Campos to Propose Increased Compensation for Ellis Act Evictions

meetingnoticefeb14

D9 Supervisor David Campos sent this press release to Bernalwood yesterday:

Saying that we cannot rely solely on Sacramento to solve our affordability crisis, Supervisor David Campos (D9) will introduce a local solution at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting to help Ellis Act-evicted tenants afford to stay in San Francisco.

The ordinance will require landlords who evict using the Ellis Act to pay the difference between the tenant’s rental rate prior to eviction and what would have been the market rate for that unit for two years. This ensures that relocation payments adequately represent true market costs and allow displaced tenants who would face dramatically higher rent costs the opportunity to stay in San Francisco.

Currently, landlords are required to pay relocation assistance amounts of approximately $5,261 per tenant capped at $15,783 per unit. Landlords must also pay an additional amount of approximately $3,508 for each displaced elderly or disabled tenant. The Campos law would keep the current law as a minimum, but in most cases, would make relocation reflect market increases.

“Almost every renter in San Francisco is just one eviction notice away from being displaced from our city,” said Supervisor Campos. “It is time that we recognize that tenants must receive assistance that is commensurate with market increases in rent if we are to truly address our affordability crisis and check the rampant growth of Ellis Act evictions.”

San Francisco housing prices have become increasingly unaffordable. The median home price has recently topped $1 million and according to a Budget & Legislative Analyst report on the displacement crisis in San Francisco, the median rental rate for all apartments in 2013 was $3,414. The City’s rent controlled housing stock, the largest stock of price controlled housing in the City, is under attack by speculators that use the Ellis Act to evict long term tenants and sell the units off at enormous profit margins. The current relocation assistance rates would barely allow a tenant to afford three months of rent in San Francisco and so most evicted tenants are leaving the City they have called home for decades.

“I will continue to work with Assemblymember Ammiano to pass State legislation placing an outright moratorium on Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco. In the meantime, we need local solutions now to assist San Franciscans who are being displaced today,” said Supervisor Campos.

The Chronicle has a story about the Campos proposal, along with a discussion of some of its potential pros and cons.

Also, a piece of paper we found taped to a pole told us D9 Supervisor David Campos will speak at a housing forum tonight, 6:30 pm at BHNC on Cortland.

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159 thoughts on “Campos to Propose Increased Compensation for Ellis Act Evictions

  1. There is no way this would be upheld in court and Campos knows it. To quote a commenter on Uptown Almanac, he is a pandering hack.

    • +1….What I find deplorable is that these hacks blame the Tech Residents in the City. When everyone knows that rents in SF have been very high for years, if not for decades, before there was ever a Tech Boom…smh.

  2. Well I’d like to live in on overview estate in Pebble Beach. Ain’t gonna happen. Campos is grandstanding, as usual.

  3. Honest question: Why don’t residential rentals have 5 year leases, with the terms of the lease renegotiated at the end of the lease? When I rented, I always had 1 year leases that become month to month thereafter.

    Wouldn’t longish term leases like that provide renters with some security and predictability, while also giving property owners flexibility and and incentives to maintain and update their properties?

    • That always baffled me too, as so much of SF housing regulation does. There would actually be a lot less of this if the 5-year lease was common here, since true market bubbles would at least have some time to pop.

    • Not sure, there might be a prohibition on leases longer than 1 year. I can see an argument for a limit of 1 year to keep people from being locked into a bad situation (either price or maintenance problems), but I can see it the other way too. 5 years would indeed make sense for people who knew they would never be able to jump into the housing market but still wanted to live in SF indefinitely. We might be heading toward that kind of world…

      Looking forward to tonight’s discussion with the Supe, hopefully I can make it. Will be good to hear various points of view on this critical issue.

      • Haha, I’ll do my best but I might not make it. I get the feeling from this page and the parallel on SocketSite that if I do take notes there will a barge load of emoticons.

    • I’ve only rented Live-Work type places in the past, and have been able to negotiate 2 year leases with a renewal clause with no effort. I too always wondered why people who want to live someplace permanently don’t have a long term lease, or leases with renewal options.

    • Agree. I remember trying to purchase a 3-year-lease on a non-rent-controlled place and was really confused as to why they wouldn’t sell it to me. After all, isn’t 3 years better than 1? Since I couldn’t get financially stability via a market-rate rental using the power of leases, I ended up holding onto my rent-controlled apartment for a couple more years to save up for a home purchase.

    • If the apartment is rent-controlled, the tenant has a lifetime lease already, so leases, if they are used at all, are really for the landlord’s protection, not the tenant’s. A five year lease could end up being a burden on a tenant who needs to leave before the term is up, but is on the hook for the full five years of rent. For a rent-controlled apartment, a tenant could probably get a five year lease with rent increases limited to the permitted annual increase, but I don’t think there’s much demand for that.

      • Not that many apartments are rent controlled. The building must have been built prior to June 13, 1979; buildings that were “substantially rehabilitated” after that date; units no matter how old that were converted to “live/work” after that date; and single-family homes of any age.

        Those loopholes are so big you can drive a tractor-trailer through them…

      • “Not that many apartments are rent controlled”
        I have a hard time believing that. Something like 90% of the housing here was built before 1979, so while some of that 90% may be market rate, the rent controlled number is never going to come out to “not that many.”

      • Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong place, but I’m finding it very difficult to determine what percentage of units in SF are subject to rent control. I did find that 87% of SF housing stock is pre-1979, but the source doesn’t indicate what share of that is multi-unit apartments subject to rent control. 67.4% of housing is in multi-units, but again no indication of the share subject to rent control. I also found that the “homeownership rate” is 36.9%, but I don’t know if that refers to the share of units or the share of people.

      • There is no exemption for “substantially rehabilitated”. All non-condo multi-unit buildings built before June 1979 have rent control.

      • I quote from the ordinance about exemptions:

        “Dwelling units in a building that is at least 50 years old and which has undergone substantial rehabilitation after June 13, 1979, provided that the landlord has filed a petition for exemption on this basis and the Rent Board has determined after a hearing that the building was substantially rehabilitated;”

        Here, look for yourself: http://www.sfrb.org/index.aspx?page=1036

      • Yes, if you turned a 10 unit apartment building into say two huge apartments, it would no longer be rent controlled. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to get the dwelling unit merger approval so that would never happen. But you can’t rehab an apartment building and turn it into non rent controlled apartments.. You’d never get approval. Unless it was abandoned and falling apart. Then maybe. But still probably not. It suffices to say, this is a small statistically irrelevant portion of the market. Sort of like Ellis Act evictions.

      • I can’t find the source again, but IIRC this has happened fewer than 20 times since the rent control law was passed. So, essentially, yes, this just doesn’t happen.

      • Here’s someone saying we have 172,000 rent controlled units, though no source is given:

        http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2014/01/its-not-too-late-make-san-francisco-affordable-again/8106/

        Ellis Act evictions are definitely a very minor problem now, though the charts indicate that as the housing market heats up, they will heat up as well. Probably because they are already enormously expensive and time consuming under present law. They don’t make economic sense until the profits make it worthwhile. Campos’ idea seems to be to make them so expensive that nobody will try an Ellis Act eviction. I’m not sure, if it passes and if it’s upheld in court, it will actually do that. Is the new fee in addition to or in combination with the existing fees? If it’s $20K or even $30K, there still may be enough money to be made that it will not be a deterrent. Right now, some tenants get offered more than this to leave without a fight.

      • Thanks. That works out to 45.6% of total housing units. That’s (to me anyway) a surprisingly large proportion.

  4. I won’t be able to attend tonight but I certainly hope some level-headed folks (such as the ones above) can make it. And I certainly hope it isn’t hijacked by these so-called activists.

    Making the housing shortage problem a landlord problem is disgusting. Campos, the Supes and the damn NIMBYs are to blame for decades of poor housing policies.

    Shame on you Campos, you grandstanding fool.

    • I feel that I a pretty levelheaded and I attended the meeting. The takeaway was that a handful of developers are using the Ellis Act to do condo conversions and luxury condos. Presenters were not wild eyed radicals but well-spoken folks who want to preserve some semblance of housing for middle class people.

  5. Campos keeps managing to do something stupid that reminds me of why I never voted for him as Supervisor The quality of life issues in District 9 are outrageous & more important than if a property owner wants to turn his building into his home or into a TIC; he has done nothing about them; if anything, he is consistently MIA. One word for this idiotic proposal: Extortion!

  6. I don’t understand why Campos would what to interfere in two free people entering into a contract. He fights against government interference with a marriage contract, which I agree with, but then wants more government intervention with this type of contract. Why does the government need to be involved in everything. Let people live and be free and make their own decisions and be accountable. If someone doesn’t like the terms of a lease and the risk associated with that decision they should not sign it. Life and every decision in it has an up and downside.

    2013 had the 4th lowest level of Ellis Act Evictions since ’99

    http://dangrover.github.io/sf-ellis-evictions/

    To me this falls under “Politics of Hysteria”

    • Wow. Thanks for sharing that link. Very interesting. I noticed that many of the Ellis maps looked at entire decades worth of data, which made me suspect the recent trends we not as catastrophic as headlines often suggest.

      • Here is a link that my previous link references. This KQED post provides another interactive graphic that breaks down the neighborhood totals. In the district that includes ALL of the Mission and ALL of Bernal from ’09-’13 there were a total of 71 Ellis Act Evictions. Lets do the math, 4 years, 12 months a year that comes out to LESS than 1.5 Ellis Act Evictions per month. Does somebody want to get me the robbery stats for the district, home burglaries, sexual assaults, and correlate those stats to income. I CAN GUARANTEE that lower income families are victims of these crimes at a significantly disproportionate rate and these crimes happen unfortunately far more frequently that 1.5x a month. Let’s focus on real problems and stop following dog whistles.

        http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/11/07/117540/Priced-Out-Ellis-Act-San-Francisco-eviction

      • PREVIOUSLY I had mentioned that some oldtime landlords actually keep apartments and commercial storefronts off the market until they find the right tenant. This tenant would be someone who KNOWS and RESPECTS the neighborhood and therefore has a vested interest in the neighborhood. The hipsters and dot-commers SCREAM about this because they can’t just walk in and offer lots of cash. For over 15 years, Mission between Chavez and 30th had 4 such empty storefronts and maybe 6 or 8 such apartments. People cussed a blue streak about those rentals not being put on the market, but the landlords held firm. They’d paid off their buildings and really didn’t need the money that badly. They just wanted the right person to come along.

        PREVIOUSLY I mentioned my friend Elaine, who did the mural on the Bernal Heights library. She’s been an integral part of Precita Eyes for years. She needed a place to move and wanted to move to Bernal. I suggested that instead of Craigslist she walk around the neighborhood and talk with folks and look around. Within a couple days she found a good apartment at a decent rent. The landlord liked her and what she was doing for the neighborhood.

        WELL HERE is an article about Casa Sanchez, longtime family restaurant on 24th Street, and what happened after the son and daughter inherited the restaurant and property. Well, they’re doing exactly the same thing — while they COULD gouge someone — heck, they turned down $200,000 cash from a high-n-mighty restauranteur — they decided to lease to a local neighborhood restauranteur who had been forced out of a previous location.

        HERE is the story about it: http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/11/13/118127/Mission-District-landlord-Casa-Sanchez-gentrification

      • @David Kaye: Reverse the colors and that story doesn’t sound so noble. “Hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, cultured Caucasians refuse to lease to incoming Latino businesses. The latinos even offered lots more money than the white folks, but the heroic whities held firm and took a low offer from a fellow white person who wanted to open a burger joint, keeping the tan menace at bay.”

      • David-
        So you’re OK with landlords discriminating against people who don’t “know and respect” the neighborhood? Who is the landlord to decide who “respects” a neighborhood? So it’s OK to discriminate against a Chinese person because they don’t “respect” the ‘hood as well as a Latino might?

        And let me suggest a reason that Bob and Marta Sanchez wanted to rent to Ayutla rather than some upscale restraunteer because they could rent the space (which had been kind of a dump for a while) largely “as-is” and would also let them leave the Casa Sanchez singe out front (which I am sure is a great promotion for their separate Chips and Salsa foods business). Many business people will gladly exchange lower rental rates for less hassle on the part of the landlord. The fancy restraunteer probably wanted a lot of build-out concessions, etc. It would be a much more complex lease, it would probably require a lot of financial and resource commitment from the landlord. There are lots of good reasons why they’d turn down the fancy restraunteer aside from just trying to “keep 24th Latino”.

      • Indeed, I have no problem with landlords holding out for tenants they feel are a better fit for the neighborhood. I don’t believe that just because someone has a sackful of money they have any more rights to rent a place than those who don’t.

        I’ll tell you what makes San Francisco great: It’s the neighborhoods; it’s the mixed-use zoning that allows residential and commercial spaces to exist one atop the other, creating active streets where people participate in the neighborhoods.

        But if you upscale the commercial spaces then you attract the upscale customers who will be living elsewhere and bridge ‘n’ tunneling in, and the local residents won’t be able to afford the fancy places. So, you’ll get a mess of people who don’t care about the neighborhood because they don’t live or work there.

        San Francisco is unique among cities in that people actively participate in its government process. Go to anything from a Muni meeting to a water board meeting and you’ll find passionate people who know the score showing up at those meetings and determining policy. Other cities aren’t like this. When bureaucrats move here and see those meetings they’re astounded that they can’t slough off; they have to be on their toes because the citizens are involved in process.

      • “Go to anything from a Muni meeting to a water board meeting and you’ll find passionate people who know the score showing up at those meetings and determining policy.“

        Unfortunately, many of us work for a living and can’t spend all day at these meetings, as much as we’d like to. And writing letters to our supervisors are generally ignored.

        It feels to me that most of the people at these meetings are sucking on the teat of the City of San Francisco- they have “jobs” that are directly or indirectly funded by city programs. The people who show up for these meetings are *not* a cross-section of San Francisco.

      • I’ve taken time off work to go to several hearings over the years, and typically the only people there are those directly affected by the business before the committee and the “regulars” who seem to have made attending city hearings their hobby. My impression is that the testimony of city staff is given the most weight, but that the concerns of citizens are taken seriously.

        I wish that the hearings were at more convenient times, but I’m not sure how you could do that without unduly burdening the city staff with non-standard working hours.

      • Rusty, I dare say you don’t know what you’re talking about. The people who show up at various board meetings are NOT welfare bums, but actual working people. It’s unfortunate that you use the excuse of being too busy working to attend. At the time I was involved in the planning of the Muni T-Third rail line I was not only working fulltime, but was software development manager for TeleResults Corporation, a leader in software to assist in human organ transplants. Yet, I found ways to attend meetings, send email, etc., even with my busy schedule.

        As for people on the Board of Supes being responsive, I’ve found that my area supe, Jane Kim, is not responsive. So, I go instead to Scott Wiener, who has been extremely responsive. On any given board of supes over the years there has always been someone who responds, though they may not be in your district.

    • +1 It seems to me the city has much bigger problems that are receiving way less press. I would hope that Campos would have something better to spend his time on.

      • But this gets him lots of political attention and news coverage, and will help with his rise to state politics. Campos doesn’t care about SF. He cares about his future, bigger political career.

        Unfortunately, SF is a sucker for what I call “Drive-By Politicians”, who come here to enact laws and change that get them nationwide or at least statewide attention and media coverage, helping build them a bigger name for their future political ambitions. But they certainly don’t care about SF; they won’t even live here in the future and won’t see first-hand the bad results of the laws/changes they enacted.

      • This is exactly the kind of unhelpful approach I’m talking about. You can disagree with Campos without impugning his motives. Focus on the facts and the debate and leave the ad hominem bullshit out.

      • I’M CURIOUS to know exactly what politicians who moved on to higher office became those carpetbaggers who are being referenced here. Who? Tom Ammiano? Mark Leno? Dianne Feinstein? Nancy Pelosi? None of them have left. They still come home; they still attend local parties; the still go to the symphony and the Castro Theater (where I saw Dianne Feinstein recently).

      • I’m impugning his motives because he’s following the course of many other SF politicians. If he cared about SF his long term plans would be to stay involved with local politics not move up to the state level.

      • This assumes that you know why he’s running for state office. It also assumes that the only contribution to be made is at the local level.

        Bottom line, it’s not moving the discussion forward.

      • In response to Rusty H above, nobody can stay at the local (or even state) level of politics anymore because of term limits. Anyone who wants to stay in elected office, no matter how good they are at it must move on to another level because they will be termed out. Thus, Ammiano was termed out of the Bd of Supes and ran for Assembly. Campos ran for Ammiano’s empty seat on the Bd of Supes, and is now being termed out too.

  7. I avoided an argument with a Google Bus protester the other day who wanted to abolish the Ellis act. I had no desire to share my views with him at the time because it was 7am and I was barely awake.

    But I’ll share them now. I think landlords should certainly be allowed to stop being landlords and the Ellis act provides a legal way of making that happen. Having said that, if the Ellis act is being abused by speculators it seems like the cost structure imposed by the Ellis act isn’t sufficient and tying it to a floating measure like Campus is proposing seems like a reasonable approach. Seems like the goal here is to make the Ellis act unattractive to speculators while still keeping it on the books.

    Or perhaps I’m being naive :-)

    • This particular act is unlikely to pass constitutional measure anyways; the only way to get around the Ellis Act here is likely to be either amending or repealing it. Which, while it would certainly protect existing tenants, is also likely to keep SF’s rental stock plummeting, since many won’t want to become landlords in a city where they can never choose not to be again without selling.

      (Incidentally, I continue to be baffled and frustrated that the anti-eviction groups just don’t seem to talk that much about how to keep the city accessible to future generations. There’s a fair argument for chipping away at the Ellis Act, but most of the policy proposals put out there so far are basically about buying time for some rent-controlled tenants already here, and not much else.)

      • > “most of the policy proposals put out there so far are basically about buying time for some rent-controlled tenants already here, and not much else”

        It’s perfectly in-line with their progressive philosophy that all progress should be slowed or halted.

  8. With all due respect, not all small property owners are speculators. In fact, some have owned their buildings long enough to have had the rent control rules changed on them mid-stream. I have never evicted anyone but this newest attempt at villifying small landlords with this proposed extortion has finally spurred me to make appointments with a real estate agent and an attorney.

  9. This is such bs by Campos and all the bleeding heart communists that run our city. No one offered to “help” me with a down payment on my first house I bought in SF. so I COULD REMAIN IN SAN FRANCISCO. I worked hard, saved my money and did it on my own. Like ,most people.

    This only adds fuel to the fire of renters blackmailing property owners.

    • Oh my god.. I just realized, are you pretending to be the loony right-wing realtor from Noe Valley!? That guy is hilariously crazy! I assumed he was long dead, I haven’t been down there in years, but he always had the most amusing nutso window displays!

  10. I like — no, I LOVE this idea! People can’t cry “Oh the poor landlords” anymore because as we have seen, they’re rolling in cash. What a lot of people fail to see is that landlords who rent out apartments are in BUSINESS; they are NOT “homeowners”.

    Noemonkey: As Bill Gates says, “I didn’t do it alone; I had the help of a community infrastructure that provided me a good education, good services, and an economic climate that allowed me to flourish.” So, you’re no “self-made man”. Like anybody who is successful in America, you did it because you benefited from tax breaks, a good education that allowed you to get a job that paid decently, etc. Bill Gates says that rich people OWE IT TO SOCIETY to give back. What are YOU doing to give back? Or are you just taking taking taking?

      • The government is NOT telling anyone when to buy and sell their investments; they’re simply doing what governments do: try to even the playing field. Look, you DON’T want to lose the middle class. If you think SF is a battleground now, when it’s only upperclass and Section 8 welfare housing it will become another Detroit or Chicago.

        I have no problem with SF city government playing a role here. People bought rental properties in order to go into BUSINESS. We’re not talking about some poor widow losing her home; we’re talking about COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE that people bought thinking they were going to make an easy killing.

        I have no sympathy for those landlords. They KNEW that SF has a reputation worldwide for its neo-socialist lawmaking. But why do people continue to flock here? Because SF’s neo-socialist laws MAKE THIS CITY GREAT. What’s more, the successful laws are emulated worldwide. People groused about recycling, believe it or not. It would “kill” business because restaurants would have to sort out their recyclables from the rest of the trash. Huh? Yeah, that was the argument. Today, SF enjoys the BEST RECORD of recycling of any city in the country, including Portland. And it means that ratepayers are saving a bundle over what it would have cost had recycling not been implemented. This is just ONE example of a neo-socialist ordinance that has worked really well.

      • I think that since a major challenge in finding good employment amongst the lower class is lack of computer skills, the city should mandate that all computer support technicians currently operating in the city provide training for free at least 40 hours per week in perpetuity, until such time as they can find a replacement.

        Or alternatively, if the community thinks teaching the lower class computer skills is an important venture, tax dollars could be used to fund a program.

      • Interesting the use twice of “the lower class” as if they are the untouchables. The people being forced out are people with SKILLS who can’t afford to live here anymore. We’re talking teachers, including a dentist on the UCSF faculty I know. We’re talking paralegals, car mechanics, metal workers, etc.

        Now as for myself, I’ve negotiated a good rent and personally have no dog in this fight. And I’ve negotiated a good resettlement fee should I have to be evicted for future development. Why was I so wise to do these things? Because I grew up in these parts and I know how landlords tend to screw over tenants.

    • Nope. sorry, you’re wrong David Kaye: with all your socialist “make us all equal” bs. The so called community infrastructure did NOT provide me with anything. I chose to move from a little, rural lower middle class farm town to go to college, working my way thru, paying off student loans, graduating, then coming to SF for my first job, working hard, saving, saving, saving. I benefitted from MY choices. We all make them.

      As for giving back (not that I have to tell you at all), but I volunteer for hiv/aids organizations, give $1000 of dollars a year to various groups, pay my taxes. sweep my sidewalk, help my neighborhood plant trees, don’t use drugs, pay my bills and enjoy living in this great city that I contribute to.

      So there.

      • @ David Kaye: why would you assume someone is bullshitting you when they say they volunteer at certain organizations. Your deep skepticism of believing anyone here saying anything must get in the way of your reasoning. Right? why would I lie? what would I gain? FYI, I have volunteered AND given money to several hiv/Aids organizations, among them the UCSF Alliance Health Project, ART for Aids, Stop Aids Project. Please stop disrespecting people here because you think they are lying.

      • Why would I not believe? Because my experience has shown that volunteers generally do not tout the volunteer stuff they’re doing unless they’re trying to recruit someone to join their group. If I’m wrong I’m sorry.

  11. Yet another reason why I’m keeping my basement unit off the market. I will eventually need to move my elderly mother into the unit, and I need to make sure it will be available when I need it. Proposals like this make the rental market worse for everyone.

  12. Definitely not a perfect solution, but undeniably a good step in the right direction! Thank you, Sup. Campos for this common-sense proposal!

    • I think the best solution would be to help tenants purchase their own units. its a win/win – the landlord gets to leave the rental business and the tenants don’t have to go anywhere.

      how would you determine what a similar unit/neighborhood is? what if the tenant moves out of state? just seems like a very hard thing to measure.

      • Well, you’re either completely nuts or a surprisingly effective troll. I haven’t decided which, yet.

      • Bonus points for accusing people of being “Communists”, though. It’s always hilarious when someone drags up some classic 1950s John Birch Society-era vintage lunacy!

  13. Until the city loosens up on building permits, allows development to the maximum allowed by law in the areas surrounding billion-dollar transit infrastructure, and starts rezoning RH-1 for greater density, this is all rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. You can’t be pro-affordable housing and anti-development.

    In the meantime, everyone needs to stop dehumanizing the other players in this situation. Landlords and renters are, with few exceptions, just people trying to get along. They’re not looking to screw over anyone else. Some are getting pushed to the edge of sustainability (on both sides) and are reacting desperately, sure, but a little compassion would go a long way in this town.

      • THE PROBLEM is that housing works the OPPOSITE of supply and demand. Why? Because people want to live near other people. So, the more they build the higher the housing prices will go. Remember before the big housing boom South of Market in the 1990s? Machine shops and warehouses and car repair shops and artists and musicians could afford to live there. Then Joe O’ Donoghue and his Residential Builders Association moved in and built on every spare foot of land, thanks to a “live/work” law that allowed substandard housing to be built as long as it was used (or pretended to be used) for combined living and working. Now it’s one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city.

        I call your attention to the most expensive cities: New York, London, Tokyo, Singapore, Paris, Hong Kong. What do they have in common? They’re all densely populated.

        I call your attention to the cheapest cities in California: Alturas, Burney, Covelo, Paradise. What do they have in common? Nobody lives there, even though the settings for all these places are beautiful and there is plenty of recreation such as hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, etc.

        San Francisco has had a HUGE BUILDING BOOM these past 5 years, pulling out all the stops. It’s as if SF had no planning department. Building permits were issued to anybody who had a filing fee. And then the remodeling permits, and the contractors who weren’t even licensed. Did the housing prices come down with the boatload of new development? No, the housing prices went UP UP UP.

        The solution therefore is NOT to increase housing. It will only drive up the prices more. The solution is to limit the amount of housing so that jobs will go elsewhere. SF has a GLUT of jobs, which is easy to see as more people commute INTO SF than commute out of it each day. Move some of those jobs to Oakland, San Bruno, San Mateo, etc.

      • +1 – @david kaye – people don’t necessarily want to live near other people (think of all the NIMBYs…), they want to live near JOBS. All the world cities you’ve named are job centers. Alturas, Burney, Covelo, and Paradise have no jobs and that’s why they are affordable. SF has had a bit of a building boom in the last couple of years but it’s not enough to make up for decades of stagnant housing growth. Check out this article: https://medium.com/p/ccb31944dce1

        pretty much sums it up

      • @David Kaye

        “The solution therefore is NOT to increase housing. It will only drive up the prices more. The solution is to limit the amount of housing so that jobs will go elsewhere. ”

        SF has been trying that for decades already. How’s that working out for you?

      • Until SF changed the laws in the 1990s to allow any piece of junk construction (aka “live/work spaces”) to be built, SF was just fine. It was affordable to both residents and small businesses. Then SF allowed the junk condos to be built South of Market and the neighborhood exploded as THE place to be. Rents and housing prices went through the roof.

        The junk condo law allows lots of substandard construction to legally be built. Examples include apartments with particle board flooring (a fire hazard), bedrooms with no natural light, narrow stairs (unsafe in fires), etc.

        When Joe O’Donoghue and his Residential Builders Association came along they took advantage of that law change and built every conceivable building on every street and alley they could find. They were advertised far and wide on radio and TV, in newspapers, in handouts at the supermarket, in glossy magazines such as “San Francisco”, “7 x 7″, etc., and people felt it was chic to move into brand new apartments, no matter how unsafe they were.

    • I disagree about landlords. One former landlord, Joe Porcoro, the guy who would get up at 6am and paint over graffiti before going to work — HE was a great guy and even gave me a surprise $200 for being a great tenant when I moved out.

      But other landlords I had were bastards. One tried to get me to move claiming that his sick sister had to move in. I found out she was already living in a home she owned in Bernal. Finally he admitted he had wanted me to move out because he wanted to remodel and flip the building.

      Another landlord did everything he could to harrass tenants such as shutting off the water unexpectedly, running a gasoline sidewalk blower at 6am, etc. He wanted to get rid of us so he could boost the rent.

      Another landlord actually tried to REFUSE our rents and then claim that we hadn’t paid. Finally I got a friend who was a deputy sheriff to show up in uniform with me and knock on his door, whereupon I presented him with the check. It took THAT MUCH to stop this bullshit.

      Again, people who buy HOMES to live in are not the issue for me, but people who operate RENTAL units are in business, and they are required by law and morals to treat their tenants, aka customers, with respect and follow the law.

  14. Fine, sure, whatever. Do this, repeal the Ellis act, amend it again and again, pat yourself on the back a hundred times and then move the fuck on because preventing less than 200 evictions a year in a city with 800,000 residents and a 50,000-unit housing shortage will do absolutely fucking nothing do reduce upward pressure on rents.

    Honestly, I’m not unsympathetic: getting evicted sucks no matter what the reason But SF doesn’t have an eviction crisis, we’ve got a rental availability crisis, and mucking with the Ellis act as a response is the definition of fiddling while Rome burns.

  15. I’m an evil Bernal Landlord and decided to enter the lion’s den at the Bernal Dem Club fest to David Campos. I say that so you can evaluate what I have to say in light of my bias.

    Same old pandering that Mr. Campos engages in although of a higher quality then Chris Daly. (remember the “anit-landord bluffing law”?) Mr. Campo’s proposal constitutes a nightmare for enforcement and in a real sense–unlike the criticisms of rent control–involves a “taking of property”. Further, he continually quotes the “200% increase” in Ellis Act evictions. 200% of an insignificant number is an insignificant number. There were 185 Ellis acts in 2013. That’s not even a drop in the bucket. It is a good organizing tool and provides photo op’s. It does not solve the problem in any meaningful way other then generate protests and political support for Mr. Campos..

    The women from a tenant’s rights org did have an excellent suggestion. She noted that 33% (I think) of Ellis act’s were perpetrated by 12 people. These are the speculators. She suggested capping the number of Ellis evictions for individuals and LLC’s. That’s enforceable, reasonable, targets speculators and allows individuals to not have to give away their property to entitled tenants with no means testing.

    Not that will do any good. The man from the tenants rights org said that building more market rate housing will not ease the shortage and bring down housing costs. (NYC’s strategy) He’s right. What he doesn’t say is that building more affordable housing will not do it either. There is an unexhaustible demand for low/moderate housing in SF. It cannot be fulfilled especially as policies include/favor immigrants and persons relocating here from other cities/states. There are no prior residency requirements for housing in SF.

    There is still the conversation to have regarding rent control. Are all the economists wrong?

    • NYC may have tons of buildings but they have not added enough units to keep up with job growth. That’s why prices there are still high.

      • What is then stopping an organization from just creating multiple LLC’s and proceeding with business as usual. Most likely done on legalzoom.com in about 15 minutes. The market will find a way, it always does.

  16. If any of you have read Mark Morfords most recently column, it’s worth it. He talks about our endless need for growth of all things: profit, products, junk from China, our ever expanding desire to get and produce more and more. In that light, I would pose the question:

    Why does San Francisco need to keep growing? What is wrong with our current population of 850k or so? What is the reason for building more housing simply so more people can live here. Putting aside the increased cost of ANY new housing, what is wrong with just stabilizing our population and working hard at becoming a city that is greener, safer, cleaner, more sustainable, livable, walkable, etc.?

    • nothing is wrong with that but it’s irresponsible to keep adding jobs without providing housing to those who will work them. that’s what’s pushing people out. like it or not we live in a capitalist society and the basis of capitalism is growth. without it, the system doesn’t work. no worries though because the earth and it’s resources are finite so that should take care of things in the end!

    • Because forcing population growth (which is happening whether you want it or not) to travel farther and farther out from transit rich hubs like San Francisco is not greener, safer, cleaner, more sustainable, livable, or walkable, etc.

      • That’s a false assumption. Those other cities can absorb jobs and housing within their boundaries as well. My point is that San Francisco, as a unique place to live, will, in fact, suffer from becoming too dense and too over populated.

      • Aren’t you the same person who was calling Herr Doktor a communist yesterday? This suggestion is more like communism than any from him or Campos.

      • So your plan is let all other cities grow and deal with increased population, but limit SF to it’s current population. That makes sense to you?

      • I’m talking about growth for growth’s (read: greeds) sake is dangerous. And what does it get us. I’m just asking the question: Do we, as a city, need to grow our population? and why?

      • @noemonkey – the other cities in the bay area have done the same thing (add jobs and not enough housing). that’s the problem – everyone wants the tax revenue from attracting new companies but no one wants to deal with adding new housing which means more $$$ for schools, roads, transportation, etc

      • There is an argument for high density: it’s greener. It’s cheaper and less wasteful to provide water, sewer, and power to a dense city than it is to rural or suburban areas.

    • You have an excellent point: San Francisco does NOT need to keep growing. The urban planner, urban philosopher, Lewis Mumford discovered in the 1960s that communities have optimum sizes, and that when you surpass them you have to add additional layers of bureaucracy to make them work. I believe he said the optimum size for a city is 100,000 people.

      A good example of optimum sizes is Burning Man. When it was 500 people it could be held in SF. When it grew to a couple thousand, the authorities shut it down because it would take too much policing. Upon moving to the Nevada desert, it could be planned and executed with a minimal amount of structure. Today, at 60,000 the organizers need fulltime staff to coordinate logistics. The portapotties alone cost over half a million dollars to rent. And they have to enforce perimeters, put out pages of do and don’t rules, and maintain an office in Gerlach.

      Or another example is the city of Brisbane, just south of SF. Just 6,000 people and the streets are clean, there are plenty of police, nobody is pissing in the library stacks, and they have enough money to fix the streets. It’s not that the people who run Brisbane are any better at running their city than the people who run SF are at running SF; it’s just that 6,000 is an optimum size.

      • Appreciate your comments David Kaye. And you get what I’m saying. Lewis Mumford had it right.
        Density “may” be greener, cheaper, less wasteful of resources, but at what expense to the “quality of life” issues: open space, sunshine, trees. Would people here rather we evolve into a Shanghai or Hong Kong?
        How many of us love our backyards in Bernal, Noe and other neighborhoods? We treasure those and those elements contribute heavily to our livability, and yes desirability, and yes our COST of housing.
        I’m still waiting for others to offer up sensible reasons as to WHY we need to keep growing. In a way, our high cost of housing, rental or ownership, is keeping many people away from San Francisco. Building more housing in a futile attempt in making housing cheaper is a weak argument for wanting us to grow unlimited.

        Do the Bernal residents really want 6-10 stories along Cortland Blvd, with housing about retail, just to satisfy our “endless needs”? *

        * With thanks to the Eagles for their richly worded song called “The Last Resort”.

      • You can have your house and yard if you want. But your desire for that shouldn’t constrain everyone else.

      • Personally, I think 6 stories of residential with street-level retail can be highly wonderful. That’s how they do it in Paris. Opinions on this may vary, but that kind of density is not necessarily such a bad thing.

      • Topography is a major element that makes SF what it is. Mass high density is never going to happen in a place like Bernal Heights. The roads are very narrow and the grades are steep. That said, it 3 or 4 stories can work in some places and might actually help fill in the gaps on Cortland. 6-8 stories makes sense in a place like South of Market. The roads are wide and buildings of that size would be proportional to them. I would keep 3 stories for the alleys. Density would be about what it is in the Tenderloin – not Shanghai or Hong Kong

      • @ Brandon. Oh, nobody is “constraining” anyone because they enjoy their house and yard. Why would you think that?

      • Because the zoning and planning code mandate that everyone have that whether it’s what they want or not.

      • A great example is the whole RH1 zoning. You can build something 40 feet tall but it can only have one unit? Noe is already getting tons of these huge SFHs – it’s getting built up regardless only in a way that benefits as few people as possible

      • @ Brandon: Planning and zoning codes are not put in place to “constrain” anyone. They are developed as best practices to benefit ALL residents of a city, whether a renter or a homeowner. A property owner does not and should not get to choose if they wish an open space rear yard or not. They cannot just choose to build into that rear yard at whim. That rear yard open space, as an example, ALSO benefits the neighbors on each side and to the rear, allowing for sunlight and yes “open” space. Maximum rear yard setbacks are for a purpose; to restrict our yards from being completely built upon by an owner who WANTS to and doesn’t (in their mind) see any need for open space.

        Our planning codes, in fact, are designed to protect neighbors from such selfish owners as that.

      • The zoning and planning restrictions are the codification of one group’s desires. There is no one “right” approach. In the case of Bernal, the special use district was created *explicitly* to constrain the choices of property owners. For example, it assumes the necessity of the automobile, so we are required to devote a substantial amount of our precious lot area to a storage space for a car (or cars!). I love cars, but I think it would be presumptuous for me to demand that my neighbors pay for a parking space if they don’t want one.

      • @ Brandon: so suddenly you switch to garage, cars and parking spaces, when you know the discussion was about open space/read yards. The car/no car/parking/garage debate here in SF is just endless and amounts to a lot of hot air. You’re simply wrong about the planning/zoning code being for “one groups desires”. It’s designed and written for ALL residents of our city, any city. Your argument is weak when you say you don’t wish to demand that your neighbors do not “pay” for an offstreet parking space, meaning garage. If the house comes with the garage, they pay for it. They may or may not have a car. Their choice, not yours.
        The next owner of the house may want a garage and have a car. The necessity of the automobile is real and a choice. Look up and down every street in Bernal: the cars are packed onto the streets.

        What are those? Cars or just apparitions?

      • You framed the zoning and planning as a discussion about yards, but the reality is that yards, parking spaces, and all of the other requirements are codified value judgments about what is important. If my neighbors cannot build their house without a parking space, then we are forcing them to pay for a parking space they may not want. It should be their choice. If they believe that not having a space will negatively affect the resale value of their home, then they can factor that into their decision-making process.

        The necessity of the automobile is far from a settled question. And, again, I love cars. I’m not arguing against them, merely suggesting that the city need not codify my affinity for them in its planning code.

        Your assertion that the code is for all of our residents is plainly not true. It establishes a preference for incumbents and the status quo. It can build what amounts to a wall around a given neighborhood. Maybe that’s for the best; maybe not. But it’s not what you make it out to be.

      • @ Brandon: “codified value judgments”. “I love cars, but..” wow, just wow.

        You really dislike living in San Francisco, don’t you?

      • Not really sure how anything I said leads you to that conclusion. In any case, I certainly wouldn’t pay this much money to live somewhere I “really dislike” as you suggest. I love this city, so much in fact that I wish more people like me could afford to live here, too.

    • Ed Lee is basically ruining SF by giving tax breaks to encourage companies to bring more jobs to SF. Too many jobs mean too many people. That Twitter tax break should have never happened.

      • Fascinating perspective. One of the things that I’ve been thinking lately is that the idealized or fondly remembered things about SF that many people cherish, and which are generally associated with “affordability,” are often a direct byproduct of local economic stagnation or decline.

        Bernal’s “halcyon days” of 196-1990 are an obvious example. Bernal was diverse, and affordable, and full of lots of artfolk precisely because it was a period of heavy deindustrialization, exodus to the suburbs, lack of economic activity, etc.

        Without getting into the pros and cons of any of that, it seems pretty clear that the culture was heavily enabled by the (relative lack of) economic activity in San Francisco at the time. And the inverse is true now.

        Personally, I’m not inclined to make the argument that “Neighborhood X would be better if the economy sucked more,” but that position does at least seem likely to generate its desired outcome.

        Side note: A post on a “Epochal History of Bernal Heights” is on my to do list.

      • As to the decline of a city being good for art and neighborhood culture, take a look at some of these examples:

        A lack of resources forces creativity to happen. Jerry Garcia became a great guitarist because of, not in spite of, his amputated finger. People make great art from leftover scraps. Some of the best jazz concerts I’ve ever gone to were held in people’s living rooms, not in the new jazz center. The most inventive broadcasts today come from podcasts in people’s bedrooms, not from fancy radio studios.

        The Beatles and Rolling Stones rose to popularity not because of fancy recording studios, but because they covered R&B songs, which were all they could get in their hometowns.

        Brian Goggin rose to international prominence as an artist largely from Defenestration, the junk furniture that looks like it’s falling out of the windows of an abandoned hotel. Probably the only money he spent on that work was for braces to hold the furniture to the walls.

        TREASURE ISLAND: Right now Treasure Island is in an interesting situation. Due to benign neglect it has become San Francisco’s winery district with no fewer than 13 wineries and 1 distillery. People build things for Burning Man there. The famous Bliss Dance sculpture was built there. Softball, baseball, and even rugby flourish on Treasure Island. All this stuff works because the rents are cheap and people left to their own devices come up with ideas and make them work.

        Should Treasure Island ever get developed, all that stuff will disappear and it will become as bland as any suburban mall shopping center because only the chain stores will be able to afford to locate there.

      • Sure. The cause of the correlation is not hard to grasp. I love what’s happening at TI, and I have a few friends who live there to take advantage of it (after they moved from that classic warehouse space on Illinois at the foot of Chavez).

        Fringe/liminal spaces are fantastic. I love them, I am drawn to them, and I love the people who leverage them. I’m just not sure we would want to intentionally create the kinds of conditions that nurture them.

      • If job growth is going to happen (spoiler alert – it is) I’m glad it’s in a place that’s accessible by transit to a lot of places in the Bay Area (BART). It’s a responsible place to put it and that area is underutilized. There’s actually a lot of room in SF to accommodate more housing w/o resulting in a fundamental change to the way the city looks. Even in the 70’s SF was adding more housing units per year than we are now and the 70’s were a time a lot of people look back on as a golden era for SF.

      • Well, Charles Schwab just announced it’s moving 1,000 SF jobs out of town, so that should please the “lets not encourage businesses to come to town” crowd. I don’t think the people with those jobs are going to like the idea of following their job to Texas or being laid off.
        I have to quibble with a few things, just from a factual point of view. “Jerry Garcia became a great guitarist because of, not in spite of, his amputated finger.” Really? That’s what made his playing great?
        “The Beatles and Rolling Stones rose to popularity not because of fancy recording studios, but because they covered R&B songs, which were all they could get in their hometowns.”
        R&B songs were not all they could get, American R&B records were actually kind of hard to get in England in that era, and were promoted and treasured and passed around in the ferment of the up-and-coming musical generation. Not related to poverty. And Mick Jagger was into that stuff despite being not anything like a working class guy.
        I don’t disagree with the idea that great art can flourish in impoverished circumstances. SF has managed to chase artists and studios from below Telegraph Hill, to South of Market, to Dogpatch and the Third Street corridor, to Oakland, all pretty much in the last 40 years. I”m with our genial host, however, in thinking that things won’t necessarily get better for people, culturally or otherwise, by seeing jobs and a thriving economy go away.
        Also agree that there is a lot of idealization of past eras in Bernal and in SF. It’s been decades since Bernal real estate was particularly affordable, longer on the north slope, a little less long on the south slope north of Cortland, and a little bit less with the southern reaches. Those old prices may look good now, but they were a serious stretch for people at the time.

  17. Isn’t this the same Campos who backs building height restrictions in a city that’s surrounded by water with no room to expand?
    Hey Campos, you know how you know you suck as a leader? When all your proposals are restrictions instead of new ideas.

    • Not sure what you mean about Campos sucking as a leader. Cuz, in fact, he’s kinda awesome.

  18. A ridiculous, grandstanding proposal, as others have noted. There is no eviction crisis but there is a crisis of housing availability that can only be solved by building more housing. The sooner Campos goes the way of Chris Daly, the better.

    • You mean being re-elected by landslide margins until he serves the maximum amount of time in his governmental role that he is legally allowed to? Cuz he’s already on track for that. The only question is whether he is able to continue in other roles in government. Sadly, Chris Daly decided he didn’t want to pursue that path, but hopefully David Campos will be able to continue having a positive effect on public policy in another governmental role.

      • um Campos ran unopposed the last time we voted. I don’t think he’s a bad guy but I wouldn’t have voted for him again. he’s got the typical SF “whack a mole” approach. Rather than get to the root of the problem to find a solution, he just creates new laws meant to take care of the unintended consequences of the old laws. The whole rent control/ellis act thing is getting way out of control and more laws are not going to help people not get evicted.

      • my other issue with him is that he seems to cater specifically to one demographic when our district has a lot of different people living in it. I think that’s the reason a lot of folks don’t like the job he’s doing. He means well but he’s playing favorites.

      • At the risk of incurring the good Doktor’s wrath and suffering his excoriation let me add:

        Mr. Campos was essentially given the supervisor seat. On his being termed out, Tom Amiano was given the perk by the Dem Central Committee to designate his successor. What used to be called in Mexican politics under the PRI as “El Dedaso”. (Mexico under the PRi and San Francisco under the Dem Central Committee share much in common.)
        The Dem Central Committee made sure no Dem challenged Mr. Campos in the election. His only challenger was a novice ex-principal of Horace Mann Middle School who did surprisingly well only because he wasn’t Mr. Campos.

        Mr. Campos ran unopposed for re-election, also through the excellent efforts of the Dem Central Committee. Now he actually faces a real challenger for State Assembly as this is an office that impacts more than just SF. The State Dem’s now have influence and I suspect that Mr. Campos is a little too left for them.

        Therefore, Herr Doktor, at least in Mr. Campo’s case I disagree with your premise that he won with landslides and the inference that he has some kind of mandate.

      • I have no idea whether Doktor’s wrath has been incurred, but I can tell you with no reservations that you incurred the wrath of anyone with a brain (or access to Google). Really, 2005 was not that long ago.

        I am no Campos fan, but the idea that the democratic central committee gave Ammiano the right to appoint his own successor is utter bullshit. There were actually three very strong “left-of-center” candidates in the race, and the Democractic Central Committee did not endorse any of them. In fact, the one who came the closest to getting the local democratic endorsement was Eric Quesada, a well-known tenant rights organizer and founder of the Mission Anti Displacement Coalition in the late 1990s. Quesada was a Bernal Heights resident (and my neighbor down the street) until he very sadly passed away three years ago.

        The “novice ex-principal of Horace Mann Middle School” to whom you refer was Mark Sanchez, who at the time was President of the SF Board of Education and a prominent Green Party member. He did not become principal at Horace Mann until after the 2005 election.

        Campos won, with 35 percent of the vote, but Quesada and Sanchez received a huge share of the vote. It was no landslide, but not because of the silly fairy tale made up by Bernal Neighbor.

        Therefore, Herr Bernal Neighbor, you may want to get your story straight as you pimp for David Chu and his political aspirations.

    • I was there, and the numbers Campos cited were an increase of 100% year over year and the group gowned in disgust. As usual people accepting what they are told and not doing their homework. The event was long on anecdotes and short on data. It was more of “talking to” event not so much a conversation or debate, if it was it would have been more fun and interesting.

      • In my (admittedly limited, I’ve only seen him a couple times) experience that seems to be the way Campos rolls.. He comes to the neighborhoods and just spouts a campaign speech, as opposed to actually listening or answering questions or having any new ideas.

    • The speakers mentioned that they are not opposed to new people moving in to the neighborhood, as long as they are people they approve of…really makes you feel welcome

      • Seriously. Sorry, activists, but you don’t get to just blackball people out of the neighborhood. And it’s a good thing, because the residents that came before you here quite possibly would’ve shoved you out if they could.

      • Wow, its just like living in a co-op in NYC except the co-op isn’t just a building it’s the whole neighborhood.
        This is similar to good Christians saying they are all inclusive except if you are different than them. I guess bleeding heart liberals are no better.

  19. People need to listen to the president…”I never suggested that change would be easy” He must have been talking about The Mission and Bernal because if you listen to some people this is the only place change is happening and it is horrible.

  20. this was very interesting commentary.. there are a lot of statements being made which really need to be vetted. not sure they’re all true ..some of the comments are way off topic and don’t even belong in this thread. and WOW people…..some of you don’t even understand how we fund public works, roads, schools, city services, city structures, parks, repairs etc. what would SF be without new residences and businesses? we’d still be relying on tourism.
    i’m appalled at the statements made about holding rentals off the market in order to find just the right tenant. as a gay jewish woman i find those statements frightening. the fact is we live in a capitalistic society and short of a revolution (which just may be the solution to all of our woes) that’s just the way it is.

    • SF does NOT need to keep growing in order to keep the infrastructure working. SF needs to charge the true cost of providing infrastructure and services, not giving away the store to Twitter, Zynga, etc.

      • I agree. Growth for growths sake, just to keep funding our system makes no sense. The continual stream of taxes rises with each house and building sale, But yes, we need to charge big dollars to those companies who wish to locate here, including google. They should be paying millions per year to use our street and stop at our public bus stops.

      • First, Google is not a San Francisco company. Second, they are helping San Francisco and the Bay Area in general by providing mass transit for their employees. This keeps hundreds, perhaps thousands of cars off the road during commute hours, easing traffic and sparing the air. And now they are paying to use the bus stops. Their employees contribute to the tax base via sales and property taxes, effectively transferring money from an extra-territorial corporation to the city which doesn’t have to provide services to that corporation.

      • FYI Brendon
        “And now they are paying to use the bus stops.”
        It turns out that the buses are not REALLY paying for the bus stops.
        The city decided to do a study (which BTW is a little late as far as I’m concerned-why didn’t they scream as soon as those buses sailed in?) on how many buses and how many bus stops are being used. The cost of the study worked out to about $1.00 a stop. The MTA is mandated to charge only for the cost of the study – therefore the buses are NOT paying their fair share (it should be noted that Google/Yahoo/etc never stepped up before to offer to pay for the use of our public spaces).
        The MTA simply created a study group that is being paid back for creating the study group -The only way we can get those companies to pay more than the $1 is to put it on the ballot.

        http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/01/21/san-francisco-approves-rules-fees-for-tech-company-shuttle-buses/

        “The pilot program, which would go into effect in July,
        Under California law, the city cannot profit from the program, so the fees are meant to recover the costs associated with administering and enforcing the program.”

      • Indeed, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, et al are notoriously tight-fisted with money, unlike the more conventional big businesses of the past. Why? Probably because they’re so used to politicians bowing to them and letting them get their way.

        In fact, I’d like to hear from anyone who knows of ANY charity or community program where Google has donated money and NOT wanted something in return.

      • I certainly could be wrong, but I understand the agreement to be that the companies will be charged $1/person/stop on an ongoing basis. Is that not the case?

      • it’s $1 per stop – not per person (that would be impossible to track)
        the MTA created a team to study this phenom and the money will pay for the study no more no less – so we aren’t getting anything back – it’s a zero sum game…

      • That doesn’t add up. The projected revenue is in excess of $1 million. They aren’t going to make one million stops in the next 18 months. As for tracking, I imagine it would involve self-reporting with spot checks.

      • The Google and FB and other tech buses are paying a mere $1 per stop! It’s a total joke.
        Doesn’t matter if they are NOT an SF company or not. They should be required to pay millions to stop at our public bus stops.

      • That’s ludicrous. We only pay a couple of bucks to ride Muni, and that goes toward running the agency and paying for the infrastructure. There have been corporate shuttle buses in SF for years and they didn’t pay anything.

      • Then perhaps it’s time that ALL corporate and private shuttle buses start paying some serious fees to use our streets. These giant buses cause a great deal of wear and tear on our street and they need to contribute.

  21. Jaime, nobody is discriminating against you as a Jewish dyke and you know it. Heck, I remember when I wanted to live on the second floor of the building next door to the Osento women’t spa then on Valencia. The woman who owned the building told me that she preferred a woman because of the spa next door and didn’t want women to feel intimidates. Well, I didn’t like that answer at all, but she had a point. Perhaps if I were a woman and was going to a women’s only spa and I saw guys going in and out of the place next door, maybe I’d feel intimidated.

    • Good point David. There are plenty of people of all persuasions, identities, orientations, etc. who carry a huge chip on their shoulder. They seem to feel MORE special than others and therefore want MORE special treatment.

      • It’s funny; talk about discrimination, I grew up with it myself. When I was a kid Italians were’t yet “white”. We were treated like second class citizens. My forebearers worked in garbage because when they came here from Genoa in the 1880s people simply wouldn’t hire “Dagos”. So, they got into recycling. Over the years they expanded and became Sunset Scavenger in SF and Oakland Scavenger in the Eastbay. The name was later changed to Norcal Waste and today it’s known as Recology. Like others in the family as a teen I went to work for the garbage company and the bullies in school wouldn’t let me live it down. One nickname I had was “garbageman”.

        And then in high school I came out as gay, at a Catholic high school, no less. I just had to. So, add “fag” to “dago” and, well…

        And because I was into electronics and not sports I was a geek or a nerd, but in those days those names didn’t yet exist or weren’t common anyway. So, they didn’t have a name for me/us. We sat in a corner of the cafeteria by ourselves and talked about radios we’d built and stuff. The other kids didn’t know what to make of us.

        After high school and college I realized I was bi and not 100% gay, and then believe it or not I faced yet ANOTHER situation where I lost nearly all my gay friends because, “You’re into WOMEN! Yecchhh!” This was, by the way, after spending years as a gay civil rights activist and co-founder of the Pacific Center in Berkeley, a GBLT community center and counseling agency.

        It took years to realize that when all is said and done, I’m just ME. I don’t represent Italians, geeks, gay men, bi folks, any of that. Because no matter what affinity group I land in, there will ALWAYS be people who don’t like it.

        I’m writing this today after talking yesterday with a friend who is black and looks like a thug. He also likes to wear hoodies. And yet he, too, manages to get along, managing resources for an event promoter. We laughed about the names we’ve been called and the situations we’ve been in NOT because of who we are but because of the particular grouping we belong to.

        So, in short, getting along in the world means making connections, getting to know people, and making your way by example. When we can PERSONALLY get beyond identifying as Italian or black, or Jew, geek or queer, only THEN can we participate in life to its fullest.

        –dk

    • i certainly don’t think anyone is discriminating against me here in San Francisco – my point was being who I am, there were times that I WAS being discriminated against as were my people – so the mere mention of discrimination is irksome. it’s the same reason the people of Germany are so bent out of shape over us listening in on their conversations – they know where that can lead

  22. i’m glad you came to terms with who you are…i wonder how your “thug” friend feels each time someone crosses the street when they see him coming…

    • Oh, he deals with it. He was stopped just the other day when he called 911 and reported a guy trying to steal his iPhone. The perp was white but immediately when the police arrived they thought he was the perp, not the victim.

      To get by in this world you deal with the hand you’ve been dealt and you move on.

      I shared with him the “Helpful Cop” concept, which is that cops (like the rest of us) grew up with the idea that cops were the helpful guys on the streetcorner answering questions and helping old ladies across the street. Cops would rather not do paperwork. Thus, when it looks like you’re gonna get stopped, think of a relevant question to ask. This flips them into Helpful Cop Mode and they’ll answer your question. For instance, I was making out with a guy naked in a steamy car in a Fremont park after sundown (closing time). A cop car came up and immediately I pulled out a map, rolled down the window (still naked) and asked, “Can you tell me where Washington Avenue is?” The helpful cop told me and then said, “You know, the park is closed now.” “Yes, we were out on a run and didn’t realize how late it was…” No comments about why were were totally naked and not wearing running shorts, etc. No ticket, no writeup.

      Next time he’s in an “existing while black” situation, he’s going to try Helpful Cop Mode and see if it works for him. I think it will and he thinks it will.

  23. From what I’ve read, there are far more renters who move out due to Ellis threats, with monetary incentives from the landlord to go quietly, than actual Ellis Act evictions. These incentivized, voluntary “evictions” aren’t recorded anywhere, but I believe the renters’ advocates who say they’re common.

    Assuming that’s true, I’m not sure Campos’s proposal would change much. Maybe it raises the floor on what landlords would offer to get tenants to leave, but the new minimum is still less than what a lot of owners pay to get out of being landlords.

    I don’t think you can stop landlords paying tenants to go away without completely abrogating property rights. (I’d oppose such abrogation, being a fan of civil liberties, the Bill of Rights, and the Fifth Amendment in particular.)

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