SF Mayor Ed Lee’s legacy: Economic boost that exacerbated income inequality

By Carolyn Said : sfchronicle – excerpt (includes graphics)

By almost every measure, San Francisco’s economy boomed during Mayor Ed Lee’s six-year tenure, adding jobs, companies, housing and office space. Of course, that also exacerbated the city’s well-known issues: income disparity, congestion and transportation, and lack of affordable housing.

Whoever takes over at City Hall will inherit a vastly different climate than what Lee faced in January 2011 when the city and country were emerging from a brutal recession and local unemployment stood at 8.9 percent, higher than it was during the dot-com bust. It’s now an impressive 2.7 percent, among the lowest in the country.

San Francisco under Lee became even more of a mecca for technology, cementing its cachet as the nation’s startup capital. The number of venture-backed startups here more than doubled during his administration, while the number of tech jobs tripled.

San Francisco and Silicon Valley don’t have a hard border, or even a soft border,” said Terry Connelly, dean emeritus of Golden Gate University. “They’re one and the same. That’s a big change, and that happened under Ed Lee.”...(more)

The legacy of Mayor Ed Lee includes the huge impact his enthusiasm for sports and arenas had on the culture shift in San Francisco away from liberal, progressive humanitarian politics toward a much more competitive reach for gold. The increase in the tax base through fast-rising real estate valuations, has not been sufficient to off-set the damage done to our most vulnerable citizens who are losing their homes as the wealthy flood in to displace them. Solving this conundrum will be the job of the next mayor. San Francisco citizens must demand a plan of action before choosing the next Mayor as this will be the most important task. All candidates should prepare to show us their plans.

Mayor Lee the face of a new, enlightened SF



Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council Announces Opposition To Pro Soccer At Kezar Stadium

by Amy Stephenson: hoodline – excerpt

We reported recently that Kezar Stadium might become the new home of the North American Soccer League‘s San Francisco Deltas, and that representatives from the team are soliciting feedback from the neighborhood.

This week, they got that feedback, in the form of an official opposition from the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council. HANC sent an email to subscribers outlining its issues with the Deltas’ proposal.

In February, the Deltas announced a proposal to use Kezar for 15-20 home games per year, beginning in 2017. The games would mostly take place on Saturday evenings, with the occasional game on Wednesday evening or during the day on Saturday. At the games, the Deltas would sell beer and wine to the general public, and hard liquor to VIP ticket holders.

At the time, many neighbors responded with concern about the potential traffic impact caused by thousands of fans coming to the neighborhood, as well as potential bad behavior from those who’ve been drinking. Representatives for the team argued that the games’ relatively brief two-hour run times would discourage heavy drinking, and said that the Deltas would encourage fans to use public transit to get to games.

HANC’s position is that holding pro soccer games and selling liquor will change the character of the stadium from a youth-oriented sports center to something less beneficial to the community. HANC board member Tes Welborn has printed fliers opposing the plan, posting them around the neighborhood. The full text is below: …

HANC has set up a petition on Change.org to gain support for its position. As of this writing, it has 31 signatures… (more)