The Week This Was

Not much is going well this week for the heads-in-the-sand SFMTA and friends. While SFMTA supporters make false allegations against Prop L proponents, and play the blame game, the headlines tell the stories that best explain why residents and commuters are demanding change.

Media blitz September 25, 2014:
How a $900 parking citation became a $25,000 federal lawsuit against SF
No Free Rides: Finally, Inevitably: Muni Is Suing Muni
Rank-and-file S.F. firefighters call for chief’s ouster
S.F. supervisor makes case for fire chief’s ouster
How Transbay Transit Center deal’s collapse would alter S.F.
Possible Golden Gate Bridge District Strike Would Cripple Commute
Carshare reserved parking not favored by everyone
Despite Free Parking, San Francisco Meters Continue Collecting On Sundays
SEIU Local 1021 backs motorist measure and a Republican. WTF?!?!

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SEIU Local 1021 backs motorist measure and a Republican. WTF?!?!

By : sfbg – excerpt

seiu endorses l-1

Service Employees International Union Local 1021 — which has long played an important role in San Francisco’s progressive movement, providing the money and member turnout to achieve some important victories for the left — finds itself at odds with many progressive activists in this election, particularly on the issue of transportation….

So we asked Local 1021 Political Chair Alysabeth Alexander about the endorsement, and she told us: “One of our member leaders is a proponent and the argument that driving is hell in San Francisco resonated with a portion of our membership that drives and for whom public transportation is not an option either because of service cuts and route changes, because their job requires car use, or because they work shifts that don’t work for public transportation or biking. Because of rising housing prices many working people have been pushed out of SF over the years, and many of our workers shifts end or start when BART or Muni isn’t working or isn’t practical. Our union is 100 percent supportive of public transportation and addressing the climate crisis head-on.  We are fighting for the expansion of public transportation and for adequate funding, and sufficient staffing so that it can be maintained.”… (more)

Newsflash. The Restore Transportation Balance intiative is a non-partisan effort to fix the public transit, parking and traffic nightmare that SFMTA has brought to the city. The fact that 80% (according to recent reports) of Muni employees commute to the city and the Muni drivers filed a class action against their boses, explains their support for Prop L.


BART Labor Talks Appear to be Going Nowhere

By Bay City News – excerpt

With only five weeks left before a 60-day cooling off period expires, negotiators for BART management and its labor unions didn’t meet at the bargaining table Thursday but instead traded allegations that the other side is bargaining in bad faith…
BART employees in fact did go on strike for four-and-a-half days at the beginning of July when contract talks that began on April 1 failed to reach an agreement but workers agreed to go back to work for a month while negotiations continued.
The key issues in the talks are employee wages and how much they contribute toward the cost of their health and pension benefits. (employees claim there also safety issues.)
BART employees threatened to go on strike again in early August, but on Aug. 11, a judge ordered a 60-day cooling-off period at the request of BART management and Gov. Jerry Brown. The cooling-off period expires on Oct. 10 but Radulovich admitted that there has been very little negotiating since the period began… (more)

Hopefully SFMTA will free up some parking during the strike for the many cars that will be coming across that glorious new bridge everyone is so excited about. Which brings up a question. How can people who hate cars get excited about a bridge that brings thousands of cars into the city? Do you really want to penalize drivers by eliminating parking options?

Some city officials are starting to ask questions and demand some faster solutions to the traffic problems.

Regardless of another BART strike, there will always be Muni meltdowns, train accidents, and other unforeseen glitches. San Francisco needs a traffic management system that expands and contracts to meet demands. That means embracing ALL transport modes equally.

The SFMTA needs to get us where we need to go, not tell us how to get there.

In San Francisco, tech investor leads a political makeover

By Gerry Shih : – excerpt

…””The tech industry is producing all the jobs in this city,” Conway snapped, according to four people present, his voice rising as he insisted that old-line businesses “need to get on board (by changing the tax code to favor the new technologies).”
In the end, they did get on board — and San Francisco voters on November 6 will decide whether to approve the change in the tax code…
Not everyone in this famously liberal city is enthused about the new tech boom, which is driving up rents and threatening to price out all but the wealthy.
“As someone who lived through the tech boom in the ’90s and watched countless friends and community members get pushed out of their homes, only for the bubble to disintegrate, this is painful to watch,” said Gabriel Haaland, political director for the SEIU Local 1021, the largest union in the city. “Those times are here again.”
Last month, when San Francisco Magazine published an article bemoaning tech-driven gentrification, traffic on the magazine’s website broke all records.
“It touched on an issue that people have been thinking about for a while,” said Jon Steinberg, the magazine’s editor…
In one instance this year, after social media company Pinterest moved to San Francisco, Conway pressed officials to repaint curbs to allow employee parking near the start-up’s offices, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The city refused; Conway denied that the incident occurred… (more)

SEIU San Francisco Protesting Mall Parking Lot

BY THOMAS MOYER : – excerpt

It looks like the SEIU are protesting in front of the parking garage at the downtown mall in San Francisco. If you know anything about this city, you will find that there are so many protests all the time somewhere in the city. But what caught my eye about this one is that they were protesting at the entrance and inside of the parking garage ticketing machines…