Gimme Shelter podcast: The rent control war

By Matt Levin : calmatters and gimmeshelter (includes audio track from podcast)

One housing issue will overshadow all others this election: Rent control. Matt and Liam discuss why renewed negotiations to remove a controversial rent control initiative from the ballot went nowhere, and what the campaigns will look like this fall. First, Matt proposes a solution to the Los Angeles Clippers’ battles with the California Environmental Quality Act in the Avocado of the Fortnight (3:30). Then a discussion about why negotiations over rent control have been so fruitless (11:23). Debra Carlton, senior vice president of public affairs for the California Apartment Association, stops by the studio to talk about the landlords’ perspective (24:00). And Amy Schur, campaign director for Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, calls in to give the tenants’ side (47:30). *… (more)

RELATED – 12 more initiatives on the November ballot:

Propositions on the November 2018 California ballot

by Ben Christopher : calmatters – excerpt

Prop 6: Gas Tax Repeal, Repeal a recent increase in the gas tax and other fuel and car fees and require voter approval for all related taxes in the future.
Prop 10: Repeal Costa-Hawkins, Allow cities to introduce new restrictions on market rents or expand existing rent control policies
Prop 5: Portable Prop 13, Allow older or disabled homeowners to take their lowered property tax base with them when they move.
Prop 8: Dialysis Clinic Profit Pruning, Require companies that operate dialysis clinics to pay back insurers any profits over 15 percent of qualifying business costs.
Prop 1: Affordable Housing Bond, Give the state permission to borrow $4 billion to fund affordable housing construction ($3 billion) and to subsidize home loans for veterans ($1 billion).
Prop 9: Tim Draper’s Three State Solution, Divide California into three new states: “Northern California,” “Southern California,” and “California.”
Prop 2: Mental Health Money for Housing, Give the state permission to borrow $2 billion to fund supportive housing for those suffering with mental illness and to repay the cost of that bond with money set aside for mental health services.
Prop 12: Bigger Cages for Farm Animals, Place new size requirements on the coops and cages used to contain breeding pigs, veal calfs, and egg-laying hens. It would also require all egg-laying hens be raised in specified “cage-free” conditions. These requirements would apply to anyone selling related food products in California, even if the farms are out of state.
Prop 11: Paramedic Break Time, Allow private ambulance services to require their emergency medical service employees to remain on call during meal and rest breaks. Also guarantees technicians additional training and some paid medical health services.
Prop 7: Daylight Savings Time, Would repeal the measure Californians passed back in 1949 creating Daylight Savings Time. The Legislature would then be able to determine how the state sets its time—to eliminate moving clocks backward and forward every spring and fall.
Prop 4: Childrens Hospital Bond, Give the state permission to borrow $1.5 billion to renovations, expansions, and upgrades at hospitals that treat children. Most of the funding is reserved for private non-profit hospitals and hospitals run through one of University of California campuses.
Prop 3: Another Water Bond, Give the state permission to borrow $8.9 billion to fund watershed protection, wastewater projects, groundwater management, as well as upgrades and repairs to traditional water infrastructure, like canals and dams… (more)

Campaign deadlines:
June 19 Deadline for candidates to declare intention to run
June 28 Deadline for ballot initiatives to be certified
August 15 Deadline for political parties to endorse
October 22 Voter registration deadline
October 30 Vote-by-mail request deadline
November 6 HAPPY ELECTION DAY!

Advertisements

As National Park Service regional HQ struggles with soaring Bay Area costs, Sen. Feinstein pushes back on plan to move out of state

By Hannah Norman : bizjournals.- excerpt

The U.S. National Park Service has become the latest casualty of San Francisco’s soaring office rents and housing crisis.

The federal agency plans to uproot its west regional office, which supervises 60 national parks throughout the western United States, from San Francisco’s Financial District for Vancouver, Washington.

“We have struggled with recruitment in San Francisco for years due to the high cost of living,” said Regional Director Stan Austin in a staff memo obtained by KQED. The move could save the agency $1.8 million a year with less money allocated toward paying its staff… (more)

The Park Service is not alone in its fight to attract workers as housing prices rise far faster than compensation. Just last month, the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the state’s largest power companies, said it will be relocated many of its jobs from San Francisco to Sacramento. This move to decentralize comes after a more than 100-year stint in the city by the bay. The California Association of Realtors recently reported that a household in San Francisco needs to make $333,000 per year to afford a median-priced home of… (more)

How is this not somewhat amusing to those of us who are calling the PUC out for failing to regulate tech buses, Uber, Lyft, and the whole menagerie of “sharing” on-demand transportation systems that is largely responsible for the gentrification they are now fleeing. Does no one else see the irony in this? PUC is leaving the nightmare they created for San Francisco. How is this fair?

2018 mayoral candidate questionnaire: Mark Leno

hoodline – excerpt

Mark Leno interview re: how he anticipates supporting small businesses:

Many small business owners we interview complain about the city’s permitting and approval processes. What are your plans for making it easier for San Franciscans to become entrepreneurs?.

Today, one of the greatest roadblocks to the expansion and success of our small business community is the difficulty many face when working their way through our permitting and approvals processes. No small business owner or prospective entrepreneur should have to hire an expediter to do what city government itself should be doing. Far too often I’ve heard from small business owners who find themselves forced to pay for services that city government should provide. As mayor, I will be looking closely at the many hurdles our small business community faces, including the permit and appeals processes.

Rising commercial rents have driven many small businesses out of business, leaving vibrant corridors with an abundance of vacant storefronts throughout the city. Furthermore, delays and construction costs on transit improvement projects have been a major source of frustration – for residents, merchants and visitors. As a small business owner, I absolutely understand the negative effects merchants in the impact zone are facing.

One of my first priorities will also be to ensure there is a small business voice on the SFMTA, where the lack of small business representation is so clearly hurting our small businesses citywide. One example of this impact can be seen in the ongoing delays of the Geary BRT. Small business owners and prospective business owners along Geary struggle with the uncertainty of the completion of a project which would greatly affect their ability to attract and retain customers amid construction. SFMTA should be working with business owners to ensure important decision-making takes into consideration the impact on merchants and merchant corridors… (more)

Mark Leno promises to shake things up if he is elected Mayor and we anticipate some new faces at City Hall if that happens, as the status quo is obviously not working for the average citizen. The status quo is turning San Francisco into a corporate sports and entertainment arena. Our biggest effort to compete with Time Square for gaudiness is a giant pulsing tower raised to the skies.

Regardless of who is elected Mayor we will have new Commissioners and Board members. Hopefully new SFMTA Board members would consider unwinding the corporatization of our streets that has flourished under our current Board and, if it is Mark Leno, he can use some influence in Sacramento to suggest for changes to the PUC and state legislature. For some time we have been pointing to the PUC and we will continue to point that way until someone gets the message and takes action at the state level to reign in the corporate takeover of our state.

Newsom strategy: Face Republican in the fall by knocking Dems out in June

By Matier and Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt

Gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom is firing off a double-barrel blast of TV attack ads aimed at fellow Democratic rivals Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang, all with the goal of helping Republican John Cox win the No. 2 slot in the upcoming primary.

“We are trying to keep them pinned on the mat,” said Newsom campaign spokesman Nathan Click…. (more)

Trusting the polls has been known to fail recently. Newsom should talk to Hillary Clinton about how well it worked for her. There are a lot more people in Southern California than in the Bay Area and they can easily take back control of Sacramento if they vote in larger numbers than they have recently. There are are also a lot of voters who have dropped out of the parties, making it harder to predict how they will vote. Negative campaigning could bite Gavin.

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

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)

 

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)