Resolution Opposing SB 827

April 21, 2018

Open Letter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors:

Re: Resolution Opposing SB 827

Thank you for supporting the resolution opposing Senator Wiener’s SB 827 that would take control of development decisions from local communities and allow the state legislature to remove the options of opposing inappropriate controversial development projects and eliminate the possibility of improving them.

There are many reasons to oppose this bill, but, the major concern shared by opponents is the loss of local control over development decisions. This power must remain in the hands of local authorities. SB 827 establishes a policy of state control over local communities that is dangerous and unwelcome by citizens concerned about the centralization of an overly aggressive state government. At a time when our state policies are threatened by the national government it makes no sense for the state to use similar tactics on our local communities. In plain English, the state needs to leave us alone and protect our interests, not disrupt our lives.

A one-size-fits-all development policy does not work in California. Our state contains a wide range of natural geographic features and natural treasures that need to be protected not exploited. The California deserts, snow-capped mountain peaks, dense redwood forests, and sweeping ocean views have drawn world-wide attention and visitors for over a century. Travelers come for the unparalleled views, not the sports arenas. Taming this land is not in the best interest of our state or humanity. As grand as the land, it is unstable and we have limited resources for unlimited population growth. Some areas are best left to growing crops and raising livestock, not building dense cities.

No one wants to be disrupted or have their lives turned upside down by people whose goal in life is to suck the gold out of the land in a quest for wealth based on changing society. We have seen the results of allowing disruptive industries to grow and thrive unchecked, and we are now trying to reign them in. We cannot make that mistake by overdeveloping the entire state.

Thanks to our local government officials for helping the concerned citizens of California opposing SB 827 and all the other bills that remove local power and hand it over to the state. We appreciate you more than you know.

Sincerely,

Concerned citizens of San Francisco

UPDATE on SB 827: Thanks to the unprecedented opposition to this bill by city and county leaders and citizens all over the state that are now aware of the attempts to undermine the balance of powers by some state representatives in Sacramento, it appears that SB 827 may be dead this year. We understand that the Transportation and Housing Committee members received thousands of letter and requests to oppose the bill. Thanks to everyone who helped kill SB 827. There are more of those coming. Find out about the methods our state representatives are using to push these bills through and how you can stop them.

Come to the SB 827 and Beyond event sponsored by CSFN. Find out how your can protect the sunset from up-zoning by state edict.

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Saturday, April 28, 10 AM, in the Koret Auditorium at the Main SF Library at 100 Larkin Street. Next to Civic Center BART stop.

The Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods will sponsor a forum on the Scott Wiener legislation that is shaking up the state of California. This will be a great opportunity to learn the real facts behind SB 827 and other controversial attempts to change the way California cities are developed.

Find out why people want to protect the local planning process now controlled by our local communities. Speakers: Art Agnos, Former SF Mayor; Zelda Bronstein, Former Berkeley Planning Commissioner; Calvin Welsh, Affordable Housing Advocate; Sophie Maxwell, Former SF Supervisor.

Co-sponsors include: West of Twin Peaks Council, Stand Up for San Francisco, Noe Valley Neighborhood Council, SF Neighborhood Network, Van Ness Corridor Neighborhoods, Livable California.

Due to recent events there may be other speakers and new information on the efforts our state legislation that our representatives are pushing in Sacramento to override our local planning processes.

RSVP : http://evite.me/Cepn64gPT6

RELATED:
Letters to the Editor: California Legislature was right to reject transit-housing bill

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Agents of Change: Civic Idealism and the Making of San Francisco

By Benjamin Grant : spur – excerpt

A city built and controlled by private enterprise

San Francisco was a village of 500 people in 1848, just wrested from Mexico and renamed, when news of the gold found at Sutter’s Mill reached the East Coast. By 1855, the population had reached 50,000.

Nineteenth-century San Francisco went from a rough-and-tumble boomtown to a Victorian city with cosmopolitan ambitions. Its familiar contours emerged as the arid peninsula’s hills were gridded, and its bayshore filled with sand, blasted hilltops and hastily abandoned ships. It matched astounding diversity and relative tolerance with gross inequality and greed, giving rise to an active labor movement marred by spasms of nativist race-baiting and violence.

It was a city built and controlled by private enterprise, and basic services like transit, water and recreation were speculative ventures tied to the city’s rapid growth. City government was corrupt and weak, and party bosses doled out patronage in the form of monopoly franchises for essential services. Private streetcar lines were extended into the dunes, opening adjacent land for rapid development, while the Spring Valley Water Company snapped up watersheds all the way to Livermore.

San Francisco’s development was driven by a small group of oligarchs who ploughed fortunes made in mining, timber and railroads into a new speculative venture: an urban economy based on manufacturing, finance, trade and urban development. These miners, industrialists, financiers and real estate speculators set out to forge a worldclass metropolis in a single generation, enriching themselves in the process. They built the city that would collapse and burn in 1906: an exuberant and frankly ambitious Victorian jumble that was  monument to its own explosive growth…(more)

Can Big Tech Be Tamed?

by Gary Kamiya : modernluxury – excerpt
(includes Photo-illustrations of Tech Titans by Clark Miller)

As the tech industry grows to unfathomable proportions, San Francisco needs to grow to match it. A call to arms for a city under siege.

I. A MIGHTY RIVER

Cities, it’s been said, are like rivers, and San Francisco has always been a leaping, unpredictable one, constantly jumping its banks and fed by the most varied and unlikely springs. I’ve been splashing in this unruly current for almost half a century. But several years ago, something happened upstream. A great deluge of money of a magnitude not seen since the bonanzas of the 19th century began to crumble our protective levees, hoisting San Francisco’s skyline, swamping its housing, stalling its traffic, and profoundly altering its character…

The combined market value of Apple, Facebook, and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, all headquartered within 40 miles of downtown San Francisco, is more than $2.2 trillion—about the same as the gross domestic product of Italy, the eighth-largest economy in the world… (more)

 

 

In San Francisco, Newsom policy reported undocumented youth to ICE

By Casey Tolan : mercurynews – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO — During his run for governor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he’s proud to represent a “sanctuary state,” sparred publicly with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over immigration, and vowed he’d go to jail to protect undocumented immigrants.

But a fight over sanctuary policy a decade ago when Newsom was mayor of San Francisco suggests that he wasn’t always as strident a defender of immigrant rights…

In July 2008, Newsom imposed a city policy that reported undocumented youth arrested for felonies to federal immigration authorities. That decision — made the week after a father and his two sons were killed by an undocumented immigrant — meant that some kids were put at risk of deportation even if charges against them were later dropped.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to overturn Newsom’s policy in 2009, mandating that minors could only be referred to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement if they were convicted of a felony. But Newsom’s administration simply ignored the board, continuing to turn juvenile arrestees over to ICE for the rest of his term… (more)

Fear and Loathing of L.A. and S.F. on the Campaign Trail

By Joe Mathews : zocalopublicsquare – excerpt

Our Gubernatorial Race Could Turn on Which City Californians Resent Most

Which city—San Francisco or Los Angeles—do you love to hate more?

This is shaping up to be California’s question for 2018. Each of the two top contenders for governor is a former mayor of one of those cities, with each embodying certain grievances that Californians hold about their hometowns. And so their campaigns—and the many moneyed interests with a stake in the outcome—are already playing to resentments about these two places.

Gavin Newsom, like San Francisco, is derided as too wealthy, too white, too progressive, too cerebral, too cold, and so focused on a culturally liberal agenda that you might call him out of touch. Antonio Villaraigosa, like Los Angeles, is portrayed as too street, too Latino, too instinctual, too warm, and so unfocused in his economically liberal ideas that you might say he lacks a center…(more)

“Which city—San Francisco or Los Angeles—do you love to hate more?”

That would depend whichever city you reside in. San Francisco was sued by former Mayor Newsom, who came to his senses and agreed to settle. If he does become Governor there is no guarantee he will not continue to attempt to undermine his former home town. There is not widespread support for him among those in the know about the case.

No sure how Los Angeles feels about their former Mayor. Do most enough pepole blame him for the traffic and stack and pack housing that is gentrifying their neighborhoods to bother to vote against him?

After years of anti-car legislation and a failed attempt to get people out of their cars? It seems the more dollars cities pour into fighting cars the more cars their are. Maybe the best solution is to do nothing and see what happens. Given the higher power and more time, will either of these former mayors quit beating that dead horse?

The state Democratic Convention delegates failed to anoint anyone, showing just how divided the party is and leading one to believe that other candidates may stand a chance. Stay tuned…

 

 

How SF heeds cries for help from the homeless

By Sally Stephens : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco spends more than $300 million every year on homeless services and supportive housing, yet the number of people in significant distress only seems to increase…

A report issued last year by the San Francisco Department of Public Health found largely positive results for the 60 or so people participating — most voluntarily — in the local program that grew out of Laura’s Law. Even the six ordered by a court to participate saw improvements in their conditions…

Hong to get even more people into treatment, state Sen. Scott Wiener has proposed legislation that would allow communities to expand who is eligible for a conservatorship; that’s when a judge appoints someone to help manage a person’s finances, health care or daily activities when the person is not able to do so themselves. Currently, counties can only create conservatorships for seniors who are at risk of abuse or for people who are “gravely disabled.”…

At the same time, Board of Supervisors President London Breed has introduced legislation that would designate the City Attorney’s Office as the overseer of conservatorships — not the District Attorney’s Office, as is currently the case. The hope is that this move will allow increased coordination between city agencies… (more)

RELATED: SF supes say short stays in costly Navigation Centers not helping the homeless

 

State agency drops objection to city rules on waterfront development

By Kurtis Alexander : sfchronicle – excerpt

San Francisco’s Proposition B, which gives voters a say in waterfront development, will remain in effect under a settlement announced Wednesday that ends a state lawsuit challenging the measure.

The State Lands Commission, which sued the city over the proposition — approved by voters four years ago — agreed to let the measure’s checks on high-rise buildings stand. In exchange, city officials offered to guarantee that future projects would benefit not only San Francisco but all state residents…

Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco and now candidate for governor, was widely criticized for going to battle with the city. He maintained that, as a state officeholder, he had the responsibility to look out for the interests of all of California… (more)

Did Newsom really think suing the city would win him votes for Governor?