Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Stewardship

As an unpaid activist, many of my activities have focused on environmental justice. Environmental justice is inseparable from social justice. We’ve learned that lesson the hard way as we now are home (at the Shipyards and Treasure Island) to the largest ecofraud in US history. Our friends and fellow San Franciscans have suffered from the negligence of career-oriented politicians and appointees.

As District 4 Supervisor, I will fight for Coastal Zone protections.

I will legislate to increase permeable surfaces to reduce runoff and combined sewer overflows to save taxpayers the expense of having to pay heavy fines to the EPA and California Water Board.

I will act to stop the introduction of SF groundwater into the potable supply. Bioremediation on the wells needs to be done. Filtration/detoxification and testing of groundwater by an independent lab needs to happen prior to its introduction into the city’s drinking water.

I will advocate for projects that put good groundwater to use for irrigation with clean power (windmills, solar).

I will legislate to remove all toxic turf immediately. As other cities have, I will take action to ban toxic waste tire products on the cities ballfields, play surfaces, and playgrounds.

I will protect our greenways and green open spaces from the predatory practices of privateers. I will continue to urge the City to discontinue the use of hazardous pesticides and herbicides in our commons. If I have to write a law to do that, due to managerial intransigence and incompetence in failing to follow the precautionary principle that the City abides by, I will.

As I have time and time again, I will also speak for the trees. We need to stop the clear-cutting of trees by serial tree killers and restore the understory of our parks that’s been destroyed at the whim of those who mismanage city departments.

Honoring and Prioritizing Local Businesses

Honoring and Prioritizing Local Businesses

I oppose corporate chain stores in our neighborhoods.

San Franciscans demand and deserve to live in the unique urban environment that has evolved with a sense of culture and community with deep roots. By resisting the generic character that ubiquitous brands bring with them, we have been ahead of the curve by maintaining our identity and prosperity. Preserving neighborhood character by protecting the longstanding businesses and business owners that serve them is good for business and good for our quality of life.

I will expand opportunities for our neighborhood businesses beyond just awnings and photo-ops so that they may maintain their storefronts in these pressured times.

I am also opposed to opening new corporate marijuana dispensaries due to the unwanted boutique businesses they bring with them and the fact that they blight neighborhoods they have no attachment to. They are mini-Gentrification bombs. Instead, I will work to legislate prioritization of local delivery services and a revamp of the current city law to eliminate nuisance requirements and ensure the integrity of the local supply chain and tax revenue from sales of legal cannabis products.

Transportation

Transportation

Our City’s transportation network has suffered from neglect, antiquation, and largely unregulated new Uber-competition for Lyfts around town. To my mind, this is what cronyism in an era of unfettered capitalism looks like. Gridlock, a mess, relentless competition for precious parking, hulking luxury buses and vans, overfunded electric bike and scooter startups along with shoddy private construction of overpriced concrete road hazards, crazy-colored street paint distractions, and MUNI route eliminations and changes that put local business out of business or at risk for being so. It sometimes seems as if SFMTA is driverless.

I would propose that the Transportation Commission be taken out of the Mayor’s hands, that so-called disruptive industries that ply their business on public roads be tightly regulated or banned, and that we reinvest the taxes, tickets, and bonds we’ve paid for (and will pay for) in good jobs for mechanics and drivers and in maintenance of our public transit system. I

If we are to be a Transit First City, that’s what it’ll take.

Uber and Left are not software purveyors, they’re fake taxi companies bent on putting real taxi companies out of business. As a Charter City, San Francisco needs to assert itself as such and do as other cities have done and move to ban these companies. After doing so, and taking their 40,000 cars daily off the streets, our mass transit will be less sluggish, we can put back the stops taken away from our trains, and reinstitute the bus lines that have been eliminated. Tech buses should pay their fair share. Our streets and sidewalks should not be cluttered by fiat of vulture capitalists with money to burn on App-happy transport appliances.

At peak commute hours, I’d suggest discounted fares to incentivize using public transit. In addition, I will advocate for putting more trains (specifically, refurbished classic streetcars) on the tracks with the ability to reroute them around the downtown tunnel on surface streets down Market. Commuters might avail themselves of the best option when going to or coming from downtown during those hours.

Also, lacking oversight, wasteful projects, some in conjunction with DPW, the Planning Dept., and the Arts Commission, might be eliminated were a thorough audit of those projects be undertaken. I would make that sort of financial analysis a priority. As taxpayers (and Parking and Traffic ticket-payers) we deserve to know how our hard-earned money is spent.

Maintaining our Neighborhoods (Housing & Businesses)

Maintaining our Neighborhoods (Housing & Businesses)

In the past six years, over 1/3 of our neighbors have left town. Many of our beloved neighborhood businesses have shut down. Storefronts are shuttered. Many of us have seen families leave, their homes sold, rented, and sold again. This unprecedented “churn” of our neighborhoods is not a given, even for our port City which in many ways embodies the latest trends in commerce and lifestyle.

Our City has been Destabilized.

Our lives have been Disrupted.

We are not alone in that. Major urban areas around the globe have suffered similarly. I have called myself a San Franciscan for over 20 years. The City is our home. I chose to live here not because of opportunities that arose but because of the intangibles. Love, a sense of belonging, a belief that there were kindred spirits here (confirmed), a desire to live in a place of rare beauty, the context of a deep and interesting history, a City with all the earmarks of a World-Class City—these are some of the intangibles I refer to.

Like many of you who are native-born/raised/remaining and who are long-time residents, I have suffered from the transmogrification of our City by greed. We are, in some sense—some more, some less—victims of indirect displacement. The City has changed for the worse, many of its better attributes have diminished, many of the people and places that gave us a sense of place in our home have moved on, passed on, been demolished, or disappeared behind stack and pack condos and flashcube skyscrapers.

Members of the Board of Supervisors and Mayors, past and present, presided over this fire sale on the City’s assets.

We live in an asset-based economy. Banksters crashed that economy in 2008 in the subprime mortgage meltdown, like they did in the Savings and Loan crisis of the late 80’s and early ’90’s.

Our current housing crisis is unlikely to resolve any differently without intervention and taxpayers will again be on the hook bailing out the financial sector to mask the overvaluation of assets which is, this time, being hoarded by a smaller handful of plutocrats in Real Estate Investment Trusts, foreign investment schemes, and personal enrichment speculating.

Rather than relying on career politicians whose campaigns have been largely funded by the real estate/tech partnership that created the crisis, it’s imperative that we take immediate steps to recapture and stabilize our City’s housing stock.

As Supervisor I will champion a vacancy tax, a pied a terre tax, true disclosure (requiring legal notice of top investors in real estate transactions), a bank of San Francisco (where in-lieu fees, paid by developers who shirk their obligation to produce housing other than Luxury apartments and condos, are deposited and Housing Development Funds are created).

I will attempt to curtail rampant speculation by putting use-it-or-lose-it entitlements legislation on the table. This will end the practice of flipping properties with approved plans in a flawed planning process.

I will also advocate for housing production within zoning laws as proscribed in 2014 and attempt to repeal developer friendly laws put on the books after that date. I will endeavor to put longstanding, reputable, community-based non-profit organizations in charge of building new housing where feasible. The City can afford some purchases, renovations, rent-ups, and new construction with intense oversight.

We simply cannot afford to continue to overbuild for an unforeseeable future at the whim of investors who will profit by hoarding housing assets, maintain assets by laundering money, and create new assets where there were none by creating “land lots in the sky”. The environmental costs, the costs of new infrastructure, and the cost to our quality of life are too high. We do not need more ghost hotels, zombie buildings, leaning towers, or poured concrete fossils for the next Millennium.

Accountability

Accountability

As your elected representative for the Board of Supervisors, I will set a high bar for myself and my staff of legislative aides. Being your local representative in city government will be my only job. I will not head a venture capital firm, pursue a law degree, or study to pass the Bar Exam.

My door will be open to you and we will answer the phone during regular business hours.

Grassroots Democracy means inviting participation in government.

I will create formal councils throughout the District and convene monthly meetings. At those meetings, we will discuss those issues that matter to us and work together to maintain and improve our quality of life.

My staff and I will listen, advise, and be a liaison for you to assist in navigating various city departments.

I will publish my policy positions on matters before the Board of Supervisors. You will know in advance what is happening, when it is happening, and why it is happening. If you have concerns, I’ll hear them. If I hear enough reasonable concerns or even a few very well-justified ones, I’ll stand corrected and vote or act accordingly, as long as I can live with myself as one who acts according to Key Values.

As I said, my door will be open to you. You’ll be shown courtesy and respect. Lobbyists working for the elite special interests that threaten to utterly destroy Our City will be shown the door. I won’t meet with them. My calendar will be published in advance and meeting notes will be available for public inspection. I will aim for complete transparency. I will not make deals. There will be no surprises.

Values-Oriented Leadership

Values-Oriented Leadership

Our municipal elections are, by law, non-partisan affairs. No party affiliation appears next to names on the ballot. However, our “non-partisan” elections are famously not so. Elite special interests pour millions of dollars into the war chests of their preferred candidates each election cycle. These donors become the proprietors and elected officials are beholden to them.

I have no corporate party allegiance. I do not aspire to become a career politician. I do wish to inspire those who have chosen public service to do better work for their constituents. I also wish that the next generation of political leaders find their place in a transmogrified workplace—where consent of the governed is a given requirement rather than given mere lip service.

I will consistently make decisions based upon and craft legislation in accordance with Key Values I hold. You may recognize these values as ones we share, as San Francisco Values, and cast your vote for me. If you do not, you may find enough of your own core ideology in them to consider voting for me, rather than for a candidate appointed by the plutocratic interests that have long directed City government.

Key Values:

Grassroots Democracy

Social Justice and Equal Opportunity

Ecological Wisdom

Non-Violence

Decentralization

Community-Based Economics and Economic Justice

Feminism and Gender Equality

Respect for Diversity

Personal and Global Responsibility

Future Focus and Sustainability

Voter Guide Candidate's Statement of Qualifications

As your Supervisor, I’ll bring a lifetime of work experience—as a civil servant, educator, husband, and father of a son in our public school system—to the job. Being your representative in city government will be my only job. I will work for you and your family, NOT SPECIAL INTERESTS.

I will Prioritize ACCOUNTABILITY:

Create formal District-wide councils with monthly meetings.

Keep my office open, transparent, and RESPONSIVE.

Help Maintain our Neighborhoods (Housing and Businesses):

Stop City Hall’s sell-out of our neighborhood. In the past 6 years, 1/3 of our neighbors have left town and neighborhood businesses have shut down. Shuttered storefronts, homes sold/rented/sold again. This destabilization should end.

Legislate a vacancy tax, a tax on out-of-town ownership, true disclosures on real estate transactions.

Do everything I can to preserve local businesses and keep neighborhoods intact.

Work to Fix our broken Transportation system:

Put back our stolen train stops and buses.

Protect public roads and sidewalks from overuse by ride-shares, luxury buses, electric bikes and scooters, wasteful city projects.

Protect our Neighborhood:

Oppose wasteful, massive, ugly development projects that feed developer greed and wreck Neighborhood aesthetics.

Oppose corporate marijuana dispensaries.

Protect our Coastal Zone.