Affordable housing group's shady, "shameless" endorsements - Page 2

The Affordable Housing Alliance just backs members of the Brown machine


has been active on tenant issues for decades, including a term as a San
Francisco Rent Board commissioner from 1988 to 1992 and another as
cochair of the now defunct Housing and Tenants Council, an umbrella
coalition for the movement.

"Jake has a long history of being pro-tenant, from his days on the Rent
Board to doing grassroots work on every tenant campaign and every piece
of tenant legislation," said Ted Gullicksen of the Tenants Union. The
city's preeminent renters' advocacy group, the Tenants Union gave
McGoldrick its enthusiastic endorsement. If you believe the AHA's
mailer, he's not even in the race.

On the other hand, Gullicksen said, "Yaki initiated legislation to stop
owner move-in evictions — but then, under pressure from landlords,
killed it himself. Since then he has consistently been against tenants
and with the real estate industry."

That's the candidate of the Affordable Housing Alliance. Yaki has a
strong claim on AHA support: he is backed by Willie Brown, of whom he
has been a stalwart ally, and Omerberg worked on Yaki's 1998 campaign
for the board.

"As a tenant who went through an owner-move-in eviction, I strongly
believe in protecting our rent-control laws and stringently enforcing
protections for seniors and the disabled," Yaki told us through his
consultant Ellie Schafer. "I am proud to have supported all the measures
which passed the Board of Supervisors expanding OMI and Ellis Act
protections." (Note Yaki's careful phrasing: he supported the measures
that passed, and opposed the measures that failed. The same can be said
for most of Willie Brown's other appointees; that's why those measures
passed and the others failed.)

The AHA also endorsed Meagan Levitan in District Three, according to a
Levitan mailer. Her opponent Aaron Peskin, who spoke at the endorsement
meeting, has the support of the Tenants Union and just about every other
legitimate tenant activist. Yaki and Levitan are both endorsed by the
Small Property Owners Association and the San Francisco Apartment
Association, which lobby for landlords.

The AHA's endorsements of Yaki and Levitan were no surprise to longtime
members of the tenant movement. "Historically, the Affordable Housing
Alliance hasn't endorsed credible pro-tenant supervisors," Robert
Haaland of the Housing Rights Committee told us. "It's a group that's
used to perpetuate machine candidates. It's another shameless example of
how the machine stays in power."