Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wiener Roasted:
67% of SF Voters Reject Gay Supe's Prop E

The Castro's gay member on the Board of Supervisors, Scott Wiener, saw his signature ballot proposition this week go down in flames. A whopping 67% of San Franciscans who cast votes soundly rejected Prop E, that would have allowed the Supervisors and the Mayor to amend future ballot props and opened up a can of worms ready to eat away at our local democratic system.

In August, Wiener penned a column for the Huffington Post making big claims about what the citizenry was supposedly concerned with this election cycle:

Two of the most common questions I'm asked as an elected official are "Why do you make us vote on so many things?" and "Why doesn't the Board of Supervisors do its job and pass legislation without asking us to pass it for you?"

Folks are losing their jobs and healthcare insurance, rents are climbing and banks are foreclosing on properties in Wiener's district and across the city, municipal services are being curtailed, and lots of other bad economic news are hitting ordinary people, and Wiener would like us to believe the issue he most heard about was our alleged broken prop system.

What planet is Wiener living on? Sure as heck isn't the same one where struggling San Francisco citizens reside.

Recent filings by the Yes on E campaign show the committees donating to the effort were from real estate and downtown business groups, hardly a grassroots-backed campaign here.

Wiener's Huff Post essay boasted the following:

This proposal won't fix our ballot measure system in one fell swoop, but it starts us in the right direction. I look forward to a robust discussion this fall and beyond.

Seems clear to me the proposal's overwhelming rejection went completely against the direction Wiener was hoping for. His claim of welcoming a healthy discussion apparently stopped on Election Day, because he's not said a thing about Prop E's defeat on his Facebook page nor has he tweeted about it.

If he is genuine about that discussion he's going to have to put some sweat and energy into making it happen, but his track record about public talks is shoddy at best.

Back in the spring, the BAR reported on Wiener calling for public discussion about merging the gay parade committee with the community center, an idea worth debating. Only trouble was he didn't speak with the parties involved:

He also said he hasn't proposed the [merger] idea to Pride officials. Asked about the LGBT Community Center being a [possible partner in a merger], Wiener said that "certainly would be an option. ..."

[...] Wiener said, "I think it's terrific that we have people who are getting involved and making sure the organization stays viable, and making sure the parade is a success. But it doesn't avoid the need for a conversation about where Pride needs to go in the long run, and what kind of organizational structure the parade needs."

He wouldn't say whether he'd talked to Rebecca Rolfe, the center's executive director, about the idea. 

So, he wanted public discussion about a potential merger and he blabbed to the BAR about it all, only he didn't take the time to speak with the head of the center. Four months later, the gay paper again asked him about consolidating the SF Pride committee with another nonprofit and there was no indication that in the intervening time he brought about the discussions he called for. More talk about talk from Wiener:

As far as Pride merging with anyone, Wiener said, "I think we need to have a frank discussion about the future of Pride."

What is needed from Wiener is him delivering on his many calls for public discussions about ballot props, the SF Pride committee and other issues. We'll see if he's willing to take responsibility and organize the open chats we need.

I hope the 67% figure is enough to wake him up about the wrong direction of some of his efforts.

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