Monday, November 28, 2011

The Juanita Owens Effect



As a chair of the "Run-Ed-Run" committee, planning commissioner Christina Olague---who used to be a lefty---no doubt endeared herself to Mayor Lee as a possible appointee as District 5 Supervisor now that Mirkarimi has been elected sheriff.

On the other hand, our district is one of the most left-wing in Progressive Land. Recall that John Avalos buried Mayor Lee in District 5, by 5,566 to 1090 [later: Wrong! Leland Yee got 1,090 votes, and Mayor Lee got 3,886. He didn't do badly at all in D5.]. The mayor could appoint Olague, but that would likely be a kiss of death politically, much like Mayor Brown's endorsement in 2000 of Juanita Owens over Matt Gonzalez was not helpful, to put it mildly. 

In fact any "moderate" Mayor Lee appoints---which Olague is now by definition---will likely be rejected by district voters next year.

Young Julian Davis has also been mentioned as a possibility. Even if Mayor Lee was inclined to appoint a leftist, Davis has some baggage that the mayor---and the Police Officers Association---might find unacceptable, like his support for anarchist Josh Wolf. And his recent disregard for neighborhood interests might also make his appointment unlikely.

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8 Comments:

At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is she now a "moderate"?

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It's good that you put the word in quotes, since it has a special meaning in the city's political context. Olague has to be labeled as a "moderate" if only because she's chosen to align herself with Mayor Lee. Of course Lee himself would be considered a leftist in many political jurisdictions, but in SF---compared to, say, Chris Daly or John Avalos---he's considered a moderate.

As I like to point out, when you go down a list of specific issues and compare their positions, you discover that Lee, Daly, and Avalos, who are all Democrats, agree on a lot of important issues: the bicycle fantasy and anti-carism in general, the Central Subway, high-speed rail, Smart Growth, etc.

That tells me that the term "moderate" takes a lot of its meaning from the political context and shifting alliances formed during the election cycle.

 
At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee shut down the bike lane on CC east of 101. He won't extend parking meter hours to evenings or Sundays. He pushed to pass a bond to pay for road repaving which puts the costs on all city residents, not just car owners/operators.

Sounds like he isn't the "bike nut" you say he is.

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

On Cesar Chavez: my understanding is that the city just took away street parking instead of a traffic lane to make bike lanes. If you have better info, bring it on.

The Bicycle Coalition and all good progressives supported the costly street bond, not just Mayor Lee. When it comes to projects that favor their interest group, the Bicycle Coalition never sees cost as a problem. They also support adding a bike lane to the west span of the Bay Bridge with no concern about what that might cost. $200 million is just "a drop in the bucket."

You put "bike nut" in quotes, but I've never described Mayor Lee that way. He does support the bike agenda, though it's encouraging that he's apparently not going to extend parking meter hours.

 
At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's encouraging that he's apparently not going to extend parking meter hours.

yet...

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, the problem is that you don't understand parking. Extending parking meter hours increases turnover and brings in more customers. As it stands now, drivers circle for parking (increasing traffic) while residents park for free and block paying customers from easily accessing stores.

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, I understand that, as does Lee, but that's not the issue here. What Lee objects to is again in effect hitting drivers with new fees---raising the cost of parking tickets and using parking meters as a new revenue source.
That's what he told Ken Garcia the other day.

 
At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The SFMTA is a bunch of idiots for framing it in budget talks every year. The revenue will be insignificant to the benefits of increased traffic flow leading to faster Muni which will reduce costs.

 

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