Prop. C: The battle for the soul of San Francisco

It's the oligarchy vs. the community and the people as we head to the ballot

The New American Oligarchy of Wealth and Privilege that seized control of the United States two years ago with the election of President Donald Trump and his Republican Congress of Shame, Exploitation, and Betrayal has now mobilized in San Francisco to defeat any “push back” impingement on their accumulation of unlimited wealth – even if only to address and ameliorate the absolute desperation and destitution of America’s poorest, our nation’s continually-increasing homeless population.

Tenant groups rally in support of Prop. C

They have now mobilized potentially millions of dollars – much with the true donors hidden from view – to campaign against San Francisco’s Proposition C, a 0.5% increase in the gross receipts on within-the-city businesses revenues in excess of $50 million per year on this November’s city ballot, even though those same companies just received dramatically larger federal tax cuts thanks to the Republican/Trump’s multi-trillion-dollar national giveaway earlier this year. This new tax would raise about $300 million a year for affordable housing, shelters, and homeless assistance services, doubling current city efforts in size.

This follows upon the brutal and naked intimidation several months ago of Seattle’s city government by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos – the richest man in the world! – that lead to their capitulation and repeal a much smaller business tax in that city to expand its homeless programs too. In our case, the local would-be Bezos-like power-monger is Ron Conway – a venture capital billionaire and ruthless power-behind-the-throne of Mayor Ed Lee, and now Mayor London Breed.

Their real intent of course is to simply drive the homeless out of San Francisco, using “sweeps” and perpetually insufficient shelter facilities – all justified by hyping the negative harsh realities of homelessness for – not homeless people themselves! –  no, instead for the neighborhoods, businesses, and everyday residents of San Francisco that must live with the inevitable side-effects of homelessness. And so Gavin Newsom, our former mayor and the State’s next Governor, baldly and falsely claims “Prop C will make the homelessness worse, not better – I guarantee it.”

Of course, it is instead America’s ruthlessly exploitative economic system that so enriches this oligarchy that actually “makes homelessness worse” by utterly failing in the last four decades, since the ascension to power of its great avatar, President Ronald Reagan, to provide the national resources and social support systems that would remedy such poverty and destitution. But – they like it that way!

And today in San Francisco and the Bay Area we are witnessing first-hand the explosive birth of the New Wealth of the American Economy – the world’s premier concentration here of the new tech industries that now are setting the future path of humankind’s 21stCentury civilization.

So the REAL QUESTION before our city and its voters today – to be decided in just five weeks at the ballot box – is whether or not the future of our city will be henceforth set by these Oligarchs, these beneficiaries of Trumpism, and their dependent political apparatchiks of whatever party brand, or …

… Will the people of our city stand together against them — and against their lies, denials, and dog-whistle fear-mongering about homelessness – and vote to build a Future San Francisco that directs at least some of its extraordinary wealth to those most in need and in the most destitute of circumstances – enough to really make a difference?

Make no mistake – the vote on Proposition C is the most important test our city has faced in this new 21stCentury: Does San Francisco still have a moral soul in the embodiment of its people and communities, or have we now become just one more co-opted fiefdom of wealth and privilege in the service of the masters of American oligarchy?

PS: We won’t be completely alone! On Monday the city’s premier tech industry mogul, Marc Benioff of Salesforce, announced his “all in” support for Proposition C! Including $2 million in support for the “Yes” Campaign. It will now be really interesting to see how the rest of the city’s tech leaders line up – who will back up Conway, the Chamber, and the mayor, and who will join with Benioff and our communities. For example, Stripe, the biggest funder of the California YIMBY party.

ORDER OF BATTLE:

“No” On Proposition C

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom

Mayor London Breed

State Senator Scott Weiner

State Assemblyperson David Chiu

Supervisor Katy Tang

Supervisor Catherine Stefani

San Francisco Republican Party

San Francisco Libertarian Party

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

sf.citi

BOMA

Hotel Council of San Francisco

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Business Times

SF Firefighters Local 728

SF Police Officers Association

Jessica Ho

Dede Wilsey

“Yes” On Proposition C

US Representative Nancy Pelosi

US Representative Jackie Speier

Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer

Supervisor Aaron Peskin

SupervisorVallie Brown

SupervisorJane Kim

SupervisorNorman Yee

SupervisorRafael Mandelman

Supervisor Hillary Ronen

SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi

San Francisco Board of Education

San Francisco Democratic Party

Affordable Housing Alliance

Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods

United Educators of San Francisco

Mental Health Association of San Francisco

Sierra Club 

SPUR 

San Francisco Tenants Union 

Coalition on Homelessness

Council of Community Housing Organizations

Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco

San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition

San Francisco Berniecrats

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

San Francisco Green Party

Senior and Disability Action

YIMBY SF

San Francisco Examiner

San Francisco Bay Guardian

San Francisco Labor Council

SEIU 1021

Unite Here! Local 2

National Union of Healthcare Workers

Mark Leno

Tom Ammiano

John Burton

Angela Alioto

John Avalos

Matt Haney

Sonja Trauss

Christine Johnson

Shaman Walton

Tony Kelly

Gordon Mar

Dean Preston

Marc Benioff