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There’s No Place Like Home


Unfortunately, if you live in San Francisco, you have to read this week’s Guardian, too, to get the outlines of the “No on J” campaign against the “workforce housing” initiative slated for city ballots on March 2.
The lefty weekly runs down the list of opponents, a list the run the political gamut from moderately conservative Supervisor Tony Hall to self-styled anti-capitalist Supervisor Chris Daly. They oppose the high rise development zone saying its bad for San Francisco since it will allow tall buildings, won’t serve the “truly” needy, won’t do anything to help the city forgotten middle class and is a run-around the city planning department and a long-entrenched neighborhood planning process.
Okay. Mr. Smith, you over there at the Weekly, your turn to – sigh – once again make the argument that adding housing – any housing – to San Francisco is a good idea; that the city’s middle class has pretty much relocated to the East Bay because someone forgot to provide places for them to live and that two-income households are not the economic rarity the Guardian makes them out to be in its piece. At least not in the 21st Century I inhabit. The only way a gross household income of $87,000 a year in San Francisco can be considered wealthy is, well, is if you’d been living on a Guardian reporter’s salary for the past eight years. Maybe its malnutrition that makes their thinking so soft.
There are plenty of people besides the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce who support Prop. J but they’ve been oddly silent these past few months. There are plenty of people on both sides of this debate who see a compromise between this vote and a fall bond issue – that will need approval from two-thirds of voters – to expand supportive housing for the homeless. Some opponents are suggesting that a compromise will be easier to work out once J has been soundly defeated. That way, Prop J opponents – like a unified coalition between Daly and Hall? I’m gonna pay cash money to see that — can deal from a position of strength on the supportive housing bond. Well, maybe. Certainly this mess gives Angela Alioto’s special commission on homelessness something to chew over.
Call me cynical, but the way things are going now, it makes me miss dealmeister Willie Brown. And he’s only been gone a month.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 1:15 PM | Permalink

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