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

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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.

Continue reading

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.

Farrell as mayor: How did this happen?

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Plutocrat Ron Conway tried to bully the supervisors to get his way — and it backfired

How did Mark Farrell, one of the most conservative members of the Board of Supes, wind up with the support of progressives to become interim mayor? How did Jeff Sheehy, who has generally voted with the moderates, and who initially supported London Breed, wind up being the swing vote for Farrell?

You can thank Ron Conway – and the fact that Breed was reluctant initially to give up her D5 seat to take the interim job…(more)

Livin’ in the City, by the Numbers: Public Press Weekly

By Michele Anderson : sfpublicpress – excerpt

Homeless line the sidewalks of SOMA and the Mission, by Bluecat

Many city dwellers have a lot to complain about these days: sky-high rents and home prices, housing for the few, sketchy roommates, skimpy parking, hellish traffic, clutter, litter — you name it. And then there’s homelessness. The numbers of San Franciscans living on the streets are increasing, right?

Well, actually, no. 

The numbers are relatively unchanged, but what’s happening is there are more tents and the unhoused population is more visible. Thanks to redevelopment, there are fewer alleys, parking lots and cheap rooms that are far from foot traffic where people can stake out a place to live.  (KALW/Crosscurrents)…

Let’s Talk Politics

RELATED:
SF set to start process for building modular housing for formerly homeless

Opinion: $3 toll hike probably won’t deliver reliable commute

By Marc Joffe : mercurynews – excerpt

Anyone hoping that a $9 rush-hour toll on the Bay Bridge will fix BART and alleviate commuting misery should take a trip to the Big Apple.

It now costs $12.50 to cross the Hudson River into Manhattan ($15.00 if you don’t have New York’s FasTrak equivalent), but public transit is deteriorating. Subways are crowded and frequently delayed; service disruptions — both scheduled and unscheduled — are common.

Meanwhile, Penn Station — the city’s primary intermodal transportation facility — is the “Most Awful Transit Center in America,” according to a recent Bloomberg story. Not only is the station itself unpleasant, but the 107-year-old Hudson River tunnels serving the facility are severely corroded and in danger of collapse… (more)

Marc Joffe, a Walnut Creek resident, is a senior policy analyst at Reason Foundation.

Charter Amendment – Jurisdiction Within City Government Over Parking and Traffic Matters

Here is the first draft of the language put forth to as a proposal to amend the charter that establishes the authority of the SFMTA, referred to as the SFMTA Charter Amendment ballot initiative. Please review this and let your supervisors know how you feel about this amendment. Contacts are here.  Read FILE NO. 171309 and follow the updates here.

LEGISLATIVE DIGEST
(First Draft, 12/12/2017)

[Charter Amendment – Jurisdiction Within City Government Over Parking and Traffic Matters]

Describing and setting forth a proposal to the voters at an election to be held on June 5, 2018, to amend the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco to eliminate the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s jurisdiction over parking and traffic regulations; to grant the legislative authority over parking and traffic to the Board of Supervisors; to create a new Livable Streets Commission and Department to manage parking and traffic; and affirming the Planning Department’s determination under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Existing Law

Currently the Charter grants the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) exclusive jurisdiction over local public transportation, taxis, and a variety of parking and traffic related functions. The SFMTA Board has legislative authority to adopt regulations related to parking and traffic. The SFMTA Board also serves as the Parking Authority Board with responsibility over a number of garages.

Amendments to Current Law

The proposed Charter Amendment would eliminate the SFMTA’s exclusive jurisdiction over parking and traffic issues, and taxis. It would create a new Livable Streets Commission and Department that would have authority over parking and traffic functions and taxis. The Livable Streets Commission would be comprised of the members of the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors. The Board of Supervisors would have legislative authority over parking and traffic. Under the amendment parking and traffic functions under the responsibility of the Livable Streets Commission include:

  • Setting rates for off-street and on-street parking, and all other, rates, fees, fines, penalties and charges for services provided or functions performed by the Department;
  • Controlling the flow and direction of motor vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic;
  • Designing, selecting, locating, installing, operating, maintaining and removing all official traffic control devices, signs, roadway features and pavement markings;
  • Limiting parking, stopping, standing or loading as provided by state law and establishing parking privileges and locations subject to such privileges for categories of people or vehicles as provided by state law;
  • Establishing parking meter zones, setting parking rates, and selecting, installing, locating and maintaining systems and equipment for payment of parking fees;
  • Establishing policies for the enforcement of regulations limiting parking, stopping, standing or loading and the collection of parking-related revenues and, along with the Police Department, have authority to enforce parking, stopping, standing or loading regulations;
  • Cooperating with and assisting the Police Department in the promotion of traffic safety, among other things;
  • Having authority over taxi-related functions and taxi-related fares, fees, charges, budgets, and personnel; and
  • Coordinating the City’s efforts to address emerging mobility services.

The proposed Charter Amendment also provides that the Livable Streets Commission would serve as the members of the the Parking Authority Commission. The Livable Streets Commission would have authority over City-owned off-street public parking facilities, except those specified as under the jurisdiction of other City departments.

The proposed Charter Amendment provides for an operative date for the transfer of jurisdiction and the creation of the Livable Streets Commission of July 1, 2019.

(First Draft, 12/12/2017)

The two related stories below describe why government agencies are expanding public transportation programs. It is not about cars, parking, transportation or affordable housing. It is about controlling public access to housing and transportation while increasing land values.

RELATED:

Transportation gentrification: How Bus Rapid Transit is displacing East Oakland

SB 827 (Skinner, D-Berkeley) will destroy local land use control

“…A dramatic increase in new housing near transit stations could be on its way across California under new legislation proposed by a Bay Area legislator. Subject to some limitations, the measure would eliminate restrictions on the number of houses allowed to be built within a half-mile of train, light-rail, …