London Breed promises housing, talks second BART tube in mayoral race AMA

By : sf.curbed – excerpt

But the candidate for mayor left some interesting questions hanging

As part of her ongoing campaign for mayor, Board of Supervisors President London Breed opened an ”Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit’s San Francisco forum last week, taking queries from users who were, for the most part, concerned about housing and transportation.

Breed’s replies were mostly general, frequently touting her history as a legislator or agreeing that more should be done to redress a problem, but not providing much in the way of particulars. She did, however, link to her many policy platform blogs, which provide some more specific campaign promises…

Still, if Breed or any of her opponents in the June election want to offer some policy-specific replies to the following, we’re listening:

  • “Many different people have different opinions on the Hunters Point superfund site, with some wanting it to turn into housing and others wanting it to stay undeveloped due to safety concerns. What are your thoughts and plans?”
  • “It is frustrating to see MUNI trains waiting at traffic lights. As mayor, will you direct the MTA to enact signal priority for trains?”
  • “What are your ideas about combating the number of vacant storefronts all over the city? It seems like landlords try holding out for as much money as possible while the neighborhood itself deals with the fallout.”
  • “What is your stance on the increasing presence of stationless bikes and scooters? Jump Bikes, Lime Scooters, etc?”… (more)
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City Hall firebrand Larry Bush quits Ethics group after leading quarter century of reforms

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez: sfexamminer – excerpt

Larry Bush, 72, who helped create the San Francisco Ethics Commission and guided numerous ethics reforms since the 1990s, is calling it quits…

The trailblazer of ethical derring-do announced his resignation from the citizen group he co-founded in 2010, Friends of Ethics, in a lament-laden email blasted with fire from the fingertips following a joint Board of Supervisors and Ethics Commission meeting. It was such a grand, spectacular failure that it surely caused some city policy wonks to weep…

The two bodies were poised to pass a sweeping package of ethics reforms April 3, intending to shine light on housing developers seeking to influence politicians to pass their projects, speed up the revelation of big-money backers funding local Super PACs, disclose money behind social media political campaigns and curtail you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours favors for politicians in the form of “behested payments” to pet causes…

The effort did not completely fail, and portions of it will be revisited at a further Ethics Commission meeting.

However, none of those reforms will come in time to root out political favors in this mayoral election, as they would have, had they been considered two years ago when supervisors Aaron Peskin and Jane Kim, who offered different elements of the package, first proposed them… (more)

RELATED:
Ethics chair resigns over failure to place campaign finance reforms on June ballot

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)

 

 

SF supervisors thumb noses at SB 827

By Michael Toren : missionlocal – excerpt (includes video)

Board of Supervisors candidate Sonja Trauss escorted off by sheriff’s deputy after wading into crowd of opposing protesters

Sonja exposed

Trauss exposed. Officers separated the two sides though they did not stop the vocal YIMBY chants from disrupting the speakers. Trauss exposed photo by zrants.

Following dueling press conferences, protests and counter-protests, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday went on record about SB 827, Sen. Scott Weiner’s bill in the California legislature that would reduce restrictions on height and density for residential developments near transit lines.

Kim-Arron.jpg

Jane Kim and Aaron Peskin spoke in opposition to SB 827 photo by zrants

They don’t like it… (more)

Scott Weiner’s SB 827 loses. Residents, homeowners, and city officials win this Will Scott Wiener and the rest of our representatives in Sacramento get the message Aaron Peskin tried to send that the help we need from the state is: Repeal Costa-Hawkins, Amend the Ellis Act and send buckets of money to help solve the homeless problem. We do not a state takeover of local jurisdiction and constant CEQA amendments. There are hundreds of entitled projects in the pipeline that are stalled for physical reasons that have nothing to do with permitting.

As anyone attempting to do any repairs, remodeling, or building knows, there is a severe labor shortage in the construction industry, and importing foreign labor is not easy. There is a shortage of materials and costs are going through the roof due to federal manipulations and an impending trade war. Higher interest rates are drying financing options. The legislation may want to consider how to solve these problems instead of harassing local communities.

RELATED:

Wiener endorses Breed as battle over SB 827 heats up

Move puts state senator on the same side as group that has attacked his longtime friend and mentor, Mark Leno… (more)

SB 827: Land grab in South L.A. communities of color

Not since the “Urban Renewal” projects of the 60s has something so radical and detrimental been proposed…

You will be hard-pressed to find a bill in the state legislature proposed by a Democrat that is a bigger threat to the stability of our community than SB 827, authored by state Sen. Scott Weiner, R-San Francisco…(more)

Note these Southern California residents refer to Senator Wiener as “Republican Senator Scott Weiner”.

We don’t need to destroy the Sunset to save San Francisco

By Jane Kim : medium – excerpt

State politicians have been rushing forward a “transit oriented” housing proposal that will allow virtually unlimited construction of luxury condos throughout San Francisco.

The proposal is Senate Bill 827 (SB 827) and it allows developers to build up to 8 stories of luxury housing in areas that meet “minimum levels of transit service.” 96% of San Francisco’s parcels, including the Sunset, Richmond, Excelsior and Chinatown meet this standard. And the proposal upzones our entire City without increasing developer contribution to transit, parks, schools or other services critical to sustaining our neighborhoods. This is not how we build housing or grow livable cities…

Meanwhile, the cities who refuse to invest in public transit aren’t required to build any new housing. In fact, SB 827 rewards bad actors who refuse to build public transit or housing — sorely needed throughout the region. The Sierra Club California opposes this “pro-environment” bill writing, “While infill development near transit is the most desirable option, we believe that [SB 827] is a heavy-handed approach to encourage development that will ultimately lead to less transit being offered and more pollution generated, among other unintended consequences.”…

This plan is a failure. We can build more housing without destroying our neighborhoods...(more)

 

No Vacancy for the Homeless

By Joe Eskenazi ; sfpublicpress – excerpt (includes audio link and graphs)

Dozens of Residential Hotels Have Rooms to Spare, but Officials Cannot Force Owners to Rent

Every night, thousands of San Franciscans have no place to sleep. And yet, every night hundreds — possibly thousands — of single-room occupancy hotel units are left empty.

According to the latest count, 4,353 people were living unsheltered in our city. Among them, 1,020 were between 18 and 24 years old. If, by some alchemy, the city could beam them into these empty rooms, the entire population of homeless youths and a decent number of older adults could be indoors by nightfall…

Over the past 20 years, San Francisco has underwritten the price of thousands of formerly homeless residents’ rooms in private hotels run by nonprofits. But now it is a seller’s market. Hotel owners can charge upward of $2,000 for rooms in hotels formerly occupied by the down and out. Other owners are holding those rooms empty, perhaps in search of an even bigger payout down the road when they sell their buildings…(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)