San Francisco’s rightward turn: Why it may no longer be America’s iconic liberal city

  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Feb 17, 2014 7:37 PM GMT
    San Francisco’s rightward turn: Why it may no longer be America’s iconic liberal city


    http://www.salon.com/2014/02/16/san_franciscos_rightward_turn_why_it_may_no_longer_be_americas_iconic_liberal_city/
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Feb 19, 2014 7:02 PM GMT
    The report of the death of liberalism in San Francisco is greatly exaggerated. The city remains governed by a clique of very radical supervisors. (Aided by a spineless mayor who takes a stand on almost nothing, because taking a stand on almost any issue is bound to offend some faction in the city.) Despite that the average home price is probably over $1 million, over half the voters in the city are renters, protected by rent control, and they always vote for the radical supervisorial candidates. Even the overly well paid young techies who are renters, tend to vote for the radicals. Like in the rest of the world, people often do not vote according to their economic best interests. The city government is run by a machine (Quelle surprise!) which is self-perpetuating. The Democratic Party Central Committee endorses candidates, is controlled by the radicals, and the vast majority of voters vote for whomever the Central Committee endorses for local office. Thus even if the populace becomes slightly less liberal, the government will continue to keep its radical policies.
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    Feb 21, 2014 8:06 PM GMT
    Suetonius saidThe report of the death of liberalism in San Francisco is greatly exaggerated. The city remains governed by a clique of very radical supervisors. (Aided by a spineless mayor who takes a stand on almost nothing, because taking a stand on almost any issue is bound to offend some faction in the city.) Despite that the average home price is probably over $1 million, over half the voters in the city are renters, protected by rent control, and they always vote for the radical supervisorial candidates. Even the overly well paid young techies who are renters, tend to vote for the radicals. Like in the rest of the world, people often do not vote according to their economic best interests. The city government is run by a machine (Quelle surprise!) which is self-perpetuating. The Democratic Party Central Committee endorses candidates, is controlled by the radicals, and the vast majority of voters vote for whomever the Central Committee endorses for local office. Thus even if the populace becomes slightly less liberal, the government will continue to keep its radical policies.


    Im not so sure this true. Yes the city may be more than half renter but the most pro renter legislation candidate John Avalos did not win a majority vote for mayor of San Francisco. Additionnally the tech industry boom reportedly similar to the dot.comers helps bring the influx of luxury condo conversions. Ellis act evictions LPN gentrification and SF anti displacement coalition are all indictive of changes. A walk on Valencia and parts of Mission street are clear visual signs of gentrification let alone the already mentioned lower polk neighborhood and market street developments. A developing trend was for non desirables to be displaced to Oakland and bart into SF to work due to soaring rents. Needless to say my studio apartment went from 850 to 1350 within a year time span.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14372

    Feb 22, 2014 4:31 PM GMT
    Probably it is time for a different political party to rule the City and County of San Francisco. Having one political party monopoly rule for a long period of time is definitely not healthy for any city, suburb, or county. Just look at older, eastern cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo those cities have been under monopoly rule of the democratic party and where did it get them, severe population decline, financial problems, and rampant urban decay. San Francisco needs to have competing and different ideas for local governance not just more of the shopworn nonsense of the current ruling party in city hall.
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    Feb 22, 2014 4:41 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidProbably it is time for a different political party to rule the City and County of San Francisco. Having one political party monopoly rule for a long period of time is definitely not healthy for any city, suburb, or county. Just look at older, eastern cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo those cities have been under monopoly rule of the democratic party and where did it get them, severe population decline, financial problems, and rampant urban decay. San Francisco needs to have competing and different ideas for local governance not just more of the shopworn nonsense of the current ruling party in city hall.


    I'll take the lefies for just a while longer if we can have another shot at The Summer of Love, circa 1967. I was a little too young then and sure would like to have another shot at it.

    And bring Janice and Jim back for the weekend too!
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    Feb 22, 2014 4:45 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidProbably it is time for a different political party to rule the City and County of San Francisco. Having one political party monopoly rule for a long period of time is definitely not healthy for any city, suburb, or county. Just look at older, eastern cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo those cities have been under monopoly rule of the democratic party and where did it get them, severe population decline, financial problems, and rampant urban decay. San Francisco needs to have competing and different ideas for local governance not just more of the shopworn nonsense of the current ruling party in city hall.

    In general some competition between parties is a good thing. But when the population is heavily skewed towards one end of the political spectrum, how is that going to happen? And yes, San Francisco and other cities are heavily liberal, but how do you make Kansas and Nebraska and Oklahoma less conservative? And those are one-party states as well.

    The real problem here---and it is a problem---is that people have been literally sorting themselves out geographically for decades. Sort of the way an ethnic enclave of immigrants becomes large (like Detroit's Arabs)---the fact that there is a cluster of like-minded people draws others to come and live near them. So conservatives have been leaving blue areas for decades now, and liberals have moved to progressive areas, and this is the result.

    The United States are starting to look more like the Balkans. And it's going to get worse.
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    Feb 22, 2014 4:48 PM GMT
    Sharkira said
    roadbikeRob saidProbably it is time for a different political party to rule the City and County of San Francisco. Having one political party monopoly rule for a long period of time is definitely not healthy for any city, suburb, or county. Just look at older, eastern cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo those cities have been under monopoly rule of the democratic party and where did it get them, severe population decline, financial problems, and rampant urban decay. San Francisco needs to have competing and different ideas for local governance not just more of the shopworn nonsense of the current ruling party in city hall.

    In general some competition between parties is a good thing. But when the population is heavily skewed towards one end of the political spectrum, how is that going to happen? And yes, San Francisco and other cities are heavily liberal, but how do you make Kansas and Nebraska and Oklahoma less conservative? And those are one-party states as well.

    The real problem here---and it is a problem---is that people have been literally sorting themselves out geographically for decades. Sort of the way an ethnic enclave of immigrants becomes large (like Detroit's Arabs)---the fact that there is a cluster of like-minded people draws others to come and live near them. So conservatives have been leaving blue areas for decades now, and liberals have moved to progressive areas, and this is the result.

    The United States are starting to look more like the Balkans. And it's going to get worse.


    Agree.

    And in your opinion, the result will be?
  • dc415

    Posts: 255

    Feb 22, 2014 4:56 PM GMT
    The article conflates high income with conservatism. Just because you're middle class doesn't make you more liberal.

    So now San Francisco isn't liberal enough for Salon, and it's too "radical" RealJock. Huh, I guess you can't please everyone.
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    Feb 22, 2014 5:00 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    Agree.

    And in your opinion, the result will be?

    I honestly don't know. But it could be ugly. Over on RedState and freerepublic, they're already so confident that there will be another Civil War that they just call it CW2 and everyone knows what they mean.

    I think there are some who are perversely eager for it, but I don't see it having a good outcome for either side.
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    Feb 22, 2014 5:03 PM GMT
    Sharkira said
    freedomisntfree said
    Agree.

    And in your opinion, the result will be?

    I honestly don't know. But it could be ugly. Over on RedState and freerepublic, they're already so confident that there will be another Civil War that they just call it CW2 and everyone knows what they mean.

    I think there are some who are perversely eager for it, but I don't see it having a good outcome for either side.


    "there will be another Civil War "

    Yep, my concern too so I hope they're all (both sides) watching our little civility experiment in this RJ city of 360,000.
  • waccamatt

    Posts: 1918

    Feb 22, 2014 5:06 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidProbably it is time for a different political party to rule the City and County of San Francisco. Having one political party monopoly rule for a long period of time is definitely not healthy for any city, suburb, or county. Just look at older, eastern cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo those cities have been under monopoly rule of the democratic party and where did it get them, severe population decline, financial problems, and rampant urban decay. San Francisco needs to have competing and different ideas for local governance not just more of the shopworn nonsense of the current ruling party in city hall.


    Those issues have to do with people moving to warmer climates and industries moving out of the United States for cheap foreign labor. To blame that on Democratic mayors and city councils is absurd.
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    Feb 22, 2014 5:10 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidProbably it is time for a different political party to rule the City and County of San Francisco. Having one political party monopoly rule for a long period of time is definitely not healthy for any city, suburb, or county. Just look at older, eastern cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo those cities have been under monopoly rule of the democratic party and where did it get them, severe population decline, financial problems, and rampant urban decay. San Francisco needs to have competing and different ideas for local governance not just more of the shopworn nonsense of the current ruling party in city hall.

    This doesn't make any sense. Sure, many sad cities had solidly Democratic leadership, but so do highly successful cities like New York, San Francisco, Washington, Minneapolis, Seattle, and others. The party affiliation of a city's leadership has absolutely no relationship to its economic success.

    I for one have zero interest in seeing San Francisco ever look like Jacksonville or Oklahoma City.
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    Feb 22, 2014 6:21 PM GMT
    San Francisco will continue to be a primordial birthing place for Liberal ideas which become Liberal movements which change the world to be better for people.

    Just the other day, I happened to see the cover of The Examiner, and a new issue regarding the imposition of a new tax on auto drivers in The City was seriously being considered and which could seriously pass.

    This is just one of many slow but sure movements to continually constrict and restrict the ease of use of autos within The City. In time, San Francisco will be purely Public Transportation, Scooter, Bicycle, and Pedestrian. Only the very wealthiest will have cars, but there will probably be less streets for them to drive on and nowhere to park.

    There is a totally different vibe here in San Francisco. When you are on Public Transportation, Scooter, Bicycle and on foot, you see the world and other people in a much more intimate way. The class separation which occurs in the "bubble world" of moving from alarmed home in a gated community into the protective bubble of the car, into the protective bubble of the destination represents a decline in the basis of civilization..."civility".

    When I ride BART, Muni, a bike, or walk, I get to interact WITH people of all stripes. There is connection even with strangers on the street. There is no way to avoid coming into contact with the diversity of humanity with all its' quirks when you are among the people. My heart sings when I see a group of preschool children all taking the Muni on some field trip. Why? Because they are learning at a young age that people are different, unique, and may sometimes have similarities but are individuals, living beings, and with souls.

    San Francisco, despite the challenges which any large city faces, still has a certain "small town" sense of community wherever you go.

    San Francisco may not always be at the front of line of liberal thought, but we are on the vanguard with other cities and places. San Francisco is one of the places which provides a caring and compassionate "compass" for the United States. We balance the "triple bottom line" of making a difference for People, Planet, and Prosperity.

    We learn and know that ultimately, "It's all about the people". Everything begins and ends with people. And, without the people (of every stripe) our One San Francisco would not be the beacon of culture, innovation, and liberty from which a positive difference is made for people all around the world.

    So, if and when you come to The City, to our One San Francisco, come with an open heart, an open mind, an open spirit, and don't forget to wear a flower in your hair.

    Beautiful-and-colorful-buildings-line-Ha
  • roadbikeRob

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    Feb 22, 2014 6:31 PM GMT
    waccamatt said
    roadbikeRob saidProbably it is time for a different political party to rule the City and County of San Francisco. Having one political party monopoly rule for a long period of time is definitely not healthy for any city, suburb, or county. Just look at older, eastern cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo those cities have been under monopoly rule of the democratic party and where did it get them, severe population decline, financial problems, and rampant urban decay. San Francisco needs to have competing and different ideas for local governance not just more of the shopworn nonsense of the current ruling party in city hall.


    Those issues have to do with people moving to warmer climates and industries moving out of the United States for cheap foreign labor. To blame that on Democratic mayors and city councils is absurd.
    No its not absurd, it is true. The democrats through their monopoly control of city government have helped make these older northern cities increasingly unattractive for business and industry to invest and expand. It is during democratic monopoly rule that cities like Detroit and Buffalo suffered the worst decline and disinvestment. These older cities need a different political party or parties to run their city governments and bring in fresh new ideas. This could also help ease the feelings of distrust between central city, first ring suburbs versus the outer ring, more conservative suburbs and exurbs.
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    Feb 22, 2014 6:45 PM GMT
    GAMRican saidSan Francisco will continue to be a primordial birthing place for Liberal ideas which become Liberal movements which change the world to be better for people...
    ...So, if and when you come to The City, to our One San Francisco, come with an open heart, an open mind, an open spirit, and don't forget to wear a flower in your hair.

    Nicely said. San Francisco is a unique city in it's forward thinking and approach at being open, green and welcoming. Sure, like any city, it has it's issues and it moves on the 'political scale' from right to left and back finding a place of equilibrium. Perhaps currently it's moving to the right some but not in a significant way.

    The current gentrification and increase of the tech sector are going to change the City to some extent. Many blighted areas of San Francisco are being improved and because of the popularity and desire of the area, new prices will reflect the supply and demand. Yes, additional challenges are created in how to preserve those that have lower paying jobs, work in the arts or have lived in the City for many years. The increase in housing prices doesn't mean a change in liberal philosophies or a sudden change to a conservative city, it simply means, in my opinion, a movement on the scale to a more balanced position given the makeup of society, leadership of the community and current progressive desires of the city.

    PaintedLadies_2012.jpg
  • roadbikeRob

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    Feb 22, 2014 6:46 PM GMT
    CFL_Oakland said
    roadbikeRob saidProbably it is time for a different political party to rule the City and County of San Francisco. Having one political party monopoly rule for a long period of time is definitely not healthy for any city, suburb, or county. Just look at older, eastern cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo those cities have been under monopoly rule of the democratic party and where did it get them, severe population decline, financial problems, and rampant urban decay. San Francisco needs to have competing and different ideas for local governance not just more of the shopworn nonsense of the current ruling party in city hall.

    This doesn't make any sense. Sure, many sad cities had solidly Democratic leadership, but so do highly successful cities like New York, San Francisco, Washington, Minneapolis, Seattle, and others. The party affiliation of a city's leadership has absolutely no relationship to its economic success.

    I for one have zero interest in seeing San Francisco ever look like Jacksonville or Oklahoma City.
    It makes all the sense in the world. You have failed to comprehend what I was trying to bring across about bringing new ideas to urban governance. Having one political party in monopoly control is not healthy for any community or county. The political affiliation does have an impact on a city's economic success. Detroit and Buffalo are good examples of two older cities bankrupted and brought down by the democratic party and their endless pandering to corrupt labor unions and the unmotivated urban poor. They were both two very tough cities for business and this is the result after 50 years of this bullshit. If you want San Francisco to be like St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Baltimore than you are very naïve. You mentioned Washington DC as an urban success story, not so fast bunky. Washington still has very serious problems with urban blight, violent crime, lousy schools, aging infrastructure and it is still a glorified holding tank for much of that region's poor despite its high cost of living. The incompetent urban democrats did similar severe damage to Washington that they did to many other older northern cities. Stop defending the democratic party and face the proven fact that their monopoly rule has been very catastrophic for many of these cities. New York along with Los Angeles have been mostly purple swing cities that is why they have been successful. Now that they have fallen into the claws of the urban democrats, we shall see how long their success stories will last and by the looks of things, their urban success stories might have come to an abrupt end. If you have any common sense, you would happily prefer that San Francisco become more like Columbus, Jacksonville, and Oklahoma City.
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    Feb 22, 2014 6:52 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidIf you have any common sense, you would happily prefer that San Francisco become more like Columbus, Jacksonville, and Oklahoma City.

    Can you ever post without some offensive statement towards someone with a differing opinion?

    Also, I wonder who really understands the politics and working of San Francisco best, someone from the bay area or someone from Buffalo? San Francisco is NOT seeing problems like the other cities you've mentioned, it's thriving, building and the problems it faces is how to balance supply and demand to ensure that many people are not priced out of the market here while maintaining the progressive thinking that often leads the nation.
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    Feb 22, 2014 6:57 PM GMT
    A different party running things wouldn't really change much in those cities, since their problem is the loss of industry. When auto and steel collapsed, so did a lot of cities and even small towns. Look at Pittsburgh's suburbs, they are full of small towns that have decayed because of steel factories closing.

    And don't assume that more Republican controlled cities are all that great, Columbus and Jacksonville are examples of cities that sprawled further out and picked up wealthy suburbs as a tax base. If you get deep into those cities, you have plenty of terrible neighborhoods that are no better than Detroit.
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    Feb 22, 2014 7:06 PM GMT
    blkapollo saidA different party running things wouldn't really change much in those cities, since their problem is the loss of industry. When auto and steel collapsed, so did a lot of cities and even small towns. Look at Pittsburgh's suburbs, they are full of small towns that have decayed because of steel factories closing.

    Good example, gentrification of Pittsburgh has turned it from what was once, when I was growing up, a failing, dirty, blue collar city into a thriving more active modern city from what I've seen. Has the political leadership changed or the political sentiment (liberal or conservative)?
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14372

    Feb 22, 2014 7:15 PM GMT
    eb925guy said
    roadbikeRob saidIf you have any common sense, you would happily prefer that San Francisco become more like Columbus, Jacksonville, and Oklahoma City.

    Can you ever post without some offensive statement towards someone with a differing opinion?

    Also, I wonder who really understands the politics and working of San Francisco best, someone from the bay area or someone from Buffalo? San Francisco is NOT seeing problems like the other cities you've mentioned, it's thriving, building and the problems it faces is how to balance supply and demand to ensure that many people are not priced out of the market here while maintaining the progressive thinking that often leads the nation.
    There was nothing offensive about what I said so get off of it. He was making some pretty over the top comments about what I said largely because he failed to comprehend what I was putting across here and also he must be a sycophant to the democratic party. The democrats can do no wrong in his book. He is very horribly wrong on that one. San Francisco could see the same problems as older northern cities have experienced if it becomes too hostile towards business or taxes things too much. It is an urban success story now but things could change for the worse if city governance doesn't change some of its attitudes and philosophies.
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    Feb 22, 2014 7:22 PM GMT
    To return to the thread topic (since the side conversation should be obvious to anyone with a grasp of 20th century American history), I take serious issue with the implication in the article that people who are against more housing being built somehow represent "progressives".

    I also think the article plays fast and loose with the ideas of being "pro-growth" and "pro-business". The provision of housing is pro-growth, but, at least in California is a losing proposition financially because our property taxes are so low and the expense of services for new residents is so high. It is a very progressive (and necessary) thing to provide housing; the people who decry new development are not liberals.

    Also, what does it mean to be "pro-business"? Is this just a matter of low taxes? That seems short-sighted. There have been a number of articles lately that show that the provision of bike lanes is very attractive to businesses, and San Francisco has done more of that than most cities. Further, the City College of San Francisco is excellent and providing a highly skilled and educated workforce is extremely pro-business.

    Meanwhile, the cities that fall over each other to provide tax incentives for businesses to set up shop there end up in a race to the bottom. That happened in Detroit, where the city committed itself to providing for its businesses, but the businesses did not return the favor, moving on when it suited their bottom line.

    I just think that the relationship between cities and businesses they host is far more complex than any of these articles seem willing to explore.
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    Feb 23, 2014 1:32 AM GMT
    eb925guy said
    roadbikeRob saidIf you have any common sense, you would happily prefer that San Francisco become more like Columbus, Jacksonville, and Oklahoma City.

    Can you ever post without some offensive statement towards someone with a differing opinion?

    Also, I wonder who really understands the politics and working of San Francisco best, someone from the bay area or someone from Buffalo? San Francisco is NOT seeing problems like the other cities you've mentioned, it's thriving, building and the problems it faces is how to balance supply and demand to ensure that many people are not priced out of the market here while maintaining the progressive thinking that often leads the nation.


    And this is why that asshat is on my "Block and Ignore" lists.

    Buffalo? Oh my! I just can't think of any more cosmopolitan place in the world.
  • PolitiMAC

    Posts: 728

    Feb 23, 2014 1:39 AM GMT
    waccamatt said
    roadbikeRob saidProbably it is time for a different political party to rule the City and County of San Francisco. Having one political party monopoly rule for a long period of time is definitely not healthy for any city, suburb, or county. Just look at older, eastern cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo those cities have been under monopoly rule of the democratic party and where did it get them, severe population decline, financial problems, and rampant urban decay. San Francisco needs to have competing and different ideas for local governance not just more of the shopworn nonsense of the current ruling party in city hall.


    Those issues have to do with people moving to warmer climates and industries moving out of the United States for cheap foreign labor. To blame that on Democratic mayors and city councils is absurd.


    Yeah, cheap labor because the Socialists make everything more expensive because they tax everyone for everything.

    So it's not absurd to blame the Democrats for that.
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    Feb 23, 2014 1:59 AM GMT
    PolitiNerd said
    waccamatt said
    roadbikeRob saidProbably it is time for a different political party to rule the City and County of San Francisco. Having one political party monopoly rule for a long period of time is definitely not healthy for any city, suburb, or county. Just look at older, eastern cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo those cities have been under monopoly rule of the democratic party and where did it get them, severe population decline, financial problems, and rampant urban decay. San Francisco needs to have competing and different ideas for local governance not just more of the shopworn nonsense of the current ruling party in city hall.


    Those issues have to do with people moving to warmer climates and industries moving out of the United States for cheap foreign labor. To blame that on Democratic mayors and city councils is absurd.


    Yeah, cheap labor because the Socialists make everything more expensive because they tax everyone for everything.

    So it's not absurd to blame the Democrats for that.


    So, you're one of those sissy fags who has no gratitude for the civil rights which Democrats stand for, but Republicans would withhold.

    Feel free to stay Down Under, hunty.
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    Feb 23, 2014 2:01 AM GMT
    And another twerpster becomes an irrelevant on my Block and Ignore lists.