Endorsement interviews: Eric Smith

|
(10)

Eric Smith's passion is environmental justice. He's the director of Green Depot, a coalition of biodiesel organizations, and has helped lead the city to switch its buses and official vehicles to the cleaner fuel. He's working on ways to get the city to move its waste by train. And he talks about the important of green jobs (and not just green jobs for the top college graduates.)

Smith told us he's not fond of the Lennar project, but he supports the Communit Benefits Agreement and would have voted for the project EIR. He's concerned about the city's plans to bring 40,000 more housing units, mostly high-end condos, to the neighborhood, particularly the threat to light-industrial jobs. He complains about the lack of centralization in city services and the sometimes overlapping jobs of nonprofits and public agencies. He's an opponent of the gang injunctions and Sit-Lie.

You can listen to our interview here:

 

esmith by endorsements2010

 

Comments

Biofuels are not by any stretch of the imagination 'greener' fuels. In fact they are worse than fossil fuel in greenhouse gas emissions, disastrous land use impacts, creating food security crises, and economic devastation in developing countries.

And the use of restaurant grease for diesel that Smith deceptively touts, is so small in volume that it cannot replace even one percent of our diesel use. The remainder comes from the massively destructive factory monoculture crop industry dominated by Monsanto, and Cargill. And Smith is even a supporter of biofuel being produced from the slaughterhouses of the even -more- environmentally destructive factory farm animal agriculture industry.

Smith's claim that biodiesel creates better air quality is also false. Biodiesel generally has higher NOx emissions which lead to deadly smog increases.

For details on the incredible destructiveness of biofuels go to: http://biofuelwatch.org.uk/

As to his claims of being an environmental justice advocate, I have actively been involved in environmental justice for the last 6 years in San Francisco, and have not seen Eric Smith at even -one- meeting on any of the EJ issues I've worked on, particularly for power plant shut downs and stopping Lennar corporation from raping and pillaging the Bayview Hunters Point.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 09, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

Eric Smith's claim that he has been 'doing battle with' Lennar corporation is a blatant, outrageous lie.

I've been involved in the fight against Lennar for years and have not seen Smith at even -one- organizing meeting against Lennar's rape and pillaging of the Bayview Hunters Point.

FAR WORSE, in the last hearing against the disastrous Candlestick Hunters Point Environmental Impact Report, Eric Smith spoke on the PRO-Lennar side and made such a mealy-mouthed, cover-his-own-ass, statement, that it was impossible to tell what he was saying at all.

Eric Smith is lying his ass off in both his interview with you and his deceptive campaigning, and San Francisco voters should send Smith, and all politicians, the message that they will not put up with such BS from a candidate. We can do so by simply not voting for him.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 09, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

Since you seem familiar with the issue, can you tell us which candidates you believe to be sincerely opposed to Lennar's plans?

Posted by Greg on Sep. 09, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

The D-10 Candidates with the strongest record on opposing the bogus Lennar approval are Nyese Joshua (who has been a core organizer against Lennar), Espanola Jackson, and Tony Kelly.

I have seen no other D-10 candidates actively involved in any way in opposing what Lennar is doing.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 09, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

I don't know how involved he's been in the organizing, but from talking to him in the past, he seems to be informed on the issues and has been a longtime opponent of the way that project is being done.

Posted by Greg on Sep. 09, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

Unfortunately not. Chris Jackson, when he represented the SF Labor Council on this issue, repeatedly stood up in favor of the bogus 'Community Benefits' agreement negotiated with Lennar by the Labor Council and ACORN, which was a total betrayal of the environmental justice community fighting Lennar, and was a deal made totally without local organizers' consent.

To date, Chris Jackson has still not taken a strong position on Lennar. Most revealingly, when asked at the SF Greens endorsement meeting if he would commit to do everything in his power to block construction on the project until full site clean-up and wildlife habitat protection are ensured; he refused to make that commitment.

Currently he makes lots of flowery statements claiming to be on the side of the organizers, but when asked to make real and strong no nonsense commitments, he backs down.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 09, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

Eric Brooks,

Your claims and positions on matters in a district that you are not a part of are disingenuous.

You claim you're a community organizer, yet have no base or have any visible developed leadership. You represent yourself. You are not an organizer.

You insert yourself into arguments and issues only to create an illusion of your own relevance. By insulting, discrediting through conspiracy theory style "proof", and name dropping, I sure you actually believe that you are relevant. And that's fine. However, it's misleading to readers. You are doing SF Guardian readers a disservice.

Your claims against Lennar, Bayview Hunters Point, groups that have supported the project....

You have no interest in pushing working class family issues nor respect for the process that working class families undergo to come to a solution.
Your politics are a position of privilege and a not a necessity and that's why you have a blatant disregard for people who actually have put the effort, developed the talent, and reached the people to push an issue. You are bitter because you have none of these abilities.

I see that you have repeatedly posted comments in the Guardian. Your time would be better spent learning to organize and learning the impacts of policies on people and not just your lofty ideology.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 10, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

Let me respond in saying that I generally disagree with Mr. Brooks 99% of the time and he has been discredited more times than I can count. He's made up a variety of false accusations about me over the years, has never sat down and talked to me and has chosen the relative safety of digital media to spread misinformation. He hasn't seen me because I've actually been working, working to get Lennar, the Navy, PG&E and others to safely remove hazardous material from these sites more efficiently by rail and using local truckers, not only in Hunters Point, but Mare Island and Alameda as well. I have done that, no other candidate in District 10 has, and it continues to be a struggle. I've also been a member of the Navy's Restoration Advisory Board, attended dozens of community meetings and frankly, I never saw him either.

Those that regularly work with me on these matters know the truth; they have chosen to ignore his diatribes as I usually do. Now Biodiesel is not perfect, however its benefits far out weigh the use of petroleum and I stand firmly behind its use. San Francisco uses 3 million gallons of biodiesel per year at a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum and collects 300,000 of feedstock for its SF Greasecycle program. That is ten percent of the City's use, not one percent. I believe that studies have also shown that a B20 blend to be NOx neutral, meaning no worse than 100% petroleum. There is no silver bullet, no perfect fuel or solution to our energy crisis, however any time we displace petroleum and reduce particulate matter and improve the health of the community, it's a good thing. As for Mr. Brooks' ridiculous notion of breeding factory farm animals for fuel, well I let you be the judge and draw your own contusions.

Yes, I fully supported the Community Benefits Agreement, crafted by AD 10, Labor, SFOP and the ACORN, but that doesn't mean I loved everything about the project, including the EIR and the bridge over Yosemite Slough. I don't know if Lennar will ever build anything out there; if they do, I'll make sure they do what they are supposed to do or face the consequences. I also have spoken out against the Navy's decisions to cap Parcel E2 and will continue to demand the most comprehensive clean up possible of the Shipyard.

Let me also say that I have the endorsement of the Sierra Club and San Francisco Tomorrow, as well as many other environmental justice advocates. They know me, know my work and know where I stand on the issues. They would not have endorsed me otherwise. They know that I am committed to cleaning our environment, making it safer and healthier and helping the residents of District rebuild their lives and our community by coming up with sustainable solutions.

I was urged by friends and members of the environmental community to run for office, people I respect and respect me and the work I've done and will continue to do whether I become Supervisor or not. Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

Eric Smith, Candidate for District 10 Supervisor

Posted by Guest Eric Smith on Sep. 10, 2010 @ 9:57 am

@ Eric Smith,

I find a lot of what you have written in your rebuttal to be deceptive and inaccurate, but let's just focus first on the most blaring example.

What you are not making clear in your response is that 90% of the biodiesel being used by city vehicles is coming largely from the mono crop soy/canola/palm oil market dominated by Monsanto, Cargill and other rapacious multinational agro-giants. Such agro-diesel is not in any way sustainable. And because it causes dramatic shifts in land uses which crowd out forest habitat and farming for food, as well as generating high pesticide and fertilizer usage, it actually generates both -higher- greenhouse gas emissions, and has triggered major food and economic crises in developing countries.

You know full well that waste grease collected by the city can't fill even one percent of the overall demand for diesel in San Francisco. Your focusing just on city owned vehicles is what is allowing you make the still completely deceptive claim that it fills 10% of the need. And it doesn't of course actually achieve 10% replacement even in -city- vehicles when we take into account the fact that the City's biodiesel component (as you state yourself) is only 20% of the total diesel use. So let's do the math..

10% -of- the 20% biodiesel used -only- city owned vehicles (biodiesel 90% of which again creates -higher- emissions than petroleum diesel) is made from waste grease. In other words, just 2%. That 2% is the only component that can be remotely labeled sustainable.

It is just this sort of clever shell game that you play to pitch the sham of biofuels that I am talking about. I'm not surprised that you've convinced the local Sierra Club chapter to support your candidacy. There are still far too many environmentalists who still do not understand the dangerous illusion of biofuels, and I've notice that the local chapter tends not to drill down far enough into such issues.

But I know -you- get this stuff because I've openly debated you on it before at the Biodiesel Access Taskforce, and it has become clear to me that you know the difference between biofuel hype and reality. Yet you keep spinning the hype.

As to your claim that you have fought Lennar, it is simply not remotely credible. I have spent the last couple of years assisting periodically in the trenches with groups like POWER and SLAM which are the real leaders in that fight, and you have not only been nowhere to be seen, you have spoken in favor of the bogus community benefits EIR deal for the Hunters Point 2 project that has been cynically used by Lennar to literally buy off half of the Bayview in order to get enough leverage to block the efforts of the real environmental justice activists who fought that deal.

The other work that you refer to above, should be clarified for the people reading this exchange. You are a professional in the waste management industry and it is therefore simply your job to engage in the work of getting rid of hazardous wastes from nasty companies, entities like the Navy, etc.

From what I've seen on the internet you seem to do a respectable job at it, but this hardly gives you the latitude to claim to have 'done battle' with Lennar.

The contention is absurd.

You are doing a slick sell job on people to paint yourself as a progressive environmentalist when you are not one, and I intend to stick around to pull back the curtain on that deception at every opportunity.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 10, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

Eric Brooks,

Your claims and positions on matters in a district that you are not a part of are disingenuous.

You claim you're a community organizer, yet have no base or have any visible developed leadership. You represent yourself. You are not an organizer.

You insert yourself into arguments and issues only to create an illusion of your own relevance. By insulting, discrediting through conspiracy theory style "proof", and name dropping, I sure you actually believe that you are relevant. And that's fine. However, it's misleading to readers. You are doing SF Guardian readers a disservice.

Your claims against Lennar, Bayview Hunters Point, groups that have supported the project....

You have no interest in pushing working class family issues nor respect for the process that working class families undergo to come to a solution.
Your politics are a position of privilege and a not a necessity and that's why you have a blatant disregard for people who actually have put the effort, developed the talent, and reached the people to push an issue. You are bitter because you have none of these abilities.

I see that you have repeatedly posted comments in the Guardian. Your time would be better spent learning to organize and learning the impacts of policies on people and not just your lofty ideology.

Posted by Guest 1 on Sep. 10, 2010 @ 12:56 pm