Editor's Notes - Page 2

These days being progressive isn't about real estate — it's that the level of economic inequality has risen to levels unseen since the late 1920s.

Corruption — even the appearance of corruption — taints the entire public sector and helps the fans of privatization, and progressives especially need to understand that.
5. That the right to private property needs to be tempered by the needs of society. That means you can't just put up a highrise building anywhere you want in San Francisco, of course, but it also means that the rights of tenants to have stable places for themselves and their families to live is more important than the rights of landlords to maximize return on their property. That's why we support strict environmental protections, even when they hurt private interests, and why be believe in rent control, including rent control on vacant property, and eviction protections and restrictions on condo conversions. We think community matters more than wealth, and that poor people have a place in San Francisco too — and if the wealthier classes have to have less so the city can have socioeconomic diversity, that's a small price to pay. We believe that public space belongs to the public and shouldn't be handed over to private interests. We believe that everyone, including homeless people, has the right to use public space.
6. That there are almost no circumstances where the government should do anything in secret.
7. That progressive elected officials should use their resources and political capital to help elect other progressives — and should recognize that sometimes the movement is more important that personal ambitions.

I don't know if Ed Lee fits my definition of a progressive. He hasn't taken a public position on any major issues in 20 years. We won't know until we see his budget plans and learn whether he thinks the city should follow Gavin Newsom's approach of avoiding tax increases and simply cutting services again. We won't know until he decides what to tell the new police chief about enforcing the sit-lie law. We won't know until we see whether he keeps Newsom's staff in place or brings in some senior people with progressive values.
I agree that having an Asian mayor in San Francisco is a very big deal, a historic moment — and as Lee takes over, I will be waiting, and hoping, to be surprised.

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