Saturday, April 11, 2015

Seniors Act Up at SF Housing Authority Hearing

The obstacles blocking full transparency for the San Francisco Housing Authority are Mayor Ed Lee and every member of the Board of Supervisors. For all their talk about how wonderful the tech explosion is for the City and accountability to taxpayers, neither the mayor nor the supervisors have endeavored to wire every hearing room at City Hall.

Leaders at the SFHA and the San Francisco Fire Commission very much want their meetings made available for viewing by the public via all the media platforms available through SFGovTV.

But because our elected officials have not budgeted City funds nor asked for tech assistance from business leaders to install video cameras in hearing rooms at the People's Building, and hire enough staffing (perhaps graduates of City College's excellent new media courses) necessary to operate them, there's a waiting list for commissions to be assigned a wired room.

At the April 9 meeting of the SFHA, I was reminded by agency leaders that they'd be pleased to have their meetings on SFGovTV and I requested that they lobby Mayor Lee to upgrade all meeting rooms. During public comment, I pushed for TV transparency and suggested the agency's web site get a serious overhaul and made more user-friendly.

Right now, there is no page on the SFHA site just about elevators in public housing projects. Much time was taken up on April 9 about the status of elevators, which are broken and under repair, and efforts to modernize them, and the horrors of residents getting stuck in malfunctioning elevators.

I was shocked to learn SFHA depends on third-party mechanics to deal with stuck elevators, and they malfunction outside of weekday business hours, and the repair folks don't live in the City. When they're called in to get residents free from broken elevators, especially on weekends and holidays, their long travel time adds to the agony of those in the elevators.

Here's my video from the meeting. Glad I was there to see a few seniors acting up at the mic, speaking truth to power, and demanding better services from SFHA.

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