We Libertarians are firm in our conviction that social engineering and manipulation of free markets will inevitably bring negative consequences. To such injury, insult is added when politicians dispense largess in order to keep their positions while they look everywhere but under the sofa cushions for money to finance the largess.
The current economic upswing the City is experiencing is a result of the incentives San Francisco offered the technology industry in order for companies to move in. However, as the companies moved in, so did their relatively well paid workforce, willing to pay top dollar for a nice place in a beautiful city. Now, old-time residents clamor for protection against the inevitable displacement they are experiencing, and the City feels obliged to come up with subsidized, below-market rate housing at great expense and opportunity cost. It also feels obliged to talk about strengthening rent control and Ellis Act exceptions.
Will the City find a way to pressure the technology industry into subsidizing housing? Will voters vote themselves a big property tax hike to “save” the City’s character? Will the City go broke trying to keep their traditional voter base housed if the answer is “no” to the first two questions? We guess we will all stay tuned, since this subject has become a constant drumbeat, as class warfare, the ultimate injury of social engineering and market manipulation, settles in.
The following was posted on the Libertarian Party of San Francisco Facebook page by La Mesha Irizarry in reference to a photo of Kenneth Wade Harding Jr’s killing:
“La Mesha Irizarry: This Kenneth Wade Harding Jr, killed on 7-16-11 by officer Richard Hastings (who ever since was arrested in Concord for sexual abuse of a 14 yr old boy over a period of two years). Kenneth was left to choke on his own blood until he stopped moving, while the cops held a horrified crowd at gun point all around the scene. I hosted the first press conference about this killing 2 days later at that very corner, 3rd and Revere in SF Bayview. I manage Justice 4 Kenneth Wade Harding Jr. Facebook group since that day. Denika Chatman, Kenny's mother, does a community feed + coats and shoes for the Poor at that corner every 3rd Sunday of the month at 11 am.”
La Mesha Irizarry’s work to bring police accountability not only to disadvantaged neighborhoods, but to all of San Francisco and beyond is well known to the Libertarian Party of San Francisco. She is no stranger to tragedy. Her son Idriss Stelley was shot and killed by police in 2001.
Our City leaders say San Francisco is experiencing unparalleled economic growth; while we at LPSF worry about the ineffective governmental micromanagement that is fuelling this growth and keeping a lot of folks relegated to government assistance. We urge citizen involvement in demanding top-rated schools in all neighborhoods, encouraging small businesses in all neighborhoods, voluntarism, and of course accountability – by police and everyone.
Let us all work towards a prosperous 2014 for everyone. Best wishes for the New Year to all from the Libertarian Pary of San Francisco.
Although City planners have generated a great many ideas and goals within the past three years or so, they do not seem to be developing a cohesive and credible plan. One day they speak of the urgent need for affordable housing, below-market-rate units, or safeguards against evictions. The next day they promote high-end ecodistricts, transfer of capitalization and control of public housing to the private sector, and high density areas catering to higher-income workers.
We would like to offer three samples of San Francisco’s current planning and development projects as examples of our point of view.
Central SoMa Eco-District Task Force Recommendations – Released November 2013.
These recommendations call for massive transformation of a 24-block area south of Market Street, from Market Street to Townsend, and from 2nd Street to 6th Street: “This once-industrial area is now positioned to become a growing center of the city’s and region’s high-tech industry. With the construction of the Central Subway (scheduled to begin operation in 2019), undeveloped or underdeveloped parcels in the area offer significant development opportunity. The Central SoMa Plan will propose rezoning this area for dense, transit-oriented, mixed-use growth and hopes to capitalize on rezoning to incorporate district-level energy and water infrastructure.”
To us, this sounds like the normal gentrification that naturally occurs when higher-income workers or residents move in. But the planners say, not so: the plan calls for “Equitable Development,” to “Promote Equity and Local Opportunity,” by establishing a “Locally-based employment program with specific focus on low and medium income workers, to be incorporated into Eco-District project development.” Wherever there is massive gentrification, would anyone not expect the need for custodians, gardeners, security guards, fast food handlers, street cleaners – not many of whom able to live in the area?
You will want to see the report yourself, as well as the extensive list of other similar projects:
Either the designers of the drastic regional upheaval, commonly known as “Plan Bay Area” or “One Bay Area,” thought they could work around the fact that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, of they did not connect this physical law with human behavior, as most common-sense folks do.
The Libertarian Party of San Francisco, as well as many other groups, sprang into action, as should have been expected, as soon as Plan Bay Area started to take form. We began disseminating information, attending public meetings, and reaching out to form coalitions. See our articles "Plan Bay Area: Vision or Micromanagement?" and "Plan Bay Area Adopted Under the Cloak of Midnight, Literally!" In the second article, we joined many other groups in sounding the alarm that Plan Bay Area would be a factor in the disappearance of affordable housing, loss of property values in some areas, increased use of eminent domain, and loss of livability and transportation choices.
The second round of reaction came soon after Plan Bay Area was adopted on July 18, 2013, in the form of lawsuits from the right and the left, aimed at the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the architects of Plan Bay Area. Here is a list of current lawsuits, all of which could use the public’s moral and financial support.
This bill purports to increase transparency in political campaigns by helping voters make well-informed decisions and increase the public's confidence in the electoral process. Well-informed voters should make their decisions based on the merits of the argument, not the identity of the person or persons making the argument. In logic this is a well established fallacy to discredit an argument by identifying the persons making it rather than refuting the argument itself. A side effect of this law would be to make people more reluctant to participate in democratic dialogue because of fear of retribution by opponents to their arguments. This is yet another law that has (possible) good intentions, but also bad consequences.