Matt Haney had his ceremonial swearing in today at Glide, and the room was packed. Even State Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblymember David Chiu, who had supported Haney’s opponents, showed up. The festive event kicked off a series of events to mark the arrival of three new supervisors – and the emergence of a progressive majority on the board.
We still don’t know who will be board president. I know that Mayor Breed is pushing for Shamman Walton, and Hillary Ronen, who has been dismissed by some of her colleagues as too radical and unable to get along with the mayor, is willing to vote for Walton. Putting people who have no record on the board in the top slot hasn’t worked out that well for progressives in the past (see: David Chiu, who won with progressive support and very quickly turned on his supporters). Other progressives (and maybe some moderates) are supporting Norman Yee, who would be in every way a caretaker president; he’s termed out in two years, and has shown no interest in running for any other office.
There will be public comment on the board president vote before it happens. You can expect the supporters of every possible candidate to show up for what will be a crowded meeting anyway.
Here’s a list of upcoming events for the week. The board meeting starts at noon onTuesday/8and will be dedicated entirely to the swearing in ceremony, the election of a board president, and comments by the mayor and new supes.
The board will get to work next week, after the new president assigns committees.
Among the issues that will be on the agenda for the new board is the concept of a public bank, something that’s been under discussion for years but has risen to the level where a lot of one-time skeptics are starting to take it seriously. The city raises and spends $11 billion a year, and all of that money is held in commercial banks, which make a profit off the business. Public bank advocates say the city could use that profit to fund affordable housing, economic development in low-income communities, green energy, and so many other things.
The SF Public Bank Coalition is holding a kick-off event called “The People vs. Wall Street” Thursday/10at the Women’s Building. 6pm-8pm. More info. here.
The San Francisco Police Commission has been holding community meetings to discuss how and when police reports should be made available to crime victims and their families, and will discuss the issue in a special hearing Thursday/10. There are much bigger issues here: The state Legislature has finally passed a bill that allows public access to some police disciplinary records, and that took effect Jan. 1. We are all still dealing with the issues created by the state Supreme Court in the Copley Press decision.
And the entire issue of police reports ought to be discussed. Years ago, reporters (or any member of the public) could ask for and get a police report on any incident. That’s the case in many other states. But the SFPD doesn’t do that anymore; all that the department will release is the basic, minimum information (the name of a person arrested and the charges).
There’s no state law that bars the release of police reports. The SFPD could go back to its old practice of making them public, and the commission could make that a general order. I have told several police chiefs that the current policy is silly: Police reports offer the officers’ side of the story – and only the officers’s side. The reports are what the cops say happened (and their interviews with witnesses). Why would the department not want to make that public?
The meeting starts at 10:30 at SFPD headquarters, 1245 Third St.
Don’t forget that Democrats in San Francisco will elect delegates to the state party Saturday/12 and Sunday/13. There are competing slates, and the results will depend entirely on who gets their voters to show up, stand in line, and cast a ballot. If you care about the future of the California Democratic Party, show up early and vote.
Gavin Newsom, who was once a member of the SF Parking and Traffic Commission, then a supervisor and mayor, will be sworn in as governor of California Monday/7.
There are all manner of fancy, high-priced events. It will cost you around $25,000 to get a ticket to the main event, on the steps of the Capitol, but you can spend a lot more and get access to a lot of other events.
Newsom will make a speech with a lot of glorious platitudes about the future of California; that’s what he does. I don’t have an advance copy of his speech, but I can absolutely guarantee that he will not discuss a fact that ought to be at the heart of any agenda for the world’s fifth-largest economy:
California now has 144 billionaires, and their net worth — $9.1 trillion – is four times the size of the state’s impressive Gross Domestic Product.
This is not (to use a buzz word Gavin loves) a “sustainable” situation.
But Newsom never, ever did a single thing to address economic inequality in his political career. I don’t even know if he understands the concept.
Happy New Year.