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April 2014 at www.FogCityJournal.com
A Fight for the Soul of San Francisco
The Three-David Race for Assemblyperson
by Patrick Monette-Shaw
Dont for a moment believe David Chius claim that theres little difference in the shades of blue [Democrats] between he and David Campos. Nor should you believe observers who ludicrously claim that theres very little difference in the voting records of Chiu and Campos. There are vast differences between the two candidates, not just ideological differences between them.
I have followed with interest two recent guest editorials in San Franciscos Bay Area Reporter (B.A.R.) weekly newspaper concerning the upcoming election to replace termed-out California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano. This is not a tale of two Davids. Its a tale of three.
No, make that four Davids: Republican candidate David Carlos Salaverry is also running for Ammianos Assembly seat, but Salaverry has no hope of winning, given that there are 287,333 registered voters in Assembly District 7 and only 6.61 percent of them are registered Republicans. That leaves three Democrat Davids.
Theres one even-keeled David Campos. And then there is the mercurial and temperamental David Chiu, who appears to have an internal good-David, bad-David disorder of two Davids living in a single body.
A Tale of Two Guest Editorials
When I read the guest editorial by the co-chairs of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club in the B.A.R.s April 10 issue in which they endorsed David Chiu, I had to laugh. Predictably, this irrelevant club which Supervisor Scott Wiener formerly co-chaired endorsed not only a highly conservative candidate who dubs himself a moderate and straight, it did so based solely on Chius credential as a mere ally. This is the emptiest of logic, typical of the Alice Club.
Gay Supervisor Scott Wieners not endorsing gay candidate David Campos is a slap in the face. I venture a guess that Wieners backing of a straight candidate over a gay candidate may make assassinated Supervisor Harvey Milk turn over in his grave. And I venture that the B.A.R. will also probably dig up tortured logic and disingenuous reasons to also back a straight candidate over a gay candidate, further making Milk shiver in his cold grave.
By endorsing the straight ally candidate in this race, the Toklas Clubs editorial cited not one piece of LGBT-related legislation actually authored by Chiu, instead justifying its endorsement of Chiu as a reward for merely having stood by the LGBT community. The Toklas Club claimed Chiu is a master of the legislative process, but they neglected to mention hes also a master of subverting the legislative process when he so chooses (see discussion of the Park Merced deal and curtailing public comment, below).
The Alice crowd doesnt seem to get it: Rewards are typically meant to reward actual leaders, not stood by-ers.
A week later, the B.A.R.s April 17 issue carried a second guest editorial co-authored by a broad coalition of Latinos, many of whom are LGBT, in which they endorsed Campos for the Assembly seat. Throughout their well-argued guest editorial, the co-authors presented a whole host of reasons of why retaining the Assembly seat with a gay or lesbian candidate who has a demonstrated track record in protecting the underrepresented, is crucial. They noted that Campos hasnt merely amassed a good voting record, which seems to be Chius sole qualification. Campos has instead led and championed many of the issues that directly impact the various constituencies within our LGBT communities. The amount of LGBT-related legislation Campos introduced which Chiu merely stood by is significant.
As one example, the co-authors noted Campos co-authored legislation creating the LGBT Aging Policy Task Force. If Chiu was such a legislative leader, why hadnt he co-authored that particular piece of legislation? Its not likely that Chiu will author legislation in the Assembly to create a similar LGBT Aging Policy Task Force at the state level. The co-authors also noted it is offensive and disingenuous to rationalize support for Chiu as the Alice Club guest editorial did out of a desire to build broad coalitions with the proper consensus tone, when such efforts are often done at the expense of underrepresented segments of our own LGBT communities.
Out of one side of Chius mouth, we hear his claims of being a consensus builder hell-bent on changing the tone of local government. But out of the other side of his mouth, Chiu has engaged in some potentially highly unethical behavior while Board President.
Take Chius role in the Park Merced development deal. On November 1, 2011 the Sunshine Task Force issued an Order of Determination finding that Supervisor Eric Mar, Chair of the Land Use Committee, Board president David Chiu, and Land Use Committee members Supervisor Scott Wiener and Supervisor Malia Cohen had collectively violated several sections of the Sunshine Ordinance by failing to provide the public with copies of 14 pages of amendments to the Park Merced Development Agreement until just minutes before voting on the amendments.
The amendments had been provided to the Board of Supervisors by Chiu in connection with an agenda item. Chiu allowed the introduction of last-minute, substantive changes to the agenda without adequate public notice. The four Supervisors were also cited for failing to publish a meaningful agenda adequately describing the substance of the agenda item involving the 14 pages of Park Merced amendments to fully and honestly inform the public, beforehand, about the nature of the proposed development deals amendments. Trained at Harvard, Chiu must have known the agenda description was both deficient and dishonest.
The Sunshine Task Force referred all four of these Supervisors to the Ethics Commission and to the District Attorney, citing willful failure (to comply with the Sunshine Ordinance) and official misconduct. Thats when Chiu may have decided to get even by first eviscerating, and then delaying appointment of members to, the Task Force.
Abuse of Discretion
Or take Chius all-too-frequent abuse of the Board of Supervisors own Rules of Order. Board Rule 3.3 provides that Committees shall consider only items which have been referred to them by the President, or by the Board, and which have been posted, published, and noticed.
As recently as February 20, 2014, Chiu submitted a Presidential Action memo to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors transferring File Number 130374 dealing with lobbyist regulations from the Rules Committee to the Government Audit and Oversight Committee. The proposed changes to lobbying regulations should have been heard at the Rules subcommittee, which is charged under Board Rule 3.26 with hearing City Charter amendments and amendments to the Administrative Code (among other duties), but Chiu may have abused his discretion by transferring the proposed lobbying amendments to a more favorable Board subcommittee, the GAO committee, established in Board Rule 3.25.2 as a financial subcommittee to hold hearings involving other categories of topics.
Since Chiu is the highest-lobbied Supervisor on the Board, could he have transferred this lobbyist legislation to the wrong subcommittee for potential benefit of the lobbyists stuffing money into Chius campaign chest?
This is just one example of the many times that Chiu has transferred an unknown, but significant, amount of legislation from a given committee defined in Board Rules as authorized to hold hearings, to other subcommittees. Notably, hes done so several times on items involving Laguna Honda Hospital, since Board Rule 3.27 stipulates any matters dealing with public health, the elderly, and the disabled are to be heard by the Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee, a subcommittee which Supervisor Campos chairs.
Or take Chius treatment of members of the public who take time out of their schedules to attend hearings at City Hall. Chiu is well known among open-government and accountability activists for arbitrarily reducing the number of minutes each speaker is permitted to testify for, and for remotely turning off the microphone at the speakers podium when he doesnt like the public testimony being presented. Chiu has gone so far as to have a well-behaved member of the public who was fully within his First Amendment, Free Speech rights escorted out of Board Chambers by a uniformed Sheriff because Chiu didnt like the testimony being presented.
Chiu is notorious for moving the public comment period around during meetings of the full Board, making it next to impossible to estimate at what time during the full Boards Tuesday meetings public comment will be consistently heard (rather than having a consistent, time-specific period, as it does for other Board business), forcing members of the public to wait unreasonable amounts of time, often late into the night, before they are allowed to speak. Chius utter contempt of people presenting public comment is legendary.
In stark contrast, Campos always thanks members of the public for attending subcommittee hearings that Campos chairs. Campos actively listens to public testimony attentively, whereas Chiu frequently walks around Board Chambers during public testimony not actively listening to members of the public at all, all but ignoring their public testimony.
Or take Chius role in delaying appointments to the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force. Two years ago, Supervisor Scott Weiner single-handedly eviscerated the Task Force in May 2012 by refusing to permit the reappointment of Bruce Wolfe, the Task Forces then only disabled member. Wieners meddling effectively shut the Task Force down for almost six months, because without replacement appointees, the Task Force lacked a quorum preventing it from meeting legally to conduct its business adjudicating disputes regarding public meetings and access to public records.
Chiu should have stepped in and promptly resolved the matter, particularly if he expects anyone to believe hes a consensus builder. But Chiu didnt lift a finger to intervene, instead choosing to let the peoples business before the Task Force go unaddressed for months on end.
Now two years later, three hold-over appointments from 2012 remain on the Task Force because the Board has refused to accept nominations from professional organizations identified in the Ordinance as responsible for nominating candidates. In addition, Chiu has permitted one of the Task Force seats to have remained vacant for now fully two years. The affect of the endless appointment delays has made it much more difficult for members of the public to have their complaints heard fairly by the Task Force in a timely manner. Perhaps that has been Chius ulterior motive: Building consensus by way of silencing complaints against City officials and departments.
Here we are just one week away from the end of the terms of office for the ten Sunshine Task Force members who have served since 2012, and Chiu has not calendared on the Rules Committee agenda any hearings on new applicants to the Task Force. Chiu is running the risk of yet again forcing the Task Force to disband until it has a sufficient number of members to constitute a quorum to conduct the peoples business. This is no accident. It appears to be a purposeful strategy of Board President Chiu. Its more like sabotage, rather than consensus-building. Is that who you want representing us in Sacramento?
Notably, Chiu has taken no action to remove Task Force Member Todd David for excessive unexcused absences from Task Force meetings. Mr. David has missed six of the Task Forces last 13 meetings that were actually held and not cancelled representing a staggering 46.2 percent absence rate. One of Todds six absences was an excused absence; one other was due to illness. Task Force members are only permitted three absences in any rolling 12-month period, including excused absences.
Mr. David was hand-picked by Supervisor Wiener and appointed to the Task Force in a highly unusual manner. David is hoping a non-profit organization he is involved with will be awarded approximately $4 million to create a new park the Noe Valley Town Square an expenditure the media have reported Wiener and Mayor Ed Lee appear to support.
Mr. David is the president of Residents for Noe Valley Town Square, a purported public-private partnership that is actually a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. Could it be that Chiu hasnt removed Todd David from the Task Force due to the pending award to the Residents for Noe Valley Town Square?
All this time, Chiu has acted like Marie Antoinette, with a smug Let them eat cake attitude when it comes to appointments to the Sunshine Task Force, demonstrating utter disdain for members of the public seeking redress of complaints against their own government. Maybe this contempt is something Chiu learned at Harvard Law School, while Campos was learning empathy at Harvard Law School.
The 1% vs. 99% Endorsers
Then theres the matter of endorsements for the two or three Davids. Among endorsements for the two-Chiu David are Senator Diane Feinstein, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newson, former City Attorney Louise Renne, Supervisor Scott Wiener, the San Francisco Police Officers Association, and San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798, among others. These are the usual suspects in conservative democratic circles, illuminating Chius moderation. Chiu is their go-to boy.
Campos endorsements include Public Defender Jeff Adachi; Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty; Former Mayor Art Agnos; President of the San Francisco Police Commission Thomas Mazzucco; Vice President of the San Francisco Police Commission Julius Turman; Chair of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and Health Commissioner Cecilia Chung; Assembly Member Phil Ting; SEIU Local 1021; Unite HERE Local 2; United Educators of San Francisco (UESF); the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus; the Bernal Heights Democratic Club; the Sierra Club; the Chinese Progressive Association Action Fund; and the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, among many others. Campos endorsements illustrate broad support for his progressive values. Campos support includes us us-es.
Supervisor Jane Kims dual endorsements of both David candidates suggests that shes hedging her bets, knowing shell need to curry political favor in the future from whichever of the two Davids wins this Assemblyman election.
Surprisingly, Supervisor Bevan Dufty who is now Mayor Ed Lees homeless czar and may face retribution from the Mayor for having endorsed Campos over Chiu appears to have only endorsed David Campos, accordingly to the June voter guide. This is surprising, in part, because of Duftys eleventh-hour vote switcheroo in January 2011 handing Ed Lee his appointment to become Mayor. Well see whether the vindictive Mayor hands Dufty a pink slip for endorsing Campos, just as the Mayor reportedly refused to reappoint gay Health Commission president Jim Illig to the Health Commission, after Illig backed someone else other than Lee for mayor. That turned our consensus mayor, into the vindictive mayor.
Campos has had many legislative and advocacy victories too numerous to detail here. As chair of the Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee, Campos successfully prevented the Department of Public Health from privatizing the SFGH Renal (dialysis) Center, which had been unilaterally announced in a Request for Proposals to outsource the facility to a private entity who would have been required to move the dialysis center to Laguna Honda Hospitals campus. Had DPHs plan succeeded in moving dialysis services to Laguna Honda, it would have placed an undue transportation burden on critically-ill dialysis patients who would have faced fragmentation of their care from a single campus to multiple locations, requiring even more transportation time shuttling between campuses for various primary- and secondary-healthcare services.
Campos stopped the dialysis privatization dead in its tracks following compelling testimony. Chiu would likely have went along with DPHs privatization scheme, probably by employing the sharing economy and collaborative consumption lie (see below).
Campos is also assisting in getting the Health Department to release data on out-of-county patient discharges over the past seven years, which has been fueled, in part by the hot housing market displacing the poor and elderly from residency in San Francisco, along with other San Franciscans facing the housing affordability crisis that Mayor Lee has been unable, or unwilling, to solve.
Its doubtful that David Chiu would have assisted with either of these public-health, public-interest issues.
Indeed, when Mayor Ed Lee struck a deal with CPMC to build its Van Ness Hospital, it was the combined leadership of Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos who successfully forced the Mayor into re-negotiating with CPMC to build its Cathedral Hill Hospital on Van Ness Avenue, and forced CPMC into committing that it would also rebuild St. Lukes Hospital in the Mission, which the Mayor appeared all too willing to allow CPMC to abandon.
Although Chiu is credited for eventually assisting negotiating a better deal for the City with CPMC, it was Campos not Chiu who led the charge in telling the Mayor not so fast! accepting CPMCs lousy deal. To the extent St. Lukes Hospital will continue serving residents of the Mission District, it will be due to Campos leadership not Chius that forced the Mayor to bargain a better deal with CPMC.
Two Dvid's and L'affaire Mirkarimi
Campos and Chiu could not have been more different in their roles regarding the official misconduct charges Mayor Lee wrongly brought against Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.
As previously reported, the Mayor relied on really stupid legal strategies against the Sheriff developed by Deputy City Attorneys Sherri Kaiser and Peter Keith, most probably with the concurrence of their boss, City Attorney Dennis Herrera. After the Ethics Commission threw out the six official misconduct charges Lee initially filed against Mirkarimi, the Ethics Commission subsequently rejected all five of the amended charges Kaiser and Keith then substituted on behalf of the Mayor.
In order to move the charges to the Board of Supervisors, the Ethics Commission hastily incorporated portions of the Mayors amended counts four and five into a new hybrid charge just minutes before voting on August 19, 2012 depriving Mirkarimi and his lawyers of any opportunity to prepare a defense against an eleventh-hour new charge.
The final, single charge against Mirkarimi was so vague that even Ethics Commission president Ben Hur feared that such a broad definition of official misconduct would invite too much political mischief. Hur, also a Harvard Law School graduate, was the only Commissioner on the five-member Ethics Commission who voted against finding Mirkarimi guilty of official misconduct, on a 4-1 vote.
When the Ethics Commission then referred the case to the Board of Supervisors for final action, it was only then that Berkeley-educated Supervisor Jane Kim began astutely asking the right questions.
Kim, a civil rights attorney in her own right, is a graduate of Stanford University with a bachelors degree in political science. She went on to obtain her law degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law.
During the Boards misconduct trial against the Sheriff, Supervisor Kim peppered Ms. Kaiser and Mr. Keith with a whole host of pointed, lawyerly-like questions concerning whether Kaisers answers would then open up the City to the vagueness issue, making a clause in the City Charter unconstitutional because any and all City employees whether or not an elected official would not be able to reasonably predict when their behavior would be official misconduct or not. Honing in on the standard of decency clause added to the Charter in 1995, Kim noted that any standard of decency may change over time, depending on who is appointed to the Ethics Commission, who has been elected to the Board of Supervisors, and who is the elected Mayor, opening up the question of whether the definition is too vague for anyone to determine what is, or isnt, official misconduct.
As deplorable as the bruise Mirkarimi inflicted on his wife may have been, the Board of Supervisors tried mightily and deplorably to usher through the constitutionally vague definition of official misconduct, which would have placed all 36,000 City employees at great risk of being unable to determine whether their on-the-job conduct might involve official misconduct, which would have led to increased bullying and intimidation on the job.
That was the end of Ms. Kaiser and the Mayor. When the Board of Supervisors voted, it mustered just seven votes against Mirkarimi, two votes shy of the nine votes required to sustain the single silly charge against Mirkarimi forwarded to the Board by the Ethics Commission, with Ethics Commissioner Ben Hurs dissent. All of the ensuing drama barking up the wrong tree in the Mirkarimi affair cost taxpayers over $1.3 million in City Attorney expenses mounting a fruitless witch hunt. Berkeley-trained lawyer Supervisor Jane Kim stopped the virtual speeding bullet unfairly aimed at Mirkarimi, while Harvard-trained lawyer David Chiu turned a blind eye to the unethical Kafkaesque trial.
Chiu voted to convict Mirkarimi. Campos did not, after Jane Kim raised compelling legal concerns that appear to have sunk in on Campos. Now, Chiu is trying to turn his unethical, misguided vote against Mirkarimi selectively against Campos, but not against Ms. Kim. Why Chiu would raise such quibbles against Campos, while simultaneously granting Kim a free pass on the Mirkarimi vote and handing her Chius endorsement, will end up backfiring on him, if Chius campaign advisors keep trying to make the Mirkarimi vote at the Board a wedge issue in the Assembly race.
Comically, when Harvard Law School graduate Scott Wiener sensed the Board of Supervisors would not reach the nine-vote threshold to find Mirkarimi guilty, Supervisor Wiener asked during the final hearing whether the Board could then reject the single charge creatively developed by the Ethics Commission and make up a new charge right on the spot, as if there was no need to have the Ethics Commission weigh in on a new last-minute charge developed by the Board of Supervisors. If the Board could have done that, why did the City bother involving the Ethics Commission at all? How comical can Wiener get?
Harvard Law School-trained lawyer David Campos sided with Berkeley School of Law-trained Jane Kim; both voted against the single charge leveled at Mirkarimi as too unconstitutionally-vague. Apparently, Chiu is quite comfortable maintaining constitutional vagueness. Is this what we want from elected Assembly members? I know I dont.
For his part, David Chiu chose to side with the constitutionally-vague Mayor and Ms. Kaiser, and the unethical Ethics Commission. Perhaps Kim paid attention, awake, during a Berkeley lecture on constitutional vagueness, as Campos appears to have done while at Harvard. Commissioner Hur also appears to have been awake during the hypothetical Harvard lecture concerning constitutional vagueness.
This leaves many observers wondering whether David Chiu slept through that class, or just skipped attending the lecture, and never learned that constitutional vagueness is not what voters expect from Assembly candidates seeking election to represent them in Sacramento. Maybe Wiener slept through, or skipped, that class, too. Thank goodness two of the four Harvard Law graduates Campos and Hur attended and didnt sleep through the constitutional vagueness lecture, as Wiener and Chiu appear to have. I guess two out of four isnt so bad, but its disturbing that Harvard cranks out half of its law school graduates having different legal understanding of the definition of constitutional vagueness.
Contrasting In-Their-Own-Words, Side-by-Side "Selfies"
Finally, the San Francisco Bay Times also ran front-page, side-by-side articles by the two Davids (three, really) in its April 17 issue. The two Davids were given an opportunity to present in their own words for Bay Times LGBT readers why they are running to become District 17s Assemblyman.
Predictably, Chiu lamented that when he arrived at City Hall in 2008, it was not as functional as it could be. He went on to stress his street creds as being a change-agent altering the tone of local government by being a consensus builder. Chiu seems to be playing Scott Wieners and Ed Lees consensus card.
In his written selfie portrait, Chiu mentions not one piece of legislation he introduced on behalf of LGBT communities, instead just pointing to having supported legislation ostensibly introduced by others. In his conclusion, Chiu brazenly wrapped himself in the legacy of former Supervisor Harvey Milk, implying that Harveys ability to build consensus and coalitions has somehow rubbed off exclusively on Chiu. Unfortunately, there was a whole lot more to Milk that appears to have not rubbed off on Chiu, including Milks You gotta give em hope trademark philosophy. Theres no give em hope emanating from either side of the two-sided David Chiu.
Not only may Chiu have potentially slept through a class on constitutional vagueness while at Harvard, it appears he slept through hearing of Harvey Milks efforts to build coalitions that Milk termed us-es. Supervisor Milk meant communities that value diversity and attempt to leave no one behind, as the Bay Times reported on May Day, May 1, when it announced it was presenting a new Bay Times column authored by Supervisor Campos.
Rather than seeking to build coalitions of us-es as Campos is doing, Chiu is hell-bent on toning down the tone in City Hall (including tuning out, by toning down, public comments during Board meetings) in his consensus building efforts that always tunes out meaningful input from, and ends up adversely affecting, us us-es. Chiu doesnt want coalitions of us-es. Coalitions of us-es have a way of interfering with Chius consensus coalitions comprised of real estate speculators, the usual monied-interest political suspects, and moderation.
As recently as the last week of April, Chiu was ordered by Chinatown powerbroker Rose Pak former Mayor Slick Willie Browns and Mayor Ed Lees go-to-gal to gin up a vote on an appointment to the Police Commission (see Postscript, below). At stake was police oversight, which Pak and Company sought to curb, comfortable as she is curbing public oversight. Dutifully, Chiu lapdog as he is to Rose followed her orders. Is that who you want in the Assembly, Paks lap dog? Notably, Campos not beholden to Pak as Chiu appears to be did not succumb to Paks orders.
In stark contrast, David Campos written selfie clearly describes some of his initial legislative ideas for the LGBT community should he win the assembly race. Chiu mentioned not one legislative goal should he win the election.
Campos also detailed why it is critically important to maintain LGBT representation in the Assembly. First, our Assembly District 17 has the highest proportion of LGBT voters of any district in the state, which is more important now than ever, because LGBT representation in Sacramento is threatened by term limits that may shrink the LGBT caucus in the State legislature to just six members. Campos noted that across the past decade, of 114 bills of critical interest to the LGBT community, over 55 percent were authored and sponsored by members of the LGBT caucus in Sacramento. Electing a straight David Chiu would clearly affect the volume of legislation authored on behalf of LGBT constituencies.
Reading the two Davids contrasting in-my-own-words articles, its abundantly clear Chiu is seeking his next elected higher office for its own sake: As a career politician.
In contrast, Campos April 17 article left readers with the clear impression he is a dedicated public servant seeking to focus on public service, not on his career plans.
This may explain why the Bay Times chose to add Campos as its newest columnist. Given his inaugural column, it appears Campos will be writing about substantive issues, not the fluff pieces the Chronicle cranks out in Sunday columns of Willies World.
Chiu's Support of Airbnb and the So-Called "Sharing Economy"
San Franciscos leading gay newspaper, the Bay Area Reporter, carried a greatly condensed version of this article as my guest opinion piece on the three-David race on May 1. A chief concern of the first person to comment on-line about my opinion piece in the B.A.R. Mr. Reid Pierre Condit appeared to be singularly concerned about privacy issues in gay mens bathhouses, totally oblivious to which David may be worthy of replacing Ammiano in Sacramento. Sadly, Condits comment was the typical me, me, me, not us.
Rather than being the slightest bit concerned about the bathhouse privacy issue, Im greatly concerned about, and alarmed by, the two years Chiu dragged his feet on the Airbnb issue involving evictions to convert rental units into short-term hotels. On June 11, 2013, Chiu attended Mayor Lees press event, along with Airbnbs founder and chief technology officer, Nathan Blecharczykto, announcing the Mayors support for the so-called sharing economy. The sharing economy also known as collaborative consumption uses technology and social media to promote the use and re-use of so-called underutilized assets: Cars, bikes, tools, rooms, spaces, skills, and other goods, baby-sitting, and other needs. There you have it: Chiu and the Mayor think you are underutilizing your rent-controlled apartment.
According to lobbyist filings submitted to San Franciscos Ethics Commission, Chiu or his staff met with lobbyists on behalf of Airbnb, or Airbnb employees lobbying Chiu, at least 27 times between December 2011 and March 2014. No small wonder it took Chiu two years to propose really awful legislation to revise short-term rental laws already on the books that prohibit such use (also see Postscript, below).
Apparently, Chiu and the Mayor are tired of conspicuous consumption, and prefer handing you collaborative consumption of your rental unit, even if it means that theyll help get you evicted since you are underutilizing your rental rooms, and theres a ton of wealthy people waiting to displace you and better utilize the space that youre hoarding by not sharing it with the filthy rich who want your spot. Make no mistake, Chius campaign donations from aggressive developers and real estate interests are designed to collaboratively share your right to be evicted.
The social media collaborative consumption psychobabble is designed to share you right out of town, as only twisted spinmeisters can deconstruct words. Mayor Lees focus on the sharing economy may be but one reason observers have coined a new nickname for him: Mayor Antoinette, referring to Marie Antoinettes dictum Let them eat cake!
Mr. Condit might better ask himself how many San Franciscans LGBT or otherwise were displaced out-of-county, while Chiu schmoozed Airbnb for two years trying to reach a compromise.
Hopefully, a proposed ballot measure that will more than likely be supported by Campos and opposed by Chiu will make it onto the November ballot. Unfortunately, it is being proposed too late for the June 3 primary, which might have presented voters with a better understanding of Chius ugly dark side before electing him to any higher office.
On April 29, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a trio of well-connected San Franciscans longtime housing activist Calvin Welch, public relations professional Dale Carlson, and former San Francisco Planning Commissioner Doug Engmann are backing a ballot initiative for the upcoming November election to severely curb Airbnbs operations in the City, given the legislation David Chiu recently introduced after schmoozing with Airbnb for nearly two years trying to reach some sort of compromise.
Mr. Welch says Chius legislation amounts to back-door rezoning of every residential neighborhood in San Francisco to allow short-term rentals.
Chius endless compromising will end up having the effect of worsening the affordable housing crisis and apartment evictions, because the short-term rental market is exploding, and a significant amount of housing is being converted into illegal hotel rooms, worsening the availability of affordable housing, and worsening displacement of long-time San Francisco renters. In the two years Chiu dragged his feet on this issue, how many San Franciscans were displaced out-of-county, while Chiu schmoozed trying to reach a compromise?
Reportedly, Chiu stated that the issue is too complicated for the blunt ballot-box approach. With ballot-box initiatives, mistakes can rarely be fixed, Chiu claimed. This illustrates perfectly Chius utter contempt for the intelligence of voters, who he apparently believes cant think for themselves and apparently believes make ballot-box mistakes, and why voters desperately need his consensus-building leadership in the Assembly.
Its the same contempt for members of the public (most of whom are voters) that Chiu all but sneers at during Board meetings, as only a truly arrogant President of the Board can. Given his contempt for voters, why is he asking for and why would you give him your vote?
Chius endless meddling will only make the affordability crisis in San Francisco much worse. If thats what you want, go ahead and vote for Chiu.
But dont let the privacy in bathhouses or the Bernal Heights Library mural fight be your single reason to vote against Campos. Theres more at stake than bathhouses and murals, important as those issues may be to a handful of San Franciscans, unless of course their need for privacy in bathhouses is greater than their need for affordable housing. Both are pale reasons to vote for Chiu. And if Condits chief whine is that Campos and Ammiano havent commented on the bathhouse issue, I have to wonder whether Mr. Condit has expectations of Chiu becoming a cheerleader on this issue any time soon.
Telling Distinctions Between the Two David's
Despite Chius false claim there are only shades of blue among San Franciscos politicians who claim to be Democrats, there are a number of key distinctions in the Tale of Two Davids. Chius aura screams Red with a capital R, as in Republican, not any shade of Blue. Consider these distinctions:
For many of these reasons, I have absolutely
no trust in David Chiu, and plenty of trust in David Campos. On
June 3, vote for David Campos to be our next Assemblyman. Not
only will we then retain a seat held for over a decade by a member
of the LGBT community, well have a far better legislator
with Campos, who will back us us-es.
The race between the three Davids is a no-brainer. Sending the two Davids living in the one-David Chiu body to Sacramento, is a really, really bad idea, because you never know when Chius internal good-David / bad-David split will flare up.
The choice for various LGBT communities (and every other voter demographic) is crystal clear: Chiu is running to represent the 1%ers, since he slept through Harvey Milks call for creating communities of us-ers. Campos is running to represent the rest of us 99%ers. You know, us us-ers.
You will not know which of the two David Chius youll be sending off to Sacramento until he gets there.
Chiu actively ran as a progressive when he first sought office to the Board of Supervisors. As soon as he was elected, he quickly de-camped and became a moderate. It wouldnt surprise me if we elect Chiu to the Assembly as a Democrat, and by the time he arrives in Sacramento he finally comes out of the closet as a Republican, revealing his true color: Red, not some fictitious rainbow shade of blue. Politicians have a long history of suddenly switching parties. Since Chiu has already switched ideologies, its conceivable he may also change his political party affiliation. Stranger things have happened.
When you vote in the June 3 primary election, mark your ballot for David Campos. Hes the only David of four worthy of your vote.
Monette-Shaw is an open-government accountability
advocate, a patient advocate, a member of Californias First
Amendment Coalition, a columnist for the Westside
Observer newspaper, and has operated stopLHHdownsize.com
for a decade advocating for skilled nursing care for the elderly
and disabled. He received a James Madison Freedom of Information
Award (Advocacy category) from the Society of Professional
Journalists-Northern California Chapter for his reporting
in the Observer about Laguna Honda Hospital.
After a ondensed version of this article appeared
in the Bay Area Reporter newspaper on May 1, and after
this expanded version was posted on-line at FogCItyJournal.com on Monday, May 5, more
news surfaced regarding why you dont want Chiu being sent
off to represent you in Sacramento. Hence this postscript.
As noted at the beginning of this article, Chiu has engaged in some potentially highly unethical behavior while Board President. By all means, if thats who you want representing you in Sacramento as Assemblyman, vote for Chiu. Just remember that an Assemblyman Chiu will more than likely continue taking orders from former Assemblyman and former Mayor Slick Willie Brown, along with taking orders from Rose Pak.
If that scares the crap out of
you, then vote for Campos.