[sfbarentersfed] Announcing the "Friends of SFHAC" Membership

Hi Robert,

  Thank you for posting here, and glad to hear that SF Housing Action Coalition advocates for building more market-rate housing in San Francisco. Personally I know little about your organization, and when you refer to giving people "a targeted way to participate in the housing crisis," I'm not too clear on what this means in practice. How is SFHAC governed? Is it a top-down organization, or do members have a voice in setting policy? Are SFHAC's budget and staff salaries public, and do members have a say in how funds are allocated?

  When Sonja Trauss came and spoke at the Libertarian Party of San Francisco meeting on Saturday (thank you Sonja!), I raised a question about the amount of government fees that developers of new housing in San Francisco are required to pay. None of us knew the answer. An Oct. 6 article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal -- http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2014/10/06/san-jose-proposes-17-per-foot-developer-impact-fee.html?page=all -- reported that such fees in the Bay Area range from $10 per square foot in Mountain View to $20,000 per unit in Berkeley. Does your group have information on what the numbers are for San Francisco?

  The position of both SFBARF, as I understand it, and the Libertarian Party, is that imposing fees and taxes on new housing is NOT the way to make housing more affordable -- in fact this makes housing more expensive. Even if politicians claim the fee money is to be spent on "affordable housing". That's just crazy. It's like tying weights to the ankles of runners as a way to make them run faster on a downhill course. What is SFHAC's position on developer fees, if the group has one? If its position is different from that of SFBARF and the LPSF, is the group open to revising it?

  Hope you don't mind me asking you these tough questions, and that you and other members of SFHAC will continue to participate in an open dialogue here in trying to come up with some common aims that seek to empower residents and limit or even reverse the harmful impacts that government regulations have had on our housing situation.

Love & Liberty,
                                ((( starchild )))
Outreach Director, Libertarian Party of San Francisco

This is very interesting. I am not at all concerned how their organization is structured, but what their organization's objectives are. According to their website, it is the usual housing for all along transit corridors. They are an offshoot of the Greenbelt Alliance. http://www.sfhac.org/policy-advocacy/ . However, these days objectives are so hidden, it is hard to say who is for what.

Thank you, Starchild, for your getting involved with them. We have a heck of a mess in the housing situation. On one hand we have Plan Bay Area inciting all sorts of "non-profits" to sell the central planning idea of housing for all where the planners tell you it should be. On the other hand we have the old time residents saying why does my hard earned money have to go to those who cannot afford to pay their own way housing-wise. And in the middle are progressive politicians depending on the encumbered to get reelected, but depending on the moneyed class to pay the bills. And overall, a city transforming from the sophisticated little productive town of the 50's to a crowded, mostly government owned, metropolis, where residents will probably have to shower once a week unless the planets line up correctly and there is lots of rain.

All the approaches to "solving" the housing uber mess will require a zillion LPSF Tax Day Symposiums to sort out. I hope these folks come to hour Tax Day event to get their ideas in the mix. Will they?



  Just to be clear, SFHAC is not SFBARF. As far as I know, the groups have no formal connection. Reading between the lines, this is my educated guess as to what's happening:

  Seeing the rapid progress and activist energy of SFBARF, the more venerable and establishment-oriented SFHAC decided it better do some outreach of its own as far as involving ordinary residents, or risk being eclipsed by the newer group. Thus one of its staffers coming to the SFBARF list and posting about the initiative in hopes of recruiting some of those attracted to SFBARF to its own organization. The aim of my message was to use this window to get some dialogue going about SFHAC's own agenda, as well as to subtly point out that SFHAC is (probably) not as truly grassroots and member-empowering as SFBARF.

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))

Hi Starchild,

Correct, two different sets of folks, as noted in the link I provided. Yes, I got your message -- not as grassroots. I was trying to indicate what my message was -- what's the objective, regardless of structure.

BTW, I am going to the Balboa Reservoir obligatory public input meeting on January 21, 6 - 8 pm, Lick Wilmerding Cafeteria, 755 Ocean Ave. This is a Planning Department, PUC and Work Development Department show. The history of this Balboa Reservoir is fascinating, and the future of the poor thing is in the hands of whoever brings out the most ammunition. I would say that at this point, the PUC who has been trying to hang on to this spot but can't figure how to put water in it seem to have given up. http://www.sunnysideassociation.org/

Actually making a physical appearance at this planning meeting on January 21 is one way LPSF can show we are serious about getting involved in the housing mess.


When Marshall McLuhan said "the medium is the message," I think he was onto something.

  While not every grassroots, activist group is pro-freedom, and not every top-down group where power is wielded exclusively by a small number of insiders is statist, I do think there is a correlation that goes beyond coincidence.

  Good to hear you're going to the hearing on the 21st. I agree that warm bodies showing up is important -- like groups of empowered activists, this is also a manifestation of the kind of decentralized people power which I believe is more likely than power-hoarding structures to be conducive to a freedom agenda. I'll try to make it myself.

  Also the SFBARF happy hour discussion tomorrow from 4-7pm at Pan Asian Cuisine, 191 Pine Street.

Love & Liberty,
                               ((( starchild )))