Thursday, June 16, 2011

Groundhog Day in SF

Of course Ed Lee is "more of the same," as Chris Daly says. But Daly was pretty much more of the same when he was a supervisor. The only important city issue Daly dissented on during his two terms on the board of supervisors was Mayor Newsom's homeless policies, which Daly called a declaration of war on the poor. 

Turns out that Daly was even wrong about that, since the policies Newsom put in place have had considerable success. Daly and Gavin Newsom actually agreed a lot more than they disagreed---on the Bicycle Plan and anti-carism, the highrises for Rincon Hill and development in general, in particular the half-baked transit corridors, dense-development ideas that City Hall uses to justify it's aggressively pro-development policies.

When he was a supervisor, Daly recused himself from voting on the Market/Octavia Plan because he owned a condo near the project, but now that he's out of office he's free to speak up on that destructive project and, while he's at it, speak up about allowing UC to hijack the old extension property on lower Haight Street for a massive housing development. He hasn't and he won't because he doesn't dissent on either of those awful projects. 

Like the progressives in City Hall, Daly opposes the Parkmerced project because it endangers a lot of rent-controlled housing. That's an important issue, but, like other city progressives, he ignores the impact on traffic that allowing thousands of new housing units will have on an already densely-populated part of town, the 19th Avenue corridor.

Daly has nothing to say about these awful planning decisions because he shares the dubious assumption they're based on, that the city can encourage a lot of development anywhere near a major traffic corridor---Market/Octavia, UC extension, Treasure Island, Parkmerced---without suffering any negative consequences. That's surely a false assumption, but, like Daly the city officials making these bad decisions will be long-gone and enjoying their generous retirement benefits by the time that's evident.

Daly has an unearned reputation as a radical, but erratic behavior and bad language are not the same as serious dissent on important city issues.

The folks at the Bay Citizen agree that this is a one-party town.

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