City Hall delays decision over plan to use Tenderloin parking lot for homeless services

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

In the first week of December last year, City Hall was expected to decide whether to approve a homeless advocate’s proposal to transform a Tenderloin parking lot into a temporary site for tiny homes and services, but instead the decision is being held up by bureaucracy.

The indefinite postponement in the decision caught Amy Farrah Weiss, a former mayoral candidate and champion of tiny homes, by surprise.

She spent months working to build neighborhood support for the interim use of the parking lot at 180 Jones St. as a homeless “stewardship village” for at least a year before the site will become an affordable housing development. The plan includes five tiny homes, a dog park and services. She also raised private funds to pay for it…(more)

City Hall only cuts red tape that benefits their supporters. Please don’t lecture the public about fast-tracking housing project entitlements for wealthy corporations, while denying the simplest, cheapest, most popular ideas the public comes up with to house the homeless now.

If the city wants to keep the department staff busy they should set up a system to count and monitor empty housing units and come up with a way to keep people housed in their homes and off the sreets.

With Fewer retiring, Connie Chan takes up progressive banner in D1

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Longtime City Hall aide files for run with the support of the past three supes from the Richmond.

District 1 has a remarkable political history. It’s not, by definition, one of the most left-leaning parts of the city. The voters who tend to be the most progressive are towards the center of the city, in Districts 5, 6, and 9.

But since the return of district elections, D1 has consistently elected progressive supervisors – Jake McGoldrick, Eric Mar, and Sandra Lee Fewer… (more)

The Silicon Valley Economy Is Here. And It’s a Nightmare.

By Lia Russell : newrepublic – excerpt

Vanessa Bain was less than a year into her gig as an Instacart shopper when the company announced it would no longer allow tipping on its app. Instacart instead began imposing a 10 percent “service fee” that replaced the previous default tip of 10 percent. The change had no impact on customers, who could be forgiven for assuming that the new fee would still go to the workers who shopped for their groceries and delivered them to their homes. “It was deceptive to customers,” Bain said. “They thought they were still tipping us, when instead it went to the company. It wasn’t being passed to us at all.”…

When Bain, who lives in Palo Alto, California, became a shopper in 2016, she believed that gig work would provide her with both financial stability and schedule flexibility to take care of her young daughter. However, as independent contractors, Bain and her husband, a fellow shopper, don’t receive sick leave or holidays. And in practice, the “be your own boss” promise of the gig economy instantly vanishes the moment you take on a gig job: It is, instead, a system that relentlessly dictates your schedule. “We are controlled. We are treated like employees but without the perks,” Jennifer Cotten, a Los Angeles area–based shopper, told me. “We’re told what order to deliver in and when to go.”

The indignities of the gig economy are well established at this point, as the laissez-faire labor practices of companies like Uber, Instacart, Door Dash, and Lyft draw more critical scrutiny. Bain, Cotton, and their fellow shoppers are among the millions of precariously employed workers who rely on part-time jobs or side gigs to scrape together a living, all without the safety net of employer-based insurance…(more)

Real-estate industry rebels at modest measure to limit corporate rentals

Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Peskin wants to crack down on developers building housing that’s actually long-term hotel rooms.

The real-estate industry and the San Francisco Planning Department are going crazy over a rather modest proposal by Sup. Aaron Peskin to limit corporate housing rentals.

Peskin’s bill comes in the wake of a furor over 2100 Market, a building that was promoted as a way to address the housing crisis but instead was turned into intermediate-term rentals– in essence, long-term furnished hotel rooms…(more)

Police Commission votes against using cops to address homelessness

By Sam Lew : 48hills – excerpt

Measure seeks to move the city away from sweeps and law-enforcement approaches to people living on the streets.

SAN FRANCISCO — Police commissioners unanimously voted to pass a resolution Wednesday to address homelessness through healthcare professionals and social workers rather than police.

The resolution calls on the mayor and Board of Supervisors to convene a stakeholder group to develop alternatives to the current police-led response to homelessness. The stakeholder group would include the Department of Homelessness, the Police Department, community organizations and homeless people…(more)

That should free them up to deal with real crime that the public is most distressed over.

Is San Francisco Quality of Life Dying?

From the Cow Hollow Association Newsletter

Check out the Documentary and Follow-up Report,
and take a short Survey

Many San Franciscans believe the normalization of criminal activity and antisocial behavior has diminished the quality of life in the city to unacceptable levels. Laws and minimum standards of public behavior have gone unenforced bringing to our communities filth, rot, stench, contaminated needles, garbage, human feces and urine; as well as very disturbing and sometimes accosting behavior.

In addition to the intolerable conditions on the streets, for the last few years San Francisco has had the highest rate of property crimes (from shoplifting to auto break-ins to vandalism) among all American major cities.

What isn’t working?

With a 2017-18 budget over $10.1 billion, San Francisco spends more per citizen than 95% of the largest US cities, including over $660 million annually on homelessness & behavior health services in 2019. Yet the number of homeless people has risen 17% and the city has few results when it comes to finding permanent solutions for the city’s sickest, most vulnerable people. There is a painfully obvious increase in people living on city streets, along with unacceptably high rates of property crime.

Your neighborhood associations (Cow Hollow Assn and Marina Community Assn) held public meetings with residents and city leaders including Supervisor Catherine Stefani, SFPD captains and San Francisco’s City Assessor. The frustration and tension were high, as might be expected, as community members expressed their concern over what is happening to San Francisco.

During the meeting, it was recommended that we watch the Seattle KOMO NEWS documentary, “Seattle is Dying” and while watching it, replace “Seattle” with “San Francisco”. Since then, many of us have watched it, as have over 9.3 million people to date. We found it educational, compelling, shocking and very applicable to San Francisco. Several months after the documentary aired, Seattle KOMO NEWS presented a follow-up report “A Tale of 3 Cities” that also included more details on the problems impacting San Francisco and Los Angeles.

What can be done?

At the state level, there are ballot initiatives such as the California Compassionate Intervention Act (CCIA) that recognize some of these aspects of our deteriorated quality of life and suggest more direct methods for solving the core problems (article from the ballot initiative’s author).

At the local level, our neighborhood newspaper, Marina Times, is sounding the alarm. Meanwhile San Francisco’s leaders are divided on what to do. The good news is that we have both a strong local economy and examples of large cities that have restored troubled streets to vibrant, safe communities.  Those at the meeting decided it is time to stop complaining and do something, and that is why we are reaching out to you.

You live here, you work here, and you want to thrive here.
Now is the time to do something…
Learn more by watching the videos and
let us know your thoughts by taking the short survey.

The Gaslighting of Single-Family Zoning

by: Bob Silvestri : marinpost – excerpt

They say we live in a post-facts world. In a post-facts world, ideology trumps scientific evidence or credible statistical data. The only thing worse are the politicians who knowingly feed this ignorance for financial gain and political power.

Most will assume that I’m referring to politics in Washington DC. But as significant as their sins against truth may be, Senators Scott Wiener, Nancy Skinner, and Mike McGuire, the co-authors of Senate Bill 50, are giving them a run for the money.

To paraphrase Rose McGowan, if b.s. was music, they’d be a brass band.

At the rollout press conference of the new and “improved” SB 50, which comes up for a vote in Sacramento on January 26th, Senators Wiener and Skinner were on hand to promote their vision of urbanism for everyone and the elimination of single-family zoning in the state of California…(more)

ACT NOW! Now is the time to contact your state reps and tell them to vote against SB50. The bill may be heard January 23rd in the Senate Appropriations Committee unless actions are taken to stop it this week. We did it in 2019. Let’s do it in 2020.