tv [untitled] March 21, 2011 8:00pm-8:30pm PDT
brainer, i would love to see you, the board of supervisors, these people in the industry sit down somewhere and i and common sense deliver it fashion work something out so that we can all be happy. in the meantime, tinm -- tim paulson, the ibw -- we will do everything we can to see to it that we defeat this measure. supervisor chiu: thank you very much. next speaker. >> good afternoon. i m a san francisco resident urging you to vote yes on this measure. honestly, hearing some of the other speakers, i realize i did not know all of what was involved, but i feel a yes vote is important here, due to the fact that i feel it is not limiting information, but encouraging those that need their information delivered in a specific manner to reach out and get it. i also feel as though it is
incumbent upon the industry that has basically been littering our neighborhoods for years now to put their resources into figuring out ways to get these books to people that need them rather than bringing it to this point of forcing us to use our resources to clean up after them. sadly, in my neighborhood alone in the outer richmond, which is primarily single-family residences, in the recent rain storms, i cannot tell you the piles of these things i have seen sitting out on the streets. and numbers of them have not been going down. they have been going up. personally, i am offended that i am paying for the cleanup of this through my taxes, to clean up the mess that is apparently creating these jobs, that i am subsidizing this waste of resources, waste of labor, waste of their legal efforts to fight it.
perhaps there is a better way, and perhaps everybody needs to sit down and figure out something better. certainly what is going on now is not acceptable. i would like to say i have not opened up one of those for years. most of the people that i know send them straight to the recycle or pick them up off of our neighborhood sidewalks and streets out of the debtors. this past rain that was flooding my neighborhood, it was piles of these phone books. the plastic covering them, and the mess that piles up afterwards. so please vote yes. thank you. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> i am a resident and small business owner. i agree with much of what has been said today in favor of this proposal. i cannot think of the last time i actually use a phone book. i do think that people should have access if they want them,
but i do not. i never have, and i do not forseen the in the future. that is pretty much all i have to say. please vote yes. thank you. supervisor chiu: next speaker. >> good afternoon. i am a resident of san francisco. i would like to thank president chiu and the co-sponsors for putting this proposed pilot project out for boats. i am very happy that san francisco recycles the way we do, that we lead the nation, but the recycling, composting -- it is excellent. but over the years, i am increasingly upset by seeing piles and piles of old books that i am picking up from street corners, from my front porch, and dumping them straight to the recycling bin because, obviously, nobody is using them. what i did not know until the last couple of days was how much money we spend recycling them, that they need to be manually handled, that the plastic needs to be taken off. i cannot possibly see how this
is sustainable, so i urge you to please vote for this. supervisor chiu: thank you. as the next speaker is setting up, if i could call -- [reading names] >> thank you for letting me speak. i worked for verify audits circulation, and i would like to enter in some facts that we collected over the last six years. what you will see about these facts as they are a little different relative to how consumers are using and retaining the yellow pages, which i think may shed some sort of factual information on the yellow page issue. what we did for valley yellow
pages was to see how many people wanted the yellow pages, and the number was quite high. five weeks after that, we would conduct research to look at usage, preference, satisfaction of not only their yellow pages, but their competitors'. by comparing that information over the last six years, we have been able to see that on the order of 83% in 2005, 84% in 2007, and 82% in 2009, are the levels of retention in households, statistically, projected based on a telephone sample of households that keep their yellow pages. i think what you would conclude from that is that if people were not using them and did not want
them, they would do what would be logical -- throw them away. but that is absolutely not what statistics is saying is occurring. i would view the right solution to go in a different path than you are proposing with this particular ordinance. thank you. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> i just wanted to speak to some of the things that the yellow pages industry has brought up. one thing that they consistently do is present themselves as the single option for small business, which is not true at all. there are any number of different options that a small business could use to get their message out, probably more efficiently than what -- then using the yellow pages. it is almost predatory in the way that they do it. costs have not reflected what you are actually getting and
receiving. i was quoted this morning that a full page monthly cost full- color in the yellow pages is $3,877 a month. comes out of 46,000-odd dollars a year -- $46,000-a year. which is a pretty good number. there is a lot of different options that anyone could use that are significantly cheaper and much more effective and not create all the ways, do not create all the environmental problems. that is all i had to say. thanks. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am from californians against waste, and in strong support of this proposal. i would like to address some of the arguments that the opposition has made, which is a cop out. the approach has been done. the puc has required publishers
to have the number in the phone book, but the resource has been underutilized. a lot of consumers do not know about it. last year, californians against waste sponsored a bill which would have required publishers to post on the front cover of the yellow pages opt-out number, but the industry lobbied against it and killed the bill. they said that opt-out is the way to go, but even when we tried to work with them, they tried to kill the bill. this is a common-sense approach that caters to consumer choice, respect the wishes of the residents who do not wish to receive these books. for those reasons, i would like to urge your support. thank you very much. supervisor chiu: could you repeat that piece of legislation that would have required the industry to publish the phone
number on the front page? what was it called and when was it introduced? >> it was introduced last year as senate bill 920. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> hello, supervisors. i am a small business owner in san francisco, and i live in the mission district, and i have been dealing with the mess of phone books for many years, although i do appreciate having a phone book, and i do use it probably once a year. i urge you to move forward with this measure. i think is a good one, but i also think we can find some innovative measures to make sure people who rely on the phone book that need the phone book have access to those. to me, it seems like that would be the most win-win situation, to make sure that folks who use those to have access to them. the money that we would save on recycling -- i'm sure we could recycle that into making sure there are people who have jobs
who can ensure that folks do have the resources and phone books that they need. again, i urge you to move forward with this measure. it is a good thing to do. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i represent seniors and persons with disabilities from senior action network. i ask you to support the ordinance to reduce the environmental and financial impact of unused yellow pages in san francisco, even though there are only about 800,000 residents in the city, like joe mail and spam, many of the phone books are on wanted and never get used. please consider the but -- the benefit of this ordinance and send it to the full board of supervisors with our
recommendations. seniors and persons with disabilities would benefit. thank you very much. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> i am with chinese yellow pages. i am the general manager. first of all, i would like to say it is not fair to say that our company is in favor to the ordinance. even though we have been doing door-to-door distribution, we have been doing that not because we are in favor but because we have no choice because we have no way of knowing the person behind the door reads chinese. in past years, we have been building and send it to small businesses or chinese markets, and most of the time, when it comes to publication, a lot of chinese residents have to actually call our office to ask to find out how to get a book. if they are willing to pay the
mailing, we would need the mailing address. however, they are most of the time not able to give us their full address, and if we ask them to go online, most of the time, they cannot spell san francisco correctly. their children, the second generation chinese-americans, may be busy doing google, but most likely, they did not help their parents or have no interest to help their parents to locate businesses on a daily basis. so in the unique chinese minority market, to have a phone book in each household is very important. if we can have the door to door ability to distribute the books, this would 100% make our advertisers and all the small business very convenient, and also, it will help them to
increase their business, especially nowadays in this kind of economy. we simply should not do anything to hurt their business. so thank you, and i vote no to the ordinance. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. and if i could ask the following individuals to please line up. [reading names] >> good afternoon, supervisors. in the green business manager with urban solutions. we help small and medium-sized businesses go green by saving money and improving operational efficiency. on behalf of myself and many clients i work with who cannot be your today, i like to say that we are in full support of what this order and its aims to do, which is reduce unnecessary waste in san francisco while helping businesses reached their
target audience more effectively. i think many people have already spoken to the point about the environmental benefits this or did as well already have to san francisco, but i would also like to provide a small business perspective from the businesses i work with. many of the people i work with are working hard to minimize their environment footprint and be more financially and environmentally sustainable. the fact that the current practice allows other businesses to drop off unwanted products without their prior consent is in position by this current industry and is totally unacceptable. while they have the right to provide information to those who want a, they should not be given the right to drop off trash in other people's private property. i would like to thank san
francisco for all the work they have done as leaders of a green city, from banning plastic bags to green building bench mark ordinances and zero ways. this is yet another opportunity for san francisco to take the lead. in closing, the industry may suggest an opt-out policy, but we already know that does not work from seattle. yellow pages cost the city $1 million in disposal fees right now. if your bank wanted to date $1 million out of your account, would you allow that to allowan opt-out option? i do not think superior do not let the industry do this to us again. we thank you in advance for your support. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon. i represent russian hill neighbors, and we are a very large neighborhood organization
in the city, and at our last board meeting, -- actually, our past two board meetings, we had a unanimous vote, which most of you know is unheard of when you have 28 people trying to come to one thing. to support this legislation. our buzzwords were waist and green -- waste and green. \ we felt like what has been mentioned throughout the day about the sidewalks being cluttered and one of the topics in our meeting -- i'm an artist, so i had a vision. we talked about if each -- also, a division of san francisco really being known as the green city, if those phone books were removed, to plant a green plant there, at hot, 6 inches or 8 inches, what a
difference it would make. in the spirit of green and with a little help -- inspiration from st. patrick, i wore what i think on my fingernails, as you all see. so i urge you to support this legislation for all the neighbors of the city who have been rolling down the streets and wreaking havoc and having kids use them instead of kickballs -- we have what phone books -- we have wet phone books. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm a small business owner, created concrete design. when i first came year to date, who i was not completely aware of the position that the council had, and i am really glad to have been called almost last in this line of speakers, so thank you.
as a small-business owner, i know that yellow pages is key in our life. we are a service industry. concrete is not something people typically need to have on a continual basis, so it is something that is like every five years. phone books are where people go to because they want to hire somebody who is local. they want to be able to get references and that type of thing. it is clear that there are some things that need to happen, i think, and as far as the distribution, and one of the people pointed out that the 1.6 million phone books -- downtown, there are a lot of office buildings with a lot of phones. seeing that there are so many phone books per person -- resident, i do not think that is a fair statistic to throw out there. i think that is kind of clout in. my experience with yellow pages is that it works. it is a viable industry. one of the gentleman mentioned about the emergency information
that is in the phone book and what happens if something happens, a natural disaster? we are slated for one, and we will not have internet service or electricity. we will have to use something like a phone book. but i also see the other side of having too many phone books and what do we do about that? maybe we look at asking the industry to police themselves and two weeks later or a week later go back and make sure that the telephone books got picked up by people and do something, but i really believe there's more opportunity for discussion rather than just blanket we say that is an option. thanks. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> my name is nancy roberts. in a marketing professional and resident and business owner. i focus on sustainable communications strategies in the sense of both environmentally and financially sustainable. the concept of opt-in marketing
its preferred policy for e-mail, and a feel there's no reason why it should not be the policy for direct mail and for the yellow pages also. i believe that approving this measure will actually improve the performance of the yellow pages and the perception by the public while cutting down on waste. marketing is all about testing. 15 years ago, i ran a catalog company. we drop half a million 40-page catalogs nationwide twice a year. i have seen the light. i know there are better ways to market that a beneficial for business owners and customers alike, and i urge you to approve this measure. supervisor chiu: next speaker. >> i am with the sierra club, and also a san francisco resident, and i just wanted to make a few points today. both "usa today" and whitepages
.com have shown over 80% of consumers would support an opt- in program if it would help the environment. yellow pages has not self regulated in the past, action must be taken globally. i am personally aware of how little my generation makes use of the yellow pages. i cannot remember the last time someone might each use the yellow pages instead of the internet for pretty much anything. it is definitely disheartening to see piles of phone books littering the front of apartment buildings in san francisco in my neighborhood. as far as white pages are concerned, i would encourage people to consider that the smaller phone books would likely be manageable in the current conveyer system and would streamline recycling while reducing overall waste. i would also guess that they could include any necessary
emergency information in those white pages that, as he stated, is required by law to receive. we see this legislation has a simple, effective solution to a very unnecessary problem. our local businesses are free to adapt and drive in an evolving market. thank you. -- adapt and thrive in an evolving market. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify today on an important local action for advancing sustainability. i am the california director of local governments for sustainability, a membership association of local governments nationwide, which include 130 cities and counties in california and over 600 in the united states. we are honored to have san francisco as a leading member, continuing to provide national,
global leadership. i want to focus on one particular point. i will submit comments for the record. does local government action matter in addressing the challenge of climate change? i can tell you definitively it does. it matters when it helps create, contribute to, and scale local action elsewhere. that is when it is part of something larger. in cities lead, their actions can have impact will be on their local jurisdictions through inspiration, offering blueprints for action, and even friendly competition with leaders elsewhere, spurring a race to the top, if you will. in particular, california offers this, like no other state in the union. if local action for waste reduction and sustainability is important, in california, it truly has the impact to be transformed it. this is because the regulatory framework in california to reduce emissions has outlined
what local and regional governments will be doing for many years into the future. the relevant state agencies are shifting their attention to look at new programs and policies and how they will fit in. in particular, these transformative regulatory drivers will continue to result in widespread adoption of innovative local government ordinances that address climate change, increasing the likelihood that local action in san francisco will be amplified and scale statewide. today, over 50 california cities -- counties have developed -- san francisco has an opportunity to scale its leadership from our perspective -- i will submit the rest of my comments for the record. supervisor chiu: could i just ask you -- could you repeat your organization again? >> local governments for sustainability. sand and cisco is a number here over 130 cities and states across the county are members. including all the largest cities and counties across the country. thank you. supervisor chiu: thank you.
next speaker. >> i am the founder and executive director of catalog choice, the nation's largest independent privacy choice portal. we serve 1.3 million households, connecting them to 4100 companies. we have processed 18 million requests since our inception. we are a registered non-profit corp., working on behalf of the public interest to make choice work. we launched our service in 2007 because of shortcomings of the direct marketing industries service. we added phone books to our service in 2010 because of similar shortcomings of the yellow pages industry service. we have reached out on numerous occasions to the yellow pages industry association and their members to get them to participate and work with us to honor choice. only one company who is a yellow page distributor has voluntarily signed up to work with us.
so i'm here to support the yellow page distribution pilot ordinance. there are three essential elements about an effective program -- it has to be easy, effective, enforceable. let me reinforce the notion of enforceability. if it is impossible, it will become effective and will make it easy. seattle adopted an ordinance that requires adoption of consumer choice and failure to do so results in a penalty. the fact that you are enabling regulatory regimes to enforce choice is critical. recently, the yellow page association did put out a new service. but it published on every page the following comment -- "alert, director republishes listed on the site generally do not accept opt-out requests.
protect your personal information by using this web site." the statement itself has caused mass of confusion in the marketplace. so i urge you to move forward. supervisor chiu: thank you very much. let me call up the remaining speakers. if you could please line up in the center aisle. >> hello. i am the owner of automatic garage door of san francisco. we have been in business for 47 years and have been with at&t yellow pages for about 35. i'm not sure who this will affect most -- small business, the consumers, or, most importantly, senior citizen and
low-income people. i would like to use my industry as an example. there is a condominium with 10 cars in the garage. everyone is stuck inside. if that consumers under 50 years old, they will probably go to the phone book, the computer, or their iphone, but if that consumer is a senior citizen, they are going to go to the phone books. i'm just not sure if the senior citizens will know about the opt-in. i'm not confident about that. the problem is they will not have any resources. after today, i fully appreciate the of the gulf -- ecological impact of these books, but there
must be a better solution. thank you for your time. >> i'm here to represent small businesses in san francisco. my husband has an appliance business in san francisco for over 45 years. since the beginning, of his business, use the yellow pages to get his business known to the public. we got a lot of customers over the years. i understand nowadays that there are different means of advertising, and we did try