tv [untitled] September 1, 2011 9:00pm-9:30pm PDT
we are going to get to know him and talk about the issues facing the city. welcome. thank you for joining us today. tell us about your background, where you grew up, went to school, and what kind of jobs to have had. >> i grew up in the philadelphia area, in new jersey. i went to school up and down the east coast. i went to undergrad at duke university. i went to law school at harvard. after clerking for a judge, i came out here in 1997. i have been here for the last 14 years. i have always lived in the castro. i am an attorney. i started out in private practice. i settle private law firm during complex commercial litigation. in 2002, and moved over to the sentences the city attorney's office where i worked on the trial team doing trials for the city, handling my own cases, and supervising a team of attorneys as well.
>> why did you choose to live in san francisco? >> i always assumed i would go back to the philadelphia area since that is where my family is. i was always interested in san francisco in terms of what it is as a city, its culture, it's amazing lgbt community. i came out here for a summer, fell in love with it. i have been interested in politics since i was a kid. i worked on campaigns as a teenager. i was involved campaign against senator jesse helms when i was in college. when i cannot hear, and was not initially involved politically. -- when i came out here, i was not initially involved politically. i helped to build the lgbt community center. i started doing campaigns. i gradually got involved in democratic party politics.
i got involved in the alice b. toklas democratic club. i ran for the democratic central committee in 2004. i ended up sharing the committee. it was a gradual process for me. by the time i started thinking about running for supervisor, it made sense because of my involvement in the community and in politics. >> what did you learn from campaigning for supervisor? >> i learned a lot. i knocked on about $15,000. -- i knocked about 15,000 doors. i met a huge number of people. that is the best way to learn about the neighborhood, the city, and what people want and what their concerns are. i feel i can do so much more than before and started campaigning. -- i feel like i know so much more than before i started campaigning. we're all part of the left on the national standard. i am a good liberal democrat.
in the san francisco spectrum, and probably considered more middle of the road. -- i am probably considered more middle-of-the-road. i am very independently comes to the issues. i do not vote the party line. a judge each issue on its merits. that is how i am. >> what do you feel are some of the biggest issues facing san francisco now? >> the budget is the most imminent issue. we do have a structural budget deficit in the city. we need to deal with the short- term balancing of the budget in a way that does not decimate basic city services that people rely on but also to address our long term structural budget deficit. that means implementing budget reforms that will smooth out the budget process so that it is not
a boom-bust process. that means reforming our pension and retiree system so that they are stable and do not drain the general fund. that is a big aspect of it. another huge issue is the deferred maintenance on our infrastructure. we have a lot of infrastructure that has been deteriorating because we have not maintained properly. that includes roads, sewer systems, muni. we need to be much more diligent about maintaining our infrastructure. some of the big citywide issues that impact the district include transportation. we had more muni service and some other districts. it is not always reliable. some of the major bus lines in the district are not reliable. we have major projects like the renovation of delores park. it is an opportunity to define
what the park is and what changes we want to make to it. that is going to be and port project, the same thing with glen canyon that is going to undergo a lot of work. one of the most challenging parts of the new district supervisor is that we elect the supervisors by district. it is very important to pay attention to the district, be engaged in the projects in the district. we also represent the whole city. any district supervisor that focuses on the district without addressing the citywide issues is not doing his or her job. every day, i make sure i am working on the major citywide issues and the district issues. i try to be disciplined about that. >> how will you approach the
tough choices? >> i think we have to start by looking at the most critical city services that we cannot do without. what are the ones that if they deteriorated, we will pay the price on? public safety falls into that category as a basic critical service. transportation, making sure we have the functional muni is critical. core public health services like dealing with mental on this on our streets -- with mental illness on our streets. if we do not provide services, we will pay the price. it works out from there in terms of budget priorities. >> with your plans on dealing with homelessness? >> it is homelessness in general and behavior on the streets. we need to make sure people have
access to services. i was a supporter of putting the money we taking the money we're putting into the system to provide housing. we need to make sure people have access to services. we need to make sure that we have standards of behavior on our streets. most homeless people did not cause any problems on our streets. they are a small group the causing problems. we need to make sure we have the standards of behavior. there are some kinds of behavior that are not ok and they need to report that. . she mentioned housing needs. what are the housing needs? how should the board of supervisors address these? >> there are a few different areas we need to address. housing affordability or lack there of is a major challenge for the city. it is harder to afford housing in the city if you are lower or
middle income. we need to address that. i want to focus on work force housing. we do a good job of generating high in housing. we can always do better. we do a decent job providing low-income housing. we do a terrible job providing housing for lower middle class and middle-class people, people who are working and paying taxes. we need to have them here for a functioning economy. i am looking for ways to fund more of that kind of housing, particularly for a central employees like teachers, nurses, first responders. we need to make sure that our development is a transit- oriented. we do not want to encourage suburban sprawl. we want to do infill housing so that people can live near where they work and near public
transportation. >> let's talk about public transportation. is there adequate muni service in your district? what is the parking and traffic situation like? >> muni is not near where it needs to be. in the caster, we have the subway. -- in the castro, we have the subway. a can be terrific or frustrating. we are next to the bart line. in other parts of the district, is unreliable. the writeridership is lower bece of unreliability. other lines are not as frequent and people not think of using
them. we have a particular problem in diamond heights. the neighborhood is served primarily by the 52 line. it is incredibly unreliable. the buses miss runs-------. for awhile, muni was ending service at 9:00 or 10:00 at night. it is up on a hill. without service, it is isolated. another thing i am working on is trying to get more taxis onto the street. a world-class taxi system is a complement to any public transportation system. >> how do you think the police department is doing? do you have any thoughts on how the city is dealing with crime? >> i was a big supporter of chief gaston. i think he will do a great job in the district attorney's
office. part of me was sad to see him go from the police department. he had come in and started modernizing the department. it's technology -- a lot of different changes that needed to happen but were not happening until he came in and start of the department on the right path. it is critical that whoever the next chief of police is continue that modernization of the department. it will have benefits citywide. in my district, we have public safety challenges. the district is often viewed as a "safe district." we do have violence. we had a bunch of violence around delores park last year. there have been robberies in glen park and parts of the valley. there have been shootings in diamond heights. one of the challenges is making
sure that the police department understands that even though we may not have the same crime levels as some neighborhoods, we still need attention from the police department. >> let's talk about the city's economic development. are we on the right track? what would you like to change about the approach to developing the economy? >> we are getting better. the city as got more proactive about attracting businesses and new industries and providing incentives for them to come and stay here. it is still a very expensive place to do business in terms of the cost of labor, land. we need to make sure that we are not taxing businesses to the point that it is not profitable and we are not attractive for them to be here. we need to reform our payroll tax. that is an incentive not to create jobs.
i know the board president david chu is working on possibility this there -- possibilities there. i look forward to working with him. we've targeted efforts to revitalize areas and bring industries here with the tax holiday and proposal introduced yesterday relating to parts of the tenderloin to provide some payroll tax relief to encourage businesses like twitter and others to go there. >> the governor has proposed eliminating funding for redevelopment agencies. what is your opinion of the plan? what are your thoughts on the value of redevelopment agencies? >> i think the plan is over- broad. i do not support it as it relates to san francisco's model of redevelopment. our redevelopment agency does
tremendous work in san francisco. a lot of projects like treasure island and what is happening in hunters point, those kinds of projects would be difficult to achieve without redevelopment. a redevelopment agency is the largest source of affordable housing creation in the city. it has been a huge asset. i understand there are other parts of the state where redevelopment has a different model and is not as positive. there are types of unwise development. redevelopment statewide is in need of reform. san francisco is a model for redevelopment and it needs to stay intact. >> let's talk about the role of sports. are you happy with the plans for the america's cup? should the city spend money to keep the 49ers'?
>> i am thrilled about the america's cup. it will not just be an economic boom that creates jobs and long- term economic development. it will help us shore up our aging and deterioration appears -- deteriorateing piers. it will help us clear of deferred maintenance. it will be a promotion for the city. people will see the panoramic views of san francisco and want to come here. i would very much like to see forty-niners stay here. what that means, we will have to talk about it. i am not a big fan of massive public subsidies to sports teams. i think we should work hard to keep them here. >> we're almost out of time. are there any other issues or concerns we have not discussed? are there any other specific
issues you plan to concentrate on throughout your turn? >> a couple that come to mind. i introduced in control legislation to make it easier for tenants displaced by fires or earthquakes or other disasters to find below market replacement meant -- rent while their apartments are being fixed. there are some aspects of our rent control laws that make it difficult to find those kinds of temporary accommodations at below market rent. i have been working with groups on legislation that introduced that will help there. i have also requested an economic impact study to be performed on the entertainment and nightlife industries. it is a very important economic and cultural sector in our city.
we have never really taken a look at what it contributes to our economy. i think that is an important piece of information to have to guide policy making in the future. i have requested a hearing on the impact of historic preservation of other important policy goals in the city like creating affordable housing, having usable parks and libraries, etc. i want to look at how those different policies interact with each other. those are a few things i am working on. >> we are out of time. we will have to wrap this up. thank you so much for joining us. we have been talking to supervisor wiener from district 8. watch for the next episode of "need your supervisor." we will be back with one of our 11 city supervisors. ♪
the new terminal service and american airlines and virgin america was designed by a world- renowned architecture's firm. originally built in 1954, the building underwent massive renovation to become the first registered terminal and one of the must modern and sustainable terminals and the united states. the public art program continues its 30-year legacy of integrating art into the airport environment with the addition of five new commissions that are as bold and dynamic as the new building. >> this project was completed in record time, and we were able to integrate the artist's early enough in the process that they could work with the architect said that the work that is completed is the work that
really helps complement and instill the space as opposed to being tucked away in a corner. >> be experience begins with the glass facades that was designed with over 120 laminated glass panels. it captures the experience of being under or over clouds when flying in a plane. depending on the distance or point of view, it can appear clear for more abstract and atmospheric. the subtle colors change gradually depending on the light and the time of day. >> i wanted to create an art work that looks over time as well as working on in the first glance. the first time you come here, you may not see a. but you may be able to see one side over the other.
it features a couple of suspended sculptures. each was created out of a series of flat plains run parallel to each other and constructed of steel tubing. >> it is made up of these strata. as the light starts to shift, there is a real sense that there is a dynamism. >> it gives the illusion that this cultures might be fragments of a larger, mysterious mass. >> the environmental artwork livens it with color, light, and the movement. three large woven soldiers are suspended. these are activated by custom air flow program. >> i channeled air flow into
each of these forms that makes it move ever so slightly. and it is beating like a heart. if-0 when as of the forces of nature moving around us every second. >> shadow patterns reflect the shapes of the hanging sculptures. the new terminal also features a children's play areas. both of the market the exploratory n.y. -- exploratorium. the offer travelers of all ages a playful oasis. using high quality plywood, they created henches shaped like a bird wings that double as musical instruments. serving as a backdrop is a mural
featuring images of local birds and san francisco's famous skyline. >> in the line between that is so natural, you can see birds and be in complete wilderness. i really like that about this. you could maybe get a little snapshot of what they are expecting. >> it is an interactive, keck sculpture that is interacted with by the visitor. >> they are a lot about and they fall down the belt. it moves the belt up, and if you turn that faster, the butterflies fall in the move of words. >> the art reflect the commission's commitment to
acquiring the best work from the bay area and beyond. in addition to the five new commissions, 20 artworks that were already in the airport collection were reinstalled. some of which were historically cited in the terminal. it includes major sculptures by the international artists. as a collection, these art works tell the story of the vibrant arts scene in the early 1960's through the mid-1980s's. the illustrate san francisco's cultural center and a place of innovation that is recognized and the love throughout the world. one of the highlights is a series of three left tapestries. they are on view after being in storage for 20 years. these tapestries representing various gardens. from his years of living in san
francisco. hydrangeas, chrysanthemums, and whilst dahlias in rich, deep shades as they make their way to the baggage area. they can access behind-the- scenes information and interviews with the artist through an audio to work. it features archival audio as well as interviews with living artists. he can be accessed on site by dialing the telephone numbers located near the artwork or by visiting the commission's web site. the public art speaks volumes of san francisco as a world-class city with world-class art and culture. for more information, visit
>> welcome to "culturewire." since december 2005, the museum of the african diaspora, known locally,moad, has presented programs that celebrate and explore the culture, history, and art of people with african descent throughout the and added states and throughout the world. the director of cultural affairs recently met with the museum director. to learn more about the current expedition, textural rhythms, constructing the jazz tradition, contemporary african american quilts. >> welcome to "culturewire." today, we are at the museum of the african diaspora, which is
celebrating its fifth anniversary occupying one of the premier cultural district in the world, the yerba buena cultural arts center in san francisco. joining me is the cultural art director. tell us what moad's mission is. what does it do? >> the museum of the african diaspora showcases the history, art, and cultural richness that resulted from the dispersal of africans throughout the world. we do that through compelling and innovative exhibitions, public programs, and education programs. our goal is to celebrate and present for appreciation to our broad and diverse public the controversial energy contributions of people of african descent to world culture in all aspects in all areas, including politics, culture, economics, education, just in all aspects