Battle for Bayview - Page 2

Redevelopment referendum tossed — so now what?

27, 1966, only days away, this sounds like a declaration of war against the same people who protested then and are protesting still against police brutality and for jobs, economic equity and the right to develop our own community and control our own destiny," Ratcliff wrote in a front page editorial.
Ratcliff told us, "We're going to have a big march out there to show the city that we oppose this plan."
Herrera's opinion on the referendum was requested by Mayor Gavin Newsom, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, Board of Supervisors president Aaron Peskin, and Sup. Sophie Maxwell.
Redevelopment Agency director Marcia Rosen told the Guardian that fears of redevelopment stem from how badly it was handled in the Western Addition in the 1960s, but that the agency and the political climate of the city have changed. She said the agency is approaching Bayview–Hunters Point in an incremental, community-based fashion. She said the plan should go forward and will eventually prove the fears are unfounded.
"The plan was adopted by the board and signed into law by the mayor, and there is no further action needed, so the plan is in effect," she told us.
Maxwell and Peskin each said they're inclined to just let the redevelopment plan go into effect, although Peskin said, "I'm not going to stop any supervisor from having a hearing on any subject."
"It's important to understand that this plan is a living document, so there will be changes and people talking to each other," Maxwell told us. "It's certainly not the end of anything."
She told the Guardian that the referendum campaign used paid signature gatherers, money from a developer from outside the area, and distorted claims about eminent domain and other aspects of the plan — misrepresentations that signers could have checked if the plan was readily available as legally required.
"The democratic process has to be taken seriously, and democracy is not easy," Maxwell told us. "The decision was about preserving the democratic process, and people need to have facts at their disposal. There has to be a process and there has to be a standard."
That's certainly true — and O'Flynn is a contractor who lives in the Marina. But it's hard to imagine how carrying around thick stacks of paper filled with complex land-use plans would have made a difference. Most signers would never have stopped to take several hours to read it all.
John Matsusaka, president of the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California School of Law, said that referendum case law has been built around a few courts validating actions by civic officials to strike down citizen movements.
"The sad fact is it looked like elected officials are trying to keep measures off the ballot and looking for ways to support that," Matsusaka told the Guardian. "Preventing the people from voting is really not going to bring harmony to the community." SFBG
The Defend Bayview Hunters Point Coalition's Sept. 27 march begins at 3:30 p.m. at the Walgreens at 5800 Third St. and Williams and continues up Third Street to Palou Street, where there will be a press conference and rally at 4:30 p.m.