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The problems with the gig economy and a housing ‘crisis’ bill

June 24, 2019

Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The problems with the gig economy…

Supes hold a hearing on Uber, Lyft, and their ilk — and planners look at a state measure [SB 330] that does nothing for affordable housing. That’s The Agenda for June 23-30…

The gig economy and its problems are big news all over the country. California is moving to crack down on some huge, profitable companies that use (for example) drivers as “independent contractors” and pay no social security, disability, or health benefits for their workers.

Tech companies love this model – they get all the benefits and none of the responsibility. Uber can randomly change the amount it pays its drivers, randomly fire anyone who it doesn’t like, and randomly change all the rules. You don’t like it? Don’t drive any more (and never mind that you may have bought a car and taken on a loan based on Uber’s false promises)…

The Board of Supes Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee will hold a hearing on all of this Friday/28. It’s not clear what San Francisco can do locally – the Big Tech companies love to go to Sacramento and get local rules overturned, which is why Uber and Lyft exist – but there’s one clear question the committee members can ask:

Why is the city spending money supporting companies that screw their workers?Why is it okay for city workers, using city money, to take Uber and Lyft to events?

The meeting’s at 10:30am, in City Hall Room 263…(more)

Friday June 28, 10:30 AM – agenda

Room 263 City Hall Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee Special Meeting
2. 190722 Hearing – Status of Worker Rights in California’s Gig Economy – Hearing on the current state of worker rights in California’s gig economy, and to analyze the potential impacts of the 2018 California Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision and California State Assembly Bill 5 on worker rights; and requesting the Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement to report.

Housing ‘crisis’ bill

The Planning Commission will hear a report Thursday/27 on a housing measure making its way through the state Legislature that would have significant impacts on the city.

SB 330, by Sen. Nancy Skinner of Berkeley (who once upon a time, when we were both a whole lot younger, was a stalwart progressive who seemed to understand economic inequality, the failures of markets, and the need for regulating development) would make it easier for private market-rate builders to construct housing in cities like San Francisco.…(more)

Crisis means immediate action, not long term changes to our system of government that will take years to have any effect over than to remove the public from the decision-making process, essentially handing more power to the upper elite. No matter how to present the bills that are stripping away our citizen rights, what is at stake is loss of liberty. That is why many organizations around the state have joined a non-partisan effort to stop these draconian bills.

A real crisis solution would be to do something now.

Thursday, June 27, 1 PM – agenda
Room 400 City Hall Planning Commission
The SF Planning Department will present an analysis of SB 330.
E. Public Comment
11. SB 330 Housing Crisis Act of 2019 – Informational Presentation –Bill establishing a statewide housing emergency until 2025, during which time certain localities would be prohibited from reducing zoned capacity for housing, reducing housing density below what is permitted under existing zoning and the General Plan for proposed projects, or imposing certain new parking and design standards. In these jurisdictions, the demolition of existing affordable housing would be prohibited unless certain conditions are met. In all localities, the bill would generally limit the number of public hearings for code-complying housing projects, expedite some review timeframes, guarantee the zoning regulations in place at the time of a first application for up to three years, and allow for localities to delay enforcement of certain building code violations for “occupied substandard buildings” at the request of the property owner.Preliminary Recommendation: None – Informational.


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