CVP and Livable CA file Petition for Writ of Mandate against ABAG for Brown Act violations

Posted by: Bob Silvestri marinpost – excerpt

On April 17, 2019, Community Venture Partners and Livable California filed a “Demand letter to cure or correct Brown Act violations at the January 17, 2019 ABAG E… more »

On April 17, 2019, Community Venture Partners and Livable California filed a “Demand letter to cure or correct Brown Act violations at the January 17, 2019 ABAG Executive Board meeting” (click on the highlighted text to read the full document). Based on the facts and circumstances described in that letter, CVP and LC alleged that the ABAG Board’s vote to endorse the CASA Compact was illegal and therefore null and void.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR PETITION FOR WRIT

The full explanation and backstory on why the cease and desist was filed is found in Livable California / CVP’s cease & desist letter with ABAG Board for Brown Act violations, Marin Post, April 18, 2019.

The Board of Directors responded to our letter through Deputy General Counsel Cynthia E. Segal, at the end of the very last day they were legally required to do so.

In her letter, she adamantly denied that ABAG violated the Brown Act, even though the violation was clearly captured on videotape, and that ABAG refused to cure the violation or to take any “remedial action’ whatsoever. She went on to suggest that agencies are allowed to violate the Brown Act so long as they can show that no one was “prejudiced” by their violation. And finally, the violation doesn’t count if it’s not “willful” or “deliberate.” In other words, if they broke the law by mistake or even on purpose with some rationale, it doesn’t count.

I’m going to try to remember these arguments the next time I get a speeding ticket.

In any case, as noted in our April 18th article, what is so unusual here is that in 2013, the California State Legislature enacted SB 751, which was signed by Governor Brown to address this exact same violation by ABAG. That legislation, which amended the Brown Act, contained very, specific language. Effective on January 1, 2014, Government Code § 54953(c)(2) states,

The legislative body of a local agency shall publicly report any action taken and the vote or abstention on that action of each member present for the action… (more)

The only oversight the regional agencies seem to have is citizen oversight. The citizens are claiming a violation of the Brown Act.

Supervisor Gordon Mar’s resolution Opposing SB50 unless amended.

San Francisco Board of Directors has a decision to make:

File  190319  “Resolution opposing California State Senate Bill No. 50, authored by Senator Scott Wiener, which would undermine community participation in planning for the well-being of the environment and the public good, prevent the public from recapturing an equitable portion of the economic benefits conferred to private interests, and significantly restrict San Francisco’s ability to protect vulnerable communities from displacement and gentrification, unless further amended”.

https://sfgov.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3895581&GUID=08395B8A-BD12-4A67-8932-C5B7836FC35A(more)

Another anti-SB50 site: standupforsanfrancisco.org

 

Mission District cultural district could expand beyond 24th Street

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

Currently the cultural district, which was established in 2014 to counteract the displacement and gentrification of a once predominantly Latino community, stretches loosely from Potrero Avenue to Bartlett Street and from to Cesar Chavez Avenue to 22nd Street.

The exact boundaries of a potentially expanded district have yet to be drawn. A community meeting is scheduled for Thursday to gather feedback from the public and gauge the need for the expansion...(more)

Sorry I missed this story earlier. This is an important effort on the part of all of our Mission residents and businesses as we work to protect our lifestyles. The Mission is at risk of becoming the next Wienerville if we don’t stand up to the money machine that is grinding our way. More about Wiernville: https://sfceqa.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/welcome-to-wienerville/

Random Access – 3 Mayors Discuss Affordable Housing and Traffic Concerns

Video and comments By Sunnyvale City Council Member, Michael S. Goldman

A 15 minute round-table with: Mayor Lynette Lee Eng of Los Altos, Mayor Eric Filseth of Palo Alto, and Mayor Steven Scharf of Cupertino.

“City bankruptcies, deteriorating public services as funds are drained from cities trying to cope with increased demands by new construction. That will be CASA’s main impacts. See a transcript on Michael’s site: https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2019/03/three-mayors-on-silicon-valley-housing.html

Thanks to these Mayors for their frank discussion on what many consider to be overlooked considerations that were not addressed adequately by the SF Bay Area regional planners who concocted the CASA Compact. Forcing more up-zoning on landfill that is sinking under the tall towers already built, is a losing proposition. How many people want to throw more money at the Joint Powers Authority that designed and built the closed, failing Transbay Terminal?

The small town in the city: Why people leave the urban heart of SF for the Sunset

By Michelle Robertson : sfgate – excerpt

“The last place I thought I’d ever live was the Sunset,” said Carol Lipof. “It was just so, so far out there.”

In August, Lipof moved to the Sunset.

“We’re very, very, very happy. Happier than we could have imagined.”

The Sunset District has long been considered the suburban outskirt of San Francisco. It’s where the surfers and the families live, where few Muni lines run, where one goes to “retire” from the bustle of urban San Francisco.

But the neighborhood, like so much of San Francisco, is changing. Long home to the city’s largest Asian American community, suburbia in the Sunset appears to be giving way to the urban chic stroller set – identifiable by their wide-legged sailor pants, organic cotton tops and well-dressed babies — and young artists, many of whom have found a refuge of quiet, open space and community-minded businesses in one of the city’s last affordable outposts.

“I feel like I moved to a new city,” said Lipof…

Then there’s the matter of the garage.

“That was a game changer for me,” she said. “I’ve lived in the city for almost 15 years, and I can’t tell you how many parking tickets I’ve had.” The garage, and its miraculous automatic door opener, “feels like the greatest luxury of my life.”… (more)

We hope the newcomers to the Sunset are aware of the efforts being made in Sacramento to turn their new touch of suburbia into the bustling , crowded cramped neighborhood they just escaped. If Senator Wiener is successful, they will soon find their little bit of beachfront disappearing behind a towering shadow, and their garage turning into an ADU.

Should they attempt to add a unit for their growing family, they may find they are sued unless they build to the max in their own backyard. Watch SB 50, SB 330, and AB 1515 carefully and be sure to vote for the state representative that protects your rights to live the way your lifestyle you way.

Why SF Restaurants Are Suffocating

By Azhar Hashem : thebolditalic – excerpt

What I witnessed during my two years in the industry

One Saturday in December of last year, six months before we closed our beloved restaurant, Tawla, we said goodbye to our lead line cook — one of the last three people left from our original 25-person team when we opened in the Mission two years prior….

I quickly learned that no matter the amount of knowledge or preparation, you can’t fight the desperate realities of San Francisco’s restaurant market today.

This has become almost a cliche story in San Francisco’s food industry. When I set out to open a restaurant in the city in 2016, I intended to successfully employ what I had learned from an MBA and more than a decade of launching and managing successful businesses for Google and other tech companies. But I quickly learned that no matter the amount of knowledge or preparation, you can’t fight the desperate realities of San Francisco’s restaurant market today…(more)

As many of us have discovered who were former fans, the quality of food and service has gone down hill. This is a well-documented explanation of what is wrong with the restaurant industry in San Francisco. Some choice points made by the author that we have been observing for some time:

  • Astronomical turnover pushes labor costs even higher and Turnovers are expensive. Workers have little incentive to work and quality of work is down due to the stress on the workers being priced out of the city…
  • What was once a celebrated culinary city boasting creativity and innovation is no longer so creative or innovative. The constant turnover makes it too hard to train new staff so everyone has the same menu…
  • When it comes down to it, diners today don’t care. Really. The discerning diners have left the city alone with the good cooks. The have been replaced by new fast-paced customer with no..
  • Today’s San Francisco pretends to be a liberal city, but when it comes to having a real impact on people who work in small businesses, the majority are not willing to put their money where their mouth is. Today’s SF is in love with the idea of “local,” “small business” and “economic diversity.” But few are doing the work to support those ideas…

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing more than half of our workforce, then what impact do these challenges have on the labor economy and this city that we love, economically and culturally, as we move into the future?

I was asked recently, “If you could do it all over again, would you?” Given the circumstances, where the core principles behind what I had hoped to accomplish are in question, I don’t know if this would have been an endeavor I could comfortably and confidently pursue again — at least in San Francisco…. (more)

I recently heard from a friend who is a fan of New York and other sophisticated “world-class” cities that San Francisco claims to emulate. She is disappointed with the loss of the culture and the diversity she expected more of, not less, as San Francisco rushes into a new era of international fame and fortune. Some of us see the writing on the wall before others, but we are all condemned to deal with the future that is barrelling down on us.

Please share this article at the source with your discerning friends and any politicians you know who may care enough to turn this food desert around. Otherwise, book some time in many of the new restaurants springing up in the suburbs that the cooks are moving into. Better do it fast, as the Governor plans to sue the communities fighting gentrifying density. You may soon be forced to leave the state for a tasty meal if Senator Wiener’s SB 50 becomes law.

I am going to say that the lack of imagination and experimentation is also a product of a society that values money and wealth over quality and competence. There is no room to grow or improve in a cultural and spiritual vacuum.

 

 

 

The Sierra Club and the luxury-housing developer

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

Northern Alameda chapter backs San Leandro project in a sign that the pro-growth forces are trying to take over the environmental group.

Are you a Sierra Club member who lives in Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville, Alameda, Piedmont or San Leandro? If so, you fall under the aegis of the club’s Northern Alameda County Group, which is nested within the larger Bay Chapter.

Be aware, then, that the NAC Executive Committee is currently dominated by a pro-growth coterie that’s exploiting the Sierra Club’s cachet to push a pro-development agenda that violates the club’s commitments to affordable housing, neighborhood integrity, and democratic governance.

If you’re a Sierra Club member who lives elsewhere in the Bay Area, you should also be concerned. The growth boosters on the NAC Ex Com include two men who wield considerable influence in the Bay Chapter, Igor Tregub and Andy Katz. Tregub also chairs the chapter Executive Committee. Both he and Katz sit on the Bay Chapter’s Political Committee, which makes the Sierra Club’s endorsements of political candidates and ballot measures. In the Bay Area, where the club claims nearly 60,000 members, and environmental values are widely embraced, Sierra Club endorsements carry a lot of weight. (UPDATE: Tregub tells me he has stepped down from the Political Committee, which only makes advisory recommendations on endorsements.)

This is an alarming trend for the club; already in San Francisco, Yimbys have tried to take over the local chapter (and so far failed). But the pro-development forces know that placing people on the boards of all-volunteer organizations is not that difficult. There’s little doubt that “smart growth” advocates are trying to shift the influential Sierra Club in their direction, locally and nationally(more)