have been in control so far and things aren’t going so well. Time to take the keys away from them and refocus on the problem regionally.

    Forest Hill, Bayview, anywhere in Peskin’s district…if you leave it up to the neighbors they will want to keep their backyard unchanged. But it turns out that they don’t own the backyard.

  29. All the teeth gnashing over SB827 gives me confidence that prices in SF will never come down. There just isn’t the political will to allow enough construction to house all of our residents. A drop in the bucket affordable housing project here and navigation center there give the progressives the political “wins” they need but make virtually no difference in the big picture.

  30. One of the joint appearances of Farrell and Kim was unveiling the Central SoMa plan, all 40,000 jobs and 7,000 housing units of it. No thanks. Even Trauss (!) thinks it’s unbalanced.

  31. So, no one’s gonna comment on the Chron article positing that Farrell is hyping Kim now – to win over Breed – so that he can position himself as the “Mod” when he makes a run in 2019 against a ultra-Prog Kim..

  32. Also, we should see an “unusual bedfellows” voting bloc: The conservatives on the West Side don’t want sb827 and neither do downtown progressives.

  33. It would be wise to remember these words: Scott Wiener supported Julie Christensen in her District 3 against Aaron Peskin. Love him or hate him Peskin had more ‘negatives’ than any candidate I can remember and he still won against Conway’s chosen candidate.

    London Breed isn’t the walking gaff factory that Christensen was, but I think she overplayed the race card when she was voted out of interim mayor.

  34. When I asked him [Wiener] he thought his endorsement of Breed would hurt Leno, he said: “I don’t want to overstate my importance. These endorsements can be over-rated.”

    What a two-faced weasel. Him and Ron “too busy to get involved in politics” Conway.

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