San Francisco supervisors overwhelmingly approved a resolution to condemn the naming of the city’s public hospital for Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan. Here’s our take on the key San Francisco political dynamics of 2020. It’s sort of like “Care Not Cops,” as the hopefully less escalatory Street Crisis Response Team starts its Mental Health SF pilot program today for non-violent incident response. Main Campus. SFMTA made no effort to consult with stakeholders prior to reversing Mayor Lee’s and the community’s vision. In a show of unity Wednesday on a live-streamed Zoom session, SF Police Chief Bill Scott and District Attorney Chesa Boudin discussed recent charging decisions implicating SF police officers, and the growing role of the DA's Independent Investigations Bureau. Even prior to the pandemic the Breed Administration found it acceptable for over 100 tents to occupy Tenderloin sidewalks. And because the implementation of the November 2018 ballot measure Prop C ensures that not a single person need become homeless when FEMA funding ends—San Francisco has the local funding to house everyone now in temporary housing. He is also the author of The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime and Resistance in the Heart of San Francisco, San Francisco Politics 2020: The Year in Review, San Francisco Violating COVID19 Guidelines in Tenderloin. The city’s approach to the Tenderloin also exposed a major downside of district elections—instead of all supervisors feeling responsible for ensuring the health and safety of the city’s most multi—racial working class community, the Tenderloin’s crisis was seen solely as D6 Supervisor Matt Haney’s problem. Mayor Breed has been calling for such action since her 2018 mayoral campaign. Nevertheless, the political world —-public hearings, meetings of elected officials and a local, state and national election—-proceeded. There’s a difference between an agency not performing as it should—and I can name several in San Francisco—and claims that the agency’s inadequate performance is due to “corruption.” Like all organizations DBI makes mistakes; but blaming the high cost of housing and planning department delays on DBI is simply wrong. DBI Director Tom Hui resigned at the mayor’s request following disclosure that he arranged for the agency to hire his son. Politics in the San Francisco Bay Area is widely regarded as one of the most liberal in the country. The Board of Supervisors overcame the mayor’s initial resistance to moving former shelter residents and those living on the streets into temporary hotels. When I attended Hastings (1979-82) it was seen as the enemy of the Tenderloin. We all know that not everyone is following pandemic isolation recommendations to the T these days. By July the tent count had fallen from 420 to roughly 30. Members are appointed by the mayor and president of the Board of Supervisors. DBI is controlled by a Commission. Hillary Ronen popped up on “60 Minutes” Sunday night to proclaim “We are getting screwed” over Sutter Health’s alleged monopoly and price-gouging practices. The 87-year-old senator has visibly lost a step, but a new report features stories from (mostly anonymous) aides saying that her mental deterioration is a lot further along than we realize. 2020 was a fiscal nightmare for all urban transit systems in the United States. This should be a game changer. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is trucking along and corralling her caucus like a pro at age 80, is in a high-risk category for COVID both because of her age and being an "essential worker." DBI has nothing to do with promoting these appeal procedures. I wrote last week about how the media’s permit expediter scandal of 2004 fell apart when people were unable to confirm their claims at public hearings; some of the “victims” in recent media reports on DBI did work without permits, while others faced delays that had nothing to do with DBI or any city malfeasance. D6 is fortunate to have another great supervisor in Haney but the health and safety of a neighborhood should be a citywide concern. Federal and state funding has led to over 2000 such placements. It suddenly announced this fall that it was eliminating two of the plans core features: fully protected bike lanes and the replacement of the rundown red sidewalk bricks with beautiful gray pavers. Lee got many skeptics to invest in building new housing along Mid-Market as part of this visionary future. Bigger fish are frying in the ever-expanding Mohammed Nuru DPW scandal, as the head of SF’s Public Utilities Commission has his home raided, gets charged with fraud, and possibly faces 20 years in prison. City officials in San Francisco have banned all tobacco smoking inside apartments, citing concerns about secondhand smoke. The Republican Party holds a voter registration advantage in one State Assembly sub-district (the portion of the 4th in Sol… Here’s our take on the key San Francisco political dynamics of 2020. Instead, it has created a lot of unnecessary conflict over phasing out the temporary SIP hotels. The alleged spy was an Eric Swalwell fundraiser and Ro Khanna volunteer, but some Midwestern mayors are likely more nervous because the FBI has footage of her having sex with them. Stay up to date! It was a product of years of stakeholder input. Although the fight between Democrats and Republicans has been unequal for the … 2130 Fulton Street San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 (415) 422-5555 Campus Map Get all the latest & greatest posts delivered straight to your inbox. It remains just a list of recommendations that hasn't been formalized, but a SF school district committee's push to strip Abraham Lincoln's name from a school is drawing national outrage and laughter. Everybody figured 38-year-old former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg would get a job in a theoretical Biden administration, and of course he has. The Breed Administration needs to start negotiating to buy or lease hotels and get this process moving. By spring 2021, with no signs that daily life will have returned to normal yet amid an ongoing pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom could be among multiple governors facing recall efforts around the country. … The district attorney is making a renewed push for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to release his long-jailed father, as a COVID-19 outbreak hits the maximum security prison where he's incarcerated. The 555 California Street building, which the Trump family co-owns, is no longer for sale, and Trump can’t be happy that he won’t get his $1.5 billion payout anytime soon. Following Monday's bombshell announcement of charges against SF Public Utilities Commission Director Harlan Kelly, following an FBI raid of his home, we now get word that his wife, City Administrator Naomi Kelly, has voluntarily — or under pressure from the mayor — taken a leave of absence. In the meantime, Tumlin should be heavily investing in building fully protected bike lanes so alternatives to MUNI are available when the pandemic ends. The May lawsuit immediately prompted city action. The Better Market Streets plan was central to this vision. But what’s happened at the agency under his leadership reflects deeper structural problems than he anticipated. This lack of process is not what people expected in November 2019 when Mayor Breed selected Jeff Tumlin to run SFMTA. Frankly, I’ll be surprised if the Board goes along. Record cash pours into Georgia Senate races, with a large chunk from California. It brought down DPW chief Mohammed Nuru, SFPUC head Harlan Kelly, Sandra Zuniga, the head of the Office of Neighborhood Services, and has put City Administrator Naomi Kelly’s future at risk. He is the author of four prior books on activism, including The Activist's Handbook: Winning Social Change in the 21st Century, and Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century. I don’t see any evidence of “corruption” or illegal “pay to play” amidst the hard working employees of the Department of Building Inspection. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who is often credited with wielding influence over city government and development long after his tenure as mayor ended in the early 2000s, has weighed in on the latest corruption scandal at City Hall in a new interview. Affordable housing solutions for San Francisco have been far more difficult to agree upon. San Francisco is still expected to move into the "Purple" tier this week (or today), Elon Musk just overtook Bill Gates as the second-richest person in the world, and California just broke its own record again for new daily COVID cases with over 20,000. But a vaccine is happening, Trump will soon be gone, and better times are  ahead. Former Mayor Ed Lee worked with stakeholders to create a bold vision that restored Market Street’s historic role. On top of these failures is SFMTA’s decision to terminate long planned improvements to Mid-Market. Commission members are more likely to know the full story. Proposition E is a perfect example of how political local housing measures have become. Hiring experts to process permits is no more “pay to play” than retaining an attorney to help with a lease or other business transaction. ... San Francisco is a FANDOM Lifestyle Community. San Francisco had a tough 2020. That federal, state and local building, planning and health code provisions have become extremely complex in today’s world is not a sign of a “corrupt” process. Have a safe and healthy holiday season. Let’s hope the Biden Administration will financially rescue urban transit systems like San Francisco’s. Lincoln Mitchell teaches in the political science department at Columbia University. With shelter capacity curtailed by social distancing mandates, a debate began over where to house the unhoused. The national implications of the Georgia race go from coast to coast. Nevertheless, the political world —-public hearings, meetings of elected officials and a local, state and national election—-proceeded. This occurred after two lengthy hearings in which some supervisors expressed concern that disallowing tents in the Tenderloin would negatively impact their own districts. Exclusive coverage of Bay Area, Sacramento and Washington D.C. politics and election campaigns and voting including the 2020 presidential election and primaries. The legal settlement was ultimately approved by the Board of Supervisors. This continuing trend is also visible in the results of presidential elections; the last Republican to win San Francisco was Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. But when the leaders who daily try to drill the rules into us violate the rules themselves, it's a recipe for a whole lot of exasperation and outrage in the media and on social media. A routine funding measure turned into a provocative debate about the Marina Times, and whether it represents free speech or feeding the trolls with taxpayer dollars. Shaw's latest book is Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America. A City Hall “corruption scandal” was a major story in 2020. San Francisco, CA local politics, local officials, government and campaigns I’ve strongly supported the mayor’s call for restricting appeals of building permits. Randy Shaw is the Editor of Beyond Chron and the Director of San Francisco’s Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which publishes Beyond Chron. Many arguments from my Beyond Chron stories about the Tenderloin tent crisis were included in the plaintiffs’ legal briefs. It’s a game changer because the city cannot return those temporarily housed to the streets. For what's believed to be the first time, a San Francisco district attorney has filed a homicide charge against a police officer for shooting a citizen while in the line of duty. Ossoff and Warnock expected more … It also proves how radical San Francisco Jon Ossoff really is. And supervisors and  groups serving the unhoused are equally perplexed. But SFMTA threw this all overboard. FEMA funding and Prop C allows something great to finally happen in San Francisco. A local economy built on tourism saw its hotels, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues entirely closed down or restricted. I don’t get it. Government and Politics Regional Agencies Political Groups Elected officials of the SF Bay Area Elections - Next elections will be in June 2006. The mayor’s Medium post vaguely decries “what some people have been saying” and “a number of inaccurate statements” after the Board of Supervisors' unanimous vote to extend the shelter-in-place hotel program. Ken Goldstein is a professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and Faculty Director of the USF in DC program. It looks like federal investigators have snagged a slightly bigger fish in the unfolding SF City Hall corruption scandal that began with the January arrest of former Department of Public Works head Mohammed Nuru, and it's an executive at longtime San Francisco waste management vendor Recology. According to the California Secretary of State, the Democratic Party holds a voter registration advantage in every congressional district, State Senate district, State Assembly district, State Board of Equalization district, all nine counties, and all of the 101 incorporated municipalities in the Bay Area. Sup. An election worker sits in front of a large American flag Feb. 28 while entering faxed-in ballots ahead of the 2020 primary election at San Francisco City Hall. Such talk exposed why the city has long maintained the Tenderloin as a containment zone. This number grew to 420 during the pandemic, raising serious health threats to the neighborhood residents and workers who could not gain the required social distancing walking down the street (See “San Francisco Violating COVID19 Guidelines in Tenderloin,” April 28), A legal team assembled by Hastings College of the Law with neighborhood stakeholders as plaintiffs was forced to sue San Francisco for subjecting the Tenderloin to this serious pandemic risk. The school is now an essential ally in the struggle for a safe and healthy neighborhood. Even progressives who support expanded government ownership and control believe many public officials are “corrupt.” But phrases like “corruption” and “pay to play” were completely misused in San Francisco 2020. San Francisco’s transit crisis is even worse. Housing the Unhoused. Mayor Breed’s appointment of such a true urban visionary to head SFMTA was a bold and brilliant choice. It’s been a rough year. Nonetheless, on the day Brown was inaugurated as San Francisco's mayor, cementing his standing as California's most notable African American politician, it was a … The mystery, which I raised last week (“Mayor Breed’s Challenging Year”), is why the Breed Administration is not moving to secure this permanent housing. Thanks for reading Beyond Chron in 2020. The head of San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission, which oversees millions of dollars in city contracts, has resigned after being charged with bribery in an ongoing federal corruption probe. san francisco politics As North Beach Goes, So Could Go New York Caffe Trieste is an institution in North Beach with deep ties to San Francisco's literary and counterculture. Reporters can joke about all this complexity but stories about decks collapsing, disabled access ignored, and restaurant customers going home sick when strict code requirements are not mandated is not funny. Newsom’s PlumpJack Group got a plump $2.9 million in PPP loans for its high-end wineries and restaurants, which is eight times higher than what was originally reported. Following the social upheavals of the 1960s, San Francisco became one of the centers of liberal activism, with Democrats, and progressives dominating city politics. 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