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.