After several years of a contentious, often bitter rivalry between
Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Chris Daly, Daly took the noble
step this week of moving towards reconciliation, putting aside
unresolved differences and asking Newsom to sign on to support
an affordable housing charter amendment ballot initiative.
The charter amendment sets a baseline for affordable housing
spending and then dedicates an additional 2.5 cents for every
$100 in property tax collected by the City -- it would actually
dedicate about $30 million additionally for 2007-08 (and more
over time for the next 15 years).
"Affordable housing is by far the most pressing issue facing
San Francisco," Daly told Fog City by phone. "We need
to be concerned that our people are here 15 years from now. I
am willing to put aside our differences so that we can work together
for the benefit of the constituents we serve," he said.
Using Newsom's widely touted open door policy, Daly walked into
the mayor's office Wednesday afternoon with the hope of appealing
to Newsom's humanity and finding shared consensus.
"I was offering an overture but not offering a deal,"
Daly said. "I told him that I was concerned he opposed affordable
housing simply because I supported it."
According to Daly, his olive branch was well received by Newsom
but it did not generate an immediate signal that Newsom would
"Newsom appreciated the overture saying he would read the
legislation and would judge it on its merits," Daly said.
"With that said he acknowledged the difficulties in the budget
In the context of reconciliation and rallying around a central
non-partisan cause, Daly told Fog City, "Our meeting was
cordial and professional. The ball is now in the mayor's court.
It's up to him to do what's best for real San Francisco values
in terms of diversity."
Newsom Communications Director Nathan Ballard refused to comment
on the meeting and Newsom Campaign Manager Eric Jaye has not returned
calls for comment.