Editors note: The Guardian is interviewing candidates for the fall elections, and to give everyone the broadest possible understanding of the issues and our endorsement process, we're posting the sound files of all the interviews on the politics blog. Our endorsements will be coming out Oct. 6th.
Debra Walker, a candidate for District 6, has obviously thought a lot about sustainable development -- and she isn’t just focused on what building materials are being selected. In addition to planning in ways that would limit traffic congestion and still make sense years from now when the city is grappling with sea-level rise, affordability ranks near the top of her list of priorities.
“Can we agree that we are not building enough below-market housing?” she asked.
A tenant representative on the city's Building Inspection Commission, Walker is interested in integrating an analysis of the socioeconomic effects of development into the city planning process. “We need to look at our development proposals through a different lens,” she said. “We need to come at planning from the perspective of what we need.”
She’d like to see the city look at the larger picture of what kind of a future is being crafted through its planning decisions. “Land use is the primary issue in District 6 and District 10,” she said. “If we do it wrong, it will exacerbate every problem we have. It’s the future of San Francisco.”
As someone whose primary mode of transportation is a bicycle, Walker looks at MUNI from the perspective of some one who might take transit more often if her busy schedule permitted it. “None of our policies encourage people to ride transit,” she pointed out, adding that she would be interested in exploring ways to boost ridership in order to improve MUNI service, and looking at measures such as a vehicle license fee to create additional funding for transit.
Walker also talked with us about revenue generating measures, why she would support a Bank of San Francisco as a way to prime the pump for our local economy, and how to address issues surrounding local hiring. Listen to the full interview below.