A new progressive agenda - Page 2

A series of community forums helped us craft a platform for the next mayor

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New construction in Mission Bay: Are we building a community -- or building a city for rich people?
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY MIRISSA NEFF

The Mayor's Office has, as a matter of policy, been destroying blue-collar jobs to promote residential development for people who work outside of the city.

There's a huge disconnect between what many people earn and what they need. The minimum wage in San Francisco is $9.92, when the actual cost of living is closer to $20. Wage theft is far too common.

There is a lack of leadership, oversight and accountability in a number of city departments. For example, there is no officiating body or commission overseeing the work of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. Similarly the Arts Commission, the chartered entity for overseeing cultural affairs, is responsible for less than 25 percent of the budget reserved for this purpose

There's no accountability in the city to protect the most vulnerable people.

The city's main business tax is highly regressive — it's a flat tax on payroll but has so many exceptions and loopholes that only 8,500 businesses actually pay it, and many of the largest and richest outfits pay no city tax at all.

 

Agenda items:

1. Reform the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development to create a department with workforce development as a primary objective. Work with the San Francisco Unified School District, City College and San Francisco State to create sustainable paths to training and employment.

2. Create a municipal bank that offers credit for locally developed small businesses instead of relying on tax breaks. As a first step, mandate that all city short-term funds and payroll accounts go only to banks or credit unions that will agree to devote a reasonable percentage of their local loan portfolios for small business loans.

3. Reform procurement to prioritize local ownership.

4. Link economic development of healthcare facilities to the economic development of surrounding communities.

5. Link overall approval of projects to a larger economic development policy that takes as its centerpiece the employment of current San Francisco residents.

6. Enforce city labor laws and fund the agency that enforces the laws.

7. Establish the Board of Supervisors as the policy board of a re-organized Redevelopment Agency and create community-based project area oversight committees.

8. Dramatically expand Muni in the southeast portion of the city and reconfigure routes to link neighborhoods without having to go through downtown. Put special emphasis on direct Muni routes to City College and San Francisco State.

9. Reform the payroll tax so all businesses share the burden and the largest pay their fair share.

10. Consolidate the city's various arts entities into a single Department of Arts & Culture that includes as part of its mandate a clear directive to achieve maximum economic development through leveraging the city's existing cultural assets and creative strengths and re-imagining San Francisco's competitive position as a regional, national and international hub of creative thinking. Sponsor and promote signature arts programs and opportunities to attract and retain visitors who will generate maximum economic activity in the local economy; restore San Francisco's community-based cultural economy by re-enacting the successful Neighborhood Arts Program; and leverage the current 1-2 percent for art fees on various on-site building projects to be directed towards non-construction-site arts activity.