County committee rejects community call for a break in runaway development
By Tim Redmond
MAY 28, 2015 – As if there were any doubt left, the Democratic Party of San Francisco demonstrated how far it has gone from its progressive roots and how closely it’s become aligned with the real estate industry last night as the party’s leaders voted against a temporary moratorium on market-rate housing in the Mission.
The vote was 13-10, with Assemblymember David Chiu, who ran for office touting his “shared progressive values,” joining those who voted against the measure.
“The sends a clear message that the Democratic Party is not interested in what the neighborhoods want,” Sup. David Campos, who is sponsoring the moratorium measure, told me after the vote.
The Democratic County Central Committee has no direct authority over land use (or any other city policy), and the measure will still come before the full Board of Supervisors June 2.
But the meeting was an early showcase of exactly what the debate will look like next week – and put every member of the committee on the record on one of the most critical issues in the city.
We saw the arguments on both sides with exceptional clarity. The residents and merchants in the Mission, along with housing advocates from across the city, said that the neighborhood needs a break from the rush of new luxury housing to create a new plan for future development.
Opponents, including Sup. Scott Wiener and the groups SF Bay Area Renters Federation and GrowSF, argue that more development would bring down prices, and anything limiting new projects would just mean higher prices and more evictions.
Most of the people who spoke against the moratorium were white. Some worked in the tech industry. Many of those who spoke in favor were Latino.
In fact, just about every grassroots group in the Mission supports the idea. It’s fair to say that the moratorium plan is something that came out of the community, and has overwhelming community backing. Continue reading