Categories: Nato Green

Introducing the softest politicians in the Bay this week

While Republicans set a low bar for corruption and incompetence, I don’t know how California can hope to win at #Resistance with these soft leaders we’ve got.

District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai wants the MTA to ban unhoused people living in RVs from one block in his district. While Safai couldn’t be bothered to show up to hear the people whose lives would be wrecked by his proposal, his aide said he was doing it because “neighbors felt unsafe.” He has no plan to help people with no alternative, and made no effort to resolve whatever concerns the neighbors had.

The Supervisor appears to be unaware that the people living in the RVs are ALSO “neighbors,” entitled to as much representation as his housed constituents. Safai, it should be noted, hasn’t taken a position on Prop C to fund reducing homelessness significantly, nor does his district have a navigation center or shelter. Harassing homeless people without supporting solutions — soft.

The Chronicle reported that Gavin Newsom claimed Prop C would make homelessness worse because, he said, “most of the people on the streets are not San Francisco residents.”

He’s suggesting that funding adequate services would attract homeless people to San Francisco. Newsom is wrong, of course. According to City data, 71% of the homeless population lived in San Francisco prior to becoming homeless. It’s no surprise that a Richie Rich who built his political career by scapegoating and criminalizing homeless people would continue to do so. He pushed Care Not Cash, a ban on aggressive panhandling, and the unconstitutional sit/lie law. Denying reality to make policy —soft.

Sonja Trauss is a candidate for Supervisor in District 6. She’s running with the support of Mayor Breed against School Board member Matt Haney, who enjoys the support of Senator Kamala Harris and, like, every elected official and organization in the universe. The Chronicle reports that Trauss says she supports Prop 10 to allow local governments to expand rent control. Yet YIMBY Action voted not to endorse Prop 10. Even though she’s not Pope of the YIMBYs, she is their Jesus. Trauss’ only record of public leadership is as founder of YIMBY/BARF. If she can’t lead her own movement, why would anyone think she’d be effective as Supervisor, which is even harder than leading your own group? Failure to lead your own followers—soft.

Board President Malia Cohen voted against a resolution in support of Prop 10 after telling two different endorsing groups that she supported it. She was quoted in the Chronicle that she had answered the questionnaires regarding her personal views, not what policies she’d support in her job. This is an amazing answer. It suggests that Supervisor Cohen believes that she would be sent questionnaires and given campaign contributions because she’s cool and interesting, for views she cherishes in the privacy of her own castle, and not in any way related to what policies she’d support in her capacity as an elected official. The sheer chutzpah of that answer deserves rent control, so we can visit it into its old age. NOBODY IS ENDORSING YOUR PRIVATE BELIEFS. Playing both sides of an issue for personal advancement—soft.

Josephine Zhao bailed on her School Board race after Mission Local and this paper confirmed that she was continuing to spread transphobic and homophobic messages to Chinese communities, while using different messages in English and Chinese. In a word, being dishonest. While people who are transphobic or dishonest or, in this case, both, have no business deciding the fate of public school students, Mayor Breed and Senator Wiener didn’t withdraw their endorsements. By day, Scott Wiener denounces Trump’s politics of hate and division, by night he tolerates hate and division when it comes to a favored candidate. Looking the other way on transphobia when it’s politically expedient—soft.

A day may come when San Francisco politicians are forthright, but it is not this day.

Nato Green is a San Francisco-based comedian, writer, and retired union organizer. He’ll be making fun of ALMOST FAMOUS with Natasha Muse on Monday, September 24 as part of their monthly movie- mocking show Riffer’s Delight at the Alamo Drafthouse.

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