Reader Responds To Beyond Chron “Secret Deal”

by on April 24, 2004

I agree with you on some of your concerns surrounding the Bond, particularly income limits in accordance with Prop J standards. However, I must raise some point in debate with other assertions you have made publicly. I do so in a spirit of respect and dialogue and wish to avoid any “cyber-fights,” so common in housing controversies.

As you were, I was disappointed that the proposed 150 million for homeless programs was reduced to the 90 million range. However, this change must be taken in context. If the 150 million amount passed that bond would have been issued over 10 years and thus brought in 15 million a year for ten years. This bond is going to be over five years and bring in 20 million a year over that period of time. Therefore, for the term of this bond there is actually more upfront money for supportive housing. You can have a principled debate between advocates of the 150 amount or the 90 amount. However, the debate must be framed with this context.

Also, the idea that this was a “secret” deal is not true. You sat next to me at the meeting where people were invited to nominate themselves or others. The 60 member Housing Workgroup has not been disbanded. Again, if you had pointed out that in both groups deep representation was in question, you would have been correct!

It is also inaccurate to say that no group advocating for tenants or neighborhoods were brought into the process. Representatives from the Housing Rights Committee were consulted in-depths, and all housing groups were invited to sit a a large (outside of City Hall) workgroup to draft a proposal. You had been consulted and invited by the San Francisco Organizing Project rather early on in the process. We all have our priorities, and it is commendable that your organization is working so hard on the Anti-Demolition Ordinance. However, don’t come over a tear another campaign to pieces with inuendos of backroom deals and incomplete information. The bond still has to be heard twice in public hearings (in front of the Board Of Supes) before it can reach the ballot!!!!

As to your other concerns about income limits, I agree, we must be vigilant in this respect. I’m sure we’ll see you at the public hearings, and look forward to dialogue with you on this matter.

Sincerely yours in struggle,

James Tracy
Speaking for self.

P.S. In the name of good and rigorous debate, I request that you print this letter in Beyond Chron. Good luck in this endeavor.

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