Art Agnos sizes up SF politics over matzo ball soup

By David Talbot : sfchronicle – excerpt

There didn’t seem much to celebrate for a progressive warhorse like Agnos. A man who represents everything Agnos opposes now occupies the White House. Donald Trump’s victory, said Agnos, “bothered me more than my own defeat” for re-election as mayor in 1991. And he had just come from a memorial service across the street at City Hall for Aileen Clarke Hernandez, the legendary feminist, civil rights and labor activist whose death seemed like one more requiem for the heroic liberation movements of the past.

And yet Agnos, at 78, seems as energetic as ever, after successful heart surgery to fix an aortic aneurysm in November 2015. He continues to play an active role in city politics as a progressive power broker. His clout was felt in the successful 2013 ballot battle to block the ”wall on the waterfront” — the proposed luxury condominium high-rise building on the Embarcadero. The same leadership team — Agnos, former City Attorney Louise Renne, political organizer Jon Golinger, and Aaron Peskin (in between stints on the Board of Supervisors) — reassembled in 2014 to lead the landslide victory for Proposition B, the landmark San Francisco measure that gave voters the right to decide on big development proposals along the city’s precious waterfront.

The Prop. B victory represented a “revolutionary change” in San Francisco, said Agnos — the democratization of a planning process that has long been controlled by developers and their political allies. “Now, if you want to build something on the waterfront, you don’t go down to City Hall and make a contribution to a politician’s favorite charity. You have to go to the people for their support.” Agnos would like to see the Prop. B concept extended from the waterfront throughout the city…

Agnos finds the political establishment to be woefully behind the electorate when it comes to deciding the city’s future. He’s particularly critical of another former mayor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who campaigned for 8 Washington and — as chairman of the State Lands Commission — is suing the city to overturn Prop. B. “This is supposedly Mr. ‘Citizenville,’” said Agnos, referring to Newsom’s book that touted the expansion of participatory democracy in the digital age. “And he’s suing the city he once led, saying the citizens shouldn’t decide.

“I call Gavin the greatest one-night stand in politics. He looks great, he talks great. But you wake up the next morning and you ask yourself, ‘What was that all about?’”… (more)

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Personal Property is under siege

OpEd by concerned citizen

A major crime wave is sweeping our streets, killing businesses and putting public at risk, and nothing is being done about it. Crime statics are down because there is no record of the crimes.

This story came from a reader concerned about the decline of the local Safeway. Desperate people are taking desperate measures. Ignoring the problem is not going to make it go away. Dehumanizing people, treating them like animals and feeding and cleaning up after them is not a good solution. City Hall needs a better plan. Mayor Agnos suggests putting them on an air craft carrier. It’s worth a try.

Crimes of personal property are just not prosecuted. I spoke to the manager of the Potrero Hill Safeway because I’m worried it will go out of business due to loss of clientele. He told me when Gus’s opened they lost 70k customers. To stop the losses they cut service and because of a million dollars of theft last year they put ?toothpaste and mouthwash? in glass cabinets. Organized gangs swept toothpaste off the shelves and resold them in the Mission. “When thieves are caught by security, the police are called. Sometimes they don’t show up for 1.5 hours and when they show up they drop the thief off at the corner”.

It’s a real battle in which the “city” is not on our side but the side of the thieves. The police know that jails have a revolving door.  It’s not cost effective to arrest thieves. A portion of the homelessness is a distinct outcast society that survives on crime and begging.

One safe thing you can do is support our local businesses. Please support PH Safeway during this difficult time. The manager said they are doing their best but I don’t think it is good enough to keep their regular customers. They need your feedback.  The displacement of small and large businesses with small margins is another crime that is spiraling downward making it even more expensive and difficult to live here.

– Concerned Citizen

Ex-Mayor Agnos says put homeless on aircraft carrier

By : sfcurbed – excerpt

To live in, not to ship them away

Former Mayor of San Francisco Art Agnos hasn’t held public office in years, but that’s no reason to quit working, as Agnos is always quick to toss out policy solutions for San Francisco’s various housing crises. His latest pitch: A homeless Navigation Center on an aircraft carrier.

This plan (shipped out via a Chronicle op-ed) is actually an old one for the former mayor. So old, in fact, that he did it already back in 1989, when the USS Peleliu served as an emergency homeless shelter after the Loma Prieta earthquake, an innovation Agnos usually references whenever the subject of the quake comes up.

Navy Rear Admiral John Bitoff, recalling the time 25 years later, said that the ship’s 300-plus temporary tenants, mostly displaced from a damaged SRO, were polite, well-behaved, and cheerful—although they did pile contraband several feet high before boarding…

 The Navy decommissioned the Peleliu (for some reason nicknamed “The Iron Nickel”) after 35 years last March. Agnos proposes we anchor it off of San Francisco’s shores once more to again cater those who have been displaced (this time by economic rather than seismic disasters). The carrier housed up to 5,000 people at a time during its Naval career, a number not quite equivalent to San Francisco’s estimated homeless population but competitive with it… (more)