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Who’s Ready to Go Back to Normal?

May 7, 2021

by Benjamin Schneider : sfweekly – excerpt

A wide-ranging poll explores how people’s views on commuting, housing, and other topics have shifted since the pandemic.

Strap in your seatbelts, because “a lot of the most critical questions of our time are about to be revealed to you.” …

That’s how John Grubb, chief operating officer of the Bay Area Council, began a recent presentation on the business group’s latest opinion poll. The poll puts numbers behind several trends that have long been relegated to the realm of pure speculation, including the permanence of remote work, how people’s travel habits might shift post-pandemic, and how people’s political views have evolved over the past year.

The poll reveals that for many people in the Bay Area, there’s no going back to normal after the pandemic — especially when it comes to the work habits of highly educated, higher-income people. It also shows that in their heart of hearts, many people in the Bay Area aren’t actually that liberal on many issues. Despite that, policymakers might have some ins to enact major policy changes in areas like housing and transportation…

Corresponding to these shifts, people’s support for new housing construction declined slightly. 71 percent of respondents support policies that make it easier to build housing near transit and commercial areas, down from 78 percent in 2019 and 2020. 59 percent support new housing in their neighborhoods, compared to 64 percent in 2019 and 2020. Still, polling on this issue contrasts mightily with the actions of many local politicians who remain hostile to most housing construction. …(more)

SF General Hospital to reduce reliance on deputies for security

May 4, 2021

By Michael Barca, Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

As the nation explores alternatives to policing, city health officials have found that law enforcement may not be the best answer for all their security needs at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and other facilities.

The Department of Public Health has released new details of a proposal that calls for replacing some of the sheriff’s deputies who guard its medical facilities with teams of trained mental health professionals…(more)

I know that our neighbors are most concerned about the way changes are happening at SF General and the development project next on the original Farm site. If anyone wants to comment or have a meeting or discussion on these let us know.

Tomorrow CSFN Land Use and Transportation Commission and Misison Verde are sponsoring a Town Hall on the city’s trees and the program Mission Verde establishing to support the preservation and health of the trees

Details are here: https://csfn.net/wp/index.php/csfn-events/

TownHall

First Wednesday, May 5, 4:30 PM
Land Use and Transportation Committee
Mission Verde Presents – Live on Zoom

Find out about The Tress on 24th Street
Many of you attended meetings about the trees where agreements were made on replacing them. Find out what happened and what the future looks like for 24th Street and many others. Everyone is invited.
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84386587854?pwd=RSszKy9jbkR4cXIzeXB4MG5IZnBSUT09

Meeting ID: 843 8658 7854
Passcode: 967961

Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 301 715 8592 US

S.F. City Attorney Herrera dishes on City Hall scandal, schools lawsuit, Tenderloin drug dealers and more

April 28, 2021

By Heather Knight : msn – excerpt

City Attorney Dennis Herrera has fought for gun control, same-sex marriage rights, universal health care and climate change protections. He’s taken on everyone from President Trump to bad landlords.

But after 20 busy years, Herrera is leaving his job — if Mayor London Breed’s nomination of him to lead the city’s troubled Public Utilities Commission wins approval. The FBI in November charged the agency’s previous general manager, Harlan Kelly, with accepting bribes from a city contractor and permit consultant.

In a wide-ranging interview, Herrera said he was ready to leave his current gig because he doesn’t want to be defined “simply by having a title.” He and Breed meet a few times a month, and both agreed there was a void at the top of the PUC, an agency that often flies under-the-radar but is essential in the lives of San Franciscans who value fresh drinking water, sewage treatment and clean power…

Herrera discussed the highlights and lowlights of his tenure as city attorney and what’s next in the corruption probe. To listen to the whole conversation, check out Wednesday’s episode of the Fifth and Mission podcast at www.sfchronicle.com/fifth(more)

Gov. Gavin Newsom to face recall election as Republican-led effort hits signature goal

April 27, 2021

by Phil Willon and Taryn Luna : sfexaminer – excerpt

Los Angeles Times

Propelled by growing voter frustration over California’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Republican-led drive to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office collected enough voter signatures to qualify for the ballot, state officials reported Monday, triggering for only the second time in the state’s history a rapid-fire campaign to decide whether to oust a sitting governor.

Recall backers submitted more than 1,495,709 verified voter signatures — equal to 12% of all ballots cast in the last gubernatorial election — meeting the minimum threshold to force a special recall election, according to a tally released by Secretary of State Shirley Weber. Barring intervention by the courts, Newsom will face a statewide vote of confidence by year’s end…

Before the recall petition can be certified by Weber, voters who signed the petitions will be given time to withdraw their signatures and state officials will crunch the numbers on the cost to conduct the election, steps that could take up to three months to complete. Only then can Weber issue her official certification, triggering action by Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis to call an election within 60 to 80 days.…(more)

Voters in all parties object to the new state housing and transportation bills, high gas tax and the failing water and power system, the breakdown of EDD and DMV and other essential services. These are not partisan issues.

Facebook’s housing echo chamber

April 23, 2021

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

Zuckerberg money funds news outlets that repeat Zuckerberg group’s supply-side position on the housing crisis.

In 2019, I reported in 48 hills that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was using mega-grants to shape California housing law and policy. CZI gave Enterprise Community Partners $500,000 to draft and then lobby for Assemblymember David Chiu’s AB 1487, the law that authorized the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to become a one-stop regional planning agency overseeing transportation and housing and to levy taxes on the nine-county Bay Area; CZI formally endorsed that bill.

CZI also gave the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley nearly a million dollars: $440,000 for unspecified uses and $500,000 to start a Housing Lab—essentially, a development incubator under the aegis of the celebrated public university.

I didn’t realize that Chan Zuckerberg was also using its largesse to try to shape California housing news…(more)

SOLD OUT KQED’s housing series was funded with Facebook money(more)

Nuru scandal: Feds charge second former Recology executive with bribery

April 17, 2021

By Michael Barca : sfexaminer – excerpt

A second former Recology executive is facing charges for allegedly bribing ex-Public Works head Mohammed Nuru with a $20,000 payment that was disguised as a donation to a nonprofit for children.

John Porter, a former vice president for the trash company, is the 11th defendant charged in the ongoing public corruption scandal that has roiled City Hall since Nuru first was accused of fraud in January 2020.

Porter allegedly signed off on a $20,000 donation from Recology to the Lefty O’Doul’s Foundation for Kids in November 2018 as he sought to raise fees that the company charged The City for dumping materials, according to the newly unsealed complaint filed against him Tuesday. Authorities say the funds were used to pay for the annual Public Works holiday party instead of benefiting children…(more)

Advocates hammer Biden over landlords defying eviction ban

April 16, 2021

By John Kruzel and Rebecca Beitsch : thehill – excerpt

President Biden is coming under fire from housing advocates who say his administration is turning a blind eye as landlords seek to boot tens of thousands of cash-strapped renters from their homes despite a nationwide eviction freeze.

Tenant rights groups say the Department of Justice (DOJ) has yet to file a single criminal charge for violations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium, which carries penalties of up to $200,000 and a year in jail.

“I think it would be helpful if they prosecuted landlords who are violating the law,” said Isaac Sturgill, an attorney at Legal Aid of North Carolina. “From my knowledge, DOJ hasn’t been enforcing the order. It does make it look more like a paper tiger.”

Enacted in September as a public health measure, the CDC order aims to mitigate the spread of coronavirus by helping financially distressed tenants remain in their homes, instead of forcing them into homeless shelters or other crowded living spaces…(more)

When is a law applicable and enforceable? Who follows them nowadays? We have heard repeatedly about evictions and forced moves in San Francisco during the pandemic “No Evictions Edict”. Governments are really good at laying down the law, but, not so good on the followup process. Big complaints are being raised against San Francisco and some of their non-profit affordable housing management contractors. How does Mercy Housing benefit from forcing tenants to move to make room for new tenants? Who is going to replace the SIP hotel tenants? Who is going to figure this out? Must we wait another decade for the FBI to investigate?

Protect Neighborhoods by Saving Zoning

April 16, 2021

by Bob Irvin : newgeography – excerpt

Atlanta, your city government is trying to trick you.

Now that sentence, all by itself, may not seem to you like a “man-bites-dog” lead.

But it is the truth, and you deserve to understand what your city government is up to. Under the cover of working to increase affordable housing, which everybody supports, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ administration is proposing to completely gut the zoning and development laws of the city. They know that not many people support that, which is why they aren’t talking about it much. In fact, every homeowner in the city should stand up and oppose it.

Here are some of the things that the Bottoms administration’s “housing plan” proposes to do, as found starting on page 43 of its massive 88 page document, “Atlanta City Design Housing:”(more)

and

Historically Black and White Neighborhoods Share Opposition to Affordable Housing Apartment Complexes
by Douglas Newby

The Dallas Morning News editorial, A Blow to Affordable Housing, illuminates the opposition to the affordable housing apartment complex by the historically Black neighborhood, Hamilton Park. They are joined by the ethnically diverse neighborhood area of Stults Road in their opposition to this proposed apartment complex named Cypress Creek at Forest Lane. The Dallas Morning News should be complimented for keeping the focus on the need to chip away at the Dallas shortage of 20,000 affordable homes. The Dallas Morning News should be lauded even more for opening up the discussion of the potential benefits versus the potential detriments of inserting developer subsidized housing in neighborhoods that don’t want them, including the historic black neighborhood of Hamilton Park…(more)

You can add a lot of cities to the list. In fact there are claims that Biden’s Infrastructure Bill has a lot of elements of this program in it. I haven’t had time to check, but, there are a pair of bills in Washington labeled YIMBY laws that appear to be the equivalent of SB9 and SB10 in California. The “Building Opportunity Bills” could produce a national tragedy if they remove the ability of middle class citizens to own their own homes by removing single family zoning protections. The people who came after our cars are now mowing down our trees, building over the private back yards that contain most of the green space in our cities. Why? What is the end game?

When did our Public Service Officials Lose their Way and Who will Pay?

April 13, 2021

By Sebra Leaves : medium – excerpt

One of the many private gardens that became a victim of up-zoning in San Francisco

No matter where people move they are displacing someone somewhere unless they move into a vacant place. Right now the vacancies are in the shiny new downtown office complexes, luxury condos, and apartments that were abandoned by the people they were built for. These towers could house the people they displaced, but, that will never happen. They will sit empty for a while, reminding us of our government’s over-indulgence in planning and spending on future predictions that failed to materialize.

As proximity to offices become irrelevant, the demand shifts from city condos to suburban and rural homes, driving prices higher and displacing a new population of non-urban residents. The state is in a state of upheaval as people jockey for bigger homes with more amenities. Consumer needs and desires have changed the smart market will follow with a new set of products and services to meet that demand….(more)

Applause is welcome at the source.

The Bay Area is Ground Zero for UBI

April 9, 2021

by Benjamin Schneider : sfweekly – excerpt

From Stockton to Oakland, Santa Clara to San Francisco, guaranteed income is gaining traction and proving effective.

“I’m hella proud of Oakland today,” Michael Tubbs said during a recent press event announcing one of the nation’s largest ever guaranteed income programs. Tubbs, the former mayor of Stockton who has become a national champion of guaranteed income, is starting to see his advocacy bear fruit downriver. Oakland is just one of several Bay Area cities or counties to announce a guaranteed income program in recent weeks, joining Marin, Santa Clara, and San Francisco.

For years, the Bay Area has served as the intellectual and financial epicenter of the movement for a universal basic income (UBI), which seeks to provide everyone, or almost everyone, with an unconditional payment every month — like a stimulus check that keeps on coming. Now, the Bay Area is rapidly becoming a hotspot for more targeted guaranteed income experiments. These programs provide a no-strings-attached monthly income to specific vulnerable populations, including pregnant women, artists and youth aging out of the foster care system.

But the boosters of these guaranteed income pilots are explicit in their desire to see them scale into something closer to UBI in the hopes that, someday, such policies could eliminate poverty altogether. These efforts could also intersect with other progressive policy goals, like reparations for Black people. A lot of work — and debate — remains before these revolutionary aspirations become a reality. But advocates in the Bay Area are planting the seeds…(more)

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