City Hall 2018

January 17, 2018

Mayor's Race tightens to Breed vs Leno --SF Chronicle Endlorse Mandelman the progressive - Mayor's Race: in the Mish is VOTE LENO-KIM - Sheehy vs. Mandelman in Dist. 8 - Formula Retailed Blamed for Failing Retail Corridors; Homelessness Hot as June '18 Mayoral Election then again Nov '19;  High Speed SF Net; Property Crimes & SFPD; Retail vacancies rising

 

Mandelman the moderate progressive vs. Sheehy

The West side of Valencia Street is part of District 8 with the Castro, Noe Valley & Glen Park

"Whatever the progressive-moderate divide is in City Hall seems to be very confused right now,” Rafael Mandelman told the Chronicle editorial board, presenting himself as a peacemaker who would form relationships across party lines.

 

“I’m an activist, not a politician,” D8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy said, after a Chronicle editor pointed to his revolving carousel of campaign consultants. “So if you asked me if I’m obsessed with getting elected — no,” he said.

.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Who-s-who-in-the-District-8-race-Sheehy-12739695.php

 

SF Chronicle Endorses Mandelman!

His answers were notably more detailed and relevant than those of Sheehy. There is no question that Mandelman wants the job, and is doing his homework. He gets our endorsement in the June 5 primary.

sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Chronicle-recommends-Mandelman-for-District-8-12742529.php

Church at Market - another Retail Wasteland

Bizarre solution proposed by D8 Supervisor

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy,  has met with neighbors and  is proposing that hiring more building inspectors and "switching from a complaint-driven vacancy policy to enforcement"  The subsequent cost of frequent inspections would be passed onto landlords.

Much of the blame game has fingered Veritas Investments Much of this is coincidental,” says Santino DeRose, who has been leasing some Veritas properties through DeRose & Appelbaum. “It is a very active intersection, and although we have some inactive spaces at the moment, there is a lot happening that will soon result in a very exciting area of town.” The company brought the popular Verve Coffee Roasters to 2101 Market St. in February 2017 after Veo Optics moved to Valencia Street. While Sheehy has been highlighting his thinking in meetings no timeline for the legislation has been announced.

http://www.sfweekly.com/news/how-church-street-became-a-retail-wasteland/

The Weird D8 Race By Joe Eskenazi Posted March 22, 2018

"Independence, then, needs to be tethered to something. It’s not clear Sheehy — whose district includes Dolores Park, Mission Dolores, and the Valencia corridor — is tethered to anything. “I was appointed,” he notes. “So I didn’t have to figure out how to put together a team. A base.
And, in this city, you’re either a so-called “progressive,” or a so-called “moderate,” with the backing of the political clubs and unions and captains of industry unique to one or the other. Or, you’re like Sheehy, suddenly a longshot candidate whose behavior is so baffling to this city’s political handicappers that they believe he’s intentionally self-sabotaging himself (he says he is not).

missionlocal.org/2018/03/jeff-sheehy-is-fiercely-independent-but-do-san-francisco-voters-care/

 

Mayor's Race

The historical forces of inertia and incumbency mean June’s victor will be the favorite in November 2019 and then again in 2023. They stand a strong chance of running San Francisco for the next decade. This should not be overstated. In our strong-mayor town, the mayor calls the shots. S/he spends the money, appoints the commissions, vetoes the barely passed laws.

 

Heather Knight Challenges Supervisors and New Mayor to Tackle Homeless Street Behavior

April 23rd The new mayor should start his or her term with a State of the City address laying out what is acceptable on our sidewalks, what isn’t, and what the vision for San Francisco is moving forward. Secondly, the mayor needs to convey his or her vision directly to the San Francisco Police Department.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from residents that they report drug deals or harassment or bicycle chop shops and are told by police there’s nothing they can do. I hope this isn’t the actual message from City Hall, but I don’t blame the police for being confused. Once that’s clarified, the police should, you know, enforce the laws.

Jeff Kositsky, director of the Department of Homelessness, said that while 7,500 people were found to be living on the streets during last year’s one-night count, there are 20,000 people who are homeless in San Francisco over the course of a year. About 6,500 of them arrived here homeless from somewhere else, he said. He said these figures show why it’s impossible to build our way out of the problem and that law enforcement needs to play a bigger role when criminal behavior on the sidewalks occurs.

sfchronicle.com/news/article/Supervisors-roll-into-action-on-the-wrong-San-12858537.ph

A Survey of Breed, Kim & Leno Records on Housing

https://sf.curbed.com/2018/2/27/17028772/san-francisco-mayor-candidates-housing-election-development-2018

April 15, 2018
Mayor's Election "Wide Open" with most Voters Undecided

Supervisor Angela Alioto denied public funds for the June special election
The latest poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research found that former state Sen. Mark Leno was the first pick of 29 percent of those surveyed — putting him in a virtual tie with Board of Supervisors President London Breed, who came in with 27 percent of the first-pick votes. Supervisor Jane Kim came in with 17 percent and former Supervisor Angela Alioto with 6 percent. The poll was paid for by the gay advocacy group Equality California and a consortium of hotel, health care and other unions that are friendly to both Leno and Kim.

sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Ranked-choice-voting-could-come-into-play-in-SF-12836021.php

MAYORAL DEBATE for JUNE 6th ELECTION:
Managing Fast Changing Role of TECH work in the City

While conferring enormous and unaccounted for wealth on the city’s coffers, the substancial new demands on over taxed infrastructure and substantial fraying of the city’s complex social fabric may be the best way to contrast and compare the four leading candidates.

sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-mayoral-hopefuls-walk-fine-line-debating-12836333.php#photo-15399097

Clean up San Francisco’s streets, tourist industry pleads

By Heather Knight April 16, 2018 

We can’t be quiet anymore,” D’Alessandro said. “We’ve got such a glorious history, such a beautiful setting, and the fact is, we’re letting it all slip away into this quality of life now that is not good for anybody. We’ve become complacent, and I think we’ve taken this as a kind of new normal, and it’s not. It’s wrong, and we have to do something about it.”  President of S.F. Travel, the city’s visitors bureau, Joe D’Alessandro

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Clean-up-San-Francisco-s-streets-tourist-12839281.php

How safe are San Francisco’s skyscrapers?
Even the engineers who design them can’t provide exact answers. Earthquakes are too unpredictable. And too few major cities have been tested by major temblors.

nytimes.com/interactive/2018/04/17/us/san-francisco-earthquake-seismic-gamble.html

Too Much Bureaucracy in the City?

Clogged pipeline with only 23 of 1100 ADU housing units having been completed

“What’s the holdup? We made ADUs legal, so why is it taking so long to implement?” said London Breed, who is running for mayor and positioning herself as the most pro-housing candidate in the race. “It’s been two years. There is too much bureaucracy.”

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/London-Breed-wants-to-speed-up-approval-of-12738327.php

Angela Alioto Promises to Reform the City Bureaucracy 
Finally someone talking about the missing billions of a City budget that rose from $6 billion to $10.5 billion with no discernable increase in services, quality of life or infrastructure investment

“I believe they’ve been there too long. I believe they’re not excited about doing anything, just kind of going to work every day and doing their job — kind of like doing time,” said Angela Alioto, a civil rights attorney and former president of the Board of Supervisorsto the Chronicle’s editorial board.   Further if she wins the city’s top job, she intends to clean house — ousting department leaders whom she accused of being more concerned with consolidating power in their personal “fiefdoms” than tackling the city’s problems.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-mayoral-candidate-Angela-Alioto-vows-to-ditch-12783041.php

VOTE LENO-KIM
Progressive groups promoting a ranked-choice-voting strategy.

With no candidate likely to get 40% of the votes, there is a feeling the race will come down to 2nd place votes."For progressives, the Mission has always been Ground Zero for the changes that are making San Francisco unaffordable for working-class and low-income people. So it’s not surprising that two leading progressive candidates have decided to focus on the Mission” said former D9 Supervisor David Campos and now the chair of the Democratic County Central Committee to MissionLocal.org. In early March, Jane Kim opened her campaign office on Mission Street near 22nd.  Meanwhile, Mark Leno HQ is in the Castro,  where he served as District 8 Supervisor from 1998 to 2002 before successfully running for Assembly against a progressive icon Harry Britt for State Assembly.

Leno said he has not endorsed in the race and “is still considering options. There will be no consideration of any candidate who is not an early endorser of our Fair Campaign Pledge.”

That difference underlies the tricky politics of this race. In 2016, Leno supported Scott Wiener for state Senate – and Wiener and his allies launched vicious attacks on Kim. Wiener has endorsed Leno – and while Kim seems to be willing to let that be part of the past, Leno has a problem.

https://48hills.org/2018/03/progressive-groups-promote-kim-leno-dual-endorsement-strategy/

https://missionlocal.org/2018/03/mayoral-hopefuls-kim-and-leno-rumble-for-sfs-mission/

Poll Shows Top Two are London & Kim
by Matier & Ross March 11, 2018

 A SF firefighters poll has found Breed leading with 29 percent of first-pick votes, with Kim at 26 percent and Leno at 19 percent. Former Supervisor Angela Alioto had 8 percent. Breed and Kim have really moved ahead of the pack here,” said pollster David Metz. “Leno, who folks early on thought might be the favorite, is struggling to get traction.”

.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Jane-Kim-surging-in-SF-mayor-s-race-while-Mark-12744085.php

Jane Kim Says Use Homeless to Keep Streets Clean

The stench and grime belie the city’s jaw-dropping wealth and its annual budget of more than $10 billion, which is higher than the budgets of several states.

The grossness has become a central issue in the mayor’s race, particularly for Supervisor Jane Kim, who has launched a policy proposal called San Francisco Loves Clean Streets.

https://www.janekim.org/san-francisco-loves-clean-streets/

12MAR sfchronicle.com/news/article/SF-Public-Works-scrambling-in-911-mode-to-clean-12747697.php

Leno Cites Ellis Act Reform as Solution to Homeless

At a  March 15th news conference at United Nations Plaza Mark Leno cited increasing “rental and legal assistance to stop unfair, unjust evictions from the Ellis Act. I’ll take speculators who are buying buildings and evicting all tenants illegally to court.” Leno was joined by BART Director Bevan Dufty, an ex-supervisor and the city’s former “homeless czar,” who has endorsed Leno’s campaign

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-mayoral-candidate-Mark-Leno-has-plan-to-end-12759878.php

 

 

Mark Farrell is SF Mayor till June Electionn
San Francisco supervisors chose a white man to serve as mayor until a June election, replacing the African-American woman temporarily serving in the position and infuriating activists in a city that is celebrated for its progressive politics but also has a dwindling black population.The racially diverse Board of Supervisors booted acting Mayor London Breed by selecting another supervisor, Mark Farrell, as interim mayor in an emotional Tuesday night vote.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin and his progressive cohorts successfully pushed Breed out of her  and untenable dual role as mayor and board president on the cusp of June’s mayoral election, providing what progressives would call “a free and fair election” in the forthcoming race between Breed, Jane Kim, Mark Leno and others.
Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who represents the city's traditionally Latino but gentrifying Mission District, addressed that issue directly, saying that the "same rich, white men" who created the deep disparities in San Francisco are also the ones backing Breed.

https://missionlocal.org/2018/01/mark-farrell-is-your-new-mayor-and-pandemonium-ensues/

https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Interim-San-Francisco-mayor-pick-upsets-African-12522522.php

Willie Brown sfchronicle.com/bayarea/williesworld/article/London-Breed-got-a-raw-deal-That-might-help-her-

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Ron-Conway-hits-back-Bouncing-Breed-was-an-12529860.php

But behind the scenes, he appears to be positioning himself for the possibility of a run in 2019. Some people even say he’s taken steps to boost his preferred opponent.

1APR Rachel Swan .sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Mayor-Farrell-gives-hints-of-political-ambition

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy Cast Suprise Vote for Farrel 

by Rachel Swan 28JAN17 On Jan. 9, Supervisors Ronen, Peskin and Farrell met at Gino and Carlo’s bar in North Beach to figure out how to put together six votes.

The trick was courting Sheehy, who is running a competitive race against progressive challenger Rafael Mandelman to keep his seat in District Eight, which includes the Castro, Noe Valley, Glen Park and Diamond Heights neighborhoods. His campaign is sputtering — Sheehy lost his second campaign consultant last week —and several of the board’s progressives have endorsed Mandelman.

But Sheehy is a friend of Farrell’s, who could probably rally the city’s police and building trades unions to shore him up in the District Eight race. Sheehy was also repelled by what he saw as Breed’s reluctance to give up the acting mayor role.

sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Unusual-pairing-of-supervisors-helped-unite-12532277.php#photo-1494858

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/24/us/san-francisco-mayor-breed-farrell.html

http://www.londonformayor.com/

 

Breed demotes Ronen

 

Our D9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen got some payback from Board of Supervisors President London Breed when she was unseated from her position as chair of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee. Ronen was a key architect of the deal to remove Breed and install then-Supervisor Mark Farrell as mayor until the June election. Breed also yanked Supervisor Aaron Peskin off the Land Use and Transportation Committee, where he was an outspoken member. 

 

High Speed Internet for Everyone
Farrell's Signature Infrastucture Project 

Among the new Mayor's first actions was to launch the process of seeking bids from internet providers, telecommunication experts, financial firms and other players to submit plans for constructing and operating a high speed internet network as a utility.The network would be owned by the city but built and managed as a public-private partnership. The project would make San Francisco by far the largest city in the country to operate a high-speed municipal Internet service. 

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-takes-a-another-step-toward-building-a-12537944.php

 

SF tourist industry struggles to explain street misery to horrified visitors

Perrenial Mayoral Election Issue is Bigger than Ever

By Heather Knight Jan 29, 2018

Among hotel managers and owners,

“everybody’s talking about it,”  “You see things on the streets that are just not humane,” he said. “People come into hotels saying, ‘What is going on out there?’ They’re just shocked. ... People say, ‘I love your city, I love your restaurants, but I’ll never come back.’” Kevin Carroll executive director of the Hotel Council of San Francisco, representing 110 hotels.

ERIC: Excellent article, unfortunatly SF politicians won't do a damn thing. We used to spend weekends in the city, and finally gave up. The filth, panhandling and begging got to be to much. The homeless are like the pigeons in the city, the swarm to where the crowds are. We came out of ACT on Christmas Eve, 

MIKE: The system is broken. The U.S. has lost 96% of the psychiatric "beds" it had in the '50s. That has to change. Psychiatric wards need to be expanded and old asylums re-opened. If we got the people with major mental illness off the street, it would change everything for everyone
SF is so much worse than NYC ever was. 1) $305M per year goes to fund bureaucracies staffed with political patronage jobs. The money does not go to the people in need. 2) Our politicians don't allow the police to protect the citizens, visitors and the other defenseless needy folks. 

ENZO: The number of (homeless) individuals counted in the 2017 San Francisco Point-in-Time Count was 7,499. About 40% had been on the street less than a year. 
The City spends $305M per year to “combat” this. Mathematically, this works out to $43K per person per year. 

CapnAmerica: It’s a Chinese Finger Puzzle.. the more you spend on the homeless, the more of them are attracted here for the Freebies. Sad.

CHERYL: There are so many laws on the books to handle this problem. Mental illness is not an excuse for aggressive and hostile action. The police are impotent due to the DA not enforcing what they bring. The city does not enforce sit and lie law, shooting up on the street and aggressive panhandling. This has become a lawless city and I for one am appalled by the lack of enforcement of crime

RichDavid: Mentally ill need to be rounded up and taken off the streets and put somewhere for treatment. Shooting drugs on the street in plain sight need to be rounded up and put in detox centers...It should be against the law to shoot up in public.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/SF-tourist-industry-struggles-to-explain-street-12534954.php

Laura's Law is Working

March 11, 2018
In 2017, San Francisco saw 82 mentally ill people wreferred for help under the law. The majority accepted help voluntarily, while the city sought court-mandated treatment in 17 percent of cases.

Laura’s Law was been slow to be implemented, the program to compel treatment of mentally ill people that the Board of Supervisors bickered about for four years? It finally passed in 2014 and took effect in November 2015. Mayor Mark Farrell, who championed Laura’s Law as a supervisor, says still more needs to be done.

"Before, there was an attitude that we were violating civil rights by seeking to treat those with mental illness on our streets,” Farrell said. “The tide is shifting now where we believe the vast majority of San Francisco would agree we’re doing these individuals and their families a disservice if we don’t seek treatment for them.

“No one’s getting better sleeping on our streets at night,” he continued. “No one’s getting cured of their mental illness by being off their meds sleeping on the street. To me, it’s a matter of common sense. We just need the willpower as a city to do something about it, and we’re finally moving in the right direction”

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Laura-s-Law-is-helping-many-but-still-only-12742813.php

 

California steps in after Trump ends SFPD oversight
Feb 5, 2018

Police Chief William Scott, who replaced Greg Suhr in 2017, said his department has applied more than half of the nearly 300 recommendations from the Department of Justice [ DOJ] and seen results. In 2017, use of force decreased 18 percent and complaints against officers dropped 8.5 percent, he said.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will fulfill the oversight role of the DOJ. Scott said he was pleased to have an independent party overseeing the reforms because "it gives us credibility, transparency and more importantly, this is about maintaining and building trust with the community that we serve."

sfgate.com/news/article/California-to-oversee-San-Francisco-s-police-12551875.php

Among the most welcome coming changes is SF Police Chief Bill Scott has unveiled plans to station property-crimes  investigators at all 10 stations.

The Mission's "Hairball" is very public Chop Shop Central

In the space beneath San Francisco’s infamous “Hairball,” the thick knot of highway arteries looping above Cesar Chavez Street, Potrero Avenue and Bayshore Boulevard, lie the trappings of  a bicycle graveyard.

 

Among the challenges police face is that they often can’t confiscate a suspected stolen bike unless it has a serial number through which a victim can prove ownership. Owners are urged to upload photos and serial numbers to a website called SAFE Bikes, run by a nonprofit group and the Police Department.  The police Twitter account, @SFPDBikeTheft, used to be a source of help for officers posted photos of pilfered two-wheelers. But the officer who ran the account was promoted, and now it’s rarely updated.

SF vehicle break-ins at record levels

In 2011, the San Francisco Police Department reported 10,197 vehicle break-ins. That number rose to 26,040 in 2015 and to 24,624 in 2016. This year’s record of more than 28,000 will be higher once break-ins from the holiday shopping season are tallied. The hardest-hit area was the Mission District, where car break-ins have gone up 86 percent from last year.

In October of 2017 Chief Scott created a citywide General Crimes Investigation Unit. The 48-person team, including 13 civilians with the crime analysis unit, will look into auto break-ins, along with home burglaries, robberies and bicycle thefts.

One of the things we continue to see is there are a small amount of people that do this for a living,” Chief Scott said. “They break into cars. They’re organized."

Assigning more officers to foot patrol in hopes of deterring criminals as of September as a method of  discouraging thieves has not shown up as yet statistically.

sfchronicle.com/crime/article/SF-vehicle-break-ins-at-record-levels-police-try-12464043.php

sfchronicle.com/news/article/SFPD-s-new-plan-on-property-crimes-dedicated-12480401.php

sfchronicle.com/crime/article/DIY-crime-fighters-try-to-roll-back-bike-theft-12502750.php

 

Bike Registration as a Solution should be considered
Counting on a DPW crackdown on chop shops is wishful thinking 

"The only solution to this problem is requiring all bicycles in San Francisco to have a license which is renewed every year or two. That or a purchase receipt for the bicycle or parts should be required. I would like to hear how the Bicycle coalition feels about this which might reduce thefts at a small cost to owners that are getting a lot of city spending on bike lanes. 
This is the only way to determine who legally owns a bicycle so that the homeless can prove they bought the bicycle. 
Bicycle shops could issue the licenses for new bikes and maybe even be a point of sale for licenses with part of the fee going to the shop. Less bureaucracy and small income source for small business seems like a win win. (as proposed by SFChronicle reader Michael below)

Portland's Police Department Agrees that serial numbers are useless unless registered. 

https://sfsafe.org/safe-bikesSAFE has partnered with the San Francisco Police Department and dedicated community members to create SAFE Bikes. SAFE Bikes maintains a registry to help get your bike back to you in case it’s stolen,

nextdoor.com/agency-post/or/portland/portland-police-bureau/bike-registration-event-51217523/

sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-proposal-targets-bike-chop-shops-as-12247776.php

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sf-bicycle-chop-shop-crackdown-law-headed-toward-approval/

 

Retail Vacancy Rate Increasing, Formula Retail Regulation Blamed 
as well as the proverbial "greedy landlords"

Special to S.F. Examiner) By Hans Hansson president, principal and founding partner at Starboard Commercial Real Estate. on February 7, 2018

WE MUST ACT NOW

Coupled with more regulations and requirements from the Planning Department, The City has made it extremely difficult, costly and unprofitable for smaller businesses to even want to open their doors at all. From permits and construction costs, to new labor requirements and the high-cost of living, the risk to open or even stay in business is simply too high to take in San Francisco. 

In addition to the extended time it takes for a new business to get confirmation that their store was approved — estimated between 9 months and 14 months — there are additional costs that make opening any retail business in The City extremely costly and hard to do. 

We are now on the brink of seeing massive amounts of vacant retail space throughout our city if our leaders do nothing to fix the formula retail issue. Already, we are seeing larger new residential projects in Potrero Hill and along Market street with retail spaces still empty, regardless of the incentives landlords are providing to attract new tenants. The few tenants that do open are struggling because it takes the larger, anchor retailers to generate traffic for surrounding businesses. Rarely can any single retailer attract enough traffic to support their business. 

I invite The City first to consider ways to streamline the current formula retail requirements so that instead of a retailer facing up to one or more years to find out if they’ve been accepted by a neighborhood

http://www.sfexaminer.com/san-franciscos-formula-retail-laws-dead-end-businesses/

HOODLINE in-depth 2015 Upper Market / Casto Study

The causes and solutions range as wide as the people we talked to, who cited everything from rent to city regulations to the internet to quality-of-life issues (like homelessness) when explaining what’s wrong, and what should be fixed.

When asked why she thinks there are more retail vacancies today than in 2015, Andrea Aiello, the Castro CBD’s executive director, told us that many five-year commercial leases have come up for renewal, and tenants aren’t able to re-sign at higher prices.

http://hoodline.com/2017/03/castro-retail-vacancy-rising

Feb 2018"Because there is less retail, maybe we have to look at broadening what is allowed on the ground floor,” said Workforce Development Deputy Director Joaquin Torres

"We need some sticks to deal with owners who are absent and not responsive,” he said. “We have seen the shift from mom-and-pop owners to corporate investors who are absent and not involved in the community.” Mark McHale, a board member of the Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association

sfchronicle.com/politics/article/SF-supervisors-want-something-done-about-long-12553736.php

Vacant storefronts are prevalent throughout the city, leading some to wonder whether the demise of small businesses is a warping side effect of economic prosperity. It’s particularly unsettling in Cow Hollow, a patchwork of old bars, hair salons and beachy cafes in one of the most affluent areas of San Francisco.

by Rachel Swan sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Cow-Hollow-shops-struggle-to-survive-12553521.php

 

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