The three worst things that have happened to renters in this city recently, and how to measure the response of elected officials
By Tim Redmond
Sup. London Breed was not happy when I wrote that she was weak on tenant issues, and she has a point: She voted for Sup. Jane Kim’s Eviction 2.0 legislation, and she supported the Mission Moratorium, and she’s been with the tenants on some other significant legislation.
She texted me saying my description of her record was inaccurate (and I like to be told when I get something even a little bit wrong), so I corrected the sweeping language which might not have done her credit (I originally wrote that she was “bad” on tenant issues, when in fact her record is more mixed.) But she got me thinking:
What does it mean to be a “pro-tenant” politician in San Francisco today?
There are people who say Mayor Lee is pro-tenant. Lots of others would like that label (in a city where two-thirds of the potential voters are renters, it’s a powerful claim to make). Instead of singling out any individual, Breed or Lee or anyone else, I think it’s worth taking the time to try to define what the term “pro-tenant” means.
Let me start with a pretty radical statement. I think the three worst things that have happened to renters in this town in the past ten years are, in rough order, the Twitter tax break, the city’s failure to regulate Airbnb, and the Google buses.
Then you can add in the influx of market-rate housing with inadequate affordable units.
If you use that lens, you get a different picture of which politicians are pro-tenant.