tv [untitled] October 30, 2013 10:30pm-11:01pm PDT
we're having a real conversation about how we change, whether we should preserve aspects of the important characters of our neighborhood or think about building new things. there is also a real discussion we're having in many neighborhoods about affordability. i hear from too many tenants in the process of being evicted, homeowners being foreclosed on. we need to think about how all of us can continue to live in a city where the whole world wants to be. >> it is a great place to be. >> it is a great place to be. how do you balance the needs of your district versus the needs of the city as a whole? >> i have an incredibly diverse district. it encompasses north beach and chinatown. we have the city's famous hills. we have for the world comes to work, the financial district's,
where the world comes to shop in union square, where the tourists spend time on fisherman's wharf , and the wonderful polk street neighborhoods. my district encompasses the ethnic and economic diversity that exists throughout the city. i think my district is emblematic of the entire city. you can find every political perspective you can possibly want in district 3. oftentimes, the interests of my district and the city are aligned. i do not have to think about those differences quite as often as some of my colleagues may have to. >> let's talk about the budget situation. we have been faced with some tough budget decisions again, including where to make cuts and whether or not to increase taxes. how will you approached these hard choices? >> our budget is one of the very
top challenges facing city government right now. over each of the years i have served, we have had to balance budget deficits that were around $500 million. this year, we're facing another budget deficit of almost $400 million. fortunately in recent years, we have had some ability to do some one-time budgeting tricks that allow us to balance the budget that do not exist this year. in past years, we've received federal stimulus money. we received more monies from the state government. last year our labor unions decided to contribute a quarter of a billion dollars to help balance last year's and this year's budget. those are things we do not have the ability to avail ourselves of us we balance the upcoming budget in a few months.
we are faced with far fewer options. i think we are going to have to continue to look at very deep and difficult cuts. our priorities have to be insuring and protecting the most basic city services and helping to ensure that we have services to the most vulnerable during this great recession. >> what about the city's housing needs? what should the board due to address those needs? >> we are a city that is seventh by 7 miles. we have incredible density. we're the densest neighborhoods on the west coast. everyone wants to live here. that drives up housing prices dramatically. the housing costs are driving out working folks, families, the middle class. we need to continue to reinvest,
to build, to develop, and maintain a troop stock of affordable housing. i am committed to increase in more funds so that we can build more housing that can be afforded by folks of all economic backgrounds. >> what about the issue of homelessness? >> in recent years during the terrible economy, we have had to cut back significantly. our social-service net, programs for folks who may have mental illnesses, we have seen many problems become exacerbated on the streets. when you combine that with the fact that we have an affordable housing in most parts of the city, it is no surprise our homeless numbers have gone up in recent years. the city needs to recommit ourselves to the values that our city was named after.
st. francis believed in compassion for those who have less -- had less than others. those of us with opportunities have to give back. part of that entails taking care of the most important among us, the folks who have need, including our homeless. >> let's talk about the transportation situation in your district. you mentioned that transit could be better. how is parking and traffic? is there enough muni service now? >> you are talking to the one member of the board that does not only car. i get around my district by muni, bicycle, or hailing a cab. our transit system is truly challenge. our bosses are late one out of four times. -- our buses are late one out of a quarter times.
they're still not as clean and safe as we'd like. we can do better and investing in our muni system. we need more taxicabs on the streets. is difficult to obtain a cab. i support the concept of centralized taxi dispatch systems so you know who you can call to get a cab. i am a big believer in pedestrian bicycling as options to get around town. many cities in the world have far more people working or on bicycles into blocking or on bicycles. they are pleasant most of transit and are efficient. -- many cities in the world have far more people walking or on bicycles. they are pleasant and efficient forms of transportation. that will take cars off the road and make it easier for those who drive.
if we want to create a world- class transportation system, we have to make a commitment to each of these modes of transit to allow us to move where we need to go. >> is it safe for pedestrians on the streets? >> it is not. in recent years, we have had too many pedestrian accidents. there are estimates it costs our cities several hundred millions a year because of traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities. i am asking one of our transit agencies to study where we're spending our dollars around the district and whether we invested more money would help to reduce our overall costs that come when a pedestrian is hit by a car. >> let's talk about crime in your district. how is the police department doing? do you have any thoughts on how
the city is dealing with crime? >> crime rates have been down, particularly violent crime rates and homicides. that is a good thing. in the first few weeks of 2011, homicides have started to climb back up. we have to be ever vigilant about crimes occurring in all of our neighborhoods. i have been generally satisfied with much of the activity of the san francisco police department. in my district on nob hill, we have always had too many automobile break-ins. on polk street, there are many incidences of drug dealing and prostitution. in some of the entertainment quarters, we of shootings that happened. these are perennial issues that the police department needs to continually tackle. i am a big fan of the concept of
community policing. that is the idea that our local police officers need to establish a better relationship with members of the community, residents, and merchants. through that community partnership, we have seen true successes in being able to combat crime. you have eyes and ears on the street cooperating with the men and women in blue. that helps to reduce crime. i have been pushing our police department to implement that. >> your district is a well-known nightlife destination. how do you balance the needs of the residents with the needs of the restaurants and bars? >> i moved into my neighborhood in part because we have such a wonderful vibrant nightlife. san francisco is famous for our restaurant scene, are seen, club scene. -- are sbar scene.
we have had too much violence around these nighttime venues. i have passed several pieces of legislation to address the security and safety needs of neighborhoods. we all support a healthy, vibrant nightlife. but we also support a safe nightlife that complements our neighborhoods and is not in competition with our neighborhoods. >> what are your thoughts on the city's economic development? what would you like to change about the approach to developing the economy? >> as a city, i do not think we have been good at creating jobs and economic development. there are things we can do to make life easier for businesses. businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. over the past few years, i have helped to eliminate dozens of
fees that have been nickeling our small businesses to death. i have been pushing for more stimulus from city contracts. in the past, those would be awarded mostly to non-san francisco businesses. san francisco needs to do a better job of cultivating business innovation. we need to be the city that competes with silicon valley to attract clean tech, biotech companies. we can do a better job of nurturing creative industries. we need to create a better economy for our local artists. this is a city that has many thousands of small businesses. as someone who used to run a
small business, the city can do a much better job of nurturing that sector. that is part of the life blood of who we are as san franciscans. >> we could do better. are we on the right track? >> i think we are in a transition right now. we have an interim mayor and a new board of supervisors. i do think we have a new tone at city hall to move things forward. we have a lot of challenges we are facing. i am doing everything i can to put us back on track. >> let's talk about the role of sports in the city's economic future. are you happy with the plans for the america's cup? >> i have been a huge fan of the america's cup. i am proud of this board came together unanimously after a fairly contentious debate to support bringing the america's cup to san francisco in 2013. it is estimated it will not only be an incredible sporting event,
not only showcase our city and the natural amphitheater of the bay, but it is estimated to bring in over $1 billion in economic activity with 8000 to 9000 jobs. it will be a lot of fun. i am very excited. >> should we spend money to keep the 49ers? >> i just had a conversation with the head of the organization. i told him that i and many others would love to do what we can to keep our beloved 49ers here in san francisco. they are having a conversation with santa clara. we think they need to be part of a city that is in their name. there is so much history intertwined between our 49 years and san francisco. i am very committed to doing what i can to keep them here. >> governor brown has proposed
to eliminate funding for redevelopment agencies. what is your opinion of the plan? >> we knew that by electing a governor brown he would have to make incredibly difficult choices. i do think this through development proposal goes a bit too far -- redevelopment proposal goes too far. it would be catastrophic to many developments and proposed developments. i hope the ongoing conversations to change his proposal will modify it into something that will continue to help localities and counties like san francisco. i think we can get there. >> water some of the biggest land use issues in your district? >> in addition to the america's cup planning, there is a
discussion around the development of cpmc. it would be the largest hospital project our city has seen in decades. it would probably be the largest land use project discussed this year. it is right on the edge of my district. it is seated at the intersection of several separate as oriole -- supervisorial districts. there are issues around displacement, the impact of a large hospital on the surrounding neighborhoods, and whether the size of this hospital and plans in the city wide picture of health care access. i am sure we will have robust discussion about this in the coming months. >> are there any other issues that concern you that we have not discussed? are there any other interests
you plan to concentrate on as supervisor? >> one thing every supervisor works on is the relationship between our neighborhoods and city hall. i am blessed in district 3 to have a rich network of neighborhood associations, merchant groups, and nonprofit organizations that i interface with regularly. they often had difficulty navigating city hall. i am trying to help develop neighborhood councils that bring together these various groups to interface with city hall and city staff as a model to foster partnerships between and our neighborhoods and city government. it is a model we have been working on for a couple of years in district 3.
>> hello. welcome to "meet your district supervisor." we are here with supervisor cohen from district 10. she started her first term in january, so she is new to the board. we will get to know her and talk about the toughest issues facing the city. welcome, supervisor. thank you for joining us. tell us a little bit about your background, where you grew up, where you went to school, and the jobs you have work. >> i grew up in the porthole and neighborhood. most of my childhood, i went to lakeshore elementary school. i love to talk a bell will -- about lowell high school.
i studied political science with a concentration in public administration. i worked eight years, largely in the public sector. then, earned a master's degree from carnegie-mellon in pittsburgh pennsylvaniamy work . i spent time as an executive director for nonprofit on the hill. i was assistant to a wonderful person named julie middleton. the park that worked at was formally known as the hunters point community foundation. we did several programming for kids in the neighborhood. i also have a background in politics on both sides of the day here in san francisco and oakland. i have done fund-raising for different candidates. i have work experience with the federal reserve bank of san
francisco. i am most proud of the work i have done for myself. i started a business called power forward, a social media and public policy consulting firm. >> why did you choose to return and live in san francisco? what motivated you to run? >> what motivated me was my love of san francisco. i see the changes that are happening. i see people picking cans out of the garbage. i see that there is no neighborhood grocery store. i see that small businesses are coming and going. they have not been able to sustain themselves. from my work experience in working for the city come in the mayor's office and in the nonprofit, i had a good sense of what the challenges were. as i looked on the horizon, i see more challenges coming. i thought i had a set of experiences and a passion and
desire to serve. it started at 1 point when i was 8 years old. i took a tour here with my third grade class of city hall. coming into the rotunda, seeing the staircase, it is very mesmerizing, very memorable, and powerful. it was at that moment i decided i wanted to work here in this building. i had a short conversation with diane feinstein, the mayor then, and she spoke to the entire class. she spoke for a couple minutes. she planted the seed of public service, and to give of yourself selflessly, the giving of your time and talent. it was something my parents instilled in me early on. serving district 10 is an extension of who i am and a general desire to help improve the quality of life for people in san francisco. >> where do you place yourself on the political spectrum? are you left, right?
>> i am more forward-thinking. for me, it is less about being left or right, or moderate or progressive. it is about the issues and creating policies that will have a sustainable and lasting positive impact on the families that live here. it is costly and difficult to do business in san francisco, to raise your children in san francisco. i would like a voice at the table to create policies that will minimize the stigma that san francisco is not a business- friendly city, minimize the stigma of that san francisco prioritizes the rights of dogs over children. we started walking down that path largely because of political ideology. it is less about politics. i want to have a positive impact on the city overall, specifically district 10,
connecting it to the city. people have been left to defend for themselves. i am honored to have been elected to serve to be the next advocate for the next four years, hopefully the next eight years, to really protect, defense, and serve the residents of district 10. >> we will talk more about some of the issues facing district 10. before we do, i would like to know a little bit about what you learned campaigning for supervisor. talk to me a little about that experience. >> first, i learned that a lot of the conversations we have about our neighborhood and community happens in silos. we have folks only talking with visitation valley. we have folks in bayview only talking with and a small corner of the bayview merchant quarter. we don't have people talking to the potrero hill association.
all of these different fragmented conversations are happening. there largely talking about the same thing, crime, keeping streets clean, businesses, supporting small businesses, maintaining and making sure the city is livable for everyone. no one really looked to their neighbors. they stayed within their neighborhood, but did not reach beyond the boundaries. that is one thing i saw that i actually made a concerted effort on the campaign to build bridges. for me, that goes beyond the neighborhood. it goes to connecting the southeast to the large part of san francisco, wake up, we're out here. we want bike paths, dog parks, open space. we no longer want to have a neighborhood or a reputation of a crime-filled community. the other thing that i learned
is really, we are all human. how to connect with that spirit, whether you're living in public housing, owning your own property, your asian, african american, we are all one. we are a community. when we realize and move in the direction of being a human's and having this human experience, connecting together, really be each other's keeper, then san francisco begins to drive. i also learned through the endorsement process -- you go through this process to get endorsed from different popes -- different folks, or no endorsement. having a broad base. we have a choice of voting in san francisco. there were 21 candidates. no clear front-runner. no major person with a heavy political experience.
no person that carried the heavy downtown interest or big business. you had a lot of candidates on an even keel. what i felt quickly was the strategy to being successful was to build coalitions, and also to approach your communication in a multi land will approach. in my district, it is one of the most ethnically diverse parts of san francisco. we incorporated that. my campaign team was diverse. i had seniors. i had young people. i had different types of volunteers. i had folks that could speak chinese, spanish, someoan, all reaching out to bring people in. there is a certain level of malta and -- of momentum that
help people. i would never ask my volunteers to do something i was not willing to do. we were at the bus stop at the morning handing out literature. i think that is critical, to bring into city hall that, yes, i am elected to lead, but more importantly to serve. that is my number one focus point. i am here to serve. when you call me, i am at 4 service. >> what about issues facing san francisco, facing your district, and how you are going to balance the needs of san francisco at large against the needs of your district? >> we actually see the needs of san francisco and the district cannot be counteracted or counter intuitive. when we address the needs of the district and residents, we also address the issues of folks that are living in the mission, people that are working class
people, people that have blue- collar jobs. really, it is paramount and centered on education. for young people, making sure, ensuring we are providing them a quality education in public schools. i served as chair on the select committee, a committee between the members of the board of supervisors and members on the school board, coming together to address the challenges. in this particular case, we are talking about education. we are talking about a working- class community, the excelsior, the bayview, all of these different neighborhoods are smaller enclaves. we still see the same kinds of challenges. when the schools begin to perform a stellar academic programs, businesses will continue to relocate because the employees will want to live in san francisco and want kids to be educated here. it is a cyclical and symbiotic
creation ship. another challenges that we have the highest unemployment rate in this part of san francisco. san francisco before, the numbers are starting to come down a little bit. we have high rates in the latter part of last year, but it is starting to -- it is starting to normalize. it goes back to education. what i would like to see our pathways. not everyone will become a doctor, lawyer, or journalist, fantastic tv host. what can we do? we live in a society where we need engineers. we need sound engineers. we need graphic designers. there are people who prefer to learn with their hands. they like mechanics. we need to bring back some shop back in schools and allow people an opportunity for a different pathway. nursing is a pathway. validating the hair and makeup
industry. there is a lot of money in that industry, and you don't need a college degree. you just need a passion, an art form, an outlet. invalidating it and creating pathways for young people to go down those paths, you want to become a nurse, here is a course at the southeast college to take you down that course. you introduce these ideas to students while they are in high school, when they are still engaged, when they have not disassociated. we will see more african americans becoming more involved in education. he used to be the police chief. now he is the district attorney, gascon. he had an idea about a junior academy that would take san francisco e