tv [untitled] October 31, 2011 1:30pm-2:00pm PDT
be extremely difficult for everyone in this city and county of san francisco is with the realignment up services, health care, social service, and public safety, back down to the city and not having the revenue. having the gumption to say that we have got to look at an income tax. it is going to be extremely difficult for individuals. >> so you support an income tax? >> i have already said that we have got to get a variety of different revenue streams, including income tax. i think that will be rather difficult discussion for everyone in the city. those individuals that think they may like it and those individuals who say absolutely not. >> i have a question to senator yee as well. in the state budget last year, you said because of the deep cuts to education, social service, and health care. but if you are elected mayor and
the budget restraints for c to cut one single social service program, which one would it be? >> well, the difficulty is really comparing apples and oranges. what happens that the state level is that we do not have the degrees of freedom to raise revenue, were as you have greater degrees of freedom to raise revenue at the local level. so at the state level, when it constantly we're cutting back on education, social services, and so on, at some point i have said enough is enough. i am not going to do that anymore. i have always wanted to increase revenue. the difficulty is not having the opportunity to then raise the revenue. i am not prepared to allow us not to have the discussion at the state level. at the local level, you are going to have plenty of opportunities to look at how you increase revenues. it is a different set of parameters that we're dealing with the state level versus local. that is why it is really comparing apples and oranges. [applause]
>> this question is for jeff adache. using your pension reform measures should not be construed as anti-union. the two largest contributors to your ballot measure campaign have funded republicans in ohio and wisconsin who have spearheaded efforts to take on the public employees' unions. the unions here have been upset about that. are they wrong to connect the actions of your contributors in the midwest would let you are planning for the ballot? >> what was said in the media was not true. i mean, these individuals have contributed to a variety of people, including republican candidates for governor, but they have never, you know, put money into anti-union efforts in either of those states. remember, when i started working on reform, not a one of these elected officials stepped up to
the plate and acknowledged that this was a problem. i went out and raised funds from san franciscans to support it, but when it became clear that this was going to be a major matt -- a major battle, remember, this is something like $3 million to oppose the first effort, not acknowledging that this was even a problem. i went to the two of them. one of them as a democrat. he also supported barack obama and mac in dollars when he ran for mayor. again, to pigeonholed -- pigeonhole individuals simply because they're supporting a particular effort, despite the fact that we need effective penchant for in the city. thank you. [applause] >> question for david chiu. the city over the years has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on services for housing and the homeless, yet it is still a big problem, especially aggressive and intimidating panhandling.
we have heard that from tourists and residents. what is the problem? why does the city seems unable to fix that problem? what gets in the way, and how do you balance civil liberties with public safety? >> part of what has gotten in the way is our city over the years has swung between two and the odd couples. on the one hand, law enforcement to billets criminalize homeless activities like aggressive panhandling. on the other hand, a perspective that keeps law-enforcement out and only focus on social services to homeless. i think we have to do a better job of integrating these services to this is why i was proud is to give -- to support the community justice center. this is why i am proud to support increasing -- >> we have talked about this for 25 years. you go to other cities like new york, and it does not seem to be a problem. why is san francisco different? >> in new york city under review juliani, there was a different political culture that allow that mayor to take homeless folks off the streets. i think with a bit more
disregard for civil liberties in the context. in san francisco, we do stand up for civil liberties. we stand up for compassion and treating homeless folks with dignity. i am a big supporter of supportive housing, making sure when we provide housing, we bundle but with the appropriate social services, mental health services, the dragon out all services that we need and case management that we need to make sure that we are delivering services to hold votes accountable. >> what do you tell a tourist or resident who has been harassed by a homeless person? >> first of all, we hope that you do not necessarily give them money, that you direct them to places in the area where they can get help. i am supportive of the project homeless connect project, making sure we direct folks in the right way. the reality is there have been five mayors in a oroville have promised to end homelessness. this is a very difficult issue. i think if we do a better job integrating different services, using data, we can spend our
money and more efficient ways. >> all right, i have a question. if you were mayor, how would you fight a gang violence, and would you support youth curfew's day and night in gang injections? >> i am supportive of the city attorney's gang in junction. i am also supportive of curfews. but i do think that the issue is a little more systemic. i'd think that we need to really look at our schools and the opportunity that our children have for not only good education but also good jobs when they get out of school. what we see with a lot of the members of our gang community is that the kids have nowhere to go. they are out after 1:00 in the morning at a very young age, and is one of the reasons why i am very supportive of the neighborhood school initiative. we need to give local control of our schools back to our communities so that our kids, when they leave school, at the
end of their day, they have church programs and community centers to go back to, like they did 20 years ago when i was growing up. so we had a system in place then where children would go from their schools and to their community centers, and would have after-school programs, athletic programs, tutorials, and that whole system has really gone into -- has gone sideways and now our kids travel 45 minutes across town and have no real anchor. >> thank you. >> language axises a very important issue in the immigrant community. -- language access is very important. as in the year, how would you have concrete steps to address that and implement that? >> in san francisco, we're blessed and have been blessed for a century in after being a place that people come from all over the world to be a part of our community. in recent years that we have known we have vast amounts of our $6.8 billion government,
services that are not being provided, as they could, to individuals in our community to do not speak english. this is why i was brought to champion the language access ordinance in my first year in office. one of the challenge in a budget-type environment is we have not had the money to put into the types of translation services that we need the money to hire folks who are either from the communities or can work with sensitivity to the diversity of communities we have. last year, i was proud to sponsor money in the budget to make sure that we had a minimal level of transition services in one of our department, but we need to do better. i would want to make sure that we're really truly making city hall and city government and accessible to all. >> ms. gordon. >> to what. 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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? 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. 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 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 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, 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