? “New San Francisco supervisor fits profile to lead Sunset district,” Local News, Tuesday
Your fawning article on Katy Tang disappoints me. I am a resident of District 4 and have felt disenfranchised here for many years. The appointment of this young woman is sure to continue that situation for me. She’s a safe seat for Mayor Ed Lee and that’s why she was chosen. She may or may not do a good job, but her qualifications to do it were not paramount in the choice.
You state, without citing any authority or census figures, that the district is half Chinese-American. I have heard that it is less and they have a poor voter turnout record. Even if it were 50 percent, that still leaves half the population as non-Chinese-American.
There is something subtly racist about choosing a supervisor on the basis of ethnicity. It’s identity politics in its crudest form and debases the political process, leading to insider pay-to-play legislating, backroom deal-making, bossism and corruption, all of which are endemic in the Lee administration.
There is something more basic that needs to be said about a system whereby the mayor gets to name members of the board, giving them an unbeatable leg up when they must stand for a full term of office. It gives the executive branch far too much power over the makeup of the legislative branch and dilutes democracy.
This is in addition to the mayor’s extensive appointive powers to the various commissions that actually run the city day to day.
I’ve been asking for months for a City Charter amendment to fix this imbalance, not solely as it applies to Lee, but to any future mayor. My complaint has fallen on deaf ears. It seems nobody wishes to rock the boat or dares to champion such a proposal.
Barry S. Eisenberg
? “Revenue proposals for San Francisco transit projects don’t meet total needs,” Local News, Monday
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s transportation director, Ed Reiskin, noted this week that two ballot measures to increase funding for the agency would “only put a dent in The City’s long-term needs.”
Thus, $3.1 billion worth of capital projects would only get $790 million over 10 years.
Perhaps it’s time for Reiskin and The City to appreciate that there are costly downsides to the foolish decision to construct a nonviable Central Subway that will end in Chinatown and cost an estimated $1.6 billion.
As The City was warned at the time, the Central Subway project would absorb virtually all of San Francisco’s transportation capital budget for years to come and essential transportation projects would be sacrificed at the altar of this ill-conceived political project.
The agency had better understand that its proposed projects will have to jostle for increasingly limited federal and state dollars alongside the $2.5 billion Caltrain and high-speed rail tunnel, the $900 million expansion of BART stations and other transportation projects.
David H. Zisser
? “San Francisco nonprofit garage given lease renewal,” Local News, Tuesday
In your article, Supervisor London Breed said the group representing the Japan Center parking garage was “a check against injustice.”
What is this not-for-profit parking garage doing? Is it the secret identity of the Justice League of San Francisco?
If this is a sop to a constituency, fine. If it puts a local face on an invisible city service, fine. But unless it’s operating WAY outside its charter, how does it fight injustice?