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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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News + PoliticsThe Chron says the city is broken. Now what?

The Chron says the city is broken. Now what?

The Establishment paper can't blame the Establishment that has been running SF since the Gold Rush. Are the Powers That Be turning on the mayor?

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“The City is Broken” the Chronicle proclaims, summarizing the results of its survey of 1700 San Franciscans about the state of their city.

 So does the Chron blame the Civic Establishment, including itself, that has controlled City Hall and San Francisco’s economy since the Gold Rush, and for all the 22 years of the 21st Century for this situation? No! It’s the Progressives, activists, and dreaded Nimbys that get in the way of “compromise.” We just won’t do what we are told!

Have the people (including at the Chron) who helped put Breed in power changing their minds?

The poll, featured in a series of front-page Chronicle stories this week, is illuminating but not surprising. Some 65 percent feel the City is in worse shape now than when they first moved here; 70 percent identify homelessness as one of the city’s top three problems, and 37 percent expect to move out of the city within three years.

And the poll’s results about the performance of the city’s elected leaders and bureaucracies in addressing this situation are scathing. Only 12 percent rate the Board of Supervisors work as Excellent or Good. And only 23 percent feel that way about Mayor London Breed.

Of course, support for housing that most San Franciscans can actually afford is overwhelming, with 74 percent responding that is Extremely or Very Important. But the Chronicle did not poll support for actual solutions for homelessness or housing affordability. Perhaps because it has none.

Don’t blame the Tech Industry that has come to dominate the City’s economy and society in the last 22 years, concludes the Chronicle, spinning the poll’s 41 percent positive response about Tech to take that rosy view.

So what Establishment political agenda is the Chronicle starting to set up with this mega-poll feature series?

We know there has been a drumbeat to end district supervisor elections among some of the moderate political class, returning San Francisco to citywide elections they can dominate with massive campaign spending. Perhaps that?

But more intriguing is the possibility the Establishment is beginning to think about throwing London Breed under the bus. She hasn’t delivered for them either since being engineered into the Mayor’s Office four years ago following the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee. And now – horror of horrors – downtown property values are going down! Somebody may have to take the fall.

With the next mayor’s election set for 14 months from now, a planned succession to fill an unexpectedly vacant Mayor’s Office with a reliable Establishment figure might come to their minds. You never know. It’s been done before.

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