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Letters: Historic movies must be considered with context

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“Sexual harassment in the movies: When ‘no’ meant ‘maybe’,” Sally Stephens, Jan. 14
Historic movies must be considered with context
I think it is appropriate to put “Gone With the Wind” in context. The movie depicts an era long gone by. Whether or not Rhett Butler took Scarlett against her will, I don’t think that should be made an issue in a film depicting Civil War America.

It was wrong or an example of harassment, yes, but it most probably was an accurate portrayal of the attitudes of the time, as was the movie’s depiction of attitudes toward slavery and African-Americans. At best, let us look at the movie as a historical marker of from whence we have come. And yes, we have a way to go yet.

Diana Campagna-Pinto, San Francisco

“Tech mogul Ron Conway shakes down supervisors to support London Breed for mayor,” On Guard, Jan. 12
Fear the corporate interests
If all you write is true , San Francisco will be at a crossroads come election time: a mayor for us citizens or for corporate interests above all with lip service paid to social concerns.

Being a sanctuary city doesn’t affect the billionaires’ bottom line one bit.
I foresee campaign literature with London Breed’s photo and Ron Conway looming in the background. And what about Breed’s gift cards? Is that not an issue anymore?

Keep up keeping us voters informed.

Norma Geer, San Francisco

“Dispensary alleges supervisors were under political influence in Sunset pot shop decision,” The City, Jan. 11
Peskin calls the shots
I agree with The Apothecarium lawsuit challenging the Board of Supervisors’ refusal to grant a perment on the claim of political bias; however, I do not believe the lawsuit exposes the true politics of the Board of Supervisors.

Between 2010 and 2012 and since 2016, the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee has been controlled by a political boss: Aaron Peskin.

In this one-party town, the Peskin Machine uses its control over the DCCC to determine which supervisors get the official Democratic Party endorsement — and through that endorsement, usually who gets elected!

Four supervisors, including Peskin, Sandra Fewer, Hillary Ronen and Norman Yee, form the core of the Peskin Bloc. Supervisor Jane Kim usually votes with the Peskin Bloc for ideological reasons, but she is somewhat independent. Her decision to run for mayor is actually a break from Peskin, who supports Mark Leno.

Compare the contrasting Board of Supervisors’ votes on The Apothecarium dispensary application (9-2 against) with the Barbary Coast’s dispensary application (11-1 in favor): The key difference is how Kim and the Peskin Bloc voted. All five of them voted “no” on The Apothecarium but “yes” on Barbary Coast.

Moral of the story: If you don’t want five supervisors to vote against you, enlist in Peskin’s support!

Arlo Hale Smith, former BART director

“All landlords support rent control,” Nato Green, Jan. 9
Rent control for those who need it
I am a landlord. I support rent control.

I do not support vote-buying by the Board of Supervisors, which is what the San Francisco rent-control laws are for: blatant buying of votes from the 70 percent of residents who rent.

I support rent control for those who need it.

I do not support rent control for multimillionaires living alone in three-bedroom apartments, or tenants using this landlord subsidy to purchase one or two or more properties that they then rent out or put on Airbnb. Four decades of this vote-buying/donation-inducing scheme has our rental market and its pricing skewed in a reverse manner.

A widow living in a third floor walk-up, in a three-bedroom apartment (two empty, as husband passed and kids gone) can’t buy down to a first floor studio, much as she would love to. Space use does not adjust naturally.

In 65 years, our population has gone up by 100,000 souls, about 1,500 per year, albeit unevenly. We have built 15,000 bedrooms in the past two years.

Fifteen thousand low-income units have been removed from the market because it is not worth the struggle with the Rent Board when tenants do not pay rent.

I personally had a lovely tenant for 38 years on rent control, who then moved into his own home and, as he put it, gave me back my property. That subsidy period forced me to sell my own home to put my kid through college.

The answer is simple: rent control for those who need it. No new means-testing city department, just an annual statement from every renter stating that their three-year average income is not above “X,” their net worth is not above “X” and they do not own a home within “X” miles of San Francisco — the Xs to be determined by the vote-buying board.

Then, my multimillionaire friend who has a home in Hillsborough and a ranch in Stockton might think twice about keeping his two-bedroom place in the Golden Gateway for evening at the Opera.

Erich Wolf Stratmann, San Francisco

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