A new progressive agenda - Page 4

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

1. Establish as policy that San Francisco will step in where the state and federal government have left people behind — and that local taxation policy should reflect progressive values.

2. Make budget set-asides a budget floor rather than a percentage of the budget.

3. Examine what top city executives are paid.

4. Promote public power, public broadband and public cable as a way to bring the city millions of dollars.

5. Support progressive taxes that will bring in at least $250 million a year in permanent new revenue.

6. Change the City Charter to eliminate unilateral mid-year cuts by the mayor.

8. Pass a Charter amendment that: (a) Requires the development of a comprehensive long-term plan that sets the policies and strategies to guide the implementation of health and human services for San Francisco's vulnerable residents over the next 10 years, and (b) creates a planning body with the responsibility and authority to develop the plan, monitor and evaluate its implementation, coordinate between policy makers and departments, and ensure that annual budgets are consistent with the plan.

9. Collect existing money better.

10. Enact a foreclosure transfer tax.

 

 

YOUTH, IMMIGRATION, AND EDUCATION

Background: In the past 10 years, San Francisco has lost 24,000 people ages 12-24. Among current youth, 5,800 live in poverty; 6,000 have no high school degree; 7,000 are not working or attending school; 1,200 are on adult probation.

A full 50 percent of public school students are not qualified for college studies. Too often, the outcome is dictated by race; school-to-prison is far too common.

Trust between immigrants and the police is a low point, particularly since former Mayor Gavin Newsom gutted the sanctuary ordinance in 2008 after anti-immigrant stories in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Some 70 percent of students depend on Muni, but the price of a youth pass just went from $10 to $21.

Agenda items:

1. Recognize that there's a separate role for probation and immigration, and keep local law enforcement from joining or working with immigration enforcement.

2. Improve public transportation for education and prioritize free Muni for youth.

3. Create family-friendly affordable housing.

4. Restore the recreation direction for the Recreation and Parks Department.

5. Implement police training to treat youth with respect.

6. Don't cut off benefits for youth who commit crimes.

7. Shift state re-alignment money from jails to education.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Background: When it comes to land use, the laws on the books are pretty good. The General Plan is a good document. But those laws aren't enforced. Big projects get changed by the project sponsor after they're approved.

Land use is really about who will live here and who will vote. But on a policy level, it's clear that the city doesn't value the people who currently live here.

Climate change is going to affect San Francisco — people who live near toxic materials are at risk in floods and earthquakes.

San Francisco has a separate but unequal transportation system. Muni is designed to get people downtown, not around town — despite the fact that job growth isn't happening downtown.

San Francisco has a deepwater port and could be the Silicon Valley of green shipping.

San Francisco has a remarkable opportunity to promote renewable energy, but that will never happen unless the city owns the distribution system.

 

Agenda items:

1. Promote the rebirth of heavy industry by turning the port into a center for green-shipping retrofits.

2. Public land should be for public benefit, and agencies that own or control that land should work with community-based planning efforts.