YIMBYs: The “Alt-Right” Darlings of the Real Estate Industry

By Toshio Meronek and Andrew Szeto : Truthout – excerpt

Rising city skyline from Bernal Heights by zrants

In San Francisco’s Mission District, flyers pasted on mailboxes and light poles warn longtime residents of the new “conquistadores,” the hordes of wealthy tech industrialists who’ve descended on the neighborhood en masse over the past few years, displacing many in the Latinx-heavy neighborhood to the outer reaches of the Bay Area.

But it’s not just lower-income people who are feeling set upon. Rich newcomers also see themselves as an interest group in need of a voice. “Someone needs to represent people who haven’t yet moved into a neighborhood,” said pro-development activist Sonja Trauss, who moved to Oakland in 2011, at an April real estate industry soiree in Vancouver. In San Francisco, “the people who haven’t yet moved in” most often means the tech industrialists, lured by high salaries, stock options and in-office employee benefits like massage therapists and handcrafted kombucha.

But these new tech “immigrants,” as Trauss refers to her kinfolk, spell disaster for current San Franciscans. In 2015, the city-funded homeless count found 71 percent of homeless San Franciscans were housed in San Francisco before being pushed onto the streets…

A Campaign to Legitimize the Luxury Condo Boom

A founder of the Yelp.com web empire, Jeremy Stoppelman, bequeathed $100,000 upon new Oakland resident Trauss in 2015, with the stated goal of clearing the way for more housing units, even if those units were only accessible to the richest of the rich. That investment helped to spark a libertarian, anti-poor campaign to turn longtime sites of progressive organizing into rich-people-only zones…

A Grassroots Facade…

YIMBY brings together community groups, advocates, and grassroots organizations,” reads the Toronto YIMBY Party’s website. But North America’s first YIMBY convening, YIMBY2016, was funded by groups, such as the National Association of Realtors and the Boulder Area Realtor Association…

Are the people-of-color-led community groups like Causa Justa that supported a moratorium on luxury condo construction “just as bad” as anti-immigrant Trump supporters? Trauss thinks so, calling people who didn’t support new market-rate condo projects in central San Francisco “nativists” because they don’t welcome with open arms the construction cranes building lavish condos with butterfly gardens and valet parking in traditionally working-class neighborhoods… (more)

The BARFERs (Ms. Stauss YIMBIEs are known as BARFERs) got in trouble when they used the term “nativists” at a Board of Supervisors hearing after Trump was elected. None of the supervisors appreciated that moniker and the project Ms. Strauss was supporting has been radically changed. It is slated to be a temporary homeless shelter.

Deadly Neoliberal Policies

Infill, with its self-aware, geek-chic name, is the podcast that Trauss co-hosts with another YIMBY-to-watch, Laura Foote Clark. When Truthout asked for evidence that the YIMBY trickle-down model would benefit people who aren’t making tech salaries, Foote Clark was quick to send a dozen papers that claim to show how neoliberal deregulation will end the housing crisis, and that rich NIMBYs are the main benefactors of further regulation…(more – Leave comments here if you can.)

This fresh look at San Francisco politics on the national stage contains helpful new observations and about our political divide. Most people want to same thing, they just disagree about how to get there.

“…rich NIMBYs are the main benefactors of further regulation…”

This statement is evidence of a misplaced jealousy of people who own homes, and a misunderstanding of the concept of liquid assets, true values, and security. People who own homes are just as stuck as people who rent. The only thing they have going for them is a little more control over their finances until they lose their source of income and are foreclosed on if they bought into an equity loan scheme.

If you do sell your home to realize an increase in equity value, where do you move? You can hardly afford to trade up in the market.

One of the major things that sets Yimbies apart from the rest of us is that along with a strong sense of jealousy, they live in the perfect future while the rest of us live in the present. Waiting for the world to turn into a perfect vision is not something that appeals to people who live in the present. We built the city to live in, not as a get rich scheme.

The amazing thing is that WE are accused of being the obstructionists, while THE YIMBIEs and BARFERs, along with SFMTA and SPUR are the real obstructionists. They are creating havoc on our streets impeding our movement, while claiming we are impeding their ability to stop us.

Everyone does agree that we have too many homeless on our streets and we need to enforce the eviction laws to keep people in their homes. The entire Board of Supervisors are intent on fixing that problem.

RELATED: Comments on the above article
With development activists compared to the ‘alt-right,’ the housing crisis debate jumped the shark



False Stop

By Chris Roberts : sfweekly – excerpt

In San Francisco, some lawbreakers are also lawmakers.

At least three members of the Board of Supervisors advocate the “Idaho Stop,” the maneuver — named for the one state in the country where it’s legal — wherein a bicyclist treats a stop sign as a yield and rolls through without coming to a complete stop as long as the way is clear.

This is a touchy subject. Bicycle etiquette — or the lack thereof — is a sore point with the motorists and pedestrians who believe that San Francisco’s cyclists, the number of whom have tripled in the last decade, are an entitled menace. This summer’s short-lived San Francisco police crackdown on scofflaw bicyclists did have support from walkers and drivers before a Bicycle Coalition-organized outcry canceled it…

The law is also unlikely to change. What San Francisco police enforce on the streets is the California Vehicle Code — state law…

The Idaho Stop isn’t a priority even among the bicycle lobby…

But it is an impediment to law-abiding peace on the streets. In the short-term, Supervisor John Avalos has introduced legislation that, if passed, would instruct police to treat cyclists yielding instead of stopping at stop signs as the “lowest law enforcement priority.”

That’s how SFPD is already supposed to treat low-level marijuana crimes. Thus, rolling through a stop sign could soon be no worse than rolling a joint in public — though judging by the size of the tickets ($100 for illicit marijuana, $200-plus for stop signs), this city has already picked its priority… (more)

How much are motorists charged for rolling through stop signs?
Hopefully someone will address the issue of liability when accidents occur due to reckless behavior on the part of anyone breaking the law. All vehicle operators on city streets should be licensed and required to purchase liability insurance. Whether or not they have insurance they should be held accountable for any damages they cause to any other persons or property regardless of what kind of vehicle they are operating. There should be no exceptions.

Parking Meters Enforced In San Francisco On 4th Of July

By Barbara Taylor : CBSloca.com – excerpt

(Photo credit by Funcheap/Mickey@sattlers.org)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Enjoying the 4th of July in San Francisco might cost a little more than some are expecting as a full contingent of parking control officers will be on duty Wednesday doling out parking tickets…


But, is it true that SF was the only city in America to enforce parking meters on the Fourth of July? What bad rep SF is getting. Do we really want to go that way?

Oakland parking ticket policy called ‘not fair’

Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer,  SFGate

Oakland parking officers were ordered to avoid enforcing neighborhood parking violations in two of the city’s wealthier neighborhoods but told to continue enforcing the same violations in the rest of the city, according to a city memo obtained by The Chronicle.

The July order is corroborated by interviews with three parking officers, who said they and their colleagues had complained about what they deemed a discriminatory practice since it began last summer – to no avail.


Kind of makes us wonder if the same principle is at work in SF with the meters