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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Biggest problem in SF: Cost of living.

Message to Mayor Ed Lee, who has been pushing what he calls a "jobs agenda" by allowing all the new development possible and encouraging tax breaks to bring in tech firms: The main concern of the majority of San Franciscans isn't jobs, or homelessness, or crime.

It's the cost of living. Something directly -- and badly -- impacted by Lee's runaway growth policies.

In fact, when you read the survey (pdf), the cost of living and the lack of housing option is overwhelmingly cited as both the biggest problem facing the city and the biggest problem people see facing their families. And whatever the authors say about the survey, it's a relatively conservative sample (see: the small percentage that read the Bay Guardian regularly.)

Mayor Lee, ironically, gets good marks -- which is, I think, part of the failure of the local news media and political leaders to connect him to the eviction epidemic that has every single renter in town living in utter fear of an Ellis Act eviction. Of course, as I've pointed out, Lee can't stop the displacement alone -- but he's not even acting as if this is an important issue. And when he does address housing, it's all about building more -- despite the fact that virtually none of the new housing in the pipleline will do anything for affordability.

The Board of Supervisors, as a whole, doesn't fare as well in the poll as the mayor, which I think is, again, a sign of a misinformed public: I have issues with the board, but its members are, by and large, smart, competent people having intelligent debates about policy. I also think the poll is somewhat a result of district elections; if you ask people in D9 what they think about David Campos, you'll get high name recognition and strong positives. Those same people may have no idea who Katy Tang is.

And it's fascinating to see how many San Franciscans get their news not from the dailies or TV but from a local website. Maybe I'm on the right track here.

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