Why is Mayor Lee perceived as anti-tenant? Well, in North Beach, where I live, tenants are being Ellis acted by the apartment house full, and the emptied units are being Airbnb’d to the max. Close to entire blocks of rental units in the heart of Northbeach (between Columbus and Mason on Vallejo and Green for example) have been emptied of permanent residents. Everyone interested in North Beach is aware that Mayor Lee’s biggest supporters are (1) Ron Conway, the big private equity bucks behind not only Airbnb but other hot tech outfits getting sweetheart tax, transportation and zoning deals from the Lee administration, and (2) developers of high priced housing — the sort of projects that are perceived as threatening destruction to the village that is North Beach. Further, everyone knows that Julie Christensen was chosen (over Cyntha Wu, an affordable housing advocate) by Mayor Lee to provide him (and Ron Conway) with control of the Board of Supervisors.
Beyond Chron seems determined not to engage what seem to me be clear evidence that Ed Lee is selling San Francisco to the highest bidders. I am hoping (and I believe) that November’s election, which will be low turnout in most of the City (Ed Lee being unopposed by anyone with any money behind him or her), will be very high turnout among progressive voters in both District 3 and the Mission. If Aaron Peskin wins, and the Board swings back to Democratic (oops, I mean “progressive”) control (and away from the crypto Republican “moderates” who rubber stamp everything Mayor Lee tells them to pass) our City may survive the ravages of the oligarchs for a few more precious years.
Richard E. Levine
Filed under: Letters to the Editor