Affordable Housing, Mayor’s Question Time are Daly’s Parting Shots: Would put mayoral attendance requirement on ballot for third time
Tuesday was like any other third Tuesday of the month for the Board of Supervisors — Mayor Gavin Newsom’s attendance was requested, as it has been every third Tuesday in the three years since the voters passed a ballot initiative requesting the mayor come and discuss policy matters with the Board. And just as he has done for over three years, Newsom did not attend (time and again, he has poo-poohed question time as “political theater“).
Newsom dodged question time and he also dodged a more binding 2007 ballot initiative that would have required his attendance at every board meeting (that measure was narrowly defeated by a 1.4 percent margin of the vote, after Newsom led a campaign with almost $200,000 in donations — one donor was Warren Hellman, Bay Citizen sugardaddy, who donated $10,000 to defeat it), and — with a job in Sacramento all but assured — Newsom will dodge also whatever happens with Supervisor Chris Daly’s resurrection of Question Time, which Daly introduced on Tuesday.
But that’s not the point, according to Daly, whose measure would require Mayor
Aaron Peskin Leland Yee Mark Leno Barry Bonds — whomever it may be — to attend one Board meeting per month.
“We have this ambiguous split decision with [whether or not the Mayor is required to spend time with the merry band of eleven],” said Daly, who noted that backers such as Hellman might be less inclined to support a campaign to defeat the ballot measure with Newsom vying for the lieutenant governor gig. “If there’s anyone saying, ‘This just so Chris Daly can kick Gavin Newsom,’ look — I’m not going to be here, he’s wanting to not be here. Maybe there won’t be $200,000 spent against it, and if so, I think it’ll pass.”
Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker — in one of perhaps a dozen statements given to media blasting supervisors’ actions Tuesday (there was much to blast) — blasted Daly’s amendment as a “game.”
“They [supervisors] treat this building like it’s a game between the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor,” he said. The Mayor didn’t introduce any ballot measures because “we’re focused on balancing the budget and creating jobs, doing what people in this city care about.”
Some people at least care about affordable housing, according to Daly, which is why he introduced a second ballot measure that would dedicate a third of any future budget surpluses between now and 2026 — should there ever be a budget surplus again, ever — to a new “Affordable Housing Fund,” which would pay to buy land, build buildings and otherwise put roofs over folks… affordably, of course.
“I’m ending my tenure on the Board of Supervisors fighting for the same stuff I’ve been fighting for for 10 years,” Daly said. “I got here working on affordable housing, and I’ll leave here working on affordable housing.”