We urge him to make a clean break with the past and set the city in a new direction. Here are a few ways to get started
•<\!s> Get serious about community choice aggregation. Newsom loved to talk about his environmental agenda, but when it came to challenging the hegemony of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and its dirty power portfolio, he ran for cover. His hand-picked Public Utilities Commission director, Ed Harrington, has been an obstacle to implementing the city's CCA plan. Lee needs to get rid of Harrington or direct him to cooperate with the supervisors and get San Francisco on the path to clean public power.
•<\!s> Establish a real affordable housing program. The city plans to build housing for as many as 60,000 new residents in the southeast neighborhoods — but only a fraction of them will be affordable. This city is already well on its way to becoming a high-end bedroom community for Silicon Valley; only a clear policy that limits new market-rate condos until there's a plan for adequate affordable housing will turn things around.
•<\!s> Support Sanctuary City and quit helping federal immigration authorities break up families. Newsom was just awful on this issue; Lee needs to work with Sup. David Campos to implement more humane laws.
•<\!s> End the demonization of homeless people and public employees. Newsom came to power attacking the homeless (with Care Not Cash) and went out attacking the homeless (with the sit-lie law). Lee ought to tell the Police Department not to aggressively enforce the ordinance.
•<\!s> Take on the sacred cows of the Police and Fire departments. The biggest salary and pension problems in the city are in the two public safety departments. The Fire Department budget has been bloated for years. If everyone else is taking cuts, so should the highest-paid cops and the overstaffed fire stations.
Some of Lee's supporters insist he's a solid progressive and that we shouldn't hold the details of his selection — or the fact that he was chosen by people who are openly hostile to the progressive agenda — against him. We're open to that — but the progressive community will judge him on his record. And he has to start right away.