Look at the disgrace and disaster that the privatized Edison School brought to the San Francisco Unified School District. Look at the glitzy café and the pricey parking lot that have replaced good animal care at the privatized San Francisco Zoo. Look at what has happened around the world when Bechtel Corp. has taken over public water systems rates have gone up so high that some people can't afford this basic life necessity.
Look what's happened to the American health system. Look what's happened in Iraq.
Government isn't perfect, and the public sector has lot of management, efficiency, and accountability issues. But at least the public has some hope of correcting those problems. San Francisco ought to be a place where a major movement to take back the public sector is born and thrives.
Almost everyone in town ought to have an interest. Labor, obviously, opposes privatization. So should neighborhood advocates (who care about public parks and open space), environmentalists (because the entire notion of environmentalism depends on a healthy public sector), progressive community groups, and politicians. Even more conservative groups like the cops and firefighters ought to see the need to prevent their jobs from being outsourced to a private vendor.
A campaign against privatization could link wi-fi, PG&E, tidal power, and the golf courses. The campaign could force anyone running for office to address a no-privatization pledge. It could appear any time one of these rotten schemes pops up in town and send a message that San Francisco doesn't accept the economic agenda of the radical right.
Who's going to call the first meeting? 2
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