Denounce the Yimby disruption: An open letter to Sen. Wiener

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt (includes video)

Denounce the Yimby disruption: An open letter to Sen. Wiener

Community leaders ask author of SB 827 to distance himself from the Yimbys who shouted down a community coalition trying to hold a peaceful rally… (more)

Sign a petition to denounce the disruptors:

Learn what you don’t know about SB 827 and other pending legislation

Saturday, April 28, 10 AM
100 Larkin St, SF Main Library, Koret Auditorium – SB 827 and Beyond:
 Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods will sponsor a forum on the Scott Wiener legislation that is shaking up the state of California. This will be a great opportunity to learn the real facts behind SB 827 and other controversial attempts to change the way California cities are developed. Find out why people want to protect the local planning process now controlled by our local communities. Speakers: Art Agnos, Former SF Mayor; Zelda Bronstein, Former Berkeley Planning Commissioner; Calvin Welsh, Affordable Housing Advocate; Sophie Maxwell, Former SF Supervisor. Co-sponsors include: West of Twin Peaks Council, Noe Neighborhoods Council, SF Neighborhood Network, Van Ness Corridor Neighborhoods, Stand Up For San Francisco, Livable California. Please come and bring your friends!  Please RSVP as seats are limited.

Sweeping California housing bill attacked on author’s home turf

By : mercurynews – excerpt


Mayoral candidate, Supervisor Jane Kim speaks in front of a cheering crowd, while Supervisor Peskin looks on, in the midst of a crowd of  YIMBYs creaming for up-zoning in all the neighborhoods, one at a time. photo by zrants.

A polarizing housing bill that would force California cities to allow taller apartment buildings by BART stops and other transit hubs has been pummeled with opposition from local officials — a group that now includes former colleagues of the bill’s author, San Francisco Democrat Sen. Scott Wiener.

In the latest blow to Senate Bill 827, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to oppose Wiener’s bill, joining smaller cities such as Lafayette, Cupertino, Palo Alto and Milpitas. A week earlier, the Los Angeles City Council took the same stance, unanimously, with one councilman calling the legislation “insanity.”

“I think this is the craziest bill I’ve ever seen,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz…

Strutting Trauss.jpg

The above photo by zrants was snapped at the press conference arranged for anti-SB 827 supporters, where YIMBY queen Sonja Trauss, who is running for office in D-6 to replace Jane Kim, struts her stuff holding a poster made from art stolen from the opposition. Her antics, along with her small group of disruptive followers yelling over the speakers, backfired. The YIMBY argument that “new and future” citizens are more entitled than existing ones to live in San Francisco and the aggressive nature of these invaders is not winning many hearts and minds among the voters.

Laura Clark, whose pro-housing development YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) coalition is sponsoring the bill, said she was not surprised local officials would take issue with it… (more)

It should be noted that this is not the only bill YIMBY is pushing to move residents out of their homes by up-zoning the city. Backed by developers, they are leading the charge to evict by rent increases and any other means possible to make room for the characterless stack and pack housing projects developers love to build. SB 828 is also making its way through the Sacramento Senate and that will push even higher requirements for density that cities have achieved.

Many people who once supported density are reconsidering due to the negative impacts gentrification is having on communities that are seeing an astronomical increase in homelessness. One way under consideration to keep people housed is to pass  AB 1505 and repeal Costa-Hawkins and allow expansion of rent control rules. Several efforts are also being made to Amend the Ellis Act that is blamed for many illegal evictions.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin mentioned these as preferable alternatives to SB 827 in his statement, before the Board Voted 8-3 to oppose SB 827. So far the San Francisco media has mostly ignored the opposition to the forced growth and density movement. They are not endearing themselves to the public by ignoring them and supporting the developers.


Muni Metro stop at Warriors’ new SF arena is one pricey platform

By Matier and Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt


Arena with passing T-Line car going up at 16th and Third Street shot by zrants

The cost of building a bigger Muni Metro platform to handle fans at the Mission Bay arena is growing faster than the Warriors’ injury list.

The plan is to tear out the 130-foot-long Metro platform, just down Third Street from the under-construction Chase Center, and build a 320-foot replacement right in front of the arena.

Building the new platform, however, is just part of the job…

Muni will spend an additional $11 million for new Metro cars, bringing the total cost of setting up light-rail service to the arena to $62 million.

This is a massive undertaking, and my chief concern is how much money the arena will really generate for the city to pay this back,” said Art Torres, a member of the Municipal Transportation Agency board.

Torres’ concern is prompted in part by news that Muni already is coming up short on the project and will need borrow $10 million from the city to complete the job.

Muni will spend an additional $11 million for new Metro cars, bringing the total cost of setting up light-rail service to the arena to $62 million.

“This is a massive undertaking, and my chief concern is how much money the arena will really generate for the city to pay this back,” said Art Torres, a member of the Municipal Transportation Agency board… (more)

Government needs to remember that the real world does not exist on a piece of paper and a handshake with the biggest money man in the room. Government officials need to serve the people not themselves.

Even if money did grow on trees, willing contractors do not. Labor is lacking and not easy to import with the current climate in Washington. Materials and financing costs are going through the roof, and the mood among likely voters favors big changes at City Hall.

“Leno’s first-place finish was “a real boost” for him and “a vote for change at City Hall,” said former Supervisor David Campos, the committee’s chair.”

The likelihood of passing another regional tax and spend scheme among the nine county voters is getting slimmer with the increase in weather temperatures followed by the increase in anger and frustration with the current policies and practices that got us where we are now.

Trust in government is at an all time low. If San Francisco is to survive as we know it, a change must come. Spending $62 million dollars to shift priorities to a sports arena that will serve only the wealthy few who can afford expensive tickets, is a bad idea in this climate. A recent D-10 Superviosor race found NOT SUPPORT among hte candidates at who spoke.

A number of departments heads may soon find themselves without their exorbitant salaries if these schemes continue to roll through. The residents will have the chance to vote against a litany of controversial  projects and waste by opposing Regional Measure 3, the bridge toll $3 increase.

California voters may also have the chance to repeal SB 1 that could roll back the gas tax that is raising the costs of products being brought in on trucks that are hardest hit by this tax. $25 dollar burgers and $8 avocado toast is not joke to the people who are already struggling to stay in their homes.

These two bills alone will determine how the city and region continues to deal with the traffic problems and the transportation schemes they are developing. Our state representatives who are pushing unpopular legislation in Sacramento may also find themselves out of work as the voters will have the chance to replace them soon. Senator Josh Newman is facing a recall election, after being blamed for casting the deciding vote that passed SB1.

More changes in Sacramento may come as a result of Scott Wiener’s unpopular SB 827 bill that would up-zone the entire state around a transit-based up-zoning scheme by “allowing  the state to seize control of your neighborhood” planning and zoning decisions.

With the recent power grabs in Washington, citizens may not be prepared to relinquish any more powers to any government bodies they feel are chipping away at their personal freedoms by centralizing control.


By Carolyn Tyler : abc7news – excerpt (video)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 12:00AM
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — If your car is towed in San Francisco, you’re going to be paying some of the highest rates in the country to get it back, but now for one group of motorists — those whose cars were stolen — it appears some relief is on the way.

Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, San Francisco residents were reimbursed the towing expenses for stolen cars, but that changed in 2005, perhaps due to the economy.

Adding insult to injury, San Francisco resident Luis Rodriguez will spend big bucks to get his Chevy Malibu from the towing yard. Every month on average, nearly 200 stolen vehicles end up at AutoReturn.

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener said, “It’s a real hardship — especially for lower income people who rely on their car as a lifeline to get to work — to have to pay a lot of money to get their car, when they didn’t do anything wrong.”

Wiener has authored legislation with the backing of the Municipal Transportation Agency. If approved, starting this December through next March there would be changes. And when the towing contract comes up for renewal, it is also expected to include the new previsions.

Muni’s $266 SFMTA administrative fee would be waived for San Francisco residents and cut in half for non-residents. The $225.75 towing fees would be waived for everyone. And rather than the current four hours you’re given to get your car before the storage fees accumulate, residents will have a 48 hour grace period. The grace period will be 24 hours for non-residents… (more)

Do You Double Park? Supervisor Scott Wiener Is Going To Make Your Life Hell

By Erin Sherbert : sfweekly – excerpt

You know who else is tired of your double parking around town? Supervisor Scott Wiener. That’s right the man who banned naked penises is now turning his efforts toward irreverent drivers who think they can park any damn place they please.
And there’s a reason drivers think that — because they kinda can. As Wiener notes this morning, the city has been a little too hands-off when it comes to double parking. But that’s about to come to an end.
Wiener is calling for a hearing to talk about how out-of-control the double parking is around San Francisco… (more)

Body Politic: Scott Wiener Strips Down City Bureaucracy

By Joe Eskenazi : – excerpt

… “Scott is the median of San Francisco politics right now,” says University of San Francisco political science professor Corey Cook. “He’s a generally pro-development supervisor focusing on quality-of-life issues when the city is generally pro-development and focusing on quality-of-life issues. The allies he has picked up are certainly more politically powerful than the enemies he has created. Right now, Scott’s on the crest of the wave.”…
Reviewing Wiener’s attempts to “streamline” or “reform” city rules, patterns emerge. His gambit to rejigger the city’s ballot initiative process would have given the Board and mayor the power to undo voter-approved measures. His attempt to revamp the campaign consultant ordinance would have allowed the dysfunctional Ethics Commission and supervisors to alter rules governing their own political consultants; currently only voters can enact those changes. Wiener’s ongoing attempts to modify the city’s approach to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) would require development critics to cede more unchecked responsibility to a Planning Department those critics feel is beholden to developers (and which let the Academy of Art brazenly flout city rules for decades). “What we have,” says Larry Bush, a veteran politico who has clashed with Wiener on Ethics Commission matters, “is a repeated practice of reducing what the public can see.”…
On the highly contentious issues he’s taken on — preservation, CEQA — he’s forced small groups of entrenched activists to explain, in highly technical terms, why the status quo should be maintained for intensely complex processes no one could argue work well. Wiener, meanwhile, takes the easier path of claiming he’s simply trying to reform a broken system…
But the skills that allowed Wiener to become a prolific legislator among his peers have not worked their magic on voters. Two of the three charter amendments he’s placed on the ballot have been rejected. Most notably, Proposition E of 2011 was snubbed by 67 percent of voters despite its foes raising just $13,200 to combat it (tech investor turned moderate cash machine Ron Conway pitched in $10,000 toward the measure). In short, Prop. E would have enabled future Boards of Supervisors or mayors to amend or repeal future voter-enacted measures. Wiener will be the smartest guy in almost any room he walks into — but it’s asking a lot of voters to essentially cede this point by allowing him and other elected officials to undermine measures they ratified at the ballot box. “I got my rear end handed to me on Prop. E,” admits Wiener. “Voters always ask me, ‘Why can’t you guys do your jobs?’ So I proposed a policy to see if they really meant it. … We have a dysfunctional ballot system. I thought it was important to propose reform.”… (more)

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Plan to boost car-sharing at new housing

John Wildermuth : SFGate – excerpt

Car sharing in San Francisco could get a much-needed boost from a measure by Supervisor Scott Wiener that would make it easier to add spaces for those pass-around vehicles to new developments in the city.
If the supervisor can gin up the needed support, developers could add up to five car-share spaces in buildings with fewer than 50 units and eight in larger buildings, without those spots counting against the maximum allowed parking… (more)

This is confusing language. Is this in addition to the “allowed” parking, or will this cut down the number of parking for non-shared cars?


Wiener wants to boost effort to add car-share spaces to buildings

S.F. Muni can’t afford free fares for youth

By Scott Wiener : SFGate – excerpt

A proposal to provide free Muni fares for all youth, of all income levels, is under consideration in San Francisco. While this proposal is well-intentioned, Muni cannot afford the $8 million annual price tag. We need to increase access to transportation for low-income youth, but a new and expensive obligation for Muni – at a time when Muni cannot pay for its basic operational needs and is expanding parking meters and increasing parking fines – is a bad idea…

The understandable public perception is that Muni is expanding parking meters to Sundays, adding new meters, and raising ticket prices not to pay for improvements to the system but rather to fund free Muni for all youth, even those who don’t need the subsidy. If that doesn’t undermine public confidence in Muni’s desire to use taxpayer money to shore up its system and improve service, then I don’t know what will…

Scott Wiener is a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.