Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chinese American Citizens Alliance: questionnaire for candidate Rob Anderson

Chinese American Citizens Alliance - San Francisco Lodge
Candidate Questionnaire
November 2008 Election

Please direct responses and/or questions to (

Name: Rob Anderson
Phone number:
Email address:
Office your are seeking: District 5 Supervisor

1. Who did you publicly support for College Board in 2006 and why?
I didn’t support anyone in that campaign. I have not been involved in or informed about City College issues.

2. Did you take a public position on the Chinatown Community College campus? Did you support or oppose the Chinatown Community College plan? Explain your position. When did you make your position public?
Though I haven’t taken a public position on the plan, I think the highrise design is wrong for that neighborhood.

3. What do you think the City can do better to assist small business owners and small property owners?
First, stop putting financial mandates on small businesses in the city. Second, aggressively address homelessness and squalor on city streets. Third, implement my Leave the Neighborhoods Alone Plan, which involves abandoning all the meddlesome, aggressively pro-development Better Neighborhoods plans coming out of the Planning Department. Clean neighborhood streets, pave them, patrol them, and then leave the neigborhoods alone! I oppose the Geary BRT, the subway to Chinatown, the Market/Octavia Plan, and UC’s rip-off of the extension property on lower Haight Street. I was also a party in the successful litigation to force the city to do an EIR on the 527-page Bicycle Plan, which the city was implementing with no environmental review. City neighborhoods should have a right to decide whether their street parking and traffic lanes are going to be eliminated to make bike lanes.

4. Do you support ending the JROTC program in the San Francisco Unified School District? If not, why not?
No, I do not support ending the JROTC program. The opponents of JROTC are city progressives who want to eliminate this popular and useful program solely for ideological reasons.

5. Please list Asian elected or community leaders that have endorsed your campaign.No one has endorsed my campaign.

6. In your view, what are the 3 biggest challenges facing San Francisco?
Homelessness and the associated squalor on our streets and in our parks; development and overdevelopment in the neighborhoods; and a political culture dominated by a left-wing ideology that is not reality-based.

7. Regarding alternative resolutions to the budget crisis. It seems that when there is a budget shortfall, it always gets passed along to the residents. Every time the budget needs to be tightened San Franciscans are expected to make up the difference. For example, many people ride MUNI everyday and, once again, the cost of a Fast Pass is going up. This seems to happen every two years. Do you have a solution to the budget crisis that doesn’t raise fees or taxes for San Francisco residents? What is it?
San Francisco city government is bloated with thousands of unnecessary workers, which is why we have a huge budget crisis during every recession.

8. There has been a lot of government and political attention and resources directed to addressing the need for additional housing in San Francisco and we have seen many new housing units built over the past few years. Where should the line be drawn between the continued need for additional housing and overpopulation?
Almost all of the housing units built over the past several years have been market rate units, even though what we need is affordable housing. The city has been too willing to sacrifice the quality of life of city neighborhoods with massive housing projects, like the Market/Octavia Plan and UC’s proposed housing development on lower Haight Street. Recall too that last year the city’s Housing Element was thrown out by the Court of Appeals because the city failed to do any environmental study of the impact of the Housing Element’s aggressively pro-development contents.

9. Did/do you support or oppose the following measures? Please explain your position.
a. A proposal to create new set aside and baseline funding for affordable housing (November 2008)
I haven’t made up my mind yet on this proposal.

b. Affordable Housing Requirement for Hunters Point/Candlestick Point (Prop F – June 2008)
Prop. F was Chris Daly’s brainchild, and, like most of his ideas, was based on left-wing ideology, not reality. I opposed it.

c. Lennar proposal to develop Hunters Point/Candlestick Point (Prop G – June 2008)
I supported Prop. G, which seems to be a good chance to develop a part of town that badly needs development.

d. Proposal to require Board of Supervisor Approval of Mayoral PUC Candidates and Creating Qualifications for PUC Candidates (Prop E – June 2008)
I opposed these proposals, which were a power grab by the progressives on the Board of Supervisors. There should be no “qualifications” established for PUC members. The main qualification for any public position is a reasonable degree of intelligence. The implication of establishing qualifications for appointees to the PUC is that the issues faced by that body are too technical and/or complicated for the average intelligent citizen, which I think is elitist nonsense.

e. Question Time – Requiring the Mayor to Appear Monthly at a Board of Supervisors Meeting (Prop E – November 2007)
Another anti-Newsom measure designed by Chris Daly, which, fortunately, city voters rejected. Daly was hoping to establish a regular dog-and-pony show to embarrass Mayor Newsom.

f. Ban on Aggressive Panhandling (Prop M - November 2003)
This was a less-important companion measure to Care Not Cash, which I had my doubts about at the time. I was worried that it would taint the more important Care Not Cash proposition. I now see combating aggressive panhandling as a necessary tool in the city’s approach to quality-of-life problems on city streets.

g. The “Care Not Cash” initiative (Prop N - November 2002)
I supported Care Not Cash wholeheartedly. Gavin Newsom did the city an enormous favor by getting it on the ballot, since city progressives were in favor of a completely unacceptable status quo on homelessness, even though it was clear that city residents wanted something done about the growing squalor on our streets.

10. What are your views on public power in San Francisco?
I’m very skeptical and not convinced that it’s feasible or even desirable.

11. Who did you support for Mayor in November 2003?
I supported Gavin Newsom.

12. Which current San Francisco supervisor(s) do you most closely identify with in terms of your political views?

13. What Asian Pacific Island/Chinese community organizations do you have a long term working relationship with and in what capacity?
None. I think the whole ethnic political interest group idea is a false path. The American ideal is assimilation, not clinging to ethnic identity. Nor do I think the political interests of Asians in the US are significantly different than the interests of the rest of the country.

14. What do you know about Chinese American Citizens Alliance, what has been your involvement with our organization and why should C.A.C.A. endorse you?
I know nothing about your organization, and I don’t think it’s particularly helpful to have political groups based on ethnicity (see above). You can learn more about my thoughts on city issues on my blog:

I ran for District 5 Supervisor in 2000 and 2004. My 2004 website, soon to be updated for the 2008 campaign, is at

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