Why is Scott Wiener trying to undermine affordable housing in SF?

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Amendments to state bill could make it harder for the city to demand reasonable affordability levels from developers.

The San Francisco supes approved new rules for affordable housing…

But when it came to the Senate, Wiener insisted on amendments that could have – and still might – dramatically reduce the amount of affordable housing that the city can require.

The state has a rule that allows a developer to get a “density bonus” – that is, the right to build more housing than existing zoning allows on a site – in exchange for adding a very small amount of affordable housing.

Ting’s AB 915 would allow San Francisco to apply its own, higher, affordable housing requirements to all new units, including units only allowed under the state density bonus law…

Without this bill, the percentage of affordable housing that the city will require developers to build could drop from the compromise level – 18 percent, rising to 22 percent by 2019 – to just 13 percent. That’s a lot of lost affordable housing.

So: All was going along fine, and the two sides on the Board of Supes were all on board, and so was the mayor.

Then Wiener got involved…

Wiener is using state law to make it harder for San Francisco to mandate affordable housing. It’s pretty stunning.

The reality is that what developers tend to want, more than anything, is market stability – they want to know what the rules are. And if the state is in a position to change those rules once a year, it’s going to be a mess…(more)

See details on the bills and actions you can take here:  Taken actions


SF’s elected officials cash in with big pay raises

By Matier & Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt

San Francisco’s Ed Lee — already the highest-paid mayor in the state — just got a $24,000 raise, bringing his salary to $326,527 a year.

Lee’s 7.9 percent raise is more than double the 3 percent that most city workers received this year.

And he’s not alone. As of July 1:

•District Attorney George Gascón’s pay went up $18,814, to $286,015.

•City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s salary rose $20,843, to $269,523.

•Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s went up $6,109, to $247,909.

•Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, up $12,091, to $243,699.

•Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu, up $10,207, to $203,288.

•And Treasurer-Tax Collector Jose Cisneros, up $3,783, to $191,968.

Only Adachi and Cisneros came in under the 3 percent bar.

Lee’s pay hike edges the mayor past Police Chief Bill Scott, who makes $323,076 annually, and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, who gets $317,408..

So now that the Civil Service Commission has done its once-every-five-years salary reset, what happens for the next four years?

The officeholders will be eligible for cost-of-living increases of up to 5 percent a year, every year, until 2022… (more)

Keep this in mind, along with the large number of new high level paid SFMTA empoloyees next time they beg for more taxes or more money to run this most expensive city with the $10 billion budget.

San Francisco Supervisor, Tech Company Battle Over Food Delivery Robots

: kqed – excerpt


Handlers testing the delivery vehicle on 17th Street photo by zrants

The company Marble test-drives its food delivery robots at a little park near its offices in Potrero Hill. The company’s would-be food deliverer of the future is not fancy. The robot is basically an oversized cooler stuck on top of an electric wheelchair frame. It looks like some bulky droid you would see sliding along in the background an old “Star Wars” movie. The roving robot can hold a couple of bags of food, and it navigates with a few sensors and cameras…

Marble is one of several companies developing robots to deliver food. If these companies get their way, fleets of their bots could soon be rolling around urban sidewalks, carrying food once delivered by a human hand. Robots could provide a cheaper, quicker way to get customers food; but this vision has raised concerns about sidewalk safety, job loss and the societal impacts of using robots to increase the speed and ease of consuming goods and services. In San Francisco, one supervisor, Norman Yee, wants to stop the delivery robots from using the city’s sidewalks..

Job loss is one concern San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee has with the delivery robots. But his primary issue is pedestrian safety. What if the robots block pedestrians? How would the city enforce where they go or how fast?.

Yee does not want San Francisco to be a test subject for unproved technology. “Why should they test it here and why should we be the guinea pigs?” Yee asked. “Test it somewhere else, make it safe.”…

“What I have seen with innovation and technology is that we let things happen and all the sudden it is irreversible,” Yee said. “The industry gets developed and all the sudden it seems like they have a lot of spare money to lobby policymakers.”…

If Yee’s legislation passes, delivery robots will not keep rolling in San Francisco… (more)

We appreciate some foresight where these things are concerned. If you agree with Supervisor Yee that San Francisco does not need to be the guinea pig for ever devise that wants to cram our city with technical challenges, please let the supervisors know that San Francisco is not everybody’s testing grounds.



BARF! Density-loving Sonja Trauss is running for District 6 supervisor

By joe fitzgerald rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

A lot of interesting headlines come to mind with this announcement

BARF — it’s not just a gross-out verb, anymore. It’s a movement.

The San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation has (ahem) induced headlines from the New York Times to The Atlantic, all while clashing mightily with neighborhood groups here at home, as the group encourages city officials to build, build, build.

Now, the pro-density movement is shifting from advocacy to realpolitik:

BARF leader Sonja Trauss is running for supervisor. She filed to run July 5, according to the Department of Elections, though the race isn’t until November 2018…

Oddly, she’s running to represent what are among the most housing-dense neighborhoods in San Francisco: District 6, which includes South of Market and the Tenderloin.

They’ve got apartments sprouting out their ears. So what good is her running?…

“Trauss really stuck her foot in her mouth last year, when she argued in a public meeting that resistance against tech workers gentrifying San Francisco is akin to racism against Latino immigrants”…


For starters, she likely to promote more tech disruptions in the city. Developers want to promote more Airbnb, Ubers, and Lyfts and Scoots and other, anti-human robotic corporations that will not only make life. Now they are all going to take the money and invest in real estate, the real winner in this game of Grab-and-Go politics.

Google and Facebook are already announcing they are building small cities in the Peninsula. They used to call them “company towns.” When the air goes out of the unicorn startup balloons, they will be sitting on a lot of prime real estate. It is called diversification and the techies are fast at work diversifying by becoming real estate magnates.

The BARFers are the forefront of the next wave of takeovers coming to the Bay Area. Good news is we have some time to get out the story to stop the movement. As Joe points out, Trauss has already discredited herself among most of the affordable housing advocates and especially in District Six, where the residents are already up in arms over the changes they are dealing with and the new population of homeless at their feet.

None of the city’s programs have brought the number of homeless down yet.



Can we actually solve homelessness?

tim redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The 16th Street BART station is a primary congregation spot for destitute people. Photo by zrants.

Sure — but we have to seriously rethink our housing, economic development, and planning policies. Oh, and raise taxes on the billionaires. Why are we not talking about this?

…I think it’s a good idea for the news media in town to all get together and talk about crucial city problems, and I’m glad Cooper is pushing this and focusing attention on homelessness. So yeah, I’ve said I would be a part.

We’ve talked about what homeless families really face. We’ve talked about the root causes of homelessness. We’ve published stories by people who actually understand the problem, at the street level. We’ve talked about the media’s big problem with homeless coverage.

And now I want to talk about why this problem isn’t going to be “solved,” despite all the media coverage, until we (and this includes the Chron’s editorial page) decide that we are willing to take the only steps that might actually make a difference.

I feel as if the media is doing the same stories and making the same suggestions, over and over – and the problem isn’t getting any better… (more)

It is becoming quite obvious that the fate of the homeless on our streets is effecting our society at large and not just those who are homeless and living on the streets. Our nation has lowered its quality of life to allow the disparity of incomes to divide us into a new class system. The middle class is shrinking as the poverty level rises and no one is winning this game as the extremely wealthy 1 % suck up more than they need. This economic free-for-all cannot continue much longer without a correction of some kind.

It is good to see some solid solutions being suggested that could solve the problem. Now all we need is the political will to do so. The money is the root of it so it must be contained by controlling the money that effects the vulnerable in our society. We cannot allow the disparity of incomes levels to continue to push us apart. Please read the rest of the article and comment on the source.

Ting boosts homeless housing

news briefs : marinatimes – excerpt

AB 932 would create a 10-year window in which the processes for building shelters and supportive housing would be streamlined upon the declaration of a shelter crisis. The city could create simpler local standards for the housing, upon review by the state Department of Housing and Community Development… (more)

Let’s repeat again, “it is cheaper to keep people housed than to build new housing for them.” The cheapest fix is to repeal or amend Costa Hawkins, not build new expensive housing for people who are living on the street who once lived fairly cheaply under affordable rent laws. But, the name of the game is not to save money or even to keep people housed. The name of the game, (and we are not blaming Ting for this), is to keep the developers and banks happy.

A Legacy of Criminalizing Transience and Homelessness


By Sara Bloomberg :sfpublicpress – excerpt

In the mid-19th century, California lawmakers enacted the state’s first anti-vagrancy measrues to rid city streets of people who were homeless or indigent. This timeline highlights some key years, laws and policies in  San Francisco… (more)

Please read the article and comment on the source.

Starting with the 1850″Act for the Government and Protection of Indians” targeting Native Americans in California, the state has gone up and down in its efforts to finance poverty poverty programs. Those efforts often follow the money out of Washington. As that dries up, the state funds are being cut, the safety net is disappearing.
San Francisco’s efforts to “protect the public” from the effects of the poverty on the streets has been just as ineffective as the federal and state attempts to hide it. Hiding the poverty is not the answer. We need to demand a new…

View original post 73 more words