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tv   [untitled]    October 29, 2011 8:00pm-8:30pm PDT

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this message -- this question is for tony hall. regarding the san francisco century policy, the city has been very strong in defending the rights of undocumented immigrants to live here in san francisco. would you advocate changing it, and if so, would you expect your police department in your human services agency, the sheriff's department, although that is is every elected official, adult probation department, juvenile probation to change the way they're handling the issue? >> yes, you heard me stay in the opening statement that goes with the only candidate that would put an end to a century city. it is not that want to deport people. it put public safety in jeopardy. and the first responsibility of the mayor -- is this thing on? here we go. the first -- there we go. the first responsibility of an
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elected official is protect the safety of the citizens. i am not after reporting. i do not want to deport people, but i want to know what they were accused of. i believe in the secured amenities act, obama's secured committed this act. i think sanctuary city is a politically incorrect policy that puts public safety at risk. i want to do process. i want a hearing for those people accused of crimes and due process. and they have to suffer the consequences of images like the rest of us do. under this present policy, undocumented aliens accused of committing a crime have more rights than citizens here in san francisco. >> as a follow-up, would you expect your city employees, if you were mayor, to cooperate productively with the federal authority? >> absolutely. i would expect and to cooperate when it comes to the safety of all citizens in every way possible. every way. [applause] >> this question is for mr.
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herrerra. the campaign as i have seen have was the focus not on you but on the gentleman to your left, ed lee. you have a slogan that says ed lee is getting it done for his friends and first contributors, not for us. and this is from today accusing ed lee of being deliberately dishonest by repeatedly filing disclosure forms late. do you think ed lee does not have the integrity to be mayor? >> i think that ed lee has a lot of integrity. i have no problem with his personal integrity whatsoever. but being mayor is about leadership and determining whether someone can be independent of folks that they are politically allied with. with respect to the press releases that i put out today, i did not say he was being deliberately dishonest. what i said was that on 69 occasions since he has been in the position of mayor, he has failed to file forms that require to be filed within five
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days on city contracts. he has failed to file the. those are the facts. >> the press release used the word dishonest. >> the facts speak for themselves. i would be interested in what he has to say are the reasons behind this. i understand that mistakes are made sometimes bit of a 69 times reveals a pattern-from the beginning, the question that i had was, was mayor lee going to be his own man? quick as they follow, is it awkward at all if he wins that you're still the city attorney? [laughter] >> let me tell you, and i will not reveal an attorney-client privilege, but we have met repeatedly since he announced his candidacy for this office, and we have both been very clear in interactions we have had with our staff that we expect everybody to be professional and carry out their responsibilities. we have had many meetings, and i think we have done a pretty good job when we're discussing issues
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to separate out the professional from the political. and i have been actually heartened by that interaction we have had together. >> all right, thank you. >> a follow-up question regarding that issue, as a city attorney, do you have a legal right to a vice mayor lee -- to advise the mayor to file this on time? >> that is what the law is. it is clear that you have to do it within five days. it has been done by mayor newsom. it has been done previously. and if major lee had asked me, do i have to file this within five days, of course i would have told him they had to do so. but it has been common knowledge. it is none by the board of supervisors and by every state department. i have had to file them, too, for contracts that i approved. in that same time span, i have missed one. i cannot speak for what other members of the board had done. but it is very clear in the law
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and very straightforward. >> thank you. this is a lightning round question, so raise your hand. do you support the central subway rail extension to chinatown? ok. i am going to start by asking you, dennis herrera, you did support it at one point. now you very publicly do not supported. what you tell the people of oregon, perhaps from the southeast section, which will be on the second extension in chinatown or the people in chinatown and have some of the most heavies' it transit rider chavern san francisco that you do not want them to at the subway project? >> what i would say is it is not the same project the voters voted on in 2003 when it was 60 -- 6 and 50 two million dollars, and now it is a $1.6 billion project. and it was supposed to connect communities, and it was supposed to be part of the four corridors' plan. it does not connect communities
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in my opinion any more because of the route changes and no longer connects directly into connectsmuni metro system. when you look at your overall financial health of the muni, you look at how their routes have changed, you look at projections, and you look at the dramatic cost impact that would occur at a time when they're raising your parking meter rates to pay for a system that is broke, that it no longer fulfills its mission that was promised to the public. it no longer connects communities, and we need to come up with a system that is better designed and lives up to the promise that was made to people but in chinatown, and the southeast sector, and in communities throughout san francisco are screaming out for effective quality muni service. >> just a quick thought -- [applause] this is very far down the road in terms of being close to securing federal funding. there's no indication there will be federal funding for another project coming through.
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you just get up on this? >> i think that we need to look at a redesign of the project. quite frankly, if you look at it, if you look at what is occurring in washington, i know that there were a number of discussions about what federal funding will be available for future new start programs. i mean, a lot of people have talked about fulfilling the promise of taking this all the way to fisherman's wharf. with the budget-cutting that is going on, when elected democrats and republicans talking about debt reduction, -- when you look at democrats and republicans talking back debt reduction, there's no guarantee that will happen. with the cost overrun, we're going to be responsible for every dollar of cost overrun that happens. from my perspective, there needs to be a redesigned to make sure that the people in chinatown get the service that they deserve. [applause] >> quick follow-up to david chew. you have been a very strong proponent of the central subway. we do not have a lot of time on
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this. >> i have an answer to this, too. >> what is your answer to dennis herrera? is this a project that can come back with a second chance? i respect folks that have raised these questions. but these are questions that have been asked and answered for years. if we have discussed and debated this. at the board and throughout city government. we will not see that $1 billion that we have been expecting that will create 45,000 jobs and create a connection that you're talking about. i want to make sure that mission bay is connected to chinatown, to union square, to caltrain. i also think that no great city has ever regretted building a subway. but great cities regret not building subways. i happen to think we should not just do it in chinatown. i hope someday our vision is to continue on, to connect the entire city. we know that in 15 or 20 years, traffic on our streets will double.
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when we are all sitting in gridlock in 10 years because of decisions that may or may not be made today, i think we're going to regret that. [applause] >> all right, thank you. >> should we let everybody weigh in on this? >> yeah. >> yes, i would like to -- [inaudible] oh, ok. what are you going to say to the people in the southeast of the city? quite frankly, people in the southeast of the city are going to be worse off. they will lose the direct connection that the t made to market street and bart and muni. there will have to go to union square and then walk back through a tunnel three football fields long to get to the station. i would say to the people of the southeast of the city that they are really going to lose with the central subway. the truth is that the mta's own
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statistics on how many people in chinatown are going to actually use the subway and get on at the washington street stop is a very low. it is 20% of the ridership. many of the people in chinatown are not going to be using this subject, even according to mta's own statistics. >> this is the highest-rated new start project in the country. there has been some criticism by the candidates saying there's not enough new ridership. guess what, the transit administration has changed their criteria. what they say is that you want to reward city's federal building transit and not just say new riders, which is about suburban extensions into cities. right now, there are about 25,000 riders on the t. that will go to about 49,000 in 2019. it will go to $100,000 in 2013 when we are able to go to north
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beach. we have an 18% contingency on this project. $278 million contingency for any overruns being funded by the federal and state government. let's get three of the seven largest contracts that have been awarded, the largest contract, $233 million it tunneling contract. a $13.25 million under budget. this is a good project. it is did for chinatown. it deserves to be sustainable, going on into the next century. [applause] >> tony hall is next. >> thank you. i am not want to change my mind over the years. in 2003, when i was on the board of supervisors, i identify this project as political pork. it is designed to reward those or politically connected in chinatown. it is an ill-design project. the cost now is more than two times what it was then. the mta is running $150 million in debt, but it is found $8
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million to relocate some tenants in chinatown. this project should be stopped now. the city has got $180 million. let's cut our losses and stop it. [applause] >> i would like to comment on the criticism of the central subway. i do think, with all the reasons that have been presented by david chiu and others, this project -- again, i would say, it creates the jobs. it has been reviewed by the federal authorities time after time for over a decade. it has the support of neighborhoods in bayview as well as in chinatown. it the most important thing, and this is where i get disturbed by the criticism, because it sounds like what we used to debate at city hall, where nothing got done about our infrastructure. this is a valuable infrastructure complement to our city's transit system. and we need that infrastructure for the 10,500 new homes that we're already building in
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bayview. we are congested. you can ride any muni, and you can see that the congestion is there. so the timing is now. the bids have already been in. the first series of bids were below the estimate, because we're moving quickly on it. this is the wrong time to stop a very valuable 45,000 of project that we discussed and approved year-after-year. >> this is a hot-button issue, so go ahead. [applause] >> i decided to weigh in because i felt like i was when addressing here and not someone here to speak to but i agree that we need to invest in infrastructure. when i have spent time talking to merchants in chinatown, one of the big issues, parking and nightlife. it is very hard for people to get there at night. i think this will help promote their businesses in the evening, too. i think the most important way that we're going to be a to rebuild trust in the community for this project is to make sure
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that we have complete transparency on his being awarded the contract and who is getting the jobs. it that is absolutely critical that the next mayor provide that transparency so we can rebuild the trust around this project and other infrastructure projects that come in at the future. [applause] >> all right, mr. avalos wanted to weigh in. >> i wanted to talk about not necessarily the merits of central subway. i do support the marriage. i have worked on projects for the water system improvement program. some of the products are like $400 million. i get a squeamish a feeling every time a vote on those things. i also did that feeling on central subway. that is part of the work of standing up and making difficult decisions as an elected official. but i truly believe that this is a good project for san francisco. but there are people all over san francisco who are opposed to it. as a candidate, i have heard a lot of dissent about it. i feel that now that we have the
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mayor's race going on, that we're using central subway as a wedge issue. it is playing havoc with money we can get from the federal government. a lot is at stake. we need to improve our entire muni system across san francisco. this is one phase we need to do now, linking that a. i support the project. i want to see more happening. balboa park. we need to figure that out and the sense that area. we need to get rapid transit in geary as well. [applause] >> my position is to from the other candidates. why? because we have to base decisions on facts. we have to have evidence-based findings before we can make conclusions. what is happening is this issue is becoming politicized. we have a grand jury that specifically found a serious
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design defects in this product was causing twice -- costing twice as much as originally planned. and the last time we ignored to the grand jury -- the other day, the last time we did that, it was over pension reform. so we have to address the issues. there will be a hearing in october. let's wait for that hearing. let the facts speak for themselves. [applause] >> thank you. i agree. what i also want to say, one of the issues i have always had with the project and the members of the board of supervisors was that in some ways, this is a very myopic view. do we what subways in san francisco?
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it could relieve some much traffic off the streets, there is no question. it is a successful, accessible way of travel. it is a great way to get from one part of the city to another. this project is only 1.7 miles and we never look at extending it anywhere else. the hearing i called for would have extended it, look at extending it to north beach and marina greens and presidio, lombard street. the presidio has a federal mandate to bring people to it. there are all sorts of revenues and sources of money we could use for this project, but the city has always been hesitant to move outside of the little foot. that is correctly the central subway. -- the little footprint that is correctly the central subway. i think that is why we are spending so much money to invest in this. >> thank you.
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we have to more people? >> this recent controversy about the central subway pains me. as somebody who grew up in chinatown, lives in chinatown, goes back to chinatown because a family and friends, it is painful to hear how we will not have the central subway. this issue now is also about leadership in the city. you have the grand jury that has raised serious questions about central subway. regardless of whether we like it or not, you have to take the grand jury report into second kind of rigid and to some kind of consideration. the mayor needs to look at these issues. if not, this project will be dogged by controversy, delays, and ultimately the people of san francisco will suffer. i would implore the mayor to deal with this issue, put it to
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rest. we have to come together as a city and move forward at the central subway. >> thank you. [applause] >> i agree with what the supervisor said, which is we have never regretted it ever building a light rail system or subway system. i have never heard people complain about the tunnel that we had to build in the 1920's. i am sure when those were built, we had complaints, issues, concerns, yet most people now on the west side of town are very fortunate they have a rail line. we are doing 8 town halls on the different municipal wants to talk about how to improve transit. we do not hear did not build the sub, they are asking, what is our subway coming? when people talk about 1.7 miles, we are seven by seven city. that is almost one-third of san
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francisco. you are building a subway system over one-third of san francisco, one of the densest neighborhoods. for the people who say they do not need it, they have never ridden 30 stockton in their life. if you ride it once, you'll be convinced that you need it. i[applause] >> alright, everyone has weighed in. we have time for one more question from each reporter. mr. schaeffer? >> this is about city finances. the current budget is $6.8 billion. that is twice the size of the budget of alameda county and the city of oakland combined, twice what they spend, yet we still do not have money for basics like paving streets. there is a bond measure to pave the streets. my question is, what is the problem? why do we spend so much money,
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yet have so little money for basic things? >> i think we have to look at where the city is making investments and are we getting a good return on that. we spend a $13.5 million per year on the top 225 street alcoholics, jail, so boring centers, individuals moved by paramedics -- sobering centers, individuals moved by paramedics. i have advocated what seattle does, housing where individuals or chronic alcoholics -- >> does that tell a larger store? >> i think it does. 12.9% of the time, an operator is not showing up for a shift. that is a huge loss. we have $11 million of fare evasion. i know it is not working. i know what has not worked under
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three past mayors and we will do the things that make sense and are rational. >> ms. chen? >> i have a question about central subway. we heard from the committee support for the subway, especially chinatown, but some people criticize this as a political move in the race. does that mean that you are giving up on the chinese votes? >> i lost the last part of the question. >> are you using this as a political move in your may world campaign and ignoring the chinese coast? >> nothing could be further from the truth. the grand jury report came out this summer and raised legitimate questions when you look at the municipal figures in terms of projections, in terms of cost, impact on operations, revenue figures, and the like. i think leadership is about standing up and answering tough
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questions and asking tough questions when situations arise. after rye read the grand jury report, looked at the entire history, it caused a great deal of concern. i supported the project. i live in the southeast sector of san francisco. i remember looking at it back in 2003, when we discussed it. $650 million it is one thing. $1.2 billion is another. i want chinatown to get what it deserves. of what to make sure that folks through san francisco that the -- i want to make sure the folks at 3 san francisco the quality municipal system they are meeting and crying out for. >> final question? >> early every saturday morning, i walk down embarcadero with my 6-year-old daughter and we walk by the same dozen-plus
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homeless people sleep on the sidewalks, human excrement next to them, broken bottles nearby. you have children. what do you say to them when they ask, mom, how come the city lets these people live on the streets? what do you say not only from the perspective of the people on the streets but the people who are walking by and visitors? what is your answer to that? >> the answer is is not human to allow people -- and as a mother, the thought of having a child live on the street or sleep on the street, not have a home is a terrible thing. this is why we need to model some other programs in terms of how we treat address reform. i have talked often about projects, the road home, a project in denver. the mayor came in, wondered what they were spending on homelessness. they were spending about $40,000 per person and have very low
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effectiveness of getting people to self sustained ability or the path to long-term care. the centralized all services with complete transparency and accountability. someone down on their luck could needs job training, compared with somebody who needs long- term support. now they are spending less than half of that and having a higher success rate of getting people back to solve sustainability. a lot of people access services to get their hair cut or teeth checked. we should use that and bring all of the service providers together and have a true impact with complete transparency and accountability on something that is terribly inhumane. >> if you were mayor, would you do more than say it is not acceptable to sleep on the streets and give someone an alternative? >> it is our obligation to give
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someone an alternative and do everything we can to get them into the right type of supportive services. it absolutely is an obligation and we cannot just turn our head and said that is okay. i don't think it is ok for people to defecate in the street. it i have seen that too often when i do the neighborhood walks. there are things that are not acceptable in a civilized, world class society. we really need to provide the right kind of supportive services. i brought up denver. it was on the front page of the chronicle, talking about aggressive panhandling. to educate people about what other services are allowable, and out panhandling has gone down 83%. i think we need education at the same time. [applause] >>, like to answer this. i have not been asked the question directly. really, homelessness is a national problem.
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it is not just a san francisco problem. the truth is before reagan, there is not a problem of homelessness. that is an important thing, those of us who are old enough, to bring out. this is not something that is endemic in our culture, is a result of the intentional dismantling of public housing. we need more public housing in this country so that people have places to live. a bed and shelter is not housing as counted in san francisco as housing. people need homes. we need a national plan to build housing, public housing, for poor people, so whatever people's circumstances are, they have a place to live. it is a very basic thing, and we need more public housing in the whole country. the truth is the reason why it
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is bad and san francisco, many reasons, but it is also because other countries and cities are much more draconian. i live in new york city when giuliani solved the homeless problem by shipping people to the bronx and not allowing them to come back into manhattan where they may trouble the tourists. >> everybody will get a chance because homelessness is one of the questions from the audience. iwe will do this alphabetically. what we will do is start with the question about homelessness. >> thank you. i have worked with homeless individuals my entire career. i can tell you it is a very complex issue. it involves economic injustice, it involves mental illness, drug use and abuse, and i am a
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believer that the way that we can solve homelessness is through support of housing. this is something we started to do in san francisco, but on only in small increments. i believe if you want to solve a problem, you have to have the political courage, will, and backbone to get it done. we would need about 10,000 new housing units in order to address homelessness and san francisco. these have proven to be very successful. correctly now, with the return of over 33,000 prisoners through realignment, low crime offenders, these are individuals who are now succeeding through support of housing. i think this is the answer, but it takes the political will and the funding to make it happen. >> one of the

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