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More than a million people in SF? Did anyone ask you?

November 29, 2016

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

New regional plan, adopted with little public input, pushes massive growth for San Francisco – with no promise of money for transit or social equity

It’s hard not to be riveted by the terrifying advance of Donald Trump’s presidency. But it would be a huge mistake to ignore less sensational exercises in autocracy, especially those occurring at home. One such operation, which has gone virtually unnoticed, is the continuing travesty of democratic governance known as Plan Bay Area.

Mandated by SB 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008, Plan Bay Area is our nine-county region’s Sustainable Community Strategy—a so-called blueprint that knits together transportation and land use plans and investments for each region in California so as to accommodate the area’s projected growth of jobs and households and at the same time meet its official greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets…

“Infrastructure drives development…”
If that is true, and we want to slow growth and cut emissions, cutting taxes is a good start.

Unelected officials run the show

Plan Bay Area’s autocratic character is rooted in the un-democratic governance of the regional agencies under whose aegis it proceeds, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments. Both entities are putatively overseen by unelected officials—to be precise, elected officials (mayors, city councilmembers, and county supervisors) who were not elected to serve on MTC or the ABAG Executive Board. It follows that when they run for office or re-election, their positions on Plan Bay Area and the regional agencies’ other projects never come up.

Scott Wiener sits on MTC, and Jane Kim is on the ABAG Executive Board, but during their hotly contested campaigns for state senate, nobody asked about MTC’s hostile takeover of ABAG last May (Wiener supported it—vociferously, accusing opponents of “throwing rocks at MTC”; Kim was absent for the Ex. Board’s May 19 vote on the matter) or their positions on Plan Bay Area’s gigantic growth forecasts and allocations for San Francisco and the 11th State Senate District, and its implications for displacement and housing affordability or local control of development…

Note: For an incisive critique of the Draft Preferred Scenario’s equity failures, see the 6 Wins for Social Equity Network’s October 13 letter to MTC and ABAG...(more)

Please read and share this article. It is one of the most important to come out since the election. Voters all over the Bay Area want to Slow Growth. Will San Francisco voters join them in this effort to push back against the Plan Bay Area?

No public deliberation in San Francisco

The Preferred Draft Scenario never came before the Board of Supervisors. It appeared only on the agenda of San Francisco County Transportation Authority, the congestion management agency for the city and county of San Francisco. SFCTA’s governing board meets on the fourth Tuesday morning of every month. Staff proposal for San Francisco’s input on the Preferred Draft Scenario was on the Authority’s September and October agendas. At those meetings, not one supervisor asked a question or remarked on staff’s proposed comments to MTC and ABAG. Nobody spoke at public comment. On October 25, the SFCTA unanimously approved the staff recommendations…

Ballot box rebellion in the burbs

Defying the growth autocracy is a daunting task, if only because its leading supporters—the real estate industry moguls now joined by the tech oligarchs—pour millions of dollars into local politicians’ campaigns for office. But those powers are not invulnerable.

On November 17, after Heminger, Rogers, and Switzky had advocated changes in state law that would enable MTC and ABAG to force cities to approve the new housing stipulated by Plan Bay Area, Alameda County District 1 Supervisor and MTC Commissioner Scott Haggerty reported that on November 8 every incumbent in his district had lost. The yard signs, he said, all railed against “rampant growth.”…

Would San Franciscans join a slow growth revolt?

Not, to state the obvious, if it’s made in the name of protecting suburban character…

In any case, San Franciscans ought to demand that the supervisors, their elected representatives, publicly vet Plan Bay Area’s big-picture growth agenda. Democracy, like autocracy, begins at home.

Note: For an incisive critique of the Draft Preferred Scenario’s equity failures, see the 6 Wins for Social Equity Network’s October 13 letter to MTC and ABAG… (more)

Please read and share this article. It is one of the most important to come out since the election. Voters all over the Bay Area want to Slow Growth. Will San Francisco voters join them in this effort to push back against the Plan Bay Area?

Zelda has outdone herself with this one. If this doesn’t grab the public’s attention, nothing will. A growing disgust with forced growth and constant change brought to us by the Plan Bay Area has united the most unlikely of allies in our efforts to stop the too fast too soon changes being crammed down our throats.

Not surprised to hear that incumbents where removed from office. The only way citizens can revolt against city policies and priorities they detest is to remove the politicians backing them.

Mayor Ed Lee announced that he will be ignoring the wishes of the voters who passed props E, J, V and W almost immediately after the election. Even though voters supported street tree maintenance, health programs, affordable housing and free City College, that money will be going into the general fund, just as we predicted. The voters were bamboozled in less than a week this time. Will they buy the lipstick on the pig again?

RELATED:
Developers Aren’t Going to Solve the Housing Crisis in San Francisco
Housing Production, Filtering and Displacement: Untangling the Relationships

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2016 2:15 am

    Reblogged this on Grassroots Actions and commented:

    Will San Francisco voters join the slow growth movement active in surrounding Bay Area suburbs and counties and toss the pro-development politicians next time?

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. More than a million people in SF? Did anyone ask you? | SF CEQA
  2. More than a million people in San Fran? Did anyone ask you? - California Political Review

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