The housing agenda of Mayor London Breed continues to become more clear – and it’s entirely in line with development interests and the Yimby folks.
Breed appointed a development lawyer, Sue Diamond, to the Planning Commission, and although a number of community groups spoke against the nomination, the supervisors went along.
(At the Rules Committee hearing, nobody asked Diamond what role she sees market-rate developers playing in the city’s housing future, or whether she supported the Haney legislation asking office developers to pay more for affordable housing, or whether she would support a measure linking office development to affordable housing. I get it – the mayor controls this seat on the commission, and rejecting Diamond might just cause her to nominate someone worse. But it would have been nice to hear her answers to the key questions facing the city.)
Now Breed has named Sonja Trauss, perhaps the most vocal Yimby advocate,to a role on the Regional Planning Committee of the Association of Bay Area Governments.
But Trauss has long been a divisive figure in Bay Area housing politics. And already a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is seeking to block her appointment.
“I was pretty surprised to say the least that the mayor would appoint Sonja Trauss given how controversial a figure she is,” said San Francisco Supervisor and ABAG board member Gordon Mar, who described Trauss’ “views and her work” as “quite extreme, even within the YIMBY and pro-housing movement.”
I’m not one of those people who sees “divisive” as necessarily a negative thing: When we have been forced into a class war, with speculators and the very rich forcing tens of thousands of San Franciscans out of their homes and creating stunning levels of economic injustice, there is going to be a “divide.”
We are not all on the same side; we are not able to solve our problems without some of the powerful people in this city being forced to give up some of their wealth and influence, entirely against their will. They will resist; it’s a struggle.
The politics of San Francisco is going to be divisive.
The real issue is that Breed is showing that she’s entirely with one side, with people who believe – almost without any understanding or consideration for the failures of modern capitalism — that the private market can solve our housing problems.
It’s not that Trauss is “divisive.” It’s that she represents an agenda that has never worked and will never work, for anyone except the developers and speculators.
And the mayor has made clear that’s the agenda she supports.