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David Chiu addresses backlash over his Parkmerced vote

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Board of Supervisors President David Chiu has taken a lot of heat from being the swing vote two weeks ago on the Parkmerced development from tenant advocates and those politically aligned with them.

During Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, when the board was to take a second and final vote, Chiu, who is also running for mayor, addressed his critics.

“I wanted to state that I fully appreciate the concerns raised by some tenant leaders,” Chiu said. “I would have never supported this project if I did not feel comfortable that tenant rights have been protected here with Parkmerced. I say this as one of the few tenants on this Board of Supervisors, as someone who has been a staunch advocate for tenants before I was elected and with my votes on this board. If there was anything else we could have put into this agreement to address the concerns I would have supported that.”

Chiu also said that he had met with some tenant leaders during the past weeks and offered a few more amendments, he said, as a result of those talks, including a no pass-through of maintenance costs for relocating tenants.

“After years of planning, of meetings and discussion, I think it is time to move forward. This is the right decision for our tenants, for the west side, for the future of San Francisco.”

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The development was approved in a second and final vote. The vote was the same as two weeks ago. Six supervisors voted for it: Supervisors Chiu, Sean Elsbernd, Malia Cohen, Carmen Chu, Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell. Five voted against it: Supervisors Jane Kim, John Avalos, David Campos, Eric Mar and Ross Mirkarimi.

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