Thursday, November 07, 2013

SF Chron: Tech Execs' $8M for Vanity Art, Not Public Housing Needs

Here are perfect contrasting examples of the two San Francisco's in recent days in the San Francisco Chronicle. By the way, I see the City divided into these two factions

The first is comprised of the rich of Pacific Heights, the downtown developers and City Hall leaders with hands on the levers of power including members of the Board of Supervisors especially David Campos who lately speaks about his place of employment as something he's not a part of.

He recently told a local alternatively weekly,“We have a City Hall that, quite frankly, doesn’t get it. When City Hall doesn’t get it right, the people of San Francisco step in.” 

David, you don't get it. You are City Hall. If someone spends more than a decade working in the City Attorney's Office, serving on the Police Commission and twice being elected to the Board of Supervisors, while also sitting on the Democratic County Central Committee, they're City Hall and part of the problem.

I need to digress because we need to be absolutely clear that the likes of Campos need constant butt-kicking and not just butt-kissing from progressives.

The second other faction of San Francisco is comprised of the dwindling low and moderate income renters, small businesses struggling to stay afloat, the marginally housed and homeless, nudists and artists, radical political activists and other unique characters and institutions. Our values and needs are not top priorities for either City Hall or the ultra-wealthy ruining this town.

(Public domain photo.)

Here's what political consultant and social butterfly with an ego the size of China, Willie Brown had to say on Sunday in his weekly Chronicle column:

In case you haven't noticed, the light show on the Willie L. Brown Bridge now goes all night long. So now, folks coming out of the restaurants and bars at 2 in the morning will have something to look at.

You can thank the generosity of the tech industry for the extended hours. Tech execs were very helpful in raising the $8 million to start Leo Villareal's light show on the span, sometimes known as the Bay Bridge, and they've been equally generous in keeping the show going now that it has become a tourist attraction. 

He's just so cute making fun the name-change to the bridge that is a powerful reminder of who's running the show around the City, while lauding an $8 million funds from moguls with a spectrum of business needs that doesn't involve the second faction of regular folks. Sorry, Willie, but it's slipped my mind to worry about the views of partygoers in the wee hours of the night. What else could be done with that kind of money?

(Public housing tenants Michael Dismuke, left, and Salomon Lopez, in wheelchair, stand in front of a elevator waiting to be repaired. Credit: Lea Suzuki, SF Chronicle.)

The Chronicle's Heather Knight in her Monday front-page story about the unmet needs of public housing residents, and a quote from an affordable housing advocate, provides the answer to that question:

When both elevators at San Francisco's Clementina Towers grind to a halt, so does life itself for many of its 300 residents. [...]

Replacing the 30 elevators at 22 buildings around the city would cost $8.4 million, according to the Housing Authority. [...]

Tenant advocates say that in one of the wealthiest cities in the world - with a current city budget of $7.6 billion - $8 million to help avert a potential catastrophe for some of San Francisco's most vulnerable residents shouldn't be that hard to find.

"We've got to get the city to pony up or look for private money from one of the mayor's buddies in tech," said Sara Shortt, director of the Housing Rights Committee, which advocates for low-income tenants. 

Right on, Sara! Yes, Mayor Ed Lee needs to rattle his tin cup on behalf of public housing needs for big bucks from the tech industry that he's granted sweetheart tax giveaways and very favorable real estate deals to. Also needing to nudge his buddies in tech is the Shadow Mayor, Willie Brown.

San Francisco's first faction of the powerful can create all the public art they want, but only after the major housing needs of the second faction of the disadvantaged and average folks among us are are met.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

right on target! Willie Brown and Rose Pak are selling out this city and giggling all the way to their wall safes.

I can't think of anything off the top of my head I can do to counteract this besides bringing these deeds to light.

I haven't given up on the nu-tech labor slaves, I feel it's a matter of cracking their coating and deprogramming their coding to raise their awareness and get them to act