Potrero Bus Yard Project meetings turn up many suggestions, little consensus

By Gisela Pérez de Acha and Julian Mark : missionlocal – excerpt

After four public meetings on a development project that could add nearly 1,000 new units atop the Potrero Bus Yard, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will review the comments from the 100 or so people who attended the gatherings and try “to figure out consistency and trends, if they exist,” said Licina Iberri, one of the planning managers.

The project, now in the planning stages, seeks to not only upgrade the 100-year old bus and Muni transportation facility but to add as many as 900 new units – at least 25 percent affordable – as well as add ground floor retail space. The market rate housing would help finance the project(more)

Projects like these, that are opposed by the public, are forcing many people to leave San Francisco and the state. New figures on population exits from Silicon Valley are showing zero population growth. We don’t need more houses in the pipeline when there are already over 40,000 NOT being built. SFMTA staff is supposed to run the Muni not build future housing for non-existent residents.

If SFMTA staff managing the Muni system they would not have time to develop 1,000 market rate units and they would not need the money to support the Muni system if they quit tearing up the streets.

SFMTA staff who do not want to manage the Muni system, but prefer to design the future are in the wrong business. Voters should loudly oppose all future development projects that are built to hold investor dollars and add to the cost of living in this city for everyone who is stuck here. Quit treating San Francisco residents like cattle to be moved about in crowded containers. No wonder ridership is going down. and people are leaving.

The department that can’t keep the trains running on time now due to major switching problems can’t wait to put in more switches. The department that can’t provide a safe ride on the monster buses wants to hire security guards for bigger buses, instead of hiring more drivers to for smaller buses that hold fewer riders, with comfortable seats for everyone. Where is the humanity at SFMTA?

Takeaways From a Wide-Ranging State of the State

By Jill Cowen : nytimes – excerpt

When Gov. Gavin Newsom began his first State of the State address yesterday, political observers expected him to attack the Trump administration…

But instead, one of the most powerful politicians in the country quickly moved on from President Trump and took aim at the legacy of a fellow Democrat: Mr. Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown.

“He dispatched Trump and Jerry Brown in very different ways,” said Raphael Sonenshein, the executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles. “In Trump’s case, he dismissed him.”.

Mr. Newsom covered a lot of ground in his 43-minute address, from the graying of California to immigration to the blockchain.

So my colleague, Jennifer Medina, and I broke down some key takeaways. (We’ll explore more questions in future newsletters; the state is vast and complicated, after all.)… (more)

RELATED:

Link to Governor Newsom’s State of the State address:

 

Walton wants tech, healthcare to hire more SF residents

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

One of San Francisco’s newest supervisors said Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation to expand local hiring requirements to businesses in technology, healthcare and other sectors.

The City has required since March 2011 that builders of public construction projects hire a certain percentage of their workers from San Francisco. The program, commonly referred to simply as local hire, is largely celebrated for connecting those most in need to well-paying jobs.

Now Supervisor Shamann Walton has asked the City Attorney to draft legislation that would extend that requirement to other job sectors, like technology and healthcare.

Walton told the San Francisco Examiner in a text message that he is still working out the details. There are legal challenges to telling private businesses who they must hire, but Walton said the requirements could come through contracts that tech companies and hospitals need to have with city government. He will also explore whether just having a city business license would be sufficient for the city to require local hire… (more)

Why hire people from outside the area that need new housing when you can hire residents who are already housed? I like this thinking.

Breed calls for public power study in wake of PG&E bankruptcy announcement

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Following the announcement that PG&E is filing for bankruptcy, Mayor London Breed assured residents Monday there will be no impacts to their power service and asked the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to study possible responses — including transitioning to a public power system.

Options to be considered include buying the existing electrical infrastructure outright, according to city officials.

PG&E announced early Monday morning that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as the San Francisco-based utility company faces an estimated $30 billion liability for damages from deadly Northern California fires during the past two years… (more)

It’s time to put community before money

By Brandon Yan : sfexaminer – excerpt

As Mayor London Breed takes office, San Francisco faces an unprecedented affordability crisis.

The median home price is $1.61 million. A family earning $117,000 now qualifies as low-income. Thousands are leaving The City by the Bay, and many more are considering the same.

Where did things go wrong? Unemployment is low, and incomes are rising. The median wage in the San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco region did rise 16 percent from 2011 to 2017.

However, that’s just 6 percent growth after adjustment for inflation.

In contrast, the average cost of renting a San Francisco apartment rose 39 percent, or 27 percent after inflation, in the same period. In 2017, the average monthly rent for a San Francisco apartment was $3,734 — or 17 days’ worth of income for a median wage earner working full time.

These numbers are based on my analysis of San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and San Francisco apartment rental price data from Rent Jungle.

Simply stated, wages can’t keep up with the rising cost of living, and the situation appears worst for low- to middle-income families. While the 75th and 90th percentile of hourly wages increased by $4.92 and $7.82, respectively, the 25th percentile saw only a 59-cent increase in real terms from 2011 to 2017….

The good news is that rental prices appear to be leveling off. The average San Francisco apartment rent has fallen slightly since 2016. Unfortunately, there’s still a long way to go for working-class wages to catch up, and this is the biggest challenge facing our new class of city leaders.

Born and raised in San Francisco’s Portola, Brandon Yan is an incoming medical student at UCSF, a recent graduate of Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in public policy, and a research analyst at the UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies... (more)

 

Bunk beds, roaches and nerdy geniuses: my year in a Silicon Valley hacker house

By Andrew Frawley : theguardian – excerpt

The lives of tech entrepreneurs aren’t always as glamorous as they’re made out to be, as I learned living among them on a dangerous San Francisco street

For the past 12 months of my life, I paid the bargain price of $1,250 per month to sleep diagonally in a bunk bed in a 10ft x 10ft room that I shared with a 32-year old man. Because I am 6ft 4in, sleeping diagonally in my undersized accommodation was the only way I could make it through the night without getting cramps.

Welcome to my life in the hacker house…

In my first month, there were six of us unemployed at the time. Woefully seeking income, we built a daily ritual of job-hunting together at the kitchen table until sunset. …

Unfortunately, though, hustle doesn’t always lead to results or income. While I was catching up with Will Harris, the early tenant who has been with the Negev from the beginning, he urged me to tell the story of those who don’t make it.

“Everyone hears how rosy it is out here. No one tells the story of the majority of people who do everything right, work their ass off and still end up leaving the city in six months, broke, with crushed dreams.”…(more)

Profile Shows High Housing Costs Accompany Bay Area Jobs Boom

By Ron McNicoll : independentnews – excerpt

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has released a report showing a strong economy in the Bay Area, and the high housing prices and rents that go with a boom time.

Released last week, the report taken from data recorded in 2015, is called Vital Signs. It gives snapshots of data on a variety of topics. They include jobs, housing, transportation choices by commuters, and a slowdown in development of greenfields compared to the last decade of the 1990s.

The Bay Area reached a record $722 billion in economic production in 2015. If the Bay Area were a nation, it would rank 25th among the world’s economies, says the report. Unemployment continued to decline. Median household income reached its highest levels since 2008, prior to the start of the Great Recession.

Biggest job sector growth was in high-tech businesses, especially those that are web-related, with San Francisco and Silicon Valley growing 20 percent over two years.

The lowest-cost homes in the Bay Area remain in eastern Contra Costa and Solano counties, with median housing prices at $300,000. The Bay Area median is $708,400, and in Alameda County it is $604,800… (more)