The Bernalwood Slate Card for the November 3, 2015 Election

Citizens! Neighbors! There’s an election coming! On Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Soon!

This is a weird one, with no major federal or statewide candidates on the ballot and an incumbent mayor running for re-election largely unopposed.  (Yadda yadda protest candidates blah blah blah.) The mayoral race isn’t expected to be much of a contest, yet this is still a crucial moment for San Francisco.

On the one hand, these are the best of times. The economy is booming, unemployment in San Francisco hovers at around 3.5%, and the City’s finances are stable. But the pressures of prosperity have exacerbated old problems and contradictions. Tens thousands of new residents are arriving in San Francisco each year, Gold Rush-style. But we don’t have enough places for them to live, which is throwing lots of things out of whack, Gold Rush-style.

sfpopulation20 years ago, in 1995,  San Francisco’s population stood at 745,000, a high-water mark after decades of postwar decline and political realignment. Today, our population has climbed far higher, to more than 852,000 — a historic peak. Yet according to the Planning Department, during the last 20 years San Francisco built a net total of just 35,000 new units of housing for those 110,000 new residents . No one should be surprised our prosperity isn’t going smoothly.

Yet here we are: Five of the 11 propositions on this ballot are about housing, but a few of them were put on the ballot by the same factions that have done much to create our housing crisis in the first place. Ballot measures are generally a terrible way to handle planning policy, because the remedies are blunt and the propositions are often crafted by special interests. (That’s certainly true in this election.) So with “Let’s Not Make Things Worse” as our mantra, here are Bernalwood’s endorsements for San Francisco’s November 2015 election…

San Francisco Elected Offices
Bernalwood attended the meeting a few months ago when the San Francisco Democratic Party voted to endorse its preferred candidates. Hearing the back-and-forth of their debates gave us more confidence about where their endorsements landed. Bernal Heights doesn’t have much real skin in these races, so we will tepidly echo the San Francisco Democratic Party here:

Mayor: Ed Lee (Meh)
City Attorney: Dennis Herrera
District Attorney: George Gascon
Treasurer: Jose Cisneros
Sheriff: Vicki Hennessy
Community College Board: Alex Randolph
Supervisor, District 3: Julie Christensen (D3 isn’t our district, but Bernal’s Dissident Parrots have spoken)

Ballot Propositions
Since the mayor is basically running unopposed, the propositions are where this election gets interesting for the citizens of Bernal Heights. Let’s make some choices.

Prop A (Affordable Housing Bond) – YES, BUT
Placed on the ballot by Mayor Lee, Prop A would authorize the City to borrow $310 million by issuing general obligation bond to fund more affordable housing. That’s definitely something we should do. But we shouldn’t kid ourselves: Prop A won’t put much of a dent in our housing shortage. Two new affordable housing development projects demonstrate why. Unveiled last July, 1950 Mission Street is a 165-unit development that will be built near 16th Street. The City already owns the land at 1950 Mission, yet each unit there will cost about $600,000 to build.  Think that’s expensive? Actually, it’s cheap; Consider the other development, at 490 South Van Ness, just around the corner. At 490 South Van Ness, the City doesn’t own the land, which jacks up the cost to taxpayers even more. Each of the 72 affordable units at 490 South Van Ness will cost a breathtaking $889,000 to build. With those comparables, Prop A’s $310 million is great, but it won’t go very far. A two-thirds supermajority of voters is required for Prop A to pass. Let’s do it.

Prop B (Paid Parental Leave for City Workers) – YES
San Francisco offers City workers from 12 to 16 weeks of paid parental leave to care for a child after a birth or adoption. Owing to a quirk in the City Charter, if two City employees qualify to take paid parental leave for the same child, they both can’t take the full parental leave. Prop B would revise the Charter so thatif both parents are City employees, both cantake the maximum amount of paid parental leave. Makes sense.

Prop C – (Lobbyist Expenditure Ordinance) – YES
Prop C could make it easier to keep tabs on special interest groups that play politics with City Hall. Prop C would require any individual or organization that spends more than $2,500 on media, organizing, or research on issues under consideration by City government to register with the city’s ethics commission, submit monthly reports, and pay a $500 fee. (Nonprofit organizations would be exempted from the fee). Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and Prop C will help bring astroturf groups and professional “activists” out of the darkness and into the light. It also comes from a credible source: Prop C was placed on the Ballot by the San Francisco Ethics Commission.

Prop D – (Mission Rock Development) – YES
Prop D was placed on the ballot by the San Francisco Giants. It would allow the team to develop part of the parking lot on the south side of McCovey cove into ‘Mission Rock,’ a new 28-acre neighborhood with 1500 apartments, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, eight acres of parks, plazas and open space. At least 33 percent of the residential units will priced for low- and middle-income residents. Added bonus: The development plan also includes a new Anchor Brewery on Pier 48. Mission Rock includes two tall buildings (one 190′ and the other 240′) so under Prop B, passed in 2014, Mission Rock requires voter approval. Ballot box zoning is a terrible way to craft policy, but Mission Rock was designed with ample community input, and we need 1500 mixed-income housing units far more than we need the parking lot that sits there now. Build it.

Prop E – (New Public Meeting Requirements) – YES
It’s pretty easy to argue that our City government is already buried under a crippling amount of public input. Nothing happens here without hours of public meetings and comment, which is both wonderful and disastrous at the same time. Yet our current system effectively excludes people who have regular jobs and/or residents with children. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation (a Prop E backer) explains: “Public comment is a crucial element in local democracies, since it is one of the chief ways for residents to air their grievances, propose their ideas, and give feedback to their elected leaders. But too often these public comment periods do not represent a wide variety of perspectives, since they’re biased in favor of a specific demographic: people who have the ability to travel to city hall to attend often inconveniently scheduled meetings.” Prop E would address this by requiring the City to simulcast public meetings live on the Internet, and allow members of the public submit testimony at public meetings electronically. If we don’t want to actually streamline our government, and an active, participatory democracy is what San Francisco wants, then simple fairness dictates we should enable as many citizens as possible to participate.

Prop F – (Short Term Rental Ordinance) – NO
San Francisco faces a big housing shortage, so we need good legislation to ensure that Airbnb-style short-term rentals don’t remove too many viable housing units from our rental inventory. Trouble is, Prop F isn’t good legislation. In addition to creating plenty of new bureaucracy and paperwork — inevitable, perhaps — it caps short-term rentals at a property to 75 nights a year and contains a blanket prohibition on the use of “in-law” units for short-term rentals. Most alarming of all, Prop F encourages neighbors to take each other to court, by authorizing anyone living within 100 feet of a potential short-term rental to sue homeowners suspected of violating the initiative. Meanwhile, Prop F would eliminate short-term rentals that make it possible for many struggling San Franciscans to stay in their homes. This is not theoretical; Bernal neighbors and artists Toby Klayman and Joe Branchcomb tell Bernalwood:

“We’ve been in our house for 40 years, and our bills now are enormously high! Our PG&E bill is often $400 a month. Last year we needed a new section of roof: $16,000. Another recent expense was a new sewer pipe: $4000. We live in a home that is more than 100 years old. There’s always extra money needed for repairs, a new window, a new set of stairs etc. We rent one extra room we have in our home via Airbnb — a space that would never work as a permanently rented room — to provide some much-needed income. As we approach age 81, we would have to move without Airbnb. The laws San Francisco already has in place have enough teeth to get rid of property owners who improperly evict tenants to create short-term rentals. But 75 nights a year won’t help us enough to pay our bills. We are against Prop F.”

Prop G – (Renewable Energy Disclosures) – NO
The process through which proposed initiatives end up on the ballot is due for reform. To get on the ballot, you just need to collect a few thousand signatures. To get a few thousand signatures, you just need to pay enough people to collect them. (This is why those paid signature gatherers are such a fixture on the sidewalk outside the Good Life on Cortland.) The result is that anyone can pretty much turn a ham sandwich into a San Francisco ballot proposition — so long as they’re willing to pay enough to get the required signatures. That’s how Props I and F ended up on this ballot, but Prop G shows how broken the proposition system really is. The funding to put Prop G on the ballot came from PG&E and IBEW 1245, a union that represents some PG&E employees. There’s a lot of legalese goofiness involved, but Prop G would basically make it harder for the City of San Francisco to compete with PG&E by selling electricity generated from the City’s own renewable sources. Except, the City and PG&E eventually agreed on other ways to resolve these issues, so now not even PG&E wants Prop G on the ballot. Too late. No on G, and thanks for wasting our time.

Prop H (Clean Energy Right to Know Act) – YES
The obvious awfulness of Prop G prompted Supervisors John Avalos, London Breed, Julie Christensen, and Scott Wiener to put Prop H on the ballot to counteract it. Prop H defines “clean energy” and “renewable greenhouse gas-free energy” in ways that are similar to California’s state standards, and makes it easier for the City’s forthcoming electricity-sale program to market clean electricity. If both Prop G and Prop H are approved, the one that receives the most “yes” votes will be enacted, but as this awkwardness demonstrates, the City’s proposition process will remain as broken as ever.

Prop I (Mission District Housing Moratorium) – NO, NO, NO
Prop I would halt all market rate housing development in the Mission District for 18 months. Here’s what it will not do: Prop I will not make housing in the Mission more affordable. Prop I  will not slow the pace of displacement or evictions. It will not reduce gentrification. It will not lower rents or create more affordable housing. If anything, Prop I is likely to increase rents and make gentrification and affordability in the Mission even worse. Those are just a few of the conclusions reached by the City’s chief economist, Ted Egan, in an analysis of Prop I which also found that relatively little housing of any kind has been built in the Mission in the last 15 years anyway. Egan says there’s “no reason to believe that either a temporary moratorium, or an indefinite prohibition, of market rate housing will reduce the number of upper- income residents in the Mission, or slow the process of gentrification.” Ouch. This may explain why Prop I’s supporters are eager to change the subject. They now say Prop I is about holding new market-rate housing hostage for at least 18 months to force the City to create a more aggressive affordable housing plan in the Mission. The only real question here is: Are they delusional, dishonest, or both?  San Francisco can’t agree on a plan to install a new bike lane in just 18 months — never mind reaching consensus to build thousands of units of publicly funded affordable housing in the Mission at a cost of at least $600 million, according to David Campos. And in the meantime, 1200 units of privately funded, mixed-income housing already in the planning pipeline would be put on hold. It makes no sense to address a housing shortage by banning the construction of new housing. Prop I will make the crisis worse, while empowering the NIMBYs and nativists who seek to preserve Burger Kings, laundromats, and abandoned warehouses instead of building housing for San Franciscans. Vote NO on Prop I.

Prop J – (Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund) – NO
As regular readers know, Bernalwood loves our local merchants. We love our history. We love our merchants with history. Yet even as certified history geeks and militant locavores, we just can’t get behind Prop J. The goal here is to provide public subsidies to “legacy” San Francisco businesses or nonprofits at risk of displacement that have existed for at least 20 years, and which have “significantly contributed to the history or identity of a neighborhood or community.” It’s sweet idea, but Prop J would likely be an expensive boondoggle rife with cronyism and abuse. To be eligible for public subsidies, a legacy business would require a nomination from a member of the Board of Supervisors or the Mayor, which creates an obvious opportunity for elected officials to reward generous donors and political pals with a subsidy from taxpayers. Want a preview of what that looks like? Try this: D9 Supervisor David Campos spearheaded the effort to put Prop J on the ballot, with active guidance from Calle 24, the Mission’s 24th Street merchants association, where 21 merchants (!!!) would be eligible for Prop J subsidies. In addition to being ripe for corruption, Prop J would also be very expensive; if it passes, the City Controller estimates Prop J’s subsidies would cost taxpayers $4 million next year, rising to somewhere between$51 million and $94 million annually within 25 years. No on J.

Prop K – (Housing Development on Surplus City Land) – YES
Introduced by D6 Supervisor Jane Kim, this is a reasonable plan to make it somewhat easier to transfer excess or underused City-owned land to nonprofit affordable housing developers, who would receive the land for free. For-profit developers could also acquire surplus City land, but they’d have to pay for it. Prop J also expands the range of incomes that qualify for inclusion in affordable housing on surplus city land so it would span very low income to households that make up to 120% of the area median income. Developments with more than 200 units on former City land could be mixed-income, with some units having no income limit. This all sounds sensible enough, although it also seems like the kind of stuff the Board of Supervisors should be able to tackle on their own, without the use of a clumsy ballot proposition. Because that’s what we pay our Supervisors to do.

Bernalwood’s November 2015 Slate Card

Mayor: Ed Lee
City Attorney: Dennis Herrera
District Attorney: George Gascon
Treasurer: Jose Cisneros
Sheriff: Vicki Hennessy
Community College Board: Alex Randolph
Supervisor, District 3: Julie Christensen

Prop A: YES, BUT…
Prop B: YES
Prop C: YES
Prop D: YES
Prop E: YES
Prop F: NO!
Prop G: NO
Prop H: YES
Prop I: NO, NO, NO
Prop J: NO
Prop K: YES


COMMENT MODERATION UPDATE: Per usual, Bernalwood welcomes robust discussion about the issues that impact our neighborhood and our City. Comments about the Bernalwood Slate Card and any of the issues or candidates on the November ballot are encouraged. However, comments containing links to other slate cards will be removed. Let’s debate the issues here, instead of waging tribal battles over competing lists.

76 thoughts on “The Bernalwood Slate Card for the November 3, 2015 Election

  1. I’m with you on all of these things. But… don’t give people any reason not to vote for Prop A. 2/3rds is hard to accomplish and we can’t assume it’s a shoo-in. Yes its a drop in the bucket but let’s start somewhere! Yes on A!

    • I agree with the rest of this slate but am going to vote no on A. It’s a waste of money (close to $1 million per unit if you include land prices) to build low income housing in prime Mission locations. It only helps a few people at the expense of tax payers. It would be much better for the city to reduce restrictions so that housing supply can increase.

    • It is critical to vote NO on A. Obviously it is not as heinous and destructive as Props F and I, but it is still warping the housing market and funneling taxpayer funds into inefficiently and counter-productively subsidizing low-income private housing at the expense of the total community. We need to reduce regulation barriers to market-rate house and reduce restrictions on homeowners that discourage them from renting out vacant space at a fair market rate.

  2. I recognize that, since there are some fundamental differences in the way we understand the local real estate and political landscape, we will disagree about many issues (my slate is here ) – but I do think you might be persuaded to reconsider Prop. E.

    I heartily agree with you that we should use technology to make democracy more transparent and more participatory, but Prop. E’s design is a recipe for a total sh*t show. I disagree with SPUR on many issues, but they are very good at researching an issue.

    • Hard to decide on this one. I think the simulcasts should be a one way street where people can just listen and if they have something to say they can write a snail/electronic letter to the commission.
      I can also see how this will cause a technically challenged city hall to suffer through tons of wasted time trying to bring livestreams up. They should consider making deals with existing companies to leverage existing technology. i.e. Periscope, et al.

    • +1!!!! This proposition would cost millions, and take FOREVER to implement by the City’s IT team. I’m sure that by the time it’s implemented it will be well over budget.

      Save some money and get some exercise by walking down to the meeting and sitting in. No need to watch these meetings from your couch and cost the City millions that would be better spent elsewhere.

  3. DO NOT VOTE FOR LEE! He is corrupt and the cause of much misery here. For the first time in San Francisco politcs 3 alternative candidates have banded together for additional voter clout. See the debate and Lee’s very poor performance. I personally think Amy Weiss is an excellent candidate.

    • Can you expand on Lee’s corruption? I’m trying to research it. I’m curious about his change of heart when he first said he would not run and then did. I also wonder about his efforts to please voters… how to balance bringing money to the city (with things like tax breaks) which has happened since he’s been in office, with keeping the city affordable which isn’t happening. Is he doing good at some things but not others? Is it possible for a mayor to make everyone happy at the same time? Are the people that aren’t happy voting?

    • I totally agree!! Its Ed Lee’s fault we are in this economic and housing crisis in the first place!!! I am honestly totally shocked that you are endorsing that total crook. He is singlehandedly flushing out the long term renters so he can get a group of higher income residents in sf. He is so far in bed with corporate business he could be doing hospital corners on their beds. This one endorsement makes me question ALL of the other endorsements that you have listed. And the other one that i am shocked that you are turning your back on is our sherif. Ross Mirkirimi is one of our own and one of the last progressives in that type of position of power. After that bogus witch hunt i would have though you would have had his back a little more. I guess i had no idea how much not only the city but my own neighbors and neighborhood is changing right now as we speak. I am a little disheartened and a lot worried. This town may be too far gone to ever get back anyway so what should i really care…. (this is indeed a defeatest mentality. do you blame me?) If amy weiss gets in (which is a pipe dream i know) i may have a little hope again! GO AMY!! GO STEWART!!

  4. That’s an interesting take on Prop F, but do note that the homeowners’ situation you’ve highlighted can be resolved by charging a higher fee for a night’s stay if the total number of nights permitted is shortened.

    We make stay-in-San-Francisco money through AirBNB, too, but I don’t feel like our use of the service allows me to insist that the city regulate it according to the income needs I’ve built around it. Especially if I were relying on it for routine house maintenance, which is probably not the best foundation on which to pin problems with this proposition. There are federal loan and grant programs for that sort of thing, so no need to drag it into a tangentially related policy debate.

    I’m voting yes on F (and maybe charging $15 more per night for our AirBNB listing).

  5. I think Todd’s wrong about Prop F, and the anecdata quote seems like something he would typically skewer if employed by someone else. The Neighbors Suing Neighbors OH MY! concern is almost certainly overblown. There is a similar provision in the condo-conversion law that has apparently gone entirely unused. It’s there as a backstop in the case that the city won’t enforce the limits within the specified time frame, and requires that the complaining neighbor front legal costs. That’s a pretty high barrier to frivolous/harassing suits.

    I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the objections to the requirement for AirBnB and similar entities to collect the relevant data and submit it to the city. Regulation of business is a legitimate government interest, and if you don’t use your home as part of a business endeavor, you won’t be affected. If you do, it’s not unreasonable for the city to want to know about it.

    That said, government by plebiscite sucks. The supervisors and mayor are elected to govern, and they keep punting on the tough decisions. In the case of short-term rentals, they actually did take action (my concerns about its efficacy notwithstanding), and it seems fair to give that new law a chance to work—or not—before tackling this again.

    I’m still undecided on F. I do wish the supes had passed a law closer to this than what they actually did enact.

    • Brandon, I entirely agree with you. If you register your Airbnb rental with the city, and stick with the 75 night limit, there is no way you are going to get sued. The difficulty in doing so will just be too high of a barrier, and besides, there would be nothing to sue over. In addition, when people used to need more money to get by in their home, they got an additional tenant/roommate. I know plenty of people living in homes who used to have additional tenants to help pay the rent. There is nothing new about that. There used to be a binder at Roommate Referral…but the point is, extra rooms were used as *housing*, not for short-term stays. [Also, nobody should reasonably have a $400 PGE bill — conservation, people]

      • See how easy it is to tell other people how to live their lives? Everyone should get in on the game.

        If you need more money, get a tenant. That is the option I give you.

        And because I can’t think of a way you could have a $400 PG&E bill, I therefore decree you are wasting energy and should conserve more.

        What about the method by which I carry my groceries? Check! What about whether I drink apple juice or ginger ale? Check!

        San Francisco: Where All the Slopes are Slippery!


  6. Fuck Ed Lee. He is not for us blue collar folk or natives. He’s a sellout crook. I vote to rename “bernalwood” bernal heights! Who renamed bernal heights in the first place?

    • Red Hill, Nanny Goat Hill, Bernal Heights, BernalWood. It will be something else someday, as well.

  7. Disagree on Prop A for the same reason you vote No on the legacy business bond. The city already has money put aside for affordable housing it’s just sitting on. I strongly disagree that another 500MM is going to do anything. Even if they do build, that pays for less than 500 units.

    Make developers set aside some new units and even give them a density bonus to help make it happen. If we can streamline projects that meet current zoning and provide affordable units, that will probably make a bigger dent than this bond and at less cost to the taxpayer.

  8. Ed Lee is not running unopposed! There is a movement called 1-2-3 evict Ed Lee (referring to a ranked choice voting strategy). The 3 candidates that one should vote for are Amy Weiss, Stuart Schuffman, and Francisco Herrera in any order. I was very impressed with Amy Weiss at the Mayoral Debate. The debate can be seen on youtube at: you need to skip forward at least 10 minutes to get to the debate itself.

  9. An important reason to vote Yes on G, even though it’s been orphaned, is that renewable energy credits (RECs) don’t equal renewable energy. I’m all for Clean Power SF and getting 100 percent renewables for SF, but SF should be honest about the nature of the energy it’s supplying the city. Prop G helps ensure that.

  10. Voting Yes on C (against astroturfing) and No on F (complete with Airbnb’s astroturfing talking points) is hilarious. Good work, dude.

    • The fact that there are awful astroturf groups fighting something doesn’t automatically make it a good thing. The actual arguments for and against it get into messy good-governmenty details, and I don’t think that it’s obviously a terrible bill, but most of the smart unbiased people who I’ve seen look at it in detail lean no.

  11. You won me over with this line: “Prop I will make the crisis worse, while empowering the NIMBYs and nativists who seek to preserve Burger Kings, laundromats, and abandoned warehouses instead of building housing for San Franciscans.” I expect you’ll get an earful from the Mission Laundromat Preservation Association.

  12. As faculty at City College of San Francisco, I strongly support Wendy
    Aragon. She is knowledgeable about the issues affecting our students and community at large. Alex Randolph is merely Ed Lee’s point man. I wish Bernalwood would have done some independent research instead of depending on the now realtor-led Democratic Central Committee. The Bernal Heights Democratic Club has very different endorsements, including supporting Wendy Aragon.
    I wish Bernalwood would have considered different, and perhaps more thoughtful and educated endorsements.

  13. Oh, how I WISH Bernalwood wouldn’t take political positions. Now I have to hate you.

    Ed Lee is a LIAR who was a career bureaucrat who PROMISED that he would only serve as an interim mayor after Gavin Newsom left. The was the ONLY reason people such as Aaron Peskin voted for him to take the mayor’s job. Then Ed Lee got swell-headed, especially from being wined and dined by the likes of nearly bankrupt Twitter, giving them a gigantic TAX BREAK in exchange for creating even more jobs in a city that has a net SURPLUS OF JOBS.

    Yes, a city can have too many jobs. This is why the Bay Bridge and the Bayshore freeways are clogged with traffic from 2pm to 8pm daily. If these jobs were spread out, down the Peninsula and into the Eastbay, we wouldn’t have this commute problem.

    UNFORTUNATELY, none of the candidates running against Ed Lee has any experience in city government. I guess the real folks are waiting until Ed gets termed out before they’ll run for mayor. For my money, I’d go with Aaron Peskin all the way.

    • You don’t actually know what Todd thinks about Mayor Lee. As you note, there isn’t really any credible, experienced candidate running against him.

    • Like a conservative would be for an affordable housing fund. Get out of here with that weak ass trolling dude. You need to go back to troll school.

      • Kenny – your comment is more useless than mine. You know we’re talking about local elections right? In the context of SF elections this ballot is on the right.

        Kenny – Remember when you connected gentrification to Japanese restaurants? You’ve never said anything on this blog that shows you have any idea what you’re taking about.

      • Yeah well you said vote as a conservative, now didn’t you? That has specific meaning. You were dead wrong to say that. Your attempt to contextualize Todd’s ballot as right of center is just opinion. Only his F and I stances can be construed as right of center. And the fact is, plenty of progressives are against both of them, as they’re both deeply flawed.

        You remember when I asked that question, as it seemed similar at a glance to the Lower East Side in NYC, and was just wondering about it? and someone else answered the question? Yeah I remember that. I don’t remember saying anything definitive, just wondering. I remember. Clearly, you don’t.

  14. Why should we care what you think? This blog has gone so far over the rails it’s laughable.

    • Who’s “we”?

      You know what I don’t care about? A random hater like you just getting mad at somebody else for having an opinion. That’s something I don’t give one shit about.

  15. I’m against Prop F. The city just implemented a new ordinance and hasn’t even given it time to work.

    Anyway, my thing is that AirBnB is nothing more than a bogeyman for certain progressives. Their fear is if everybody started putting units on AirBnB instead of renting. Well, what if that actually happened? Guess what? there would be too many flats for rent on AirBnB, too much competition. Lots of them would sit vacant. And the landlords would rent them out normally as a matter of course.

    • Agreed. Rent control takes more units off market than AirBNB. Prop F is just hotel unions and the city upset about lost revenue.

  16. Whether or not Bernalwood readers agree with Todd, I do salute him for his courage in expressing an independent and well-researched point of view.

  17. I think you can really read Todd’s ability to judge how our city will be best served by his endorsement of Prop E. Forget the rest and note how out of touch he his here. I’ve read this blog enough to infer that Todd has ultimate contempt for city processes and staff, but I thought he might be smarter than to sign us all up for having our public servants stuck watching videos made on phones.

    I’ve taken time off of work to attend public meetings. When I can’t, I make a phone call. That’s how it goes. Prop E is horribly undemocratic and entirely unworkable.

    Read your voter bulletin and you’ll see that everyone agrees … except Todd Lappin and the SFSU professor + 2 students who wrote Prop E.

    The Bernal Heights Democratic Club gets it right. Todd Lappin gets it wrong.

    • Wouldn’t you say that the flaw with Prop-E is that it’s actually too democratic? I’m against E too. I think we get in our own way far too much in this town. Allowing even more public weighing in? Why? It’s already such a mess.

    • It is also worth noting that the SFSU professor who wrote this is David Lee, a failed District 1 supervisorial candidate and real estate man who is using this as a platform to run again in 2016.

  18. There are neighborhoods to your east that are bearing the burden of massive housing developments while you get to keep your nice little village-y neighborhood (40X zoning) and look down upon the rest of the City. Yay!

  19. I’d like to second your recommendation for Alex Randolph for City College Board. After reading the qualifications of all three candidates, he’s by far the most qualified candidate.

  20. Think SF houses and condos have gotten absurdly expensive? As buyers factor in unlimited potential AirBnB earnings, housing prices will only climb higher. Regulating the number of days rooms can be rented per year is only logical. Support middle class home ownership by voting YES on F.

    Thinking parking is scarce? As homeowners pack paying guests into every available nook, rental cars will crowd curbs further. Creating a mechanism for neighbors to report violations is sensible.

    The current regulations aren’t working. YES on F.

    • Excellent points. Before AirBnB it was much easier for the middle class to buy a home in San Francisco. Also there was parking everywhere.

      • I have many issues with AirBnB’s “ask forgiveness later” approach to regulatory compliance, and there is no doubt that its success has *contributed* to the housing issues in the city. But it is not responsible for the shortage of houses and apartments or the increased demand for parking.

        The Bay Area economy keeps creating jobs which are drawing new residents from around the country. The city and surrounding municipalities have blocked/slowed development of housing that would keep up with the demand, and here we are. Middle-class people can’t afford to buy because the limited housing stock gets bid up. There’s less parking because there are more people with cars.

  21. Surprised to read a lot of these recommendations of here, but Alex Randolph for Community College Board? What the what?! Nice enough guy I’m sure, but he’s Ed Lee’s guy, and the board shouldn’t be in cahoots with City Hall like this. Please vote Tom Temprano in case you hadn’t already seen his sign in the window nearly every Bernal (and Mission and Castro) business already.

  22. With all due respect:
    Here are some facts about prop I.

    The plan will not be starting from scratch. The eastern neighborhoods plan is coming up for review. There was a clause in the plan when it was made to review the plan to see if its working or not for the neighborhood. The community will be updating this plan. The legislation has a time limit of 2017 to be completed.

    In the past 8 years the Mission has gained 1327 units total with 165 of these (12.4%) deemed affordable. Of the 478 units being built or approved for construction only 37 (7%) are below market rate. These numbers fall short of the 50% goal of prop K for low-moderate and middle class households.

    This plan will halt construction of Market Rate housing for 18 months. Units of 5 and under that are Market Rate will continue. (This is based on the average size building in the Mission.) 100% affordable housing will continue. 1950 Mission St, 17th and Folsom, Shotwell at Cesar Chavez, 17th and South Van Ness are in the pipeline. This will help catch up to have a diverse income balanced housing stock.

    The Eagan reports states that only 85 units of Market Rate housing will be delayed. 10 of those deemed affordable. The rent increase he mentions is .03 percent increase and no displacement. The 10 units are not guaranteed to be built on site or built. The developers have an option to build on site or provide funds to a community benefits fund which is cheaper for them instead of building, some of the funds go to planting trees or widening sidewalks and not all for housing. The price calculation was done during the recession. The Mayors Office of Housing also provides the developer up to 12 months to build the affordable and the affordable housing developers 24 to 36 months to build. So the priority currently is on Market Rate housing that many middle income or working class resident could not afford.

    Prop I would require the city to develop a Neighborhood Stabilization Plan with the community by Jan 31, 2017. The goal of the plan would be to propose legislation, policies, programs, funding and zoning controls so that at least 50% of all new housing would be available to low-moderate and middle income households.

    I would encourage folks to read the controllers report on you voter pamphlet and ask many questions to be informed.

    • Thanks for joining the conversation, Erick. I’m always grateful for it. I’m not sure where your facts are coming from, but I don’t think we read the same report.

      On page 7, Egan’s report for the Controller’s office tells a more balanced story about new housing in the Mission. Since 2001, he says, 51% of the 1464 new housing units constructed in the Mission have been affordable. Here’s the table:

      Thanks in part to virulent obstructionism, very little housing has been built in the Mission for the last few years of any kind, anyway. According to the Planning Department’s 2014 San Francisco Housing Inventory, just 75 new units of housing were created in The Mission last year — a figure that put The Mission at the very bottom of the list of the top 10 San Francisco neighborhoods for new home construction.

      That fact alone should be a hint that new construction hasn’t been the big driver of displacement in the Mission. Actually, not building has been making displacement even worse. Egan (pg. 7) says, “the population change in the Mission since the 1990s has largely occurred through changes in the occupancy of the existing housing stock.” This is what happens if you don’t create enough new housing for a growing population: People who can afford to buy homes even at stupid expensive prices will simply buy up the old houses instead. That’s not pretty, or desirable, but it’s what happens when the desire to fight change is greater than the desire to create real stability. By blocking the construction of new housing, you increase the pressures of displacement. That’s a real tradeoff, and Prop I supporters bear some responsibility for it.

      I don’t know where your statement that Egan’s report says only 85 units of market rate housing would be delayed by Prop I comes from. Table 7 says the number of potential housing units that would be blocked by the moratorium hovers between 752 and 807 units. That’s 10x your figure of 85, and your figure doesn’t include the 100 or so affordable units (p.20) we would would get at zero public cost as a result of private development requirements. And along the way, Prop I’s new-housing moratorium also makes housing even more expensive for everyone else around town:

      As for the Prop I “plan,” it exists only in name. A press conference, a target of 2400 new affordable units, and a $600 million price tag for taxayers with no funding anywhere in sight is not a plan. It may be a fantasy, or a negotiating position, but it is definitely not a plan.

      Please know: A credible plan to accelerate the pace of market-rate housing construction as permitted under our existing neighborhood plan, while mandating even more affordable housing density, would be met by squeals of giddy approval by me, and probably tens of thousands of other San Franciscans as well. You’ve been speaking out against new housing even when it would displace absolutely no one. Prop I works the same way: It holds housing for everyone hostage to get subsidized housing for a lucky few. It’s not just bad economics, bad planning, and bad policy — it’s bad faith, even if the intentions are sincere.

      I’ve been living within the same square mile as you for 25 years. I spent 15 years a few blocks north of 24th Street, and now 10 years just a few blocks south. I love our neighborhood as I know you do too. But Prop I’s supporters have chosen a path that is spawning new opponents rather than building new alliances in our community. I’m sorry we are wasting our energy on this instead of working on real solutions. But here we are: No, no, no on Prop I.

    • You’re cutting off your nose to spite your face. Prop I will only make matters worse. Plus it goes way too far in blocking empty warehouses from being rezoned for other uses.

  23. Comments containing links to other slate cards will be removed? That seems counter-productive to an informed discussion about the issues and also kind of petty.

  24. Since there’s only been one comment on Prop C, I want to point out that while you say non profits will be exempt from the registration fee, they will still have to bear the cost of reporting, and over time that will likely amount to much more than $500.

  25. Todd removed my effort to post the endorsements of the Bernal Heights Democratic Club, but because Todd decided to “echo” the Democratic Central Committee’s endorsements, he might think it is okay to note here that neither his endorsements nor the central committee party endorsements that he refers to in his endorsement statement were adopted by the Bernal Heights Democratic Club with regard to the most contested races and measures — specifically Mayor, Sheriff, and Propositions I and K.

    The Bernal Heights Democratic Club has been making endorsements for more than 20 years (probably more than 30 years), and endorsement requires a super-majority vote of members. Candidates and proposition spokespeople attend club meetings and make presentations prior to the endorsement votes. I would suggest that these endorsements are much more representative of this neighborhood than the city-wide party endorsements that Todd “echos,” so it seems fair to make sure that people know about both sets of Democratic Club endorsements — the city-wide central committee and our own Bernal club.

    • Thanks for letting us know, David.

      Saw it on your facebook page in case people are wondering where to look.

  26. A lot of Democratic clubs and unions vote NO on F. Of course, the one supporter of F is the Hotel workers union. There are big problems with this Proposition. I am not going to report where I sleep at night – it’s NUNYA! It’s too bad all the money spent on shooting down “The Effing Prop” couldn’t have been spent on enforcing the current law. Besides I’m meeting more of my Bernal neighbors when they drop by to check in their parents. Then everyone walks to see their grandchildren – no cars – no problems. NO ON F!

  27. Wondering…have you ever heard of a PG&E person having to read a smart meter?

    A guy in clothes covered in PG&E patches asked to see my meter…inside my garage. Elaborate rouse?

    Peter Salkowski

    • Peter, not sure what this has to do with the conversation…but…PG&E have readers that electronically obtain Smart Meter readings. If someone needed to physically view your meter because it wasn’t reporting, they’d probably send you a notice.

  28. Pingback: Citizens! It’s Election Day! Get Thee to a Polling Place! | Bernalwood

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