San Francisco delays Mission housing over potentially historic laundromat

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“We do not know for certain how long that will take,” says Supervisor Hillary Ronen

Laundry is a waiting game, and now the the owner of the Wash Land laundromat at 2918 Mission will have to wait even longer to find out if he can raze the circa-1924 building in favor of a 75-unit housing development, after the Board of Supervisors put off a vote on the project to determine whether or not the facility is historically significant.

The housing proposal, in the works since 2014 and approved by the Planning Commission in December, invokes California’s state density bonus law to go over and above the zoning for the block…

The planning code states to grant a conditional use the’ project is necessary, desirable and compatible with the neighborhood. This project has none of the above(more)

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Midtown: Broken Promises and The Ghosts of Redevelopment

By Tyler Walicek : medium – excerpt

On the evening of October 18th, citizens and activists packed the cafeteria of Gateway High School, intent on speaking out against certain injustices that have been visited upon the residents of the Midtown Park Apartments. Addressing the crowd were a somber set of officials. Some spoke for the Mayor’s Office of Housing, while others were representing Mercy Housing, the massive, development-oriented nonprofit…

Conspicuously absent from the high school meeting was Supervisor London Breed, a supporter of Mercy’s new designs for Midtown…

A Brief History of Midtown[1]

Shortly after Midtown opened, its original developer went belly-up and defaulted on the loan. The lenders soon came calling; in order to keep the property afloat, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) stepped in and negotiated for the City to take over the property. Shortly thereafter, in 1968, the City gave a 40-year lease for the property to the Midtown Park Corporation, a nonprofit established by tenants to oversee the upkeep of the grounds

To recap: the City claimed to own Midtown. The City promised Midtown residents rent control. Midtown tenants struggled to meet the rising costs of maintenance. The City vetoed proposed rent increases, citing rent control protections for Midtown. Without increased revenue or support from its owner, the City, the complex fell into disrepair. Now that a backroom deal has granted control of the property to Mercy Housing, the City is looking the other way as rent control protections are destroyed. Midtown’s tenants are facing an injustice in triplicate: the City’s failure to help them maintain the buildings, the revocation of rent control, and, if the City gets its way, the complete demolition of their homes…

[1] For more detailed history, check out Natalia Kresich’s article on 48 Hills and the Save Midtown website (more)

 

First mayoral debate has no winners and too much agreement

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

None of the candidates made a case for why they are different than the others; that’s a problem when the city is in a serious crisis and so many voters are undecided

The first mayoral debate of the spring had no clear winners or losers; in fact, none of the candidates stood out as dramatically different from any of the others. That may be in part because this event was sponsored by the decidedly moderate United Democratic Club, with the decidedly conservative Chronicle Editorial Page Editor John Diaz asking all of the questions.

There’s clearly a lot of interest in the race: So many people came out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon that the Koret Auditorium at the main library filled to capacity, as didn an overflow room, and still people were turned away.

The candidates had a chance to define themselves as different in a crowded field, and I don’t think any of them did that.

Mark Leno came the closest: From the start, he said that he is convinced that “we need a new direction at City Hall” and that he would offer “a fundamental change from the status quo.”…

I give Kim and Leno credit: They were the only two who said, when asked about homelessness, that prevention is as important as responding…

Leno suggested that the city ought to sue the speculators who are abusing the Ellis Act by purchasing building after building and in each case claiming they want to go out of the business of being a landlord.

Weiss correctly pointed out that it does not good to put people in shelters or medical facilities if they are released back to the streets with no place to go. She’s a fan of Seattle-style “supportive villages.”…

They all seemed to be buying into the concept that all growth is good, and that we don’t need to control or moderate it

When it came to traffic congestion, we saw a few minor differences. Breed is not in favor of a London-style toll system that charges drivers for the right to head into congested areas; Kim and Leno said that’s an idea worth pursuing…(more)

Missed this Mayoral debate, as I attended the much more divisive Senator Wiener Town Hall. This event attracted a crowd of people from outside the city and a lot of folks from Wiener’s district 8, who oppose the housing legislation he is pushing, outlined in this article: “Scott Weiner’s War on Local Planning

All of the issues involving housing, displacement, homelessness, crime, and economic inequalities are based on the belief that “unlimited growth is good”. Where in California has dense housing resulted in a decease in displacement, homelessness, crime, or a better lifestyle for residents?

Followup: After watching the tape I see quite a bit of difference between the candidates on some of the issues I care about.
https://www.facebook.com/SFUnitedDems/videos/940340022786081

Community Workshop Attracts 200 Seeking Solutions to Homelessness

By Joe Eskenazi : sfpublicpress – excerpt

In 20 years of homelessness in San Francisco, Moses Carbins has spent time in most of this city’s shelters. “Some days,” he said, “you wake up invisible. It becomes sort of like a pit. It’s just another day to die.”.

It was lost on no one, however, that Carbins has lived — thanks to “empathy, compassion, a network of friends” — and was on hand to address an audience of more than 200, hanging on his every word, as he spoke on a panel at “Solving Homelessness,” a Jan. 25 community workshop presented by the Public Press.

The symposium was an all-day gathering of advocates, architects, journalists, activists, service providers, innovators, city officials, policymakers and homeless men and women to brainstorm solutions to homelessness… (more)

I attended part of this event and was impressed by the large number of organizations who were represented. I knew quite a few people and recognized many others. Read the article if you care of solving the homeless crisis. Many good ideas are explored here.

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Farrell takes leave of absence from venture capital gig to serve as SF mayor

 by Joshua Sabatini : sfexminer – excerpt

San Francisco’s interim Mayor Mark Farrell is no longer working two jobs — something he had done the entire time he was serving as the District 2 supervisor.

The venture capitalist went on sabbatical from his job at Thayer Ventures, where he is the managing director, after being named Tuesday the interim mayor by the Board of Supervisors. The firm invests in technology companies that focus on the travel and hospitality industries.

The company’s website posted news of his hiatus, also stating he plans to return once his stint as mayor ends in June when the winner of among eight candidates will replace him. Farrell also confirmed his temporary leave on Friday… (more)

Farrell did not hesitate to give up his position as District 2 Supervisor. Why Conway doesn’t keep his mouth shut is beyond comprehension. Doesn’t he know that he poisons everyone he mentions and no one wants to be associated with him? Someone should enlighten the guy.

RELATED:

Supervisor Sheehy fears his key vote to oust Breed as mayor doomed his election campaign

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy is no stranger to breaking barriers. Though he’s now San Francisco’s first openly HIV-positive supervisor, he once was a hardscrabble activist in The City, fighting for representation during the 1990s as his community died around him during the AIDS epidemic.

When he was appointed by the late Mayor Ed Lee to serve as District 8 supervisor in January 2017, he carried that ethos with him into office…

That activists ethos was also key in his decisive vote to nominate Supervisor Mark Farrell as “caretaker” mayor, ousting Acting Mayor and Board of Supervisors President London Breed in the process. Though power players behind the moderate supervisors wanted Breed to remain mayor, Sheehy, who had been aligned with the moderates, said he bucked his allies for his principles…

As far back as mid-December — the week after Breed became acting mayor — Sheehy expressed in interviews that San Francisco’s mayor also acting as the board’s president was an untenable position, that it was too much power for one person.

“It’s a big deal for the budget. It’s a big deal for everything we do,” he said. “It’s just not the way government is supposed to run.”… (more)

Sticking by his principles should not be.grounds for losing the election. There may be other powers at play, but, we need people who are not afraid to speak out for what they believe in.

Black women on London Breed: Robbed of mayorship or rightly dethroned?

by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : facebook  and sfexaminer – excerpt

From Facebook :

Please read and share. A lot of calls and a lot of work went into today’s ON GUARD, which I tried, very hard, to strike a balance between varying opinions out there on London Breed’s ouster.

But I did so by speaking to those most affected by the allegations of racism and sexism: Black women San Franciscans…

From SF Examiner column:

“You’re racist! … This is war!”

The cries of a handful of black women echoed under our gilded City Hall dome Tuesday after a startling vote to replace London Breed with Supervisor Mark Farrell as mayor.

Headlines in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and even the conservative Breitbart News and black-focused pblication The Root, expressed the rage some felt when a black woman from public housing was replaced by a white venture capitalist — in San Francisco!

How racist. How sexist. How hypocritical and conniving…

Those accusations, and more, were hurled with a muscular arm of righteousness reaching back — way back — to the 1950s mass evictions of black San Franciscans during the “urban renewal” of the Western Addition, to the recent grief after the San Francisco Police Department shot and killed Mario Woods, and landed at the feet of self-described progressive supervisors who sought to oust The City’s first black woman mayor.

“San Francisco dislikes Black women so much that they appointed a white conservative to be the caretaker mayor,” opined Alicia Garza, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, on Twitter…

“I decided I’ve had it up to my neck with the prognosticators. Ultimately, it’s most important we listen to our city’s black women; that’s why only those who identify as black women are quoted hereafter…Some women who know Breed felt passionately she was robbed of her mayorship. Others believed her own record damned her.”... (more)

Please follow the link and voice you opinions at the source if you can.

Hundreds march in solidarity to avoid gentrification in Mission District

On Thursday afternoon, Mission Street was shut down for a few hours for a March to peacefully protest gentrification. The “March for Mission” which started at 20th and Mission Streets brought together local volunteers and organizations to send a message to City Hall that their voice needs to be heard.

Protesters ended the march at city hall, demanding funding to establish a Latino Cultural Corridor, affordable housing and transit equity. They aim to stop the massive influx of high-end businesses, projects, and luxurious housing. Protesters said that gentrification is driving out their neighborhood shops and threatening to turn Mission Street into another Valencia Street…(more)

Maybe it is time to take back Valencia. The posh restaurants have already topped out. Many are reputed to be closing already. What has gone up, is coming down, except for the rents, that is.