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Don’t settle for a corrupt city

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(Michael Ares/Special to S.F. Examiner)

We’ve gotten complacent in San Francisco.

Sure, we’ve got the nation’s highest minimum wage. Sure, we fought for marriage equality and won. Sure, we had universal healthcare before nearly every other city in the U.S.

But the same way the Bush administration used social issues to justify turning the country into a corporate welfare state, San Francisco’s politicians have been
pacifying us with progressive measures while lining their own pockets.

And the thing is, we’ve pretty much known this all along. But that’s where the complacency comes in: We’ve accepted this corruption as part of our system. We’ve chalked it up as the cost of doing business in San Francisco.

And then last week, the curtain was suddenly pulled back and, for the first time, we began seeing the things we assumed were happening all along, actually were.

It’s kind of like gravity. We always knew the world was run by inexplicably powerful forces, but it took Isaac Newton putting a name to it for us to truly realize it was there. And that’s what happened last week with Mayor Ed Lee. From the tax breaks for tech giants to the carte blanche given to greedy developers, most San Franciscans just assumed there was a powerful crookedness behind the things happening at City Hall. But
it took last week’s reports from court filings by Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow’s legal team to fully expose the corruption that’s been redefining our city.

This has been our Theory of Gravity moment, and Shrimp Boy is our unlikely Newton.

So now that we know — now that it’s out in the open and in the papers and in our newsfeeds — we can no longer be complacent. We can no longer just chalk things up to “Oh that’s just San Francisco politics.” This is our moment to finally and inexorably reclaim our city from decades of a political machine that has always lined its own pockets at the literal and metaphorical expense of our wonderful city.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen our city sold out from under us and this is the moment when we can finally say “enough!”

Do you want to take your city back? Do you want to once again make San Francisco a home for all people? Do you want a city where our teachers and builders and small business owners can actually afford to live?

This is your moment, San Francisco. Don’t fuck it up.

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at BrokeAssStuart.com. Broke-Ass City runs Thursdays in The San Francisco Examiner.

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  • Cyndita

    What can we beleaguered San Francisco tax payers do? I love that you address our ongoing political corruption! I’m heartbroken that we’ve lost Brotherhood Way to upscale condos (and more traffic), and now Sloat at the beach has fallen prey to more condos and more traffic. The rat-like developers want to ruin the westside – leave us alone! We like funky and grittiness! My rent was recently raised 95% for an un-updated 1930s home that hasn’t been painted in 20 years, and windows that don’t close. I am not only bereft, but PISSED that my city has been hijacked by charletons. So again, how do we citizens who don’t have an annual income of $1,000,000 do?? Suggestions? I’m up for anything!