|Watching City Hall #185
The Privatization/Gentrification of Frisco
The world is too much with us.
Getting and spending, we lay waste our power.
Ive spent the last three years or so ranting about the demise of the San Francisco that drew me here and the World Class (means full of offices and pollution) City that is quickly replacing it. I rant about those who have sold out our air and water and power and trees and harbors and golf courses and stables. I was incensed when our elected officials used their power over the Hetch-Hetchy right-of-way to create 50 years of quarry dust for the little town of Sunol which did nothing more than be in the way of a fast buck. Ive been particularly alarmed by the reanimation of the Hearst monster, grown larger and hungrier and soon-to-be alone as a daily San Francisco paper. Imagine the lone San Francisco daily being a paper that censors not only their news but also, their employees. Imagine not being allowed to protest in San Francisco!
So, forgive if I meander but it is early (9am) and I only have 3 hours of smoking pot in. I did have one glass of wine too. Theres another of those ponies my Palestinian buddy, Mar Wan sells me for a buck and a half on the corner. (Look for one of his nite counter men to do a column in English and Arabic in my new rag, da SFBulldog.com which is coming along nicely.) So, I have another glass of wine & plenty of pot to finish this column for the last SFCall.com posting before Betsey Culp (Call Publisher and chief writer) before Betsey goes out to the garden to dig in the soil, trying to regain her perspective (and blood pressure, no doubt) Shell be back. If theres not a full Call (complete with Watching City Hall, I hope) on your electronic doorstep a month before the November election, Ill kiss Warren Hinckles dogs butt (its a very short dog)) in Union Square on election day. Speaking of which
He still thinks theyre his parties
Id like to invite each and every one of you to Board President, Matt Gonzalezs office tomorrow (Friday, June 6th) from 5-8pm to meet most of the contributors to the new Bulldog (thats at www.sfbulldog.com). Wine is free until its gone, then a liter of tequila or two are likely to show up. Oh, there will be a new art show on the walls too and please act like thats why youre there. What you and I will be having is kind of a party-within-a-party whatever that means. Its a secret thing. To me, it means that I cant afford to buy booze and I have no place of my own but I like to be able to get together with my friends. I mean, yuh know? Huh? Huh? So, I piggy-back on Matts parties. Is that wrong? He knows. If I come late, he always asks something like: Wheres your posse? I always answer something like: You dont even know how to pronounce it. Matt likes eccentric people. He thinks were all geniuses. Actually, were all crazy. Still, it makes for a good party by City Hall standards. Everyone likes Matt and you get to rub elbows with your heroes/villains all in the same 3 rooms. It is a hugely eclectic and supremely San Francisco crowd. Be there without a care. Lord, I hope they really give that boy a pay raise. I understand Newsom is arguing before the Civil Service Commission that the supes will only use their money on alcohol and drugs. While this is mostly certainly probably true, it nevertheless stimulates the economy. I mean, cmon Gavin, the Kennedy family is your model right? Bunch of whiskey running criminals. Wait! So are you! OK, point in your favor where was I?
Oh yeah, the new progressive Board has failed to halt privatization and gentrification. Theyve accepted a mathematical demographic definition of affordable housing which, essentially precludes the construction of housing (in any form) for anyone making under 50k a year. Basically, that means (without a subsidy) there will shortly be no space for most writers and dancers and musicians and waiters the Board has failed.
It is time therefore to issue my yearly report card evaluating the members of our esteemed Board of Supervisors. We will go in reverse order this year, listing those with failing marks first.
Daly leads charge to the right
(Grade for year F)
Since Chris Dalys re-election as 6th District Supervisor in the most dynamic development area in the City, he has not only completely gone over to the side of developers wishing to gentrify his area, but his chief of staff, Bill Barnes has told numerous people that he (Barnes) plans to run against 5th District Supervisor, Matt Gonzalez in District #5 next year. Apparently emboldened by newly manufactured ties to the Residential Builders Association and the Burton machine, Barnes signaled his intentions by opposing Instant Runoff Voting for the Democratic Central Committees elections. The new Daly machine has already fronted for thousands of new market rate housing in his district while thousands of such units already stand empty. A Demo insider says word is out that Barnes may be a straight spy for Jack Davis. You believe that? It will be interesting to see which of Dalys insiders is first to defect. The camp has some of the Lefts finest minds and not many of these people are going to want to expend their energies on projects that actually displace their constituency. Bottom line on Daly is that he was elected twice (both times w/my support) as a force against displacement and gentrification. Both remain rampant in his district & on his watch. Hes the biggest disappointment on the Board.
Maxwell firmly in Willies camp
(Grade for year F)
Theres a cruise ship sitting down in Dalys District #6 boat parking lot now. It is putting out (according to the Guardian) pollution equivalent to that of over 10,000 automobiles. One plan presented before a Board committee to solve this problem is to move the cruise ship terminal a little further south & park it at a pier in Sophie Maxwells district. I thought that was kind of funny in a macabre sort of way. I mean, hell the blacks down there already get all of our doo & pee (Im for re-opening the treatment plant next to the St. Francis Yacht Club & letting the rich smell their own stuff yeah, theres a plant there the City uses it as a carpentry shop now) the crap goes to Hunters Point. The worst polluting power plant is in District 10. District 10 supe Sophie Maxwell should chain herself to the gates of that power plant. She should be joined by Amos Brown and Arnold Townsend and Charlie Walker. She wont. Instead, theyre backing the white developers of Linnar LLC. Maxwell will (assuming Board rubber-stamp) be assigned as a kind of Csarina over the expedited populating of the radiation soaked former Navy shipyard. Crap smoke nuclear radiation Hell of a place to call home.
Then, theres Ammiano
(Grade for year F)
Around 3 or 4 years ago, then Board President Tom Ammiano began negotiating on behalf of a growing citizens group opposed to the unchecked installation of micro-wave antennas used to transmit cell-phone traffic. Armed with new research data showing that the transmissions can alter dna, the group called for a moratorium on placing additional antennas. Experts testified that 50 antenna arrays could easily cover the entire City (if the companies share facilities) Whats ole Tom done about that? Nuttin honey! Yeah, at last count we were up to 2,500 antennas!! Barely a hitch in the unleashing of cosmic energy turning San Francisco into one big micro-wave oven. Ya know, I hate to bring that up. Id rather simply back off and wait for Supervisor Ammiano to drop out of the race for Mayor with as much luster as possible remaining. I fear his ego may not allow that. Hes taken to thinking more of himself than the greater good and thats gotta harm his legacy. Recall that in January, Ammiano allied himself with Willie Brown in trying to make Sophie Maxwell, Board President. Tom is an old champion in desperate denial. He and Willie Brown are both on their way out and both are exiting poorly. Its kind of fitting that both these icons of the Left & the Right should both go out with the same term limits tide. Oh, theyll both survive. Doing what they do best. Tom will repair his rudder and return to his roots of championing progressive Gay causes. Willie? Hell keep lying and cheating and stealing until he goes to claim his 72 Virgins in the hereafter (and they wont be virgins long).
What about Sandoval?
Gerardos gotta go
(Grade for year F)
11th District Supervisor, Gerardo Sandoval has two distinctions. First, he was the only supe who voted in favor of Sprint (without comment) in the debate in which the public first swayed the Board (amazingly, this Board is still sometimes swayed meaning, they dont all come in bought-off with money in their pockets and a predetermined vote on every issue) Gerardo voted with the micro-wave people, even after about a hundred speakers and every other member of the Board decided against (a first) the placement of an antenna site. Sandoval also ranks first in the horrible rumors category. Im gonna leave you hanging there and save the real dirt for next year when someone like Roberta Silverberg (Id prefer Richard Marquez) takes him on out of public office. Trust me on this one you cant trust him.
Gavin is already bored with being Mayor
(Grade for year F minus)
Attacking the poor. Mouthpiece for the rich. Pretty standard credentials for a Republican standard bearer. Unusual for someone who claims to be a Democrat. Dont let the label fool you, the boy is a hell of a lot closer to John Ashcroft than he is to John Kennedy. You know, hes brought on a strange phenomenon in my life. People keep coming up and patting me on the shoulder and telling me not to worry. Newsom is too transparent for San Francisco. They tell me the pollsters and consultants are merely whacking the Getty bank account and that even they know that Gavin Newsom can never be Mayor in this town. I hope theyre right. But, I know one thing. He can beat Ammiano in a runoff and, without IRV implementation, thats what well have.
Thats 5 F grades in a row. Now, you might disagree with me but that would only mean you are getting money or some other form of compensation from the local rich (swells historically) Yep, I truly think those 5 supes need replaced. The sooner the better. Of course, I understand it doesnt happen that way. You can isolate them though. You can refuse to give time or money to efforts by Chris Daly to undermine the Green Party (thats what hell do you know he is now a junior member of the Brown/Burton machine). You can ignore anything Sophie Maxwell reads to you from a paper. Willie Browns white lawyers wrote it and Amos Brown added his scent sos it would pass for black. You can completely and totally ignore Gerardo Sandoval. The rest, you know enough about already.
Close it out
Like the Call, I never really die. Ill carry on with my yearly evaluation of the Board in tomorrows Bulldog if, we can get the proper codes and the like for putting it online after drinking all of Gonzalezs wine this afternoon. Right now, I gotta make a noon deadline, sos I can be in last edition.
Smile, dream, dare: