tv Government Access Programming SFGTV January 17, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
the puc has proven that it has the ability and the fiscal wherewithal to do this properly. the board maintains oversight in each and every one of those cases since 2002, and i think it is time to give us all that same ability as it relates to power facilities. >> supervisor safai: thank you. supervisor yee? go ahead, please. supervisor yee? >> supervisor yee: just some -- -- well, first of all, this is -- thank you again, supervisor peskin and supervisor tang for bringing this forward. i guess i can make the assumption, by i didn't hear you say it, so i'll ask. if we're creating new power facilities, can i assume that the power facilities is
generating clean air, clean energy? >> yes. >> supervisor peskin: and if i may, supervisor, i just actually -- i'm going to ask for an amendment through the chair, and you will see that in the amendment that i have circulated, there is actually language very specifically to that effect to make it abundantly clear that it cannot finance the construction of a power plant that generates electricity using fossil fuels or for that matter, nuclear energy. >> supervisor yee: that's great. >> supervisor safai: thank you. supervisor tang? >> supervisor tang: thank you. i'm just excited that this is coming forward. i think the puc has the record, and i think it is time for us to do this the same on the power side. i'm really looking forward to this passing so that we can
continue to provide a more clean power for our customers here in san francisco. >> supervisor safai: thank you, supervisor tang. supervisor peskin? >> supervisor peskin: thank you, chair safai, and again, thank you to the cosponsor of this measure, supervisor tang, with whom it has really been a pleasure working on it with. i just wanted to, as i said a moment ago, bring to your attention the amendments that are on pages 3 and -- >> supervisor safai: supervisor, i'm sorry to interrupt. can we just go ahead and take public comment first? >> supervisor peskin: sure. >> supervisor safai: is that all right? great. okay. any members of the public wishing to comment on this item, please come forward. seeing none, public comment is closed. please proceed, supervisor peskin. >> supervisor peskin: so the amendments that are set forth on -- in section 8(b).124 are
set before you. i just said them and i'd be delighted if you could adopt these amendments and continue them to the next meeting. >> supervisor safai: do we need them continued to the next meeting? is there additional amendments coming? >> supervisor peskin: no, that's just because of the charter requirements. >> supervisor safai: it was my understanding we needed to send it to the next meeting. we could make the amendments and send it to the next board, no. >> no, you cannot -- any amendment requires a continuance. >> supervisor safai: oh, i'm sorry. correct. okay. so the motion -- well, can i entertain a motion to accept the amendments as proposed? >> yeah. >> supervisor safai: so moved. seconded. those amendments are accepted. and if there's not any additional comments, then, we will make -- let's make a motion to continue this item to the next meeting on january
24th. without objection, that item is ordered. miss clerk, please call the next item. >> clerk: item number 7 is a charter amendment for the june 5th, 2018 election to eliminate the municipal transportation agency's jurisdiction over parking and traffic regulations, grant the legislative authority to the board of supervisors, and create a livable street commission and department to manage parking and traffic. >> supervisor safai: thank you. so i will take the lead on this item since myself and supervisor peskin were working on this item. just want to give folks a little bit of background and some clarification. the intent of this charter amendment is not to create wholly two separate agencies. it is designed to utilize the existing mta board very simile to the way that we as members
of the board of supervisors sit as both transportation authority commissioners and members of the board of supervisors. first of all, it would create a joint commission. secondarily, it would create a department of livable streets that would be reporting to the same commission. and some of the combination of the genesis began between me and supervisor peskin as well. there's a long history with regard to the sfmta. it started in the 1990's, and a lot of it was to remove the politics as it related to pedestrian safety and all of the issues that resolve around the sfmta. however, what ultimately ended up being created was a scenario where we removed 11 decision makers that were part of the process and created one. and this body -- and i'll allow
supervisor peskin, so he was involved in those conversations in the beginning, but what we as supervisors and many of my colleagues have commented on this, we are hoisted all the responsibility with absolutely no authority. when i go and i spend time in my district to talk about issues with regard to parking, with regard to traffic safety, with regard to pedestrian safety, with regard to traffic calming, all of the issues that are not related to muni, they absolutely dominate the conversation in my district and in the overall conversation of policy as it pertains to san francisco outside of housing. and what i am forced to, based on the parameters of the current charter, we are -- the response ultimately ends up being that we have no real authority as it pertains to the decision making on these issues, whether it's a stop
sign, whether it's a speed bump, whether it's any pedestrian safety issue. and so as i have been in my role, we have consistently been asked to intervene on these issues. right now, if you want a stop sign in your neighborhood, you're required to go through the process of getting 50% plus one of your neighbors, and it gives citizens the false hope that that actually will be implemented. but that's just step one. after that it's submitted to the sfmta and it's reviewed and often times ultimately rejected, which may or may not be right. but the process is a lot of the decision, a lot of the impetus is put on the citizenry to come forward on these smaller issues, and these smaller issues are what we hear about consistently. i want to be clear this charter amendment is not designed to relive or reinstitute many of the old conflicts that happened
in the city with regard to pedestrians, bicycles, and cars. it's designed to infuse into the process a better decision making as it relates to some of the smaller issues that are very important in this city. so myself and supervisor peskin got together to move this conversation forward if haand a robust debate. and i can tell you, save some of the parties like the bicycle coalition and the transit riders coalition, every day citizenry, since i've been in office, i have not received more positive feedback on an issue, and i think supervisor peskin will allagree, as well,o i'm going to allow him to make some comments on this issue.
>> supervisor peskin: thank you, chair safai. we've been to enough meeting that we have the same rap pretty much. if you will. i associate myself, as i say with your comments. >> supervisor safai: i'll do that before you get up -- i just want you to say a little bit about the late 90's and 0 2008, because i think that's important for the public. >> supervisor peskin: sure. so just by way of history, the function that's now municipally used to be a part of the public utilities commission, the same puc that does water and power and sewer. and that ultimately was, in 1999, as the result of a charter amendment, proposition e, became its own independent, what we call the sfmta. and certain powers and authorities that the board of
supervisors had relative to budgetary authority -- when i first became a member of the board in 2001, the board of supervisors would literally approve each and every yellow, red, white, blue curb, and i don't know if you remember, but the land use and transportation committee used to have pages of red zone 25 feet west of, you know, stockton and what have you. and in 2007, there was a wyatt spread sense of creating the sfmta had not realized all of its promise. and we were at a juncture, and the juncture was should the board of superviso board of supervisors reinsert
itself as it existed prior to 1999, or should it hand virtually all legislative authority over to the mta, and i became the author in 2007 of proposition a, which folks in the taxi community still don't believe i did not realize would negate proposition k, but that was an unintended impact of that. although most of that got rolled into the new transportation code. long story short, at supervisor safai stated, the idea was to get the politicians out of the transportation business and to give that relatively insulated body the ability to make tough decisions that politicians either don't want to make or get in trouble for. the problem is as supervisor safai stated, and this is not a criticism of any particular
mayor, is that the mta ended up being an agency without checks and balances and largely thinks it is an entirely executive branch function. and so therefore, while mr. mcguire and his colleagues come and tell us what's going on, if we don't like it or our constituents don't like it, we don't really have any legislative ability because i put that with my colleagues in 2007 before the voters and the voters adopted, and it ithas h many successes. but hence what is before us today. is that... >> supervisor safai: yes, thank you. so i would just say we can mtae public comment on this item, but i would just say, we have
heard and we need to have some additional conversations with those in the taxi industry, so we're going to continue this item for one week to have those conversations, but right now, we'll just go ahead and open it up for public comment on this very important issue. please come forward. >> hi. my name is richard rothman and i'm a resident of district one. and i have the same frustrations with mta. you know, if they say no to a traffic sign or crosswalk, that's it. there's no hearing or public appeal. those people, you know, they don't have to answer phone calls. they can take their time. i think there needs to be checks and balances. maybe if it's going to be
postponed, maybe there's a legislature -- administrative responsibilities that could be changed. two that i would like to see is have a planner and engineer assigned to each area of the city so we would know who to talk to, instead of calling 311 and maybe you'll get an answer. but if somebody's actually specifically responsible for that area, then you know if they can't do it then they would assign it to somebody else. and the other is if they say no to a stop sign or crosswalk or some minor improvements, maybe there needs to be an appeal process like the board of permit appeals where there could be a hearing instead of just saying no. let them come explain why they say no and let the public come and say why we need these changes. if we need a charter amendment, i'll be 100% behind it, but
maybe some of these changes can be made without having the charter amendment. but i feel something definitely needs to be done because there's really no checks and balances in the neighborhood. thank you. >> supervisor safai: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, chair safai and supervisors. my name is brian weedenmeyer, and i'm the chairman of the san francisco bicycle coalition. i'm not here this afternoon to defend the sfmta. i think the record shows frequently we've been among its harshest critics, in asking them to do more, to be more responsive, to do more outreach in our neighborhoods, and to make the streets safer for all users. i'd like to present the letter that we presented on above of our 10,000 members and on san francisco of walk sf, and from a separate letter that was sent to you from the san francisco
chamber of commerce urging you to continue the consideration of this charter amendment. the short version and consolidated version of that is we do not deny there are problems within the sfmta that needs to be fixed. this is not the solution. this charter brings a sledgehammer to a problem where a scalpel is needed. i cannot emergency a scenario in which we create two city departments that does not further bloat our city's budget and create more waste and inefficiency. i think the changes that we need are doable within our current framework of one agency, and i would urge you to reconsider in charter amendment. thank you so much. >> supervisor safai: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, sbrieupervi. i'm charles rathbart. i'm a long time participator in
the taxi industry, and thank you for giving us the chance to weigh in on this whility ae still incubating. my concern is i would urge you to make sure in advance, if it gets power over the taxi cabs, that it has the full legal authorities that are needed to carrie out its duties. in particular, three items. one is the illegal authority to conduct department of justice fingerprint based background checks. second is to make sure that the agency or the new department has the proper authority to issue high dollar amount citations. the mta currently issues $5,000 citations for illegal operation of a taxi cab. my recollection is it was quite an undertaking to get that authority. it was not automatically something that the mta had.
lastly, the city's paratransit system depends on prop k sales tax dollars and those go through -- my understanding is they go through the mta and ultimately through the paratransit broker. if the new department is going to have the authority over taxis, please ensure that nothing happens to interfere with that flow of funds. thank you. >> supervisor safai: thank you. next speaker. >> my name is herbert winer. i'm an entailed stakeholder of mta. for me, mta stands for more train wrecks ahead. it's an agency that's too big to succeed. right now, i can't imagine the burden that's placed on ed reiskin for monitoring traffic and muni.
it's an overload. they don't exercise powers. they don't excite bicyclists for riding on the sidewalk, which is plainy illegal. and right now, the most significant groups, the bicycle groups, the citizen coalition, and vision zero. we're up against nonprofit corporations that have deep pockets supporting tlem. how can we possibly make our voices heard? the el taraval line was a disaster. people who are disabled and seniors have to walk long distances to the bus stop. this is insane and it's cruel. insanity is perhaps forgivable. cruelty is not. so supervisors can act on behalf of their constituents in
their districts, they should put this on the ballot. basically, i disagree with the bicycle coalition. the surgical precision that's needed is not a hammer strike. right now, the model that's needed for the mta is if you're not under the bus, you're under the wheels. thank you. >> supervisor safai: next speaker. >> thank you, chair safai, board members. my name is mark gruber. i'm a board member of the san francisco taxi workers alliance which has not yet come to discuss this measure, so i'm speaking of my own impressions, speaking for myself. while the details of this measure need to be worked out, and i have a number of questions, and i'm sure the board will have a number of questions, i do want to express personal support for the concept of checks and balances
in this legislation. if the board of supervisors had retained regulatory authority over taxis back in 2009, the disaster that is the medallion sales program might never have happened. the board ceded its authority over taxis to the mta based on false assurances from mayor newsom. supervisor peskin knows this story very well. within three months of the mta's take over of taxi regulation, the mayor went back on its word. this has ruined dozens of drivers lives. dozens have defaulted on their loans and many more are in prospect. likewise, if the board had kept ultimate authority over transportation, the disastrous impact of uber and lyft on taxi driver's, the taxi city and the
streets of san francisco might well have been avoided or at least greatly diminished. i acknowledge efforts within the mta to mitigate the damage done by tnc's, and that program, but it's been too little, too late, and what all this goes to show is too much power concentrated in too few hands leads to no good, so i'd like to see this go forward, and i'm eager to see -- >> good afternoon, supervisors. i represent medallion holders, and you have to realize the taxi industry as far as the mta is concerned is the ugly step child. the only thing they wanted us for was to finance buses, which they did by selling between 500
and 750 medallions. and most of the medallion holders that bought medallions are now bankrupt. they're struggling either to buy food or to pay for the medallions. so far, there are 70 defaults on these medallions, and the mta is currently being sued by medallion holders, and it is also being sued by the san francisco federal -- whatever, savings, trust, federal board who largely financed these. and now, could itself go bankrupt because this represents half its policy. the other side to the coin is
because of politics, that we had a particular mayor at a particular time who decided he did not want any legislation against tnc's. he has bankrupted the industry. thank you. >> karl winkman. mta has power over various entities, including taxi. your amendment introduces checks and balances. a few months ago, mta ignored your unanimous resolution urging them not to assess a large renewal fee on 1100 typically elderly people and distraught medallion holders. they never reinvested in taxi.
not even a single radio add. instead it used profits for muni needs, including employee compensation. 45,000 uber and lyft driver's flood our streets playing dodge ball. san francisco countered the tnc numbers by enforcing state vehicle laws on our city streets. for example 100% of tnc's violate vehicle code 260 prima facie by not having a
license. [ inaudible ] >> tnc's lose billions annually and the practices violate antitrust law. notably they have yet to mandate a single app for the 1800 licensed taxis, even though that will better serve constituents in your out lying districts. i look forward to working with you to upgrade the current structure, and thank you for assigning taxi to the new department. >> supervisor safai: next speaker. >> hi, supervisors. my name is richard magu. i went to uc berkeley, got a bachelors degree in european history. i went to sf state and got a master's degree in history, and i was in a doctorate program at santa barbara that i didn't complete. one of my specialties i learned is that the progressive
republicans around the turn of the 20th century decided that it would be a good idea to take politics out of the hands of the people and assign it to large commissions appointed by all knowing scientific administrators who would be able to run the government efficiently without the influence of corrupt politics. now that was in 1900, circa, and it's been pointed out many, many, many times -- in fact even originally at the time, that simply failed. these large organizations, these appointed commissions, boards, what have you, eventually become political. anybody with a bachelor's degree that has taken at least two history courses should have known this when they allowed the creation of the mta. the mta has now destroyed our lives, destroyed -- well, not just the mta, but the cpuc, but the mta's own mission and
comission have led to the present situation. i -- this is, like, i think the mta are simply waiting to see what happens. they're not for us, they're not against us. they just want to see how this all pans out with uber and lyft and figure out how to make money from it. how to get taxes, how to charge them 5 cents perride and that goes into the city coffers. it's just like the horse and buggy. the old business -- >> supervisor safai: thank you, sir. i appreciate it, but your time has run out. thank you. thank you for your time. >> in 1999, voters approved
prop e. this stated, for too many years, san francisco's municipal railway has been the public service its citizens most love to haste. what should be the nation's best transit system is instead known for late trains and buses, long delays in the tunnel, frequent accidents, accidents and dismal customer service. in 1999, there were expectations by the voters that mta would bring improvements. they've had almost two decades to do that, but has that happen? now is the time for voters to weigh on whether the mta experiment has been a success or not.
i would strongly urge the board to respect the voices of the voters and place this charter on the june ballot. let the mta and others make their case in the voter handbook, not in the board chamber. thank you. >> supervisor safai: thank you. any other members of the public wish to comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. so as i said, we intend to, and a lot of it was represented today. we intend, both supervisor peskin and i, to have some further conversations with those in the taxi industry at their request. i think we need to give that a little bit more time, so i would like to entertain a motion to continue this item to the next meeting. >> supervisor yee: before we do that -- >> supervisor safai: oh, supervisor yee. i didn't see you. i apologize. >> supervisor yee: yeah, yeah. no problem. first of all, i want to thank the authors of this. i'm going to say that this issue of a check and balance is important to -- to me. i put something on the -- try
to do something in 2016, i believe, making a charter amendment to maybe get to that check and balance with different mechanism which is to have the board be able to appoint commissioners on the mta and at the time, even with no really campaign to move it forward, it almost passed, and i think, you know, if we had added something, it would probably have gotten through the hurdle. so i'm looking at this a little more carefully in terms of how the checks and balances would be than to have just the board have the ability to appoint commissioners on there. >> supervisor safai: thank you, supervisor. appreciate that, and we did
talk about that, and -- as part of our process in rolling this out with groups that you had put that forward and in some ways, in that same spirit, we're trying to create a mechanism with which we would have more authority and there would be some more checks on the overall system, so we really appreciate that. so i'd like -- can we entertain a motion to continue this item to the next meeting on january 24th? >> supervisor yee: i'll make that motion. >> supervisor safai: so moved, without objection, it is ordered. please call the next item. >> clerk: item number 8 is a charter amendment for the june 5, 2018 election to provide that whenever the projected budget deficit exceeds 200 dplr million, the city is not required to increase funds for certain museums, funds or cultural centers, provide these funds remain unspent and maintain the commitment to maintain and fund a symphony
orchestra. >> and we a >> -- and we are joined by supervisor tang who is the primary author of this charter amendment, so i'll hand it over to supervisor tang. >> supervisor tang: thank you very much. so back in july, supervisor peskin and i had introduced this, and this charter amendment mainly does two things, and i'll speak to the third thing in a bit. but one it provides a mechanism for us as a city to pause the growth of set asides. not cut, not eliminate, but pause the growth of set asides during an economic downturn when the city's projected deficit exceeds $200 million at the joint report. second it requires that unspent baseline and set aside fund be returned to the general fund starting in fiscal year 2018 and 2019, and i will introduce an amendment to that piece, as well. so based on a hearing and a
report that we had asked the controller's office to put together, and i want to thank the controller's staff for that, san francisco, we currently have 19 set asides. that is the most out of any other jurisdiction in the entire nation. just by comparison, los angeles has two adopted set asides. san diego has one, and san jose has none, and i believe this actually puts san francisco in a position where the city may not be able to respond to the needs of priorities in the future. and of course, i think set asides sound really good when taken on an individual basis. of course when you see a library set aside on its own, you see a children's baseline on its own, a dignity fund on its own, all of it, of course is something we would all want to support. but when taken as a whole and as new ones continue to be added, i do think this poses a huge budget balancing problem for us in the future.
i think it's certainly very convenient for us to punt to the future and ignore problems that we can't see, but i think that's -- you know, to me, that's not okay. and hence i have this measure before us today. also, according to the report from the controller's office, a voter-adopted baseline spending in our city has trael increased from about $200 million from fiscal year 1994-1995 to 1.2 billion in the current fiscal year budget and a projected 1.6 billion in fiscal year 2021-22. so the thatportion that's mand has increased, and at a time when federal funding remains unclear, we as a city need to
manage our budgets. i do have a couple of amendments, and i want to thank deputy city attorney jon givner for working on the measure so quickly. number one is in terms of regarding the general provision fund claw back, it's already in the charter if you have the funds encumbered, that in addition if the funds are to be set aside for capital, then they would not be returned to general fund. again if you have capital expenditures that you've identified. secondly, for the children's baseline to be distinguished from the children's fund. to the children's baseline, we are eliminating the line return to the general fund unexpended funds there in because there's a difference of how the children's fund works in comparison to the other baselines.
we do have our controller's office staff to explain that if you have any questions. and then, of course, we also clarified how the controller's office will calculate what the version will be, and that's based on the total that the department receives. so those are the amendments that i will ask the committee to adopt later. regarding the similar phony baseline removal, i only included that provision in there because there was a measure that was -- that is being proposed and signatures are being gathered at the moment regarding arts funding. and at that moment, the similar phony was part of that. i didn't feel it was right for the similar phony to receive two baselines. we've had some very productive conversations, and we will continue to do so, but i just
want d to clarify that. our charter measure says that the city is not required to increase the funding and throughout the measure it also says that we may suspend the cpi growth. so i want to let you know that it doesn't say that we must, it says that we may, so it allows the city flexibility during that economic time. now i've received questions and concerns that we've always projected a $200 million plus deficit, but based on the controller's analysis in the last 20 years, it has actually only happened six years during our worst economic times here that a lot of us can remember. so in the last 20 years only
six instances where it would have triggered a freeze in the cpi growth. it would not take into consideration any freezes or increases that might have happened in the previous year. so i hope that that clarifies some of the provisions of this measure. i've certainly seen quite a bit of correspondence that i think doesn't speak to actually what this charter measure is doing. one of the things that, you know, i'm not trying to target any particular baselines. this is really to me about good budgeting and allowing us as a city to have the flexibility during downturns. i know that many of you will come up and say well, we have a baseline because in the past, we have historically not had enough funding in these certain categories, right, and i will agree with you. but we also don't have
baselines for departments such as department of public health, human services, unless you're counting the dignity fund. also counting the department of homelessness. but we can argue that especially during the bad economic times, these are some of the most vulnerable people that we need to exist. i hope that we'll have the flexibility to budget as needed when we're faced with tough times. one last thing i will say is -- or a couple few last things is i've also received a question about why the police, for example, the minimum staffing requirement is -- or the police baseline is not included here. it's because it's a mun maximum staffing requirement so it's structured very differently from all -- many of the other baselines that we have here in san francisco. so it wasn't -- there was no effort to try to only target nonprofits and exclude public safety.
it's not it at all. it's because the police is a minimum staffing requirement, so i want to make that very, very clear. okay. my last point is i don't see this measure as a threat to our baselines and set asides that are in existence. to be very honest, i had contemplated, along with my cosponsor, many other provisions that we would have loved to included in this charter amendment, but we chose not to because we wanted to be able to allow the baselines to be the way it is right now without impacting all the hard work that many of you have put together in order to fight the battles at the ballot to put these measures on. so i feel that these two provisions are actually quite conservative in terms of what we initially wanted to achieve. i think the real threat which, you know is something that maybe, you know whether you see it or not, the actual threat to your baselines are other baselines that people put on the charter or put at the
ballot. so for example, if it is successful, this arts measure that's for the june ballot, that would actually cut into the baselines that are in existence. in fiscal year 2018-2019, if that were to pass, it would impact the mta's baseline by $6.1 million. it would impact the children's services, including child care baseline by $4.3 million, peace by 1.4 million, the library by 1.5, and other general impacts by 9.6. that's just that one year, but it grows in future years. i just want to make it clear this measure doesn't attack your baselines. it does consider in bad economic times your growth in the baseline, but frankly there are other measures that if passed by voters would dip into your existing baseline. so with that said, i don't know
if my colleague has any -- my cosponsor has any remarks, i will be happy to hear from all of your community members from all of your -- >> supervisor safai: supervisor peskin? >> supervisor peskin: this is a tough conversation to have, and i think just having the conversation is very important whether it was the hearing that we held at the government audit, an over sight committee where you could start to see the magnitude of this over time. and it's also, i think important for virtually every one of these charter amendments aren't put on by popular signature. they're put on by six or more members of this body. and they're all for extremely
laudable uses. whether it's early childhood education, whether it's for our ageing and adult population. and of course these are always uses that are under tremendous pressure: housing, libraries, recreation, parks and open space. but to set aside is the easy way out. the tough way for elected officials to go is to actually pursue new sources of revenues and use that terrible word call called raising taxes, whether it's a gross receipts tax or other tax. i'm as guilty of this over you know the last 20 years as anybody i've supported. many of the ones that are on here and was proud to do so, but they were not accompanied by new sources of revenue. so we were -- we were slicing
up the pie, tieing our hands in certain ways, because you sometimes have emergencies. this year, it could be a homeless crisis. next year, it can be a housing crisis, and that is not by way of diminishing any of the other needs, but they have not come with new sources of revenue, and i have since i got back on the board in 2015 tried to be extremely disciplined. it gave me no pleasure to be one of two dissenting votes on the dignity fund. it gave me no pleasure to be one of two dissenting votes on supervisor farrell's rec and park set aside the year before last. but that kind of discipline has to be instilled in the board of supervisors. and the problem is we can't pass a law saying that we can't do that because the charter is the charter. and we can't say that members of the board of supervisors won't vote for a charter amendment unless it's accompanied by a new source of revenue because the charter
doesn't say that, and the charter's a function of state law. so we're looking for ways to try to discipline this board and the community and understand the impact. so i want to say that i think it's very kraj us of supervico supervisor tang to go down this road and start this conversation. but as she said, we are having set asides that are canbalancizing other set asideset -- cannibalizing other set asides. we've really got to get our hands on this, and i think it's long past time to start having that tough conversation. it gives me no pleasure, because i've got a lot of friends who have fought and
worked very hard to get those set asides. and the most important thing here is this is not aimed at taking them away, it's aimed at set aside reform, and with that, i will turn the mic back over to the chairman. >> supervisor safai: okay. so any additional comments or questions from committee members before we go to public comment? seeing none, let's go to public comment. please step forward. you have two minutes to speak on the microphone if you'd like to speak on this item. please lineup on the right. please proceed. >> hello. my name is francis collins. i've been a renter in san francisco since 1970. since there is no money from the federal government, and with this administration
cutting hud, i would appreciate that we keep the set aside from the housing for the housing fund. if something happened to me concerning my housing and the fact that i'm on a fixed income, i'd like to know that there's a housing fund that i could access in any case of an emergency. thank you. >> hello. yes. my name is ernesto escuarez. i am a homeowner, and in 2011-2012, we stopped the foreclosure right on the steps of city hall. i think money set aside, it should be to help foreclosures or for the specific needs of the community.
you know, the community is the one that makes the city, and i'd like to ask you the charter amendment is not a good thing for the community, and thank you for listening to us, and money set asides should just be money set aside for the community. thank you so much. >> supervisor safai: thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is sandy morey, and i'm representing the dignity fund coalition. originally in my thinking of testifying today, and knowing all of you are very supportive of seniors and adults with disabilities, and all of you except two of you support the dignity fund, but the two of you were very helpful in not publicly coming against the dignity fund coalition, and we appreciate that. hearing your comments today, because this is a complicated
issue, i agree with you. it's very complicated, and it's big issue for the whole city to look at. so why are we trying to rush this through? i just think that we need to have a little bit more conversations. the issues that i raised today, supervisor tang, i've got to go back and look at that, because you know it's very complicated. so i just really -- my initial thought was to just encourage you to just reject this whole thing today, but at the same time, given the fact that you're trying to come up with some ways of looking at this in a productive way, i say just delay this for a little bit and have morconversatie conversatie community. i know all of you support these issues. i know all of you support these populations that we're talking about, and you're trying to do your fiscal responsibility for the whole city. you're trying to balance all that out. so please consider, we're just rushing this through, so just please consider that.
thank you. >> supervisor safai: thank you. next speaker. >> hi. i'm margo baker. i'm also with the dignity fund coalition. sandy and i are teammates. she said a bunch of stuff that i was about to say. i think what's important is something that supervisor peskin made -- you were saying in terms of, you know, the vulnerable population and the importance of being able to move money where it's needed as opposed to having it all tied up. and i think the thing for us in the community and set asides and democracy is that many of us in the community, as many of you know fought for, you know, money for ageing services. well i did the whole 21 years i ran an agency. and as our population was
spiraling, and it still is exponentially, the city -- it wasn't on the radar screen to give funds so we could prepare as a city for this population, which is as everyone knows, it's going to be 25% in -- you know, within the next decade, so it's huge. 20% who are poor. so you know, we didn't want to get the set aside route, and we didn't. and we talked about it for years and years, and we finally did, because no matter what we did, we couldn't seem to get enough attention from the board and the mayor. so i think it's important for people here to understand that it's not like we all -- you know as sandy was saying also, set asides wiare the end all b all. i really appreciate the comments you made, supervisor, and supervisor tang. it was really helpful, and yes, i'd love to talk about it.
i think it's really important. thanks. >> hello. patrick bran oon. i'm a vet, and what i'm most concerned about is age 41, 47th avenue, my friend was foreclosed after 20 years. it was foreclosed for 320. mr. mohamed -- pardon me, please recnanian, he was convicted of bid rigging. i called the fbi, i have case number 95035, i would like some justice. and i also think that in a case of foreclosure, instead of foreclosure, why not sell the property in an upmarket, which seems to be the case -- on
behalf of the homeowner, pay everybody off, let the homeowner scale down and get lesser funds so they can start again. these people, their future is ruined. >> supervisor safai: i just want to remind members of the public to speak on the item that we're speaking of here, this particular charter amendment. otherwise i have to cutoff your time. please proceed. >> good afternoon -- thanks. my name is reese isabel. i'm on the friends of the san francisco public library board. been on the board for a few years. and i want to follow up from something you actually just said a few minutes ago and read a quote from the controller's report, which is all of these mandatory charter baselines were placed on the ballot by the board of supervisors except for the library veservation
fund and children's fund which were placed on the ballot by initiative petition. so not to say that the library fund came from the community and came from the voters, but it seems as if the overall concept of this blame that is going on around set asides is coming from within the house, right? i know working with all of you many times in the community, endorsements for a set aside happen all the time. support for a good cause happens all the time. measures go onto the ballot. in regards to the library preservation fund, i do want to say that prior to 1994, when the community and the voters put this on the ballot, we did not have a stable funding source for the library. we continually had fights over budget, possible closures,
possible cuts of hours, possible loss of libraries. and now because of the foresight of the voters and because of the foresight that has continued over the last 20 years, 25 years, we have a world-class system of libraries that now we can utilize as a strong piece of our public infrastructure. we've actually seen the library system fill up to be part of -- [ inaudible ] >> supervisor safai: thank you. thank you, reese. next speaker. >> hi. my name is marie cepella. i'm a friend of the san francisco public library. not reiterate what reese said, but i first want to thank you for the fund on the capital fund project, and just
reiterate that you may suspend the cpi growth, but not required. like reese said, this was one of the first set asides, and it was put on by popular measure because the library's budget was consistently cut. i think there was a point where they even stopped collections because they couldn't afford the book, so this was a popular measure to ensure that that would just not happen constantly. and so of course we are getting very protective of our library which has grown into one of the best in the country. and in the tradition of the library, which is about discussion and democracy and dialogue, i do appreciate the comment about discussion, and perhaps slowing down. we are certainly available to have any discussions with you, so thank you very much. >> supervisor peskin: and if i may, mr. chairman, i just want to say the first set aside was in 1932, believe it or not. >> supervisor safai: thank you for that historical
perspective. next speaker. >> supervisor tang: 1935. >> supervisor peskin: '35, sorry. when you get this old, you start forgetting. >> supervisor safai: please proceed. >> thank you for that information. my name is initial cosano. i'm the executive director of the richmond neighborhood center. i started in youth work, and now i'm the executive director and we're growing our senior programs, too, so i'm able to see firsthand the impacts to the children's fund and the dignity fund, and i see the many people we are trying to support. the seniors on wait lists, the kids that are trying to get into after school care when we don't have enough slots after school as well as in summer. i think that any threats to the children's fund and dignity fund are significant, and do need to be heard from the community. so i appreciate on making sure
this is right for the chish and for the families in san francisco. i just want to also remind people that this was a voter approved and that we want to make sure that this still has a very public process and the voters have passed this, and we want to make sure that it continues to be the voice of san francisco and reflect the values of san francisco, as well. so thank you. >> supervisor safai: