When I was running for San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC) in the March 2020 election, I wrote an outline of some of my general policy positions. I’ve duplicated them here, for posterity.
You can find a much more thorough overview of my worldview in It’s time to legalize building.
San Francisco has a crippling housing shortage which has caused rents to skyrocket and made it impossible for working class people to live here. This has pushed people into three hour mega-commutes, pushed out people who want to start a family, separated families, and turned San Francisco into a gated community. We need to:
It costs nearly $500,000 and a year of your time to open a new small business in San Francisco. What used to be a city of opportunity for immigrants is now a city where you have to be a millionaire to open a small business. It’s time to loosen the grip of unelected commissions so regular people can start a business.
We know how to end homelessness, but the San Francisco Board of Supervisors would rather talk and wring their hands than implement good policies. If San Francisco were run like Japan, only 35 people would be experiencing homelessness instead of 10,000.
The difference is that the Japanese housing crisis in the 1980s resulted in the national government abolishing local control of zoning. This resulted in a massive influx of new construction. So let’s do what Japan did:
San Francisco used to be the a city of experimentation and a live-and-let-live attitude. Now we ban new things we don’t like or understand. We banned new apartments on the west side in the 1970s and 80s, new live-work lofts in the 2000s, and recently we’re trying to ban cafeterias in new offices and renovations and apartment mergers, briefly banned electric scooters, and we’ve just banned vaping. It’s time San Francisco gets out of our lives and gets back to solving the things we actually care about: cleanliness, homelessness, and lack of affordable housing.
Let us never forget that the Japanese American population of San Francisco was sent to concentration camps during WWII. Their property was confiscated and they were left with nothing.
African American ship workers that came to SF during the war were forced to live in substandard housing and were forbidden from buying houses in white neighborhoods. Black San Franciscans are still disproportionately more likely to be homeless or live in unsafe or even radioactive housing in both Hunters Point and Treasure Island.
Our first zoning laws discriminated against Chinese Americans (and if you tried to build Chinatown today, nearly all of it is currently illegal).
Latinos were displaced from Rincon Hill during the construction of the Bay Bridge, and now are being displaced from the Mission.
We have never addressed these injustices. Now it’s time.