For those folks wondering what all the TRUNCATED comments and opinions I provided on the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's 2014 Candidate Questionnaire, let me highlight the one that I think is most important.
This Fall, voters will have the chance to support the Transportation and Road Safety Bond. This bond supports $500 million of work to improve the city’s transit systems and make our roadways safer for all users, with a focus on improved bikeways and pedestrian safety. Will you publicly support and actively campaign for this measure? Yes/No
NO – The bond discriminates against District 6 while District 6’s property values represent 20% of the entire City, meaning District 6 would pay for $100 million of the $500 million bond that only promises to improve existing services in established neighborhoods, ignoring the high disparity in dangers to pedestrians and bicyclists in District 6 (especially east of 6th Street). SoMa deserves guaranteed cycle tracks along Folsom and/or Howard Street (perhaps a 2-way on either) that goes all the way from at Division to The Embarcadero – not stopping at 4th Street. SoMa deserves expanded transit service to persuade new residents to develop a lifelong habit of using transit instead of a habit of driving their cars to get around town – instead, transit service has been cut from SoMa’s eastern neighborhoods despite thousands of new residential units getting built there over the next 5 years. The City makes no promise to deal with the pollution and dangers of traffic congestion in downtown San Francisco that affect District 6 residents, dissuading us from walking or bicycling. The bond as proposed is short-sighted and leaves deadly by design transportation infrastructure untouched. That’s wrong, and I won’t support this geographic apartheid that kills District 6 residents by ignoring the public health data about traffic congestion, air pollution, and pedestrian/bike dangers of the current SoMa street designs.
For some reason, Boston Properties is acting as though they can renegotiate Mello Roos direct charges on their property tax bills in the Transit Center District Plan. Today's news said they've hired Willie Brown. The fact of the matter is that the City has to be paid the property taxes that appear on the bills unless Boston Properties wants to risk the property securing their investment getting auctioned off on City Hall's steps like any other scofflaw's real estate in San Francisco.
Just pay your tax bills like everybody else, Boston Properties. It's really that simple.
While the Rincon Hill neighborhood is quickly growing by leaps and bounds of new high-rise residential construction, the SFMTA is performing a survey about transportation needs for folks who live, work, or visit our part of town.
Please take 5 minutes and answer these survey questions to help the SFMTA determine where the demand is for potentially new/expanded transit lines in east SoMa: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1718957/Rincon-Hill-Survey
For more information, please visit the SFMTA project page: http://www.sfmta.com/projects-planning/projects/rincon-hill-transit-study
The South Beach | Rincon | Mission Bay Neighborhood Association sent a letter to George Lucas's assistant to let him know we would welcome The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to Seawall Lot 330 in South Beach.
The Board of Directors did so with the agreement of attendees at the regular monthly meeting on June 9, 2014 when we heard what Mr. Lucas wants to build from representatives of the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Port of San Francisco. The letter was mentioned in this article written by Marisa Lagos of the Chronicle on Friday, June 13, 2014.
Here's a short video from the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum website about Mr. Lucas's vision for the museum:
The staggered arrival and departure times expected of patrons of a museum like the one George Lucas wants to build seem perfectly acceptable for Seawall Lot 330 in my humble opinion. Since a museum would most likely not pay property taxes due to a non-profit exemption, it might be wise to urge that a hotel be built within current height limits on the site as well to help provide revenues to take care of Piers 30-32 across the street (whether "take care" is demolishing most of the piers or demolishing some of the piers and turning the remainder into a park and/or deep berth vessel dock for the occasional aircraft carrier or NOAA weather/science boat).
This Monday, June 9, 2014 at 6pm at the South Beach Harbor Services Building (between Pier 40 and AT&T Park, behind the boat marina), the South Beach | Rincon | Mission Bay Neighborhood Association hosts speakers from the Mayor's Office and the Port who will discuss the futures of SWL 330 and Piers 30-32. Please come to this meeting if you're interested!
South Beach / Rincon / Mission Bay Neighborhood Association Meeting
Monday, June 9th - 6 – 7:00 p.m.
South Beach Harbor Services Building
(between Pier 40 & the Ballpark)
Tony Winnicker, Office of Mayor Lee and Adam Van de Water, City Hall Office of Economic and Workforce Development along with Phil Williamson, Diane Oshima, and Brad Benson of the Port of San Francisco, will update us on what’s happening with SWL330 and Piers 30/32.
SWL 330 and Piers 30/32 were proposed to George Lucas for his museum project recently.
COME JOIN US!
South of Market's Harrison Street and Bryant Street serve as truck routes while ideally the other northwest-southeast streets can be tamed into neighborhood serving streets with better designs in the future. 10th Street is one of the primary feeder streets to the 101 freeway. It seems like a very bad idea to create a new recycling center at the intersection of a truck route and a feeder street to the 101 freeway, but that's exactly what is being proposed at 10th and Harrison Streets.
Neighbors are understandably concerned about already filthy streets getting even harder to maintain as items that are not accepted by the recycling center may find themselves tossed onto our sidewalks and the streets nearby. The possibility of more scavengers going through public and private trash bins, leaving messes on the sidewalks, is also a very valid concern.
The big problem that I see is pedestrian safety and more traffic congestion in an area already filled with air pollution that shortens our lives.
If you would like to support western SoMa neighbors in their effort to get a discretionary review of the proposed recycling center at 10th and Harrison, an online petition is available here: http://www.change.org/petitions/supervisor-jane-kim-mitigate-the-impact-of-a-recycling-center-at-10th-and-harrison-streets
Please share the link with your neighbors if you share my concerns about pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, and quality of life issues like trash on the streets.
A neighborhood meeting to discuss the recycling center has been scheduled. Supervisor Kim, representatives from the Department of Planning, Department of Building Inspection, the owner of "Our Planet Recycling", and potentially other city agencies should be present. The meeting is scheduled for Tue, June 17, 6:45 PM, at The ArcSF, at 11th and Howard Streets.
San Francisco's economy is the envy of the country right now. Unfortunately, there's a big health problem that accompanies all of the additional traffic that comes with the success - air pollution from fossil fuels that shortens our lives and harms the planet.
The Department of Public Health's Sustainable Communities Index maps it out for us to see as one of the many valuable data charts available on their www.sustainablecommunitiesindex.org website. One of my primary drivers for running for Supervisor is to call out the problem on a regular basis and to demand that the Planning Department start taking into consideration how to, at minimum, not make the amount of deadly air pollution that downtown residents, workers, and visitors breathe any worse and to ask SFMTA and SFCTA to start piloting programs to try to decrease the amount of deadly air pollution downtown.
While it is nice that we make people pay for paper bags, the community health of residents in SoMa is being ignored as new planning efforts are underway to increase the number of commuters from the East Bay and other parts of the region who need to get into the City in order to work at new office buildings. There's no serious talk of building a second bridge or a second transbay tube, and this means that traffic congestion and accompanying air pollution in SoMa will get worse if there's no one that makes the issue their first priority.
I found this great video on 350.org today that reflects the point of view that I share which is that the planet and people need to be prioritized over profits if we genuinely embrace the idea of a sustainable future in San Francisco. I hope I can count on your support on November 4th to make this a priority in San Francisco - or at least give it a loud voice who will not be silenced by big business and their lobbyists.
The over 2,000 residents of Treasure Island are rightfully concerned about their health and the possible radiation contamination around their homes on the island. At a meeting on Saturday, May 31, 2014, the U.S. Navy presented information about their plans to check for radiation levels at a depth of about 3' below the ground surface.
There is a big disconnect between the Navy's goal of cleaning up the island such that it is safe as no one digs into the soil and the City and County of San Francisco taking the island over to promote the development of housing and other uses which naturally require digging into the soil. It just doesn't add up.
The best plan for Treasure Island would be to use the space for creating clean power for San Francisco via a solar panel and windmill farm. The City and County of San Francisco, in my opinion, should not continue or encourage anyone to live on Treasure Island.
More opinions on this topic to come ...
Jamie Whitaker is running for District 6 Supervisor in the November 4, 2014 election to try to influence the City to start considering the cumulative impacts of new development projects and policies on community health and our environment. Air pollution, noise, distance to parks, transit availability, traffic congestion, and many other issues impact our health, our lifespans, and our environment. Why does the City only measure the incremental impacts directly tied to projects instead of considering the cumulative effects upon the areas residents?
Jamie is running to try to make sure that downtown residents get a fair share of transit service, open space, and other City services. Right now, we pay 20% of any General Obligation bond because of Prop 13 and the high taxable values of newer properties. The 2012 Clean and Safe Parks Bond for $195 million will require about $39 million in property tax payments just from District 6 property owners, and yet SoMa is only getting $1 million of the $195 million invested in our neighborhoods. This is despite the fact that there is only 0.17 acres of open space per 1,000 residents in District 6 - the lowest amount among Supervisorial districts in a City that averages about 3 acres of open space per 1,000 residents. How do these priorities and revenue sources get so disproportionate?
Jamie is running to argue for just the facts instead of silly politics when considering budgets and policy decisions. We're at a tipping point in San Francisco. A high number of residents are getting tired of what appears to be a rigged game in San Francisco's City Hall. Until we elect leaders with the backbone to expose the politically motivated decisions that fly in the face of analytical data, we are not getting the most good for the most people out of our City's public funds.
Please help Jamie by contributing to his campaign today. You can contribute via credit card online or you can print this form, fill it out, and mail it with your personal check as instructed on the form.
On November 4, 2014, please make Jamie Whitaker your FIRST choice (of three) for District 6 Supervisor!