Friday, April 08, 2011

David Chiu's fake vision

Gee, David Chiu sends a letter (below in italics) to little old me. My response:

David:

I've already made a contribution to the discussion on my blog with an open letter addressed to you with questions about the Bicycle Plan, Congestion Pricing, and Critical Mass. Since the people of San Francisco have never had a chance to vote on these issues, your responses would initiate a discussion of traffic policy that city voters would find very useful. I'll post your answers verbatim on my blog.

Regards,
Rob Anderson

Chiu has a talent for understatement: "I want you to add your voice to the discussion, because I know that the best ideas don't always come out of City Hall."

That's putting it mildly, since mostly bad ideas have been coming out of City Hall---the anti-car bicycle fantasy, the aggressively pro-development approach the Planning Dept. covers with a fig leaf of pseudo-intellectual crap about "transit corridors" and "smart growth," to mention only two awful ideas to come out of City Hall in the last ten years.

But David is eager to start: "I do not want to wait until then[January 4] to get started...It starts now, and it starts with you." Yes, carpe the old diem, David. Today is the first day of the rest of your political life, etc. But the ball is now in your court, since I'm still waiting for your answers to questions like this: Do you support Congestion Pricing? Have you ever taken part in Critical Mass? Do you think City Attorney Dennis Herrera, one of your opponents in the campaign, handled the Bicycle Plan litigation properly?

"Being Mayor is about more than just having a position on the issues; it's about having a vision for the future and the ability to lead us there."

You can't have a political vision that doesn't deal with the specifics of the issues. You could start with those I mention above: the city's anti-car, pro-bike traffic policies that are both a massive inconvenience to the many residents who have to drive and if continued will damage our economy. And the city's neighborhood-destroying development policies. You're already known as a bike guy, but what about development? Are you a "smart growth" guy? Do you think 40-story residential highrises---in the Market/Octavia Plan---are a good idea for Market and Van Ness? Do you think UC's proposal---supported by City Hall---to trash that state and federal landmark with a massive housing development on lower Haight Street is a good project?

"I believe that together we can build an even better San Francisco than the one we already love."

Why fiddle with something that you claim to love? Why not just leave the city alone? (After paving the streets, that is.) If we continue the present traffic and development policies, we can surely make the city worse. You may find it hard to believe, but San Francisco was pretty nice city long before you got here a few years ago, not that we don't appreciate your bringing your Harvard degree out here to give us a hand in governing ourselves. And your "Community Voices" approach looks like you're putting your finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. I hope you're going to share your vision with us, David, and not wait for us to provide it for you, though, on second thought, the latter approach may be better for the city.

Rob,
I have two dates marked on my calendar. The first is November 8, 2011---the day that San Franciscans will go to the polls to choose our next Mayor. But the second---January 4, 2012---is perhaps even more important. That is the day that our new Mayor will take the oath of office and get to work on behalf of the people of our city.

I do not want to wait until then to get started. As President of the Board of Supervisors, I'm working every day to find innovative and practical solutions to our city's challenges. In March, our campaign held Community Launch Events in each of San Francisco’s eleven districts. In April, my campaign will host seven Community Voices Policy Meetings to get your input on the some of the most important issues facing San Francisco. I want you to add your voice to the discussion, because I know that the best ideas don't always come out of City Hall. Join me for a Community Voices Policy Meeting by clicking here.

I am not running for Mayor just for the honor---I'm running because I want to do the job right by San Francisco.

Being Mayor is about more than just having a position on the issues; it's about having a vision for the future and the ability to lead us there.

I believe that together we can build an even better San Francisco than the one we already love. A city in which all who want to live here have the opportunity to do so. A city that welcomes and nurtures the jobs of the future. A city that lives within its means but provides critical services for the most vulnerable among us. A city in which government works alongside residents, merchants, and nonprofits to build and protect our neighborhoods.

Together, we can find the best way to make that vision a reality. Starting with these Community Voices Policy Meetings, that's exactly what we're going to do. We're going to harness the creativity, expertise, and passion of San Franciscans to build a policy platform on which this better San Francisco will be built.

It starts now, and it starts with you. Be a part of a Community Voices Policy Meeting by clicking here.

Let's get to work,

David

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2 Comments:

At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please tell me you know that was a generic form letter.... forwarded to you by a flunkie staffer...

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I figured the "gee" would be the tip-off. Except for his move on the bike vote---he supports screwing up Masonic---Chiu is running an issue-free campaign. He and the other candidates need to be flushed out on that and on development issues, which are related. The Bicycle Coalition supports the dense development, transit corridors theory because it involves limiting parking in new housing developments. Everyone is expected to ride a chronically underfunded Muni or ride a bike.

 

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