Just like everyone else, Supervisor Bevan Dufty’s (that is, the mayoral aspirant who’s building a platform on Muni‘s issues) aide Boe Hayward called us in an effort to get our readership to attend this coming Monday’s City Operations and Neighborhood Service Committee (amusingly acronymed CONS) meeting at 11 AM. Yes, when many of us are at work, so this event is definitely FUNEMPLOYED FRIENDLY.


What: CONS meeting

When: 11 AM Monday November 23
Where: Room 250, City Hall
Why: If you’ve experienced crime on Muni (as a victim, witness etc.)

Please contact Boe Hayward (boe.hayward@sfgov.org) if you are able to attend and testify at the hearing.

Why? He says they’re going to be talking about Muni crime (like this one? Seems RATHER CONVENIENT. Someone check Hayward’s whereabouts for this morning!), so they want “individuals that have experienced crime on Muni (as a victim, witness etc.) to come forward and testify to the CONS Committee about their experience” and, in his words “to put a human face on the problem.”

Of course, I had to pummel Hayward with questions. “What about Muni cameras, what’s going on with them?” “Are police actually riding Muni now like they’re supposed to be, that is once (then Hayward corrected us, they’re supposed to ride it twice) each shift?” “What about the plan to use TransLink to track cops on Muni, what’s going on with that?”

Of course, since Hayward’s job is to support Supervisor Dufty, his answers were about the same as any other well-informed San Franciscan’s. However, he says “Representatives from the SFPD and from Muni will attend the hearing and speak to their plans on improving the Muni’s Bus Inspection Program and increasing the safety for Muni riders.” So I guess we just have to wait and see?

I’ll tell you what I told Hayward, though: If Supervisor Dufty is sincere about wanting to put a human face on Muni crimes, then he needs to take steps to get Muni to be more transparent about providing video from those crimes to the public. We have requests out to Muni for video from incidents as long ago as April, but have gotten nothing more that an “I’ll check on that” from clearly overburdened MTA Spokesperson Judson True.

In another case, an Appeal staffer was assaulted on Muni in July, but requests for that video have gone unfulfilled, as well.

What is Muni hiding? Why does every piece of video of Muni crime we see have to come from some dude with an iPhone?

You want to see human faces, Supervisor Dufty? Then how about we start there, with the human faces captured by cameras we paid for?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Greg Dewar

    The people to address the question of Muni camera footage would be the folks at Muni who will be at the meeting.

    Remember, the SFPD got a lot of money for “work orders” that included things like driving by DPT garages and looking at them and saying that was “work.” Dufty is correct in asking the SFPD to actually do something tangible on Muni lines if they’re gonna get all that money.

    Also, remember that we as the owners of Muni are not allowed to decide who runs Muni. The “Mayor” (we had one once I think) appoints the MTA board. Apparently we’re to be allowed to decide our fellow citizens’ rights, decide who can be president, and vote on things like judges, but we are too stupid to actually have a direct say and accountability (which you correctly identify as necessary) about who runs Muni. WTF?

  • Greg Dewar

    The people to address the question of Muni camera footage would be the folks at Muni who will be at the meeting.

    Remember, the SFPD got a lot of money for “work orders” that included things like driving by DPT garages and looking at them and saying that was “work.” Dufty is correct in asking the SFPD to actually do something tangible on Muni lines if they’re gonna get all that money.

    Also, remember that we as the owners of Muni are not allowed to decide who runs Muni. The “Mayor” (we had one once I think) appoints the MTA board. Apparently we’re to be allowed to decide our fellow citizens’ rights, decide who can be president, and vote on things like judges, but we are too stupid to actually have a direct say and accountability (which you correctly identify as necessary) about who runs Muni. WTF?