Activists organize, and some journalists chronicle, a progressive resurgence in SF

Milk and Moscone championed progressive causes.

While Mayor Ed Lee jets around the world, still too focused on fueling the economic fire that is gentrifying San Francisco and displacing its diverse population — and as the San Francisco Chronicle and other downtown boosters niggle on the margins of the city’s biggest issue — local activists and some media outlets are paying attention and pushing back.

The New York Times ran an excellent Sunday piece about the growing populist backlash here against Mayor Lee’s economic policies and his friends and benefactors in the tech industry, a story that the Santa Rosa Press Democrat also put on its front page, but which the Chronicle only briefly mentioned today on its business page in a short story wrapping all the high-end housing now coming online. Instead, on Sunday the Chron ran this pro-landlord garbage

Meanwhile, as we report in tomorrow’s edition of the Guardian, more than 20 local organizations have combined forces this year to organize and promote tomorrow's (Wed/27) annual memorial march marking the 1978 assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Sup. Harvey Milk in City Hall, which will this year focus on their legacy of advocating for renters and keeping this city affordable by and welcoming of the working class and outsiders of all types.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: this is a struggle for the very soul of San Francisco, and it’s a struggle that we at the Guardian renew our commitment to with every issue we print. See you all on the streets tomorrow night starting at 7pm in Milk Plaza and Castro and Market.    


His actual words were "nattering nabobs of negativity".

For all his sins, he had a deft way with words, and nobody is all bad, right?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 11:31 am

"Nattering nabobs of negativism" was not penned by Agnew, rather by Safire.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

But he did speak them and they are widely attributed to him.

History looks more kindly on Spiro these days.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

"We represent the people because we claim to represent the people"

Posted by Matlock on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 1:19 am

Steven, the progressive movement is led by people who meet during the day when the rest of us are at work to decide how they're going to make a concerted play for public dollars. The doors to the progressive tent were shuttered around 2006 when downtown began their campaign of cooptation in earnest.

This is what led to progressive stalwarts like Randy Shaw hitching his wagon to Jane Kim and Ed Lie's train, ditto for the CCDC. This is what led the SFBC to support luxury condo development and essentially become an adjunct of the MTA. And it is what led the Mission nonprofits to roll over and die for Eastern Neighborhoods even though Props B and C showed a latent support for a more equitable plan.

I wish that there was an energetic, positive progressive movement like there was in 2003 but there is not, and there will not be until the structural constraints are identified and removed. Those structural constraints will not remove themselves, they find that to be very disrespectful, racist, homophobic and sexist, not to mention classist and colonialist.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 6:02 am
Posted by Guest on Nov. 29, 2013 @ 11:10 am

Be realistic: Progressives don't move to San Francisco anymore - they can't afford to. You should shift the focus toward Oakland, where there is still hope.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

hippie losers from SF who can no longer keep up here.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

Let's make a policy no posting without a real name attached to it, as a percentage of posters on this site, have no life to speak of and hide behind guest or a nom de plume.
Calling a spade a spade they are pathetic cowards, on the other hand one should feel sorry for them.

Posted by David Sloane on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

David Sloane?

I am Spartacus!

Posted by David Sloane on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

"Calling a spade a spade." Spade is an offensive term for an African-American, which is just one facet of the gorgeous mosaic of diversity which makes up San Francisco. I don't appreciate the insult. I hope the SFBG deletes this comment immediately.

Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

her goblin boots and gone back to the goblin bath house for some goblin-on-goblin R&R.

Ain't nothing like gobbling on a goblin to get dem goblin juices flowing, feel me?

Posted by anon on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 4:47 pm
Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

Not that progressives actually want diversity. They want more effete white liberals just like themselves.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 4:44 pm
Posted by Matlock on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:02 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

Oakland still needs economic development while San Francisco has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state and hyper gentrification, so there's no reason why Lee is still aggressive courting more new business and refusing to revisit his corporate welfare policies. He's done well by Wall Street, it's time for him to tend to Market Street and the interests of the people who actually live there, not just those who seek real estate opportunities. 

Posted by steven on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 10:57 am

easily against the predictably dreary anti-jobs candidate, Avalos. Lee continues to be very popular precisely because he has brought prosperity back to the city, and a few disgruntled envy hounds like you do not change that.

Quan only won by a freak election anomaly and will be soundly defeated next year. Standing on a pro-criminal, pro-gang, anti-police platform only gets you so far.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 11:35 am

Just like the Democrats tend to win because the Republicans are so offensive, not because Democrats have discernibly different policies in so many areas, the only reason why Lee won is because progressives were unable to build a winning coalition.

There does not seem to be much learning going on, there really does not have to be when people get paid irrespective of political success. So I'm not optimistic that they will be able to execute moving forward, especially when fewer and fewer San Franciscans are responsive to the traditional progressive political appeals based on victimhood and identity.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 11:58 am

what all politicians have to do in order to obtain and maintain power - move to the center. Why? Because there aren't enough progressives in SF to get a victory on their own.

Just like Dems and the GOP fight for those swing voters in the center, progressives have to convince a critical mass of moderates to gain power.

So it wasn't just Avalos that failed. So did Ammiano, Gonzales and every other left-winger who wanted to be mayor. They fail because they are not moderate enough to appeal to the center.

The 60/40 split that Lee beat Avalos by shows the gap to be closed. Hee moves to the left to get elected, but Avalos never moved an inch. The other fatal Avalos error was that he had no emphasis on creating jobs.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

Instead of moving to the center, there is plenty of progressive political terrain that overlaps with the center but which is undeniably progressive and not conservative.

For professional progressives, anything that deviates from the straight line between here and their goals is decried as "moving to the center."

But if the housing and displacement agendas are wedged due to immutable external forces, then the obvious solution is to look to other issues where the progressive position intersects with a majority and clashes with corporate imperative.

This will not happen any time soon, as the short sighted prejudices dominate the professional progressive mindset.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

Unless you phrase the question in very vague terms like "do you think housing should be more affordable?"

The moderate center wants what Ed Lee is selling - jobs, growth and development.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

The supermajority fed Ed Lie two quite vibrant shit sandwiches on the waterfront.

The way to win room 200 is to appeal to a majority. That means appealing on public-facing city services, the biggies, Rec/Park, MUNI and DPW, the most corrupt as well as general corruption in the Planning Department.

The only people this does not appeal to are the poverty nonprofits. But these issues appeal to most everyone for whom the poverty nonprofits are a priority. And those to whom the public-facing anti-corruption agenda appeals are as likely as not to support a robust social services public sector as well as an anti-gentrification/displacement agenda.

The public-facing city services anti corruption agenda is the winner.

Didn't St. Francis say "Is it in giving that we receive?"

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

Lee was pro-jobs and Avalos was anti-jobs.

People like jobs.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

conceptions by the voters.

When you try and ban JROTC, have meaningless votes on the war in Iraq or Grammy awards... advocate for higher taxes and fees... subservient to SEIU and other unions and non-profits....

People remember these things when voting comes around, Lee was a non entity, while Avalos was hung with Daly and all the progressive idiocy.

Progressives take positions that are a "fuck you" to a lot of people, and they complain that the average person doesn't know what is best for them.

Progressives disdain the average schmuck and then treat the average schmuck like they are stupid.

Can't imagine why they lose in droves.

Not a recipe for success.

Posted by Matlock on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 7:20 pm

Yep, the people who led us off of the cliff will not be the ones to lead us back from the political exile.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

Progressives openly disdain people who don't agree. They have done their best to lead the city into a fiscal abyss and then claim to know how to solve out monetary problems, just give them more money.


If you are not a born again Christian why would you vote with them when they are insisting that you are going to hell by not agreeing with the mixture of religion and politics.

Progressives insist that you are too stupid to "get it" when you don't agree with them. Trying to wish much of reality away while calling your enemies dupes for capitalism, a recipe for winning the world.

They are like the people they shout about.

Posted by Matlock on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

So Comical. Hilarious.

"People remember these things when voting comes around..."

So comical. That's hilarious. In our short-attention span society, most people can't remember what happened 2 weeks ago (and that's pushing it) let alone years ago so you're just blowing smug and sanctimonious drivel out your right-wing ass as usual while stroking your raging hard-on for "progressives" and engaging in your SM fantasies of bootlicker.

Hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 1:21 am

Everyone that doesn't agree with you is stupid and has a short attention span.

Can't imagine why progressive don't have a line of people joining up with you folks so they can be part of the self appointed smart set.

Keep up the good work.

It's funny though, the left have this love of root causes, and yet can't imagine why prop 13 is so loved. The general population is stupid and can't remember something from two weeks ago, they are also stupid because they like prop 13 which came about decades ago.

Thanks for living the everyone but us is stupid cliche guest.

Posted by Matlock on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 9:45 am

(like 8-Washington). Such things are pawn gambits in the big game, which the elft always loses.

While the left smugly gloats over a delay in 8-Wash, 99 other brand new condo towers are being built, all to be filled with moderates and conservatives.

And they didn't even notice.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 10:08 am

I'm a SF native, multiracial, non-tech, a corporate climber, middle class anywhere else in the country but living paycheck to paycheck here and trying to save as best I can. Just trying to understand what is happening to this rapidly changing city.

"Progessives" are not all one thing. I know a lot of long term SF residents of all flavors: small business owners, laid off professionals, people who are working their asses off walking dogs, cleaning houses, just to pay their expenses and maybe enjoy a bit of the good life here. The anti-progressive voices here are not all the same thing and I'm trying not attacking them as one group. The point of this article, in my opinion, is that we are sick of being threatened with eviction out of our crappy apartments due to a thousand factors all spelled out before. Some of them seem impossible to overcome, some I just don't have any experience with.

I don't hate all landlords. Ours is fine.

Those of you posting under trollnames, I enjoy your cowardly barking. Support evicting the huge swaths of low income population who pour your drinks, take care of your kids, and make this city run. "Effete" is the last way you will describe the passion, motivation and organization you'll see in defending the only small apartment I can afford.

Posted by Alex Orzulak on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

What does the city get in return for you having a discounted home?

Why can't you commute to work from Oakland - as little as 10 minutes away?

Why don't you choose to live somewhere more in keeping with your fiscal power?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

Guest, explain to me why you expect for people to willingly suffer stressful displacement so as to appease the imaginary deities of your market fantasy?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

in SF, and yet he gave no reason why he cannot live just a few miles away where he would no longer live in fear of a house call from Mister Ellis.

And if he moves now, voluntarily, and at his own pace, there would be no stress because he is moving just a few minutes away.

The entire argument for affordable housing in SF falls flat if people realize that there is a cluster of more affordable options just a few miles away.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

Moving is stressful if you don't want to move. Not everyone is going to roll over and surrender like you all want them to. Apparently, not everyone has internalized the victim status that you expect them to have when confronted by someone wealthier than they. Sometimes, people fight back.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

I cannot afford Aspen and Alex cannot afford San Francisco.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

I was gonna say...ASPEN!

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

use it no more. But you have been trying for months without any success, so why change a winning play?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

How bout that Aspen light rail system?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 3:24 am

Cars and buses use them.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 6:11 am

sounds like alex is already suffering from stress. paycheck to paycheck? what happens when he's older? does he intend to raise a family? or care for his parents? and all he has to show his struggle is a 'crappy apartment'. sounds really bad.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

unrealistic expectations - something common to many people in SF.

I feel sure he would be happier in a more affordable location.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

Cause he's a native, Guest. This is his hometown.

Too bad your birthplace was such a shithole that you refuse to even acknowledge the existence of such a concept as 'hometown'.

I swear, your coldheart is rivaled only by your obtusity.

This is just about the last time I'm gonna waste on you, Guest.

Wrestle a pig, or, in this case, a Guest, you both get dirty, and the pig (Guest) likes it.

Posted by pete moss on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

We're just quibbling about which part of the Bay Area is fiscally appropriate for him.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 6:09 am

So now you get to assign where people may or may not live?

And it better not be in your neighborhood if they are not people whose life meets your criteria?

Talk about NIMBY.

Posted by freaky deaky on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 10:55 am

I just advise them on where they can afford to live. The final choice is always there and if he wants to spend 705 of his income on a flat share, that's up to him.

Clearly he is not happy though, so I try and help.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

Don't try to evade it. You're just another NIMBY snob.

Posted by freaky deaky on Nov. 29, 2013 @ 7:30 am

when discussing SF housing policy, I think that people naturally fall into one of three groups:

1) Critical workers that SF needs, e.g. cops, firemen, doctors, knowledge workers and entrepreneurs. Housing policy should most favor them, even though of course some may choose to live outside of SF anyway

2) People like Alex who were born and raised here, and whose family remains substantially here. Housing policy should not deter them from being able to stay.

3) Those who came here or come here solely because they think it is hip and cool to be here, or feel a sense of entitlement to be here, or cannot be bothered to make the effort to fit in wherefrom they came.

It is group 3 who seem to make the most noise about wanting subsidized homes, and yet they are of the least value to the city. Housing policy should not encourage these people to come or stay here, but rather encourage them to live in neighboring counties. Or just go home to whence they came.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 29, 2013 @ 11:15 am

Why don't you fuck off! No one needs to explain anything to you idiot. I am sick of reading your flippant nonstop maniacal theme known as: "Move to Oakland." How many times now have you spammed that "Move to Oakland" shit on this site? Set it to music, idiot. Or make it a novel, not that anybody would read it. No one needs any goddamned suggestion from you about where they should or can move. Most people will figure that out for themselves, busy-body. You're like a nagging child.

And why don't you move to: ANOTHER WEBSITE. You are beyond a "broken record" on this one.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

your claim that a city a few miles and minutes away is somehow not an option.

If you can't afford SF, use some imagination and get off your ass instead of expecting others to subsidize you.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 6:11 am

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