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Finally, a state Senate debate

September 28, 2020

By Tim Redmond : 4hills – excerpt

For months now, incumbent state Sen. Scott Wiener has not agreed to a single debate with his challenger, Jackie Fielder. That’s a common strategy for an incumbent with a money advantage who doesn’t want to give the challenger any additional media attention.

In this case, though, Fielder has been getting traction – she’s raised, all told, more than $600,000 and has donations from some 3,500 individual donors. She has the backing of the California Teachers Association and the United Educators of San Francisco.

And Wiener has finally accepted one invitation.

The two will meet for a virtual discussion Saturday/3 at 1pm, sponsored by Manny’s. You can watch the livestream here(more)

Dianne Feinstein’s husband named in UC admissions scandal, says he wrote recommendation letters for connected applicants ‘a bunch of times’

September 26, 2020

By Nanette Asimov : sfchronicle – excerpt

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband finds himself in the middle of the latest University of California admissions scandal, accused in a state audit of improperly using his clout to help an applicant get into the elite public system. But Richard Blum, a UC regent, told The Chronicle he’s done nothing wrong and has been writing letters on behalf of many friends and family for years.

“I did it a bunch of times,” Blum said, adding that he has never considered it a problem to write recommendation letters directly to chancellors and bypassing the traditional admissions process. However, a policy prohibiting such influence has been in place throughout Blum’s 18-year tenure on the Board of Regents… (more)

California Association of Realtors’ Operation Local Growth

September 14, 2020

By Sharon Rushton : marinpost – excerpt

This year, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) launched a lobbying effort to dramatically increase the allowable buildout of primarily market-rate housing throughout the state. The campaign has consisted of two arms:

1) “Operation Local Growth” and

2) Support of a pro-housing-supply package of bills.

Per the attached brochure released by C.A.R.;

Operation Local Growth seeks to target local elected officials who oppose growth in their communities by developing an offensive political strategy. The project seeks to, not only remove some of these elected officials from office, but also make a powerful political statement about the need for growth in California. The priority of this program is to send a clear message that C.A.R.’s philosophy to fix the housing crisis is to increase the supply of housing in California. As a result, C.A.R. plans to conduct aggressive campaigns to promote this message.”

How “Operation Local Growth” works: A local Association of Realtors (AOR) notifies C.A.R. of an elected official or candidate who opposes growth in his/her community. Then CREPAC (California Real Estate Political Action Committee) will move forward with an opposition research report and an opposition campaign against the named elected official/candidate. The notice states; “By requesting this program, the respective Local AOR acknowledges that the campaign will be mostly negative.”

“CREPAC” is a bipartisan Political Action Committee (PAC) that supports candidates who support association policies…

In his special report entitled; “Inside Game: California YIMBY, Scott Wiener, and Big Tech’s Troubling Housing Push”[1], award winning investigative journalist Patrick Range McDonald connected the dots about the relationships and money ties between Big Real Estate, Big Tech, California YIMBY, and Senator Scott Wiener. Senator Wiener authored 4 out of the 6 above-listed bills (SB-995, SB-902, SB-1120, SB-1385)….

Recommendation: If you support local control of land use and sustainable slow growth, then, in order to counterbalance C.A.R.’s lobbying efforts, donate to campaigns of candidates who espouse your views and oppose legislation that caters to the “trickle down” housing agenda...(more)

Read on for more details on how the the effort to urbanize America by taking over local governments works. Actions are taking place at state and local levels to stop this machine. Follow some of the actions here:

https://discoveryink.wordpress.com/sf-actions/

Wiener attacks SF supes

September 12, 2020

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

State Senator says board is not functional and harks back to his own days as a supe — which were only “collegial” when it meant helping Big Tech

State Sen. Scott Wiener Saturday lambasted the current Board of Supes, saying that members are “more concerned with scoring political points against the mayor than getting things done” and wistfully recalling his days on the board, when, he said, “we had better functionality.”

In a highly unusual move during a pandemic, the senator said that many of the supes were “personality not policy driven.”

He said that when he was on the board, “we did not have what’s happening now – we worked together to solve problems.”…(more)

Here we go. The choice is obvious. San Francisco voters will determine whether they want to continue to support density development principals or not. Not many people favor it these days. Real estate agents land owners and apartment managers are not looking to expand right now they are trying to survive like the rest of us. They don’t need any more competition from new developments when their apartments are empty. Stability and security is what we need now, and a reassessment of allocation of assets. None of this year’s developer bills tackled the affordability problem. They played loose with language and were overly repetitive.

San Francisco Measure H: Save Our Small Businesses Initiative

September 10, 2020

By Babette Thomas : kalw – excerpt (includes audio track)

Measure H is called the Save our Small Businesses Initiative. This prop intends to assist small businesses in San Francisco by making it easier for them to open and operate. If passed, it would speed up the process to get a permit. It will also give small businesses more flexibility to adapt to the pandemic. Some options include: pop-up retail in empty storefronts and using sidewalks and parking areas for outdoor dining…

Small businesses have struggled with rising rents in recent years. COVID-19 exacerbated these difficulties, and despite re-openings, these businesses are still getting a lot less foot traffic. Also, business permit applications for renovations and expansions can often be stalled for months, due to San Francisco’s zoning laws and a lengthy review process. Small business owners say, this has taken a heavy toll….

If you support shortening the permit review and approval process and expanding flexibility for San Francisco’s small businesses, vote yes on Measure H. If not, vote no.…(more)

Don’t be surprised if there are more guilty pleas soon in SF’s corruption scandal

September 10, 2020

By Phil Matier : sfchronicle – excerpt

Word is the U.S. Attorney’s Office will be announcing a new round of guilty pleas in its City Hall corruption investigation in the next week or so.

No word on who will be copping a plea, but given the feds’ method of operation, the guilty pleas often are part of an agreement to cooperate further for a possible reduction in sentence.

The investigation has already snared former Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru and a number of local contractors…

In another twist, word is that businessman Walter Wong, who is cooperating with the attorney’s office, kept a journal of his numerous dealings with city officials and others. Wong’s attorney did not return requests for comment… (more)

Former Treasure Island resident announces hospitalization for coronavirus, implicating radioactive island dust

September 10, 2020

By Carol Harvey :sfbayview – excerpt

“I got COVID. I can’t survive it.”

This text message, sent Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, by a friend of Otis Broughton, was a punch to my gut.

I met Otis in 2018. He has been a Facebook friend for two years.

I checked his page. His top post said: “I came in contact with a door handle, now I got COVID-19. It’s bad enough my immune system is compromised. I have emphysema and I might not make it out of this. I’m on my way to check in. Hope I check out the right way.”

When I phoned Otis, he explained that, after testing positive for coronavirus, he rushed to Mount Zion medical center in San Francisco…

“According to the staff, I have SARS-COVID2. It was a good thing I came early to the hospital because they caught it in the preliminary stages before it turned into full-blown COVID-19.”

The SARS-CoV2 virus enters the throat through the nose and mouth. It can stay in the throat before working its way down into the lungs. In full-blown COVID-19, lung tissues swell and fill with fluid and dead cell debris. This gluey mass blocks air transfer and has literally smothered to death 177,000 Americans as of Aug. 24, 2020…(more)

Monster in the Mission is now 100 percent affordable housing

September 9, 2020

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Ethics Commission is investigating Corruption and suggesting legislative changes.

On March 4, 2015 – more than five years ago – the developers who wanted to build a massive market-rate housing project at 16th and Mission presented their proposal at a community meeting.

They got nowhere

And Bert Polacci, a lobbyist for Maximus Partners, said what the company would repeat over and over for the next four years:

There can be no 100 percent affordable housing on the site. It’s a private venture, privately owned, and Maximus is going to make a profit on the deal. No, the land can’t be sold to the city for affordable housing; the site, Polacci told me, “is not for sale.”

Well guess what? Maximus just sold the property, and it will be 100 percent affordable housing… (more)

The Ethics Commission will discuss Friday/11 some potential changes to the laws around public officials receiving gifts. It’s the result of the ongoing FBI investigations into public corruption:

The commission staff is suggesting updates that would, among other things, make it a crime to give an illegal gift, as well as to receive one. The proposals include:…

Limiting or removing certain exceptions that allow for otherwise prohibited gifts, including the exceptions for gifts from personal friends and gifts of food and drink;…(more)

As wealth gap grows, America’s haves must step up for have-nots

September 7, 2020

By Otis R. Taylor Jr. : sfchronicle – excerpt

Dale Walker, a retired financial services executive, has been concerned about income inequality for years.

“We are advancing toward a highly stratified society of haves and have-nots,” Walker, a San Francisco resident, wrote in an October 2017 opinion piece published by The Chronicle. “This will make walking down the street unpleasant, maybe dangerous. Crime, drug addiction, homelessness and other societal costs will increase. Eventually, continuance of this trend will result in bloodshed and revolution.”

Walker is part of a group of well-off people who want to see a better country. They call themselves Patriotic Millionaires and, among other things, they want a guaranteed living wage and a fair tax system.

In other words, they want to spread the wealth…

After months of social unrest, including fatal shootings at protests in Wisconsin, Oregon and Kentucky, I wanted to hear how Walker feels about income equality today.…(more)

California legislators wanted to fund $600 in extra jobless benefits. What happened?

August 30, 2020

By Dustin Gardiner : sfchronicle – excerpt

SACRAMENTO — A month ago, California legislators were almost unbridled in their ambition to ease the financial pain the coronavirus pandemic is causing to people and the economy.

They proposed a $100 billion stimulus plan in July that called for backfilling an extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits if Congress didn’t extend the aid. They wanted to expand a host of safety-net programs, including increasing tax credits for low-income Californians.

But with lawmakers’ 2020 session drawing to a close Monday night, few of the major ideas have come to fruition. There will be no state-supplied extra jobless benefits and no expansion of low-income tax credit amounts.

Many pieces of legislators’ $100 billion proposal never even resulted in formal proposals. Besides the jobless benefit, they included:…

Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, who chairs the budget committee, was among the legislators who helped craft the stimulus plan outline. He said Newsom administration officials seemed open to some stimulus proposals, but that lawmakers and the governor were not able to reach agreement “given the time frame.”

Ting said legislators will continue to push their ideas into the fall…

President Trump has replaced $300 of the expired benefit by diverting federal disaster money, but funding is not expected to last more than a few weeks. If the federal money dries up, the average jobless payment in California could again be reduced to about $338 a week.…(more)

The Sacramento politicians were a bit too busy working for the developers to take care of the voters needs to improve the safety net that is leaking badly and barely sustaining the ordinary services the voters are accustomed to. Our Bay Area representatives didn’t get the memo about the urban exodus from the cities and the numerous new empty buildings property owners are nervously attempting to fill.

Our state representatives are stuck in the pre-pandemic 2019 mindset that compels them to pass dense housing bills. As most of the world attempts to meet the distancing challenge, our state officials continue their pre-pandemic plans to stack and pack us into confining spaces.

It is time to kill these bills. The virus as solved the housing shortage for now and there are plenty of entitled projects that may be renewed when the need arises. Let our officials know what you need from them.

Call or write Governor Newsom.

https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail

Call or write your assembly members. Leave a message citing the fatal flaws of SB 1120 and the other up-zoning bills. FIND your Assembly Member here. If you know your next-over Assembly member, call them too! Use their Sacramento office numbers!

Call or write your state Senator!
https://www.senate.ca.gov/senators

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