David Chiu helps Leland Yee


It's nice, sometimes, to be in Sacramento. You can run for local office without having to vote on local issues. Witness State Sen. Leland Yee, who didn't have to take a formal position on the Park Merced project -- and now can bask in the wonder of seeing David Chiu hand him thousands of tenant votes.

Here's the deal: Chiu and Yee are both fighting for progressive voters in the mayor's race. Most progressive groups will endorse John Avalos, but Yee and Chiu want those second-place votes, badly. Yee's already got his West-side base, and getting a number two nod from, say, the Milk Club or SEIU 1021 won't hurt him a bit with those voters. But he's not strong with Chinatown leaders (Rose Pak despises him) and he's in a race with three (so far) Asian candidates. He's also contending with a bunch of other center-moderate types (Dennis Herrera, Bevan Dufty) in a very crowded race.

His strategy -- and it's smart -- is to court the left, get those second- and third-place nods on the East side of town and emerge from the pack when all the votes are counted. Problem is, that's Chiu's natural constituency (or should be) -- he talks about "our shared progressive values," was elected as a progressive and, frankly, can't win this race just by sticking to the center. It's just too crowded there with too many people who have won citywide races.

And Chiu just gave up a huge chunk of the city's left by alienating every tenant group in town.

As Dean Preston of Tenants Together put it in BeyondChron (which is generally quite friendly to Chiu):

 Chiu reached a backroom deal with the developer and provided the crucial sixth vote to approve the largest demolition of rent-controlled housing in San Francisco since the redevelopment of the Fillmore. Despite a good record on tenant rights issues before his work on Parkmerced, Chiu has now earned the distrust of tenants across the city.

The tenants aren't always a solid bloc. Mitchell Omerberg of the Affordable Housing Alliance and Ted Gullicksen at the Tenants Union don't always agree on candidates or issues. But there was no division or dissent on this one. Omerberg, who has been known to slide to the center, was adamant that Chiu's vote -- the swing vote to move the project forward -- was "deeply disappointing." He told us: "In general it's an unwise, immoral plan to demolish a neighborhood. When you demolish people's homes, you always regret it later."

So now Yee can go to progressives and say -- as he did at the Democratic County Central Committee -- that he has all kinds of concerns about Park Merced and make it sound as if he opposes it, and use that leverage to peel some endorsements and votes away from Chiu. It's ironic: When he was on the Board of Supervisors, Yee was hardly known as a pro-tenant vote. His record on tenant issues, while ancient history in political terms, was going to haunt him with some progressives (and still may). But now he's gotten a boost -- if only because he and Chiu are the ones most agressively working to get endorsements from progressive groups, and Chiu just shot himself in both feet.



Fuck David Chiu.

Posted by lola on May. 26, 2011 @ 2:08 pm


Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2011 @ 2:43 pm


Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

+however many tenants live at Parkmerced

Posted by lola on May. 26, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

Over 9,000 residents.

Posted by proggy boy on May. 26, 2011 @ 5:34 pm


Posted by Guest on May. 27, 2011 @ 7:20 am

You'll be glad for the 3000 rent-controlled housing units at Park Merced.

Posted by wtf? on May. 26, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

I'll be glad for a magical pony, too.

Posted by Left of the Left on May. 27, 2011 @ 8:26 am

These comments are clearly overlooking the benefits of the development project. San Francisco is plagued by a shortage of housing for San Franciscans. This project will create over 5,000 new residences, which is a major step in the right direction in addressing the lack of housing that drives the overall cost of living up. David Chiu is progressively looking toward the long term big picture, which is the purpose of public representatives.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2011 @ 8:46 am

The problem is not a lack of housing.
The problem is a lack of affordable housing.

When you subtract from the available pool of rent controlled units, you make the problem worse.

David Chiu has sold out to big developers. It's not rocket science. If you're concerned about the plight of the condos, don't call yourself progressive.

Posted by Tenant's Rights on May. 29, 2011 @ 8:16 am

This is revealed true by the reality that there are currently 30,000 units being held vacant.

In a city where there are already so many thousands of vacant homes, it is clearly not a lack of units that is the problem.

Posted by Eric Brooks on May. 29, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

And David Chiu will act incredulous at the fact that anyone is upset with him over this vote, presenting a major symptom of a sociopath.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

I hope more tenants don't see their rent control revoked.

It would be a shame to see all those people evicted for no crime other than not being rich.

Posted by orlando chavez, jr. on May. 26, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

Someone should evict David Chiu from the Board of Supervisors for that vote.

Posted by Roscoe Liscombe on May. 26, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

Isn't it obvious by now that he's a complete sellout? No self-respecting progressive can support his campaign after this. If he wants money and volunteers, he should go talk to BOMA and Rose Pak.

As for Yee, I know that he still gets a lot of flak from progressives. But in the last decade or so, he's been absolutely solid on the issues.

It's bizarre, really. After a few missteps in the distant past, Leland Yee has been meticulously assembling a coalition that includes progressives. He's come a long way educating himself on the issues, and he's been a solid vote in Sacramento and the DCCC, yet some progressives will never forgive him for something he did years ago. I thought that being able to listen and change your mind was a good thing?

Meanwhile, David Chiu has done nothing but shit on his progressive base since the day he was elected, and he gets all sorts of passes. WTF???

The choice is clear for IRV -John Avalos and Leland Yee.

Posted by Greg on May. 26, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

avalos / yee

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

... if for no other reason than self-interest on Yee's part.

If it's not going to be himself, Yee would genuinely rather John Avalos get elected mayor.

The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend.

They both hate the Willie Brown-Steve Kawa-Gavin Newsom power nexus that's controlled City Hall for the past 20 years.

Besides, Yee's a west-side NIMBY and is as suspicious of big developers as Avalos is.

Posted by gerald's golden apple on May. 26, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

Seriously, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, you seriously believe that? That been America's strategy for years and all it has brought is is pain.

Although Leland Yee appears to have moved to the left recently, that's only because he understands the differences between working at the state and local level. If Leland Yee were to become mayor, you would get the same Leland Yee who was a district supervisor, not a John Avalos. This is ironic, because Leland Yee would be considerably more conservative than David Chiu as mayor.

Posted by Guest on May. 27, 2011 @ 12:12 am

No. Representing the entire city is totally different politically than representing the relatively conservative District 4.

And I don't remember Leland Yee ever screwing over entire neighborhoods to serve the interests of Wall Street developers.

Chiu is taking part in some very nasty, corrupt games, and he's going to be brought down because of it; because the rest of us actually give a damn about our city.

Posted by Eric Brooks on May. 27, 2011 @ 1:39 am

True, it is different, but it doesn't change the fact that San Francisco has consistently voted for moderate mayors. San Francisco is not as fringe left as you like to believe it is. As mayor, Leland Yee would still have to represent the interests of all San Franciscans, and not just the John Avalos supporters who give him their 2nd or 3rd choice.

Also, do you seriously think that you are the only ones who care about the city? This sort of demonization of people who disagree with you is exactly what is making David Chiu a viable candidate for mayor.

Posted by Guest on May. 27, 2011 @ 1:58 am

Yee has not been a centrist for quite some time. He has shifted to far more progressive politics to prime himself for eventual runs for higher office.

Chiu on the other hand would perpetuate the outright corrupt, pro developer, Willie Brown controlled mayor's office that we have suffered under for decades.

Who the hell, who knows better, would want that?

Posted by Eric Brooks on May. 27, 2011 @ 2:16 am

Yee was at Avalos' kickoff wearing an Avalos sticker.

Posted by librul on May. 26, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

Leland Yee would put on makeup and a dress if it meant getting 2nd choice votes.

Posted by Guest on May. 27, 2011 @ 12:24 am

I have no problem with men in drag.

I've seen Yee at Pride, but if he's headlining Trannyshack that changes my 1st place vote.

Posted by Left of the Left on May. 27, 2011 @ 8:29 am

Chiu has wisely chosen a winning path with moderates. He now has a legitimate claim to the Mayor's office.

Left-wing progressives are doctrinaire sectarians with a bunker mentality. They annoy undecided middle voters and lose city-wide races.

Posted by Raven Sathru on May. 26, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

Yes, but David Chiu is still a progressive. He has has a very progressive record. David is a friend of the environment but does not feel trapped by the labels of the past. He thinks of the future, always.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

Completely false. In a move very similar to the cynical maneuvering Chiu just engaged in on the Parkmerced sell-out, Chiu betrayed the Bayview Hunters Point community by advancing similar last minute amendments to the Hunters Point Phase 2 development which gave that toxic gentrifying project a fig leaf of cover with which to pass it at the Board, when in fact it drastically endangers the entire community with toxic and radioactive exposures. Just as with Parkmerced, Chiu's amendments were toothless, and he knew this full well.

So Chiu has been engaging in what has now become a pattern and practice of using nonsense last minute amendments as ass-covering measures for destructive megadevelopers so they can squeeze incredibly bad and anti-environmental cash cow development projects through, with enough votes to pass at the Board of Supervisors (when they wouldn't have done so otherwise).

David Chiu has become a complete sell-out to the Wall Street finance and real estate corporations Fortress and Lennar.

I wonder which megadeveloper will get Chiu's Benedict-Arnold-style help next...

Posted by Eric Brooks on May. 26, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

He'll sell you out too when the time comes. David Chiu cares only about David Chiu.

Posted by Greg on May. 26, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

I can' t understand progressives who don't view Leland Yee as a progressive. He has a 100% rating from Equality California as one of the co-authors of Mark Leno's same sex marriage bill that the Govenator vetoed. Planned Parenthood and CARAL gave Leland 100% rating for his votes for choice. That's amazing in a District in San Francisco that boasts SF's only Mormon ward which campaigned heavily for Proposition 8 in 08.
The Sierra Club, the California Nurses Association, AFSME and the building trades have all endorsed Leland as their number one choice in November bringing in some solid labor support early on. The nurses especially had no problem with Leland and his solid votes in Sacramento including single-payer health care. He has pledged to expand HSF locally to boot. Last year, when Proposition B was passing according to internal polls, with most pundits heralding its passage, Leland jumped in to help with his time, especially in Chinatown, to make sure our voices were heard on the local radio so important to the Chinese community, against this measure.

Leland had experience locally on the BOE and as a city supervisor and has matured into a seasoned public servant, our state's first Chinese State Senator, into a progressive voice in Sacramento on the budget and social issues. He understands the system locally and in Sacramento. Given our economic hard times I think Leland has the capacity to understand every day working families and use the system to help us in a fair and balanced way.

John Avalos is a solid progressive too. For me, its Yee/Avalos. Too bad we can't elect them both. That would really shake up a system that needs some change,
As to David Chiu, not sure what to make of his votes especially the Park Merced Deal. What will happen to all those folks especially the elderly who have lived there for years. This is just sad.

Posted by Guest lucretimott on May. 26, 2011 @ 3:36 pm




Posted by JOIN PARKMERCED ACTION COALITION on May. 26, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

I'm with you. Sorry it took this long.

Is there a website or a phone number I can call?

Posted by lola on May. 26, 2011 @ 4:44 pm
Posted by Guest Susan on May. 27, 2011 @ 10:49 am

is 20 years. They are the same guy; venal, transactional and without any definable political center. The wind changes, they change. The money changes, they change. You cant trust either of them to do tomorrow what they say they will do today.

The fact that anyone who calls themselves progressive would consider either of these guys as a viable #2 pick is just sad.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

The political winds are blowing in the same direction for both of these guys. Yet David Chiu chooses to cozy up to big developers and Yee doesn't.

Posted by Greg on May. 26, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

Try again, buddy.

He's still got his quirky side, but Yee's been steadily trending hard left for almost a decade now.

Chiu's been in office about 7 minutes and already we've got a moderate mayor, a twitter-tax giveaway, and now a loss of rent controlled homes for literally hundreds of tenants.

I'm an old fogey and I know where the bodies are buried. It's true, 20 years ago Yee sounded like Carmen Chu. But he got up to the statehouse, looked around the room and saw what real conservatives look like.

Can you imagine Carmen Chu writing a Clean Syringe bill into law? Can you even imagine Fiona Ma doing that?

Sacramento changed Yee. Plain and simple.

Chiu's an slimy shitweasel who doesn't give a damn.

Posted by gerald's golden apple on May. 26, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

Speaking of slimy shitweasels, Steve Kawa, if Leland Wins, is toast as would be true for Avalos as well.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

...saying that Leland Yee is "hard left." He's practical, but he's built a coalition that includes progressives, and doesn't include the cronies that have been running city hall for the past generation.

Posted by Greg on May. 26, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

Chiu is the worst sort of political hack and opportunist.
He has proven this repeatedly.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

This is a smear against an honorable public servant.

David wants to create affordable housing. David has spearheaded efforts to:

◦ Facilitate the creation of housing cooperatives.
◦ Allow affordable home ownership by low-income residents.
◦ Incentivize the construction of senior housing.
◦ Create permanently affordable rental housing for homeless veterans.
◦ Ease requirements to purchase below-market-rate units.

Posted by Chiu for Mayor on May. 26, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

The Chiu campaign check itself should before posting lies on the internet. Parkmerced WAS permanently affordable rental housing. And now (once again) big development corporations with no ties to the community are swooping in and making money off the backs of low-income renters.

Shame on all of you.

Posted by Beatrisa Deleon on May. 26, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

David Chiu is doing a fine job of smearing himself.

We're simply speaking truth to power so that others know about his deep betrayals of San Francisco.

Posted by Eric Brooks on May. 26, 2011 @ 6:56 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

Enough of the resume-speak passive voice constructions. Show me where David Chiu put our money where his mouth is and raised the ante on affordable housing creation. It looks to me like Chiu destroyed more affordable housing than he's created.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

By passing the parkmerced project, the vote was 6-5 there was enough to vote the project back and do PROPER and ADEQUATE re-review, changing the design and forcing the developer to maintain a project of reasonable scale, including infill, and direct transit linkage.

Instead chiu sold out the renter's, the city, and the environment in one package.

NOBODY should vote for Chiu now, he has 2 weeks to change his mind.

But at this point his mayoral campaign should be on a dead end track like the one the M-line is making into Parkmerced.....what a waste....

Posted by goodmaab50 on May. 26, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

Such a scumbag.

Posted by Guest on May. 27, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

Chiu brought backlash upon himself. If he thought San Francisco tenants were more important than developer cronies, he would've voted that way. Clearly, he didn't. He's going to lose the mayor's race, and then we need to find someone progressive to run against him in 2012.

He thinks he's so clever with his skillful machiavellian maneuverings and empty slogans about "getting things done" and transcending labels. But he's going to learn an important lesson -when you dump on the base that worked so hard to elect you, it's just going to come back to bite him in the ass. And Willie and Rose won't be able to save him either. After you're branded as a self-promoting traitor, neither side is going to trust you.

Posted by Greg on May. 26, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

The political graveyards of California are piled high with the corpses of up and coming smart politicians who thought they could get the better of Willie Brown.

Posted by Guest on May. 27, 2011 @ 9:52 am

Brown is clinging to his former glory by his finger nails, and has just barely and sloppily pulled off what will likely be a very temporary City Hall fox-in-the-barnyard coup.

The next corpse on that pile will be the Willie Brown machine itself having committed blundering suicide via gloating over-reach.

Posted by Eric Brooks on May. 28, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

I guess while everyone else is saying it, I will join in too...

I have always mistrusted Chiu. He is such a slimy little turd.

Weird to say, but I think that besides Avalos and Yee, even herrera or dufty would be be better mayors.

Posted by AnotherGuest on May. 26, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

I'm tired of the progressive / conservative labelling in this city. Nobody has proof that Parkmerced will lose its rent control protections. Chiu and the Mayor's Office worked on many amendments to provide protection.

Yes people will always be upset when their homes are lost for the sake of a development project. But David Chiu is looking at the future of San Francisco: overcrowded, high-rent, unsustainable. That's progressive thinking. 30 years from now we'll be glad it happened.

Posted by wtf? on May. 26, 2011 @ 11:00 pm