Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What is the progressive agenda?

In his piece in Fog City, Supervisor Daly uses "progressive" and "progressives" 27 times, while Randy Shaw, writing on the same subject in BeyondChron, uses the term 13 times in a shorter piece. Neither Daly nor Shaw bother defining the term for the uninitated, who are supposed to know what they are talking about. Daly doesn't mention any particular issues, except for Lennar's development in District 10 and some gripes about the recent budget process.

Shaw at least lists a few issues:

Among the obvious issues: how will the next Mayor build support for revenue measures that ensure funding for vital services? What do potential mayors think of the officials Mayor Newsom has running the city on a daily basis? What is any potential mayor’s strategy for getting the Planning Department back on track?...Can a progressive mayor secure the minimum 66.7% voter support required to pass an affordable housing bond? Can they find the money to get the increasingly[sic] number of extremely dysfunctional homeless people more appropriate housing with more support services than currently available? Can they figure out sustained and adequate financing for MUNI, parks and recreational facilities, and other core city functions?

By "revenue measures," Shaw means raising taxes and/or fees, which seems unlikely in this political context. City voters are more likely to expect the mayor and the supervisors to cut back on a bloated city government rather than allowing more taxes/fees to maintain a status quo that is clearly unsustainable. City voters allowed themselves to be flummoxed by union money to vote against Proposition B, but they also passed Proposition G, which forces Muni workers---the most unpopular in city government---to negotiate their contracts like other city workers. Does anyone think voters are going to allow the pension fund tsunami to inundate them with red ink without some kind of solution? The unions and their progressive allies better be working on one.

"Vital services"? This begs the question. Exactly which services are "vital" and which are not? I guess we're going to find out.

Getting the Planning Dept. "back on track" just so it can raise money for the city? For years the mayor and the supervisors have supported Planning's aggressive pro-development, pro-gentrification policies, including the Rincon Hill highrises, allowing UC to hijack the old extension property, and the Market/Octavia Plan, a developer's wet dream that, among other things, allows 40-story residential highrises at Market and Van Ness. Is this what Shaw means by getting "back on track"?

Progressives are going to find "adequate financing"---otherwise known as "money"---for Muni in the middle of a severe recession, even though they have failed to do that since district elections allowed them to take over the board of supervisors ten years ago?

Homelessness? Progressives botched that issue way back in 2002, when then-Supervisor Newsom's Care Not Cash was passed by city voters, who then elected Newsom mayor in 2003. All good city progs opposed Care Not Cash---a war on the poor!---and supported Matt Gonzalez against Newsom in 2003, even though Gonzalez and progressives had---and still have---nothing substantive to propose to deal with homelessness.

Unmentioned by Daly and Shaw are other "progressive" issues of the recent past: legalizing prostitution, dumping JROTC from city schools, and public power, all rejected by city voters.

And of course all good progressives---and our "moderate" mayor---support the anti-car traffic policies pushed by the city and the Bicycle Coalition. Even congestion pricing is back on the table, though there's little public support for it. These anti-car policies are the only thing that city progressives will be able to implement in the coming years, assuming that city voters continue to allow the city to screw up traffic on their streets on behalf of an obnoxious minority of bike people.

The reality is that there is no credible "progressive" political agenda in San Francisco.

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12 Comments:

At 3:22 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

The progressive agenda is this

 
At 3:39 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Congestion pricing has to do with downtown being full of cars and Muni being unable to function properly. Bikes have nothing to do with it.

 
At 5:25 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The bike movement if only the most visible part of the anti-car movement. The Bicycle Coalition has been explicit about "taking space from cars." Leah Shahum has affirmed her anti-car motives a number of times.

John Murphy, the Bicycle Coalition's bike commuter of the year, is behind the push to put parklets on 24th Street with a boost from the city's Pavement to Parks department, which is all about taking space from cars.

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

"taking space from cars."

or

Giving space to less wasteful means (i.e. Muni, pedestrians, bikes).

The world isn't out to get you, Rob. It's just passing you by.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Another oddly irrelevant comment, Mike. You're a worthy successor to Murphy. I haven't owned a car in more than 20 years, but I do ride Muni. Still waiting for you to explain why implementing the Bicycle Plan will be good for Muni, since the EIR on that Plan tells us that taking away traffic lanes to make bike lanes is going to delay a number of Muni lines. And where is more "space" going to be created for pedestrians? It's all about taking space from cars---and trucks, taxis, emergency vehicles, and Muni buses---for bikes.

 
At 9:16 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Rob, you said:

"John Murphy, the Bicycle Coalition's bike commuter of the year, is behind the push to put parklets on 24th Street with a boost from the city's Pavement to Parks department, which is all about taking space from cars."

I said:

""taking space from cars."

or

Giving space to less wasteful means (i.e. Muni, pedestrians, bikes)."

You were talking about the city's Pavement to Parks department taking space from cars. I'm saying that department is giving space to people not bikes.

I don't know how John stayed commenting on this blog for so long, you talk circles around yourself, let alone anyone else. My god.

 
At 11:37 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Like Murphy you're blinkered by trendy crap about cars and streets. Yes, it's about taking space from cars. Cars don't drive themselves, but are driven by people.

 
At 11:53 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Cars don't drive themselves, but are driven by people - bikes however, pilot themselves, and pedestrians are not actual people.

And you have multiple errors Rob. I wasn't behind any push - I don't work for the city. And if I were pushing, I wouldn't be pushing for parklets - I preferred closing Noe Street for a large plaza. Once again, your reading comprehension, not so good.

 
At 9:31 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

If you're not behind the "push" for the 24th Street parklets, why do I keep getting easily comprehensible messages either from you or linking to you, like this one? I never claimed that you work for the city. You seem to have the comprehension problems. Your main occupation/avocation is the great, planet-saving bike hobby---I mean, movement---that includes taking space from cars any way you can. If you can't do it with a traffic-snarling plaza, you settle for doing it with parklets.

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Parking space - serving one (maybe two) people at a time. 15 - 20 over the course of a day.

Parklet space - serving anywhere from 4-12 people at a time. Hundreds over the course of a day.

As much as you argue that you don't own car, you very much view the world from behind a windshield. More people will be served by a parklet then a parking space. Unless, of course, people aren't people until they are behind the wheel of a car.

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

So you've abandoned the argument that the oh so trendy pavement to parks movement isn't anti-car? Of course it is.

I don't own a car, but it's not only a massive inconvenience to the thousands of city residents who drive cars and trucks but anti-car policies have reached the point where it can damage the city's economy, which requires that motor vehicles be able to move efficiently on the streets of the city.

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

You conflate pro-people with anti-car. Whatever helps your narrative Rob. You are way too invested to see anything pass your own nose.

 

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