tv [untitled] September 29, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm PDT
>> it is my pleasure to introduce our moderator this evening, professor almondover. he joined the uc davis school of law in 2004, following a clerkship with judge cal braise of the united states court of appeals for the second circuit. interest include election law, administrative law, statutory interpretation, constitutional law and property and natural resources law. he is a resident of san francisco's mission district. we are honored to work chris almendorf. [ applause ] >> thank you very much and thank you to all of the candidates who are here today. we're very fortunate to be joined by six candidates and
what i hope will soon be seven. all of the candidates have agreed to ask their supporters to be respectful of other candidates and the audience and to maintain quiet during the forum. i ask you to respect that commitment. every aspect of this forum will be equally fair to all participating candidates. as everyone here knows candidate debates are often limited to latitudinal appears and personal attack. our debate focuses on critical areas of policy disagreement among the leading candidates. so this end the league of women voters of san francisco and the san francisco public press working with researchers at uc davis, developed an issue position survey for the supervisorial candidates. the candidates were asked to state whether they support or opposite 43 specific polices or policy proposals. many of which have recently divided the board of supervisors. as the candidates here tonight,
london breed, julian davis, hope johnson, andrew resignato and thea selby answered. christina olague has not answered any of the questions. the survey responses were provided to team of uc hasteings ings students and representatives of league of women voters, who drew up the questions for tonight's debate. the results of the candidate survey are used by the san francisco public press to create a non-partisan voter guide that summarizes where the candidates stand on the issue and will be available on the website soon. meanwhile hvnnjp. preview you may pick up a copy of the current issue of the san francisco public press at the table in the back of the room, which has a fold out
summarizing the candidates' position. a little bit about the format of this evening's event. each question will be directed to three candidates or in some cases two. each of these candidates will have one minute to respond. following the named candidates' responses, other candidates may elect to use one of their three discretionary time cards, which they have all been provided. to speak to the question for one minute as well. we ask that after the candidate uses the card, they deposit the card in the basket in front of them, so each candidate, in fact, uses the card on only three occasions. the timekeeper in the first row will hold up a yellow card to signify to the speaking candidate that they have time remanning to peak and a red card signifies time to stop. because most of the questions for tonight's debate are based on issues survey, the
candidates who completed the survey will receive a few more questions than the candidates who did not. i would like to thank the sponsors of today's sponsor forum including the university of california-san francisco, hastings college of law, [wo-uflt/] and our media partner sfgtv. we're fortunate to have such an impressive field of candidates. i will begin with the questions. the first question is for miss breed. mr. davis, and mr. resignato. and for the benefit of the audience, i will also project the questions on the screen. please explain your position on whether or under what conditions the san francisco parks and recreation department should be parented to lease park facilitis to food vendors and other commercial enterprises?
miss breed? >> hi. london breed. i think that what we see now in the recreation -- i'm sorry, what is the time limit on each of these questions? >> one minute, please. >> i think what we see now is a bit of an abuse in terms of the number of vendors that the city has leased space to in our parks. and parks and recreation is for parks and recreation and not necessarily should be a place where we are leasing space to more vendors than we particularly need in specific areas. there is a place for vendors, for food vendors for various vendors in certain areas of the parks, but i think we are focusing way too much time on trying to figure out how we generate revenue for the city more so than we are trying to
figure out how to make sure that those uses are good uses for the people who use the parks . >> julian davis here. you know, i think we're seeing somewhat of a crisis in our parks and recreation department. i found that the department is severely mismanaged. we have synthetic fields going we have privatization and commercialization of our park spaces. we have rec directors being fired and park patrol officers being hired. we have onerous fees for access to community space, pricing community events out of our park spaces. the question is about whether particular conditions and limits we would put, i will give you a little sense of what will guide me in terms of my values and look closely at community people and people from community to be able to have access to our parks and recreation facilities. so if we're leasing spaces we need to make sure that is not to the
detriment of folks who should affordably be able to take advantage of our park spaces. we have arboretum fees and i think these kind of policies are creating a less accessible park system, so that will be my guiding principles when i craft limits on privatizing or leasing our park spaces. >> thank you. mr. resignato. >> i agree with what julian just said. i think one of the examples is really the concerts that we have in the parks that are excluding people. for example, i forget the name of it actually. outside lands which cost over $100 a ticket and excludes a lot of people from being able to access the parks. when other concerts that the power of the people concert, which is much more a public and free isn't able to get a permit because it's too expensive. so
i think our values have to be with us, especially in our public spaces, our values have to be to err on the side of allowing public entities access and maybe restricting some of the private entities or corporations or charging them more to access/to use our public spaces. that is my opinion. >> thank you. the next question is for miss johnson, mr. resignato and miss selby. measure f, which is on the ballot this november would require san francisco to come up with a plan to drain the hetch hetchy reservoir and restore the hetch hetch valley to its natural state. please explain why you support or oppose measure f? miss johnson? >> yes. i think i'm one of the only candidates who supports measure
f. it's not necessarily that you have to drain hetch hetchy. hetch hetchy is one of nine reservoirs. the city of san francisco is one of the only cities and, in fact the only city that did not respond to a survey of water recycling. the city will not do anything and they say they cannot recycle water for ten years, even though there is already best practices. so this study would find out ways that we can improve -- we used to get most of our water from the undergroundwater infrastructure, but that has not been maintained properly. so we have been relying more and more on hetch hetchy, which was created by damming the tuolumne river, where we get our water. so it's a study to fund researching ways to improve our water system.
>> it's interesting that hope and i get this question, because we just remailed on this topic about two hours ago and i have been trying to get more information, because we usually agree on a lot of things. i have opposed this measure, because i think it's -- at a time when we don't have a lot of funding, i think the spirit of the measure is in the right place, looking at some issues of water. one is what i'm concerned with is, i'm the only health go and it could be an issue for people with compromised immune systems. i think it's you agood point and i was looking at the statistics today. the measure is very broad and outlines a lot of things that might be a little too ambitious right now and i think $8 million that the time is tough when we have a lot of other priorities. so that is why i have opposed it. i think the spirit of it is good, and we should start looking at that, but it's the particular measure that i don't
agree with. thank you. >> thea selby. i also oppose measure f and the reason for that, there are a couple different reasons, but one is certainly not only do we have the world's finest water. i mean i don't know if you have lived in other places, but the water from the hetch hetchy is the most drinkable, most delicious water in the world. and i love my water. i don't want to lose my water. we do get some of it from the ground. we do use some groundwater and that will be increasing over time. that is something that i think the sf puc is looking into. so certainly water itself is absolutely delicious, pure, pristine and fabulous and water is really the new oil. water is extremely important to us. but also it gives us energy. we have hydropower from our water source, a lot of city, if not all of the city is powered,
sfmta, possibly the city buildings is powered by the hetch hetchy and i don't want to give that up either. >> thank you. i will remind the candidates that if at any point they wish to jump in on a question they may do so using a time card. the next question is for miss breed, mr. johnson and miss selby. please explain whether you think sit/lie is working to address public safety as intended across the city and how you would reform it, if indeed you would reform it? miss breed? >> i did vote yes on sit/lie. i had a number of issues in the upper haight that were just
really unfortunate situations and i thought there needed to be some sort of solution to the problem. unfortunately it hasn't worked. we still have some real problems in the haight and we need to make sure that the social service agencies that deal with mental health abuse issues, that deal with drug treatment issues, those particular organizations are on the front line helping the folks who need the help. and the people that are and sometimes what we perceive as the "problems of the haight," are the ones that need the services the most and we need to make sure that the services are where they are needed. and they are needed in the haight and with sit-lie we just move the problem from one location to another. it's to look at the situation more seriously and address it the way we need to as a city. >> thank you. miss johnson? >> i do not support sit/lie and still do not support
sit/lie. one of the main reasons i felt at the time it was a regissue that the two different factions that kind of operate in san francisco were using against each other. the progressives and the moderates. and i felt it was not really relevant to what was going on in the city at the time. it is an important issue up in the haight, but it hasn't really worked and it hasn't been imposed citywide, but just in the haight. everybody sort of moves down in the park and they had to put in bicycle racks to disperse that. the sfpd has laws on the book that it could use if it wanted to and some of the issues that will come up are not going to go away. these people don't have anywhere to go. a lot of them have drug problems and we have cut services and that is a broader issue of where those people will go.
>> thea selby, i also did not support sit/lie and for some of the same reasons. there are laws on the books that could take care of it. so i was concerned that if the chief of police moved on and lo and behold the chief of police moved on, there won't be the same will to do something if we had sit/lie and my ways of reforming -- i didn't think we needed laws. i thought what we needed is what we still need is community-building and getting people on the streets and activating the streets. i have been working with a group of other neighborhood people, and we have been meeting about what are the ways that we can activate lake albert, where a lot of the people went? yes, we need social services and yes, there is probably a police element as well. i don't know if you have seen the report, but there is a report out there and certainly any place it's worked it has worked here the best of all the places. but nonetheless we have shifted
the problem, not gotten rid of the problem. >> there are two other candidates who wish to jump in on this. >> as an attorney working in the criminal justice system here in san francisco i'm on the front lines of a lot of these issues, including mental health issues, homelessness issues and substance-abuse which is really at the subsidiary at this particular set of circumstances here. that being said, make no mistake about it, folks, the two other panelists were correct. excuse me, there is already legislation on the books to address this problem. what the people wanted to do was send a message and i believe it was the wrong message. it's the message that san francisco is not an inclusive city, that it's not a tolerant city. yes we have public safety concerns. yes there are real issues out there, but there are better, more humane and more just and quite frankly more san
francisco-centered ways to deal with those issues. >> mr. resignato. >> so i kind of also agree with what mr. everett just said. and we have deeper political/social issues to address. we come up with new laws with gang injunction and the idea of stop and frisk and we have laws on the books already, but what we need is that we need police presence. we need community programs and also we need new ideas. if you talk about the end of the park at stanon, what is going on there now, i have been talking in the campaign because i think what is interesting is the idea of haight street museum. it's been tried before, but the haight street is an historical area and a museum really changing the way that area is and activating that area. i keep putting that out there,
because that is something that i would propose as supervisor. >> thank you. mr. davis? >> the sit/lie law is a perfect example of trying to address a symptom without curing the disease. we have massive inequitis in our society. that is apparent from the number of homeless people that we see on our streets in san francisco and it's a problem that is not just a san francisco problem. it's a problem that is experienced statewide. it's a national problem. and i think we need leaders at city hall who will be willing to step up and work with our state and national leaders to try to solve the problem of homelessness in america. one thing we do at the booker t. washington center to where i was recently president, building affordable housing half of had which will be dedicated to emancipated youth.
so i think we really do need to look at the root cause of the issue. it's about inequity and how we provide supportive housing and mental health services and drug treatment and really look at the problem from its source. thank you. >> thank you. davis, miss olague and miss selby. >> currently any member of public can review a project. critics say this results in costs and limiting supply of housing. opponents say discretionary review is necessary so that everyone affected by a project can be heard. how would you if the all reform the discretionary process? mr. davis, miss olague and miss selby. >> as a board president of
booker t. recently we had to seek permission from the board of supervisors for housing and community space. , as much as i would have liked that process to go quicker, as much as i would have liked to see less opposition from some of the neighbors. we had a lot of support from the neighbors as well. i think it's really important that folks have the opportunity to air their concerns at city hall to, air their concerns at planning, to air their concerns in front of the board of supervisors and ultimatelis a community, we do need to decide and balance interests and mitigate impacts and at the end of the day the booker t. project final designs are better than started because it did go through a review process. so i wouldn't try to limit discretionary review. i think it's an important part of the process, of planning in san francisco and a vital example of community input and planning in san francisco. >> miss olague.
>> christiana olague. apologies for being late. we' hearing on achievement gaps between african-american and the discussion was such that i didn't feel i should leave. that being said, the booker t. washington was definitely a very contentious project that i sat on the commission at the time. a lot of opposition may be classified as nimby opposition, but this is not the case of a discretionary review. discretionary review are usually initiated by neighbors, 311 notice. your neighbor wants to add a deck or do something to their property and anyone in the city, not just your neighbor, but if you feel like you are going to have a significant impact as a result of the changes that they are making, then you can file a dr. i think the department is attempting to make some reforms so the work at the front-end is better [thr-fpt/] are a lot of contentiousneighborhood issues that result from discretionary
reviews that aren't always positive, but we need to keep that process in place and so i support the dr process. >> thank you, miss selby. >> thea selby, yes, i was just today on the street of the citizens general obligation bond oversight committee and we were talking about a variety of different kinds of things that we could do here in san francisco that are pretty unusual and i also specialty a lot of time in the neighborhoods and was in coal valley last weekend and heard from neighbors who had difficulties with discretionary reviews. it seems to me that there are always going to be people that -- whatever you want to call them. people who will take advantage of things when you ask for their input. perhaps if we can have more communication on the front-end, that would help. so if you can communicate with your neighbor on the front-end on this,
hopefully, you can have a better result at the end. and i do think that it might be worth looking into to see if there is a way that we can make it less potentially, you know, we don't want to be destructive. we want to work together basically. thank you. >> now we have an arguably related question for miss breed, mr. davis and mr. everett. what steps should the city take to increase the supply of new housing units? >> i served on the san francisco redevelopment agency commission for five years. i watched as developers who developed luxury condominiums similar to the project of 8 washington where they are trying to develop luxury condominiums. they pay into an affordable housing fund. and that affordable housing doesn't always necessarily get built. and right now the city is
backlogged over 6,000 affordable housing units and this is since i before i left redevelopment agency. and so i'm sure that it's increased since then. we can't keep paying into this affordable housing fund and not building the affordable housing. i think it's important for us to focus on making sure that we build those housing units and when developers come in and they want to build affordable housing, that we hold them accountable to building that affordable housing simultaneously to the development of the developments that they want to build as well. >> thank you. mr. davis? >> san francisco is in need of 18,000 affordable housing units says the association of bay area governments. our housing element of you are general plan calls for 60% of new housing to be affordable housing. we need to address this issue head-on and build the affordable housing that this community and this city
desperately needs. how do we do that? i think we need to go back to the ballot with an affordable housing bond. we have haven't passed one in san francisco since 1996. we have an opportunity this fall with prop c to support the first permanent dedicated stream of funding for affordable housing. it's on the november ballot. and i encourage everybody to vote for it. on the ballot as well is a business tax restructure to bring in new revenue for the city and many millions of dollars from that, about 13 will be dedicated to the affordable housing so we can ramp up development of affordable housing in san francisco. >> thank you. mr. everett? >> providing affordable housing is a central and extremely important issue. that being said, we also need to look at how we deal with public housing within the city and county of san francisco. i grew up in section 8 housing.
i know what that is like. i grew up on food stamps, i know what that is like. we need to understand how we can end some of the cycles that we talk about on a day to day basis and the root causes of those cycles. the way to address those is to directly target the housing crisis in san francisco and directly target hud housing. we do that by providing vouchers to folks. with the vouchers you could take a family and moved them into mixed income units. i am a product of that. i am a product of a young person being able to wake up in the morning and see to my left a doctor and see to my right a professional person and think intuitively why not me too? that is the san francisco that will move forward in the future. >> thank you. the next several questions regard fiscal policy and
related matters. fiscal analysts project that the city's liabilities will increase substantially in the coming years. miss breed, mr. everett, and miss johnson, if the city needs to generate new revenue to balance its budget, what new or increased taxes or fees should it consider? çk w miss breed, mr. everett and mr. johnson. >> london breed. i think part of what i see is a lot of waste and i also see a lot of very high salaries. i think we need to start by making sure, for example, when not going to pay for bottled water and that saved the city millions of dollars. i think we need to start looking at things, like cutting the costs on the number of vehicles we use, gas and some of the basics in order to save revenue in that capacity. we also need to look at the salaries. i know that we, as members of
the board of supervisors, that is a little bit more difficult, because we get into potentially micromanaging. but in terms of fees, there are a number of ways to look at new fees, but i do think that we need to manage what we have now in a responsible way before we start to open the door to new opportunities to increasing revenue for the city. >> thank you. mr. everett. >> what we need to do is stop raising revenue off the backs of people who could afford it the least. if we're going to go out and give tax breaks to twitter, besides the reasoning associated with that, we can't at the same time say we increase your parking or the cost to ride muni and the direct and real impact that has on the lives of ordinary people that. is what my campaign is all about.