FW: A Monster Mash to shock SF out of housing crisis

Hi All,

Good article on today's San Francisco Examiner by Joel Engardio regarding the housing crunch. I found it difficult to disagree with any of the arguments, except maybe whether there is or is not a "legal" way on the books that neighborhoods that do not want density can use -- is it OK to go against those neighborhoods' wishes. Joel uses the BARF NIMBY Monster for illustration.

What caught my eye on the article is that Sonja Trauss will have a series of panel discussions on the housing situation. How does that affect the LPSF's panel discussion on April 5th? Would it be good to see if we can include our discussion on his list?


Thanks, Marcy! I liked Joel Engardio's column too. Hopefully the logic will make it through the filters of some of these low-density westside homeowners.

  I'm proud to say I came up with the basic idea for the cartoon featured in Joel Engardio's column (original emails below). Although there hasn't yet been any further SFBARF list discussion of my further suggestion to expand the concept beyond cartoons...

Hi everyone -- I'm proud to play my part in bringing positive change to SF through my column. So glad you are all doing such fun, inspiring and important work!

Joel Engardio

Oh, I didn't realize you were on the SFBARF list Marcy. Of course I agree with you that requirements for projects to include "affordable" units are bad. Sonja gets this, and I think a number of others in the group do as well, though certainly not all.

  I also watched the video of the first SFBARF panel. The guy from Seattle (forget his name) seemed to me to make the best points; the other two, and the moderator, appeared more willing to countenance non-libertarian approaches.

  I'm going to do my best to keep the group from embracing such approaches, like bond measures which have also been mentioned on the list. One way I think we can do this is by advocating alternative approaches that would make housing even *more* affordable than what city officials call "affordable housing", such as eliminating zoning laws, building codes, restrictions on sub-dividing land parcels, and other governmental obstacles to tiny "Jim Reid" type homes being built and there being places to legally build them.

Love & Liberty,
                               ((( starchild )))

Hi Starchild,

Actually, no, I am not on the BARF list. I just go to different websites once in a while to see what is going on. That is how I found out about the BARF video.

Thanks for your efforts with BARF, as well as the other progressive-leaning groups you are in contact with. I would wager you are the only voice of libertarianism these folks were ever exposed to. Much appreciated.

I suppose you are correct that our strategy should be to offer alternatives to the public financing or redevelopment agency route. Short of overturning the Housing Trust and the Affordable Housing resolution, maybe convincing the public of the economic dangers associated with bonds and TIF might work if there is a chance the developers will finance the affordable housing mandates out of their own pocket.


Actually I'm happy to say that I'm not the only voice of libertarianism on the SFBARF list. Doug Radtke, the treasurer of the San Mateo county LP, also participates in conversation there, and I've seen libertarian sentiments from a number of other folks like the very articulate Seth Brooks, and Sonja herself. I suspect Sonja must appear as a kind of cypher to many of the folks she politically engages with -- someone with anarchist instincts, but who isn't terribly concerned with ideology and appears to be all practical, no-nonsense political "pragmatism" until the conversation takes a certain turn and her anarchist leanings manifest themselves. :slight_smile: Even among the non-libertarian majority though, I wouldn't necessarily describe SFBARF as progressive, except maybe in the original sense of being for progress.

Love & Liberty,
                                ((( starchild )))

Hi Starchild and Marcy. Very interesting how this housing crisis discussion is heating up--and it won't hurt our Tax Day symposium a bit. Glad to hear that there are some libertarian leanings in SFBARF. I have mixed feelings about Sonja's activism, but she certainly has chutzpah, and the fact that the leftist housing activists don't like SFBARF speaks volumes right there.
Also, as Alton mentioned in the January meeting when we were talking about housing, let's not forget to add getting rid of rent control as another avenue to help the housing crunch. Having government bureaucrats dictate the terms between landlords and tenants definitely deters some property owners from becoming landlords.