California Apartment Landlords Dump Properties Ahead of Rent Control Vote

By Laura Kusisto : wsj – excerpt

Investors, housing advocates gear up for a fight, expected to spend tens of millions of dollars on campaigning

A push to expand rent control in California is sending a chill through the state’s apartment industry, prompting more investors to sell properties or hold off on buying.

Ben Lamson, whose family owned just under 100 apartments in the Inland Empire area in southern California, said he has sold about 70 units and is in contract to sell the remaining ones. He is taking all the money and investing it in properties in the Las Vegas area, he said…

“These renter groups are starting to speak out and say, ‘These rents are ridiculous.’ They’ve gotten more organized than they ever have been,” he said. “I started getting a little freaked out or a little scared or concerned [that] this could really happen.”.

In late April, a coalition of housing advocates said they submitted some 595,000 signatures, more than enough to get a measure on the ballot in November to repeal Costa Hawkins, state legislation that prevents cities and towns from imposing rent control on buildings constructed after 1995 and on single-family rentals.

Both sides are gearing up for a fight and are expected to spend tens of millions of dollars on campaigning… (more)

The threat of returning rent control decisions to the local governments by repealing  state controls seems to be having some effects already.

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Campaign trail: Leno, Kim issue joint endorsement ad

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

For the first time in history, two major San Francisco mayoral candidates are running a serious, all-out ranked-choice voting strategy—and the outcome of the election will test whether that system works.

In a press conference this morning, and a newly released ad, the two candidates appeared together to call for a fundamental change at City Hall….

“This is an historic moment,” Kim said. “We need to stand together if we believe in change.”…

It’s no secret that RCV could determine the next mayor; in fact, it’s likely that the second-place votes of the third-place candidate will decide the election…(more)

This is not the first time this strategy was tried. The 1-2-3 concept was introduced at a cakewalk at City Hall in 2015. And we have the video to prove it.

Joining ranks is a no-brainer in the world of ranked choice voting. Look at the number of dual endorsements. It is important to choose at least two if not three candidates. To better understand how ranked choice voting works and why teaming up makes sense, watch this video from ABC 7 News: San Francisco has been using ranked choice voting since 2004. Here’s how it works.

 

This campaign has brought out some important information, raised good questions, stretched the candidates in new ways, and introduced us to some new ideas that we hope will inform the next Mayor, regardless of who that is. Pretty much everyone agrees on the goals. They just differ in their methods to reach them. May the best candidate win!

Why the cops get a raise without accountability

By Tim Redmond : 48hils – excerpt

An obscure 1990 law, that passed with a lot of progressive support, forces the city into a very bad deal that lets the POA keep blocking reforms

An arbitration panel has decided that the San Francisco cops don’t have to back off from their efforts to delay or block reforms and will get a nine percent raise anyway.

The decision undermines the position of the mayor, the supervisors, and many of the city’s communities, who have been frustrated by the Police Officers Association and its constant resistance to reasonable changes in department policies(more)

How many obscure laws have been passed that tie the hands of our elected officials?  How do the citizens take back control of our city from the rogue agencies that are out of control and appear to be beyond the ability of our elected officials to regulate or even review?

SF needs a mayor who will tax, spend, and regulate

By Calvin Welch : 48hills – excerpt

City-Hall-Chessboard

A new life-size Chessboard has appeared in front of City Hall as a reminder that old-fashioned political strategies can work as well, if not better, than money, media buys and sound bites. Sim City does not exist in the real world, people do and people vote. Regardless who wins, new games will begin after the June 5 election. photo by zrants.

Consider a short list of the realities facing our next mayor:

The social/economic/cultural transformation of the city through unchecked hyper-gentrification caused by a development policy that has, at its heart, maximizing speculative real-estate profit at the expense of existing residents and the businesses and activities that serve them…(more)

A local-government public sector dominated by bureaucrats, policies and programs that see “facilitating the market” as the primary goal of government…

An alarming under-investment in our urban public infrastructure …

A growing assault on local democratic government specifically aimed at San Francisco led by, at the state level, real estate speculators and their legislator allies seeking an end to “local control”…

The rapidly growing re-segregation of our civic life involving the toxic brew of race and income inequality,..

Given these realities, the June 5th election for mayor has the unmistakable feeling of being a directional election defining San Francisco’s future… (more)

The tax and spend part will be a matter or who is taxed and how the money is spent. There is a growing resentment of government overreach into citizens’ lifstyles and pockets that runs counter to government priorities that appear to favor more government employees and larger tax bases to support them. Workers and consumers, overwhelmed by the load now, are being asked to sign onto more debt. They may balk and repeal some of the taxes. At least one recall is in play now. More could follow.

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.

image001-e1521057479862

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

The myth of long-term housing “underproduction”

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Mission-Bay-at-Third

New Mission Bay condos on Third Street next to the T-Line near the ballpark, by zrants

Has California—and SF—failed to build housing for the past 50 years? The data show otherwise

In an interview with Phil Matier on CBS April 1, State Sen. Scott Wiener repeated a line I’ve heard from him, and from many others in politics and the news media, over and over:

“There’s a reason we don’t build much housing,” he said, “and it’s been that way for 50 years.”

This is one of the central pieces of the housing market mythology that defines the debate over SB 827 and the larger question of development policy in the city, the region, and the state.

And when you look at the actual facts, it doesn’t seem to hold up…

Here’s how Fernando Marti, co-director of the Council of Community Housing Organizations, puts it:…

What the data shows is that, while the rate of production generally tracked population growth, often faster, it crashed in 2008, and even with the booming economy, it hasn’t come back. The sooner we start understanding what’s really been happening since 2008, rather than blaming a fictitious “50 years of underproduction,” the sooner we can get to real solutions that matter.. (more)

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)