3400 Cesar Chavez, Recall McGoldrick …

by on August 2, 2007

To the Editor –

I thought your story regarding the fight over 3400 Cesar Chavez was well written. A related story is that plenty of progressive voters (me included) rallied to support the project. Organizing behind the scenes was intense. Why do you think that Bevan voted to support the project? We were getting tired of the racist/extremist overtones in MAC’s campaign against the Seven Hills Project.

I live 4 blocks from the site and became actively involved supporting the project after listening to the extremist arguments being made by MAC. We do need more affordable housing in the Mission and throughout the city. But, MAC was using “code words” strongly suggesting and even making outright claims that the Mission is only for Latinos. That isn’t progressive.

I love this neighborhood largely because it is Latino, but the argument, among others, that we need to protect the traditional elements in the Mission reminds me of the far right-wing “family values” arguments that we have been hearing for years from Jerry Falwell (until his death) and his gang of fundamentalist Christian Republicans. Racism is racism (and fascism is fascism) and the color, religion or ethnicity of a racist doesn’t make it right.


Jon Joseph

To the Editor –

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick ran for office in 2000 on a platform of supporting the creation of more affordable housing, and during his first term, he did as much as any of his colleagues save Chris Daly to move that agenda forward. When Jake faced a strong challenge from Lillian Sing in 2004, progressives rallied to his side and were able to prevail against a Newsom shill.

But in his second term, McGoldrick has become increasingly politcally erratic, offering up such gems as the Better Neighborhoods Plus corporate planning model when more progressive, organic and participatory models were available.

To his credit, McGoldrick supported Bus Rapid Transit along the Geary corridor, which has, in large part, instigated a recall effort staged by the most conservative elements in his district and the rest of the City. In response to this threat from the right, McGoldrick has taken steps to cover what he believes is his exposed right flank by voting conservative more often than not these days.

Any given vote is not cause for concern. But a repeated pattern of voting against the principles upon which he was elected is disconcerting, but not necessarily a show stopper.

But Jake McGoldrick’s conduct this week is completely unacceptable if not illegal and progressives must take a stand against the corruption that led McGoldrick to vote against the MUNI charter reform, for the unchecked spread of market rate housing throughout the Eastern Neighborhoods and
against the health concerns of residents of the area surrounding the Hunters Point shipyard project.

It is McGoldrick’s conduct with respect to the 3400 Cesar Chavez project which is the most horrifying. On Monday evening, lobbyist Alex Clemens of Barbary Coast who was representing Seven Hills, the developer of 3400 Cesar Chavez, held a fundraiser for McGoldrick to help him oppose the recall. Thousands of dollars flowed into McGoldrick’s campaign coffers which, since Jake is facing a political brick wall when he is termed out in 2008, could be used only for a potential recall.

The next day, Jake’s votes follow the money, to uphold the EIR that discounts the impacts of market rate housing in the Mission, over what appeared to be his political principles in support of affordable housing. This kind of quid pro quo corruption cannot be tolerated by progressives who support ethics in government and campaign finance reform.

If the threat of a recall from the right caused McGoldrick to lurch to the right, then a threat of a recall from the left must be lodged to put pressure on the lame duck supe from the left. If Jake thought he had problems before, he’d better think again and fast.

Yes, if a recall were to be successful, then Mayor Newsom would appoint a replacement. But what difference would there be if McGoldrick is going to vote with the Mayor? There are those who think that Newsom’s appointee would enjoy the advantages of incumbency, but recent election results prove that Newsom has scant coattails in district supervisor races–just ask Supervisors Sing, Sullivan, Waugh, Lim, Black and Chan not to mention SFUSD commissioner Hiles.

Whenever progressives run a qualified candidate with a proven track record of standing up for neighbors against a downtown funded Newsom endorsee, we win. There are at least two residents of District 1 who carry those credentials–Eric Mar and Sarah Lipson–either of whom could wipe the floor with a Newsom appointee.


Marc Saolmon
San Francisco

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