I just read your article about San Francisco’s “Community Benefit” districts (They Shift Tons of Trash From SF Streets. You Don't Know Them). The headline is probably correct – most people haven’t heard of these groups, which have largely been flying under the radar. Unfortunately, the article kind of lets them and their city government “partners” off the hook by not asking the tough questions or including the perspectives of any critics beyond the one CBD employee who thinks they’re being relied on too heavily.
One of those questions is, how do you get rid of these districts once they are established? The article talks about the process to get such a district put in place, but not how, when, or if, they can ever be removed. Are they supposed to just become a vehicle to raise taxes on residents – many of whom never consented to their formation – in perpetuity? Another issue is the possibility of whether the Department of Public Works or other agencies are taking the opportunity to scale back their own services. Yet another is whether “benefit district” personnel are engaged in harassing the homeless via methods such as unnecessarily hosing down entire sidewalks early in the morning, something I’ve personally witnessed in the Castro.
I hope you will do a follow-up piece and talk to some of the folks who voted against establishing these districts, as well as folks who are trying to reduce the burden of government that is slowly strangling San Francisco. I would be more than happy to be interviewed for such a story, and refer you to others who could address the darker side of so-called CBDs. Please feel free to give me a call any time at the number below.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
Chair, Libertarian Party of San Francisco