The Agenda, May 2-May 9: Will the mayor meet with the hunger strikers?

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Plus: Tasers, shadows, and another sign of the failure of local housing policy

The hunger strike for police accountability is now well into its second week, and still not one word – seriously, not one word – from the mayor. He has made no effort to contact people who are putting their lives on the line (not eating for 10 days or more is really serious). Meanwhile, the national and even international press is paying attention.

So Tuesday/3 the strikers are going to City Hall to demand a meeting with Ed Lee. They will most likely travel in wheelchairs, with what I expect will be a sizable crowd of supporters marching along. You have to wonder if the mayor will do what he typically does when protesters come to see him: He keeps the door to his office closed and guarded and either hides inside or hides offsite…

The march will gather outside the Mission police station around 12:30pm and expect to be at City Hall at 2pm. The Mayor’s Office has issued no comment on where he will be at the time…

You probably didn’t know that the City and County of San Francisco has its own paid lobbyist. But that’s been the case for years – the city spends a nice chunk of cash paying someone to represent SF interests in Sacramento.

So what are “SF interests?” It’s a good question…

In fact, the San Francisco city lobbyists was working against open-government laws, on behalf of a shadowy committee that is supposed to decide SF’s position on state legislation.

So all of this is about to come out in the open Thursday/5, when the Government Audit and Oversight Committee holds a hearing on the issue. Sup. Aaron Peskin has asked that the city attorney, the city’s lobbyist, and the mayor’s legislative liaison show up and explain exactly how these decisions are made, who makes them, and what the standards ought to be.

It’s seems obscure, but it’s not: For example, how hard is the city fighting for State Sen. Mark Leno’s bill on police accountability, which the cops hate? Where is the city on all of the various bills that would make life easier for Uber and Airbnb? Who decides what the city’s position ought to be on these bills anyway?

The meeting starts at 9:30am, City Hall Room 250…

Since 1984, San Francisco has had rules against building highrises that shadow public parks. Now, though, the needs of the new Transbay Center seem to, as they say, overshadow that. The giant tower planned for that site will cast shadows on at least four city parks. But that’s okay – we are funding all of the infrastructure in this city not by raising taxes but by giving away parcels to developers.

The Planning Commission is going to address this Thursday/5, when the entire Oceanwide Center is up for approve. And the commission staff recommends that the project by okayed. When we are selling our skyline, even the parks aren’t safe…

The commission will also hear a report from the planning director on the latest “housing dashboard,” which shows how much the city is building of all the sorts of housing that planners agree we need…

We need no more luxury condos. We need a lot more low- and moderate-income housing. But the more market-rate we build, the further we get behind. (In the best case scenario, 100 luxury units get us a mix of 25 low-and moderate-income units. That means 75 percent of the new housing goes into the category that is already over built, and only 25 is split between the areas that are radically under built.)

And you wonder why there’s a housing crisis… (more)



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