In Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment to the Constitution allows corporations, much like individuals, to make independent political expenditures without restriction. The ruling helped spawn a new wave of so-called super PACs that are dominating political spending in the 2012 presidential campaign. Read More
Mayor Ed Lee’s answer to the pressing need for more housing in San Francisco is November’s Proposition C, which would establish a housing trust fund.
If approved by voters, $1.5 billion would be invested in low- and moderate-income housing construction and related programs during the next 30 years. The bulk of the funding would be used to help develop up to 30,000 units of housing affordable to households earning up to 120 percent of the area’s median income. The City’s existing affordable housing requirements also would be relaxed to encourage more construction. Read More
Questions are flying about the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s costly proposed lease of a 13-acre site for auto towing.
Curious timing and questionable terms and costs surrounding a proposed 20-year contract between the agency and the real estate firm Prologis prompted the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee on Wednesday to put the brakes on the deal, which took 14 months to negotiate.
“I don’t believe that we should move and move into something that is essentially a bad deal,” Supervisor David Campos said. Read More
Supervisor John Avalos is going straight to the people in an effort to inject excitement into the monthly question time sessions with Mayor Ed Lee.
“I’ve been a bit underwhelmed with QT so I thought I’d mix it up and troll for QT from my FB friends,” Avalos wrote on his Facebook page. “Please submit QT questions — serious ones or not — for my staff and me to choose from.” Read More
San Francisco’s most common type of infill residential developments were exempted Tuesday from The City’s affordable housing requirements as part of a deal to help ensure passage of Proposition C, the Housing Trust Fund, in November’s election.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted 10-0 to increase the threshold for affordable-housing requirements from five or more units to 10 or more. Projects of between five and nine units are The City’s most common type of infill developments. Read More
In San Francisco’s relatively conservative District 7, nine candidates are vying to replace termed-out Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who routinely supported more investment in basic infrastructure and warned about burgeoning government labor costs.
Yet a candidate backed by labor, former Port Commissioner FX Crowley, was the race’s top fundraiser as of Friday. Elsbernd’s personal choice to take his seat, former Board of Appeals Chairman Mike Garcia, was in second place in the race for contributions. Rounding out the top three is Board of Education President Norman Yee. Read More
In a city with skyrocketing rents, rent-control laws, and strong tenant advocacy, it was just a matter of time before corporate “hotelization” became a target of the Board of Supervisors.
The City may be on the verge of cracking-down on illegal short-term corporate apartment rentals. Board president David Chiu has introduced legislation to set up a clear enforcement procedure to prevent corporations from skirting existing law by signing long-term apartment leases only to rent the units out to visiting employees for just a few days or weeks. Read More
When former Mayor Willie Brown threw a Ferry Building breakfast fundraiser Friday morning for Supervisor Christina Olague, he was confronted by a handful of area residents who objected to her support for the 8 Washington St. luxury condominium development. Read More
The government commission overseeing public housing in San Francisco could soon face increased accountability.
As public-housing projects undergo renovation, tenants complain about living conditions, and finer points of operating The City’s 6,000 units of low-income public housing are debated, the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission escapes the public scrutiny experienced by other city commissions because its meetings are held outside of City Hall and aren’t broadcast live.
But that could soon change. Read More
Perhaps best known for his ban on toys in Happy Meals, Supervisor Eric Mar is once again working to persuade people to eat healthier food.
On Tuesday, Mar introduced legislation that would establish what he is calling a Healthy Food Retailer Incentives Program, which would be administered by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
The proposal takes aim at a long-standing challenge in San Francisco to ensure there are an adequate number of grocery stores, especially in low-income neighborhoods. Read More
Despite concerns from advocates for the homeless, San Francisco officials on Tuesday enacted a ban on overnight parking of recreational vehicles in certain parts of The City.
Starting March 1, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will begin installing signs prohibiting the parking of vehicles more than 22 feet in length or 7 feet in height between midnight and 6 a.m in some areas. A complete list of locations will be determined later by the SFMTA, but chronic problem areas such as parts of both the Sunset and Bayview districts are expected to be included. Read More
More than a year ago, the Ethics Commission recommended Mayor Ed Lee consider removing the head of the Library Commission for behavior that was deemed inappropriate conduct for a public official.
But Lee took no action – Jewelle Gomez remains the Library Commission chair – and ethics commissioners are now looking for answers. Read More
Former Mayor Willie Brown is flexing his political fundraising muscle yet again for District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague, only intensifying her opponents’ criticism that she is beholden to moderate special interests.
The charismatic Brown is holding a breakfast campaign fundraiser Friday morning for Olague at the Ferry Building with special guest Mayor Ed Lee, who appointed her in January to serve out the remainder of Ross Mikarimi’s term after he became sheriff. Read More
Mudslinging has started in the fierce head-to-head battle over who will represent the Richmond neighborhood as incumbent Supervisor Eric Mar is being blasted about contributions to his campaign.
Former Recreation and Park Commissioner David Lee is characterizing Mar as the super PACs darling. “Don’t let SuperPACs buy this election,” the ad says. Read More
An opponent of the 8 Washington St. waterfront luxury condo development is calling for an investigation into whether Port of San Francisco officials misused city resources for political purposes.
Jon Golinger, who is running the campaign in support of a referendum on the development, sent a letter Sept. 19 to City Attorney Dennis Herrera requesting that he investigate the claims, providing him with an Aug. 6 email sent by Port Commission Chairwoman Doreen Woo Ho to Port Director Monique Moyer. Read More