State of the City slides into view

Mayor Gavin Newsom channeled his inner Al Gore on Monday during his annual State of The City speech, presenting a multitude of facts — via PowerPoint — to support his belief that “The City is better off now than it was four years ago.”

Within the 80-minute speech, Newsom clicked his way through a dizzying 120 slides, highlighting everything from the signs of economic progress in San Francisco to the number of public art pieces — 33 — on The City’s horizon.

In the past, Newsom has given the annual address from behind a podium, with no visual aids. This year, he called his new format “a little bit unorthodox.”

The PowerPoint presentation gained worldwide recognition when Al Gore was shown throughout his movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” using the computer-generated slide program to outline facts about global warming.

More than 300 invited guests attended the speech, including Newsom’s senior staff, department heads, school board members, several city supervisors, and state and local elected officials including Assemblymember Mark Leno, and state Sen. Carole Migden.

In his speech, the mayor highlighted how The City has rebounded in the years that followed the dot-com bust and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Charts were presented showing increases in capital funding and housing development. Other topics touched on as slides whizzed by at a rate of about two per minute included homelessness, violence-prevention efforts and The City’s investment in public education.

After the speech — which ended with a slide showing a gay couple getting married — Newsom played along with the Gore comparison, saying that “for some of my critics, some of these stats are certainly inconvenient truths.”

Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin gave the speech mixed reviews, noting that while many of Newsom’s facts were accurate, others were not, some lacked context, and some less favorable facts were conveniently omitted.

“Obviously, when you get to control the narrative, you speak to those issues where there have been successes,” Peskin said.

No mention was made of Newsom’s failed promise to bring The City free citywide Wi-Fi, for example. When Newsom boasted that San Francisco is investing as much in its public-housing rebuilding program as the federal government, his comparison was not apples-to-apples. When touting San Francisco’s expansion of afterschool programs, he didn’t mention that a new state law provided a large portion of the new funding. And when promoting The City’s new universal health care program, no mention was made that Supervisor Tom Ammiano initiated the program.

Newsom years

Among San Francisco statistics touted by Mayor Gavin Newsom at his State of The City speech Monday:

Unemployment rate: Down from 6.7% in 2003 to 4.2% in 2006

Hotel occupancy rate: Up from 68.1% in2003 to 76.4% in 2006

SFO passengers: Up from 29 million passengers in 2003 to 34 million in 2006

Retail sales growth: Up from $9.9 billion in 2003 to $11.9 billion in 2006

Muni's on-time performance: Up from 65.5% in FY 2001-02 to 71.9% in FY 2006-07

Evictions: Down from 2,732 in FY 98-99 to 1,475 in FY 2006-07

Homeless people housed: Up from 1,736 in FY 2004-05 to 4,392 in FY 2007-08

Serious crime: 10 percent reduction overall from 2003 to 2007, including rape, aggravated assault, larceny/theft, burglary, auto theft and arson

beslinger@examiner.com

Each day until voters go to the polls Nov. 6, The Examiner lays odds on local figures beating Mayor Gavin Newsom. Check out our exclusive blog: San Francisco's Next Mayor?

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Talika Fletcher, sister of Roger Allen, is consoled at a vigil to honor her brother, who was killed by Daly City Police on April 7, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supporters march for SF man killed by Daly City police

Struggle over fake gun ends in shooting of 44-year-old Roger Allen, DA says

Curfews on indoor dining have been lifted as The City continues to reopen business. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City to allow expanded indoor dining, limited indoor concerts and small conferences

With new COVID-19 cases remaining stable, San Francisco will continue to expand… Continue reading

Johnny Cueto P was the starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants against the Cinnanti Reds, Wednesday. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Cueto leaves with injury as Giants take series from Reds

A latissimus dorsi injury to Johnny Cueto cast a dark cloud over… Continue reading

Kyle and Kristin Hart shown with their children. Kyle was shot and killed by police three days after the birth of their daughter, Ellie. (Courtesy of the Hart family)
Wife of Redwood City man killed by police files federal lawsuit

Kristin Hart calls for city to improve its response to those suffering a mental health crisis

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

Most Read