Mid-Market Payroll Tax Exemption:
Downtown’s Latest Land Grab

Written by Chris Daly. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Published on March 15, 2011 with 56 Comments

Former District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly. Photo by Luke Thomas.

By Chris Daly

March 15, 2011

For decades, the stretch of Market Street between 5th Street and Van Ness Avenue has been a primary target for downtown special interests and their political allies. The slot between the Tenderloin and South of Market’s 6th Street had grown to be more alike its hardscrabble, adjoining neighborhoods than its past as a commercial destination. However, downtown’s plan to renew Market Street was always driven by their desire to line their pockets. With the needs of the neighborhoods not even a consideration, their grand plans to gentrify the area failed to take off.

Knowing that downtown’s proposal to redevelop Mid-Market into an arts and entertainment district was put on the back burner years earlier, I jump-started a community discussion on redevelopment in my first year representing District 6 with a dozen community meetings. While the theater district plan was forwarded by property owners, developers, and business interests, the new discussion intentionally included the neighborhood’s low-income residents, artists, and community organizations. Not surprisingly, the community’s vision for Mid-Market focused on protecting existing residents, small business, and arts and non-profit organizations, while building new housing – with a high percentage of it affordable to people in the neighborhood. Over the next several years, these competing visions for Mid-Market vied for traction and in many ways were affected by the struggle to preserve the community at Trinity Plaza and over the level of community benefits negotiated in the Rincon Hill development.

In the aftermath of the Rincon Hill deal, downtown powerbrokers like Don Fisher and Walter Shorenstein scheduled an intervention with Mayor Newsom. With the C-3 parking legislation and the Mid-Market Redevelopment plan looming, they demanded Newsom engage more forcefully in development politics and not let progressives drive the agenda. While the showdown over parking grabbed the headlines with the Mayor’s Office forging a change in the Planning Department’s position, it was the details of the Mid-Market Redevelopment Plan that was make-it or break-it for Shorenstein, Market Street’s largest property owner and one of the most powerful brokers in Democratic politics.

Behind the scenes, my office had been negotiating details of the Mid-Market Redevelopment Plan with the Redevelopment Agency’s Jose Campos. Campos and his boss Marcia Rosen were very sympathetic to the cause of affordable housing and were skeptical of the Newsom Administration (both would end up leaving the Agency before the end of Newsom’s first term). By the time of the Shorenstein/Newsom meeting, Campos had agreed to include an affordability level in the plan approaching 25%, just a few points short of the levels that I had asked for. It appeared that the community’s plan for Mid-Market would be realized. But in the days following the Shorenstein meeting, Rosen personally delivered her last, best, and final offer on Mid-Market – which included only 17% affordable housing in the plan. (This was the amount already required under the City’s inclusionary housing legislation and even less than my proposed amendment to the legislation at the time and significantly less than I had negotiated in the first Rincon Hill deal). When I asked about my negotiations with Campos, Rosen responded that her proposal was directly from the Mayor and was not negotiable. As she left my office, downtown’s plan hit my recycling bin and never saw a Committee hearing at the Board of Supervisors.

It is with this history in mind that I have raised concerns about the former Newsom administration’s proposal for a corporate tax break in the Mid-Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods. From a budget and tax justice perspective, this issue should be a no brainer. As we are debating the merits of corporate giveaways, the Health Department is deliberating another $27 million in service cuts. Meanwhile the Department of Human Services has proposed reducing shelter hours, slashing job training programs and housing services, and shuttering homeless resource centers in the Central City. Juxtapose this with the Board of Supervisor’s Budget Analyst Report that cautions that the City could be forgoing over $22 million in payroll taxes from Twitter, Inc. alone. (This is an estimate that does not include any monies lost from any other corporations. The Tax Collector is unable to estimate the number of corporations in the area that could take advantage of the tax loophole).

While any progressive should oppose any corporate giveaway on general principle, the Mid-Market giveaway portends much more than anti-progressive tax and budget policy. Given recent reports that Shorenstein Properties LLC has acquired the proposed home for Twitter, the old Furniture Mart, for about $110 million, San Franciscans concerned about the availability of affordable housing and commercial space in our communities impacted by forces of gentrification should take note:

If Twitter were to go over there, what we will see is a bunch of tech companies move in there, predicted Frank Fudem, a senior vice president and partner with Cassidy Turley BT Commercial. The proposed tax break plans also would be another big incentive.

These market shifts are already impacting District 6’s community-serving non-profit organizations. One local affordable housing provider looking for office space in the Mid-Market has been advised that the Twitter deal will raise Market’s market rents by 20%. And as any affordable housing developer will tell you, site acquisition and control is the first critical step to delivering affordable housing. In other words, the Twitter deal will all but kill any new affordable housing projects in the area. The community’s plan of developing affordable housing in the Mid-Market, scuttled by Don Fisher and Walter Shorenstein 5 years ago would officially be dead.

One of Twitter’s biggest boosters, Beyond Chron, had this to say over the battle over Mid-Market Redevelopment in 2005:

Mid-Market residents, artists and business owners may soon start feeling like strangers in their own neighborhood. The reason? The Mid-Market Redevelopment Area. Without creating any truly affordable housing, it’s going to drain loads of money from the city, provide huge giveaways to big-money real estate interests, and push out low-income people and small businesses from their own homes.

Ironically, we could clearly say the same about the Mid-Market Payroll Tax Exemption. Not only does the plan include no new affordable housing, it will create a de-facto ban on new affordable housing development through making site acquisition impractical. Not only will it not protect the existing community, it will necessarily attract forces that are openly hostile to it. Not only will it drain money from the City’s General Fund, giving the store away to the biggest real estate interests in the West Coast, it will cause services to be redirected from the neighboring low-income communities in need to serve the interests of corporations like Twitter. (Twitter has already asked for increased policing in front of their new building and a new MUNI line to ferry their Peninsula-based workers back and forth to CalTrain!)

As Supervisor Jane Kim’s office tries to save face by negotiating a “Community Benefits Agreement” with Twitter after the fact, (an open insult to the community-driven negotiations that took place at the Intercontinental Hotel, Rincon Hill, and Trinity Plaza) those concerned about the future of Mid-Market should demand that the Board of Supervisors reject corporate welfare and revisit the community’s plan for affordable housing in the Mid-Market.

Speak truth to power. Stop Corporate Welfare! Stop the Real Estate Scam! Stop Tenderloin Gentrification!

The Mid-Market payroll tax exemption proposal is all three. Under the guise of Twitter job retention and area improvement, the City is considering giving businesses locating in a large swath of the Tenderloin and Mid-Market a major tax break. But the real results will be huge and widespread. Property values will rise, giving real estate speculators big profits. The new, higher rents will drive out the poor people of the area along with the nonprofit organizations that serve them. The tax breaks mean the City will be subsidizing business, get even less revenue at a time of budget deficits with no benefits for the community.

Come tell the Board of Supervisors and Mayor Ed Lee this is the wrong development policy for our City.

Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee meeting

Wednesday, March 16 at 11 am

City Hall, Room 250.


District 6 Budget Town Hall meeting with Mayor Lee and Supervisor Kim

Wednesday, March 16, 5:00-7:00 pm

Tenderloin Community School

627 Turk Street (between Van Ness and Polk)

Chris Daly

Chris Daly is the Political Director for SEIU Local 1021, a union of over 50,000 public sector and non-profit workers. He served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2001-2011 and owns and operates The Buck, a bar and grill on Market Street.

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Comments for Mid-Market Payroll Tax Exemption:
Downtown’s Latest Land Grab
are now closed.

  1.  Good journal..!!
    interview questions

  2. Jiro,

    Does the name, ‘Shorenstein’ ring a bell with you? I’d hardly say that they don’t have a , “brand going for it”. This company has played Sim City with real cities for years and part of their Business Plan from here to Chicago to NYC is to blight some of their properties (benign neglect) to enhance the liklihood of local tax breaks and loans when they decide to utilize the buildings. To the Late, Walter’s credit, he only bought the best of buildings. Just polish em up and the price doubles.

    Again, bottom line here is that Jane Kim is advocating Reagan, ‘trickle-down’ economics which doesn’t work. But, Jane won’t let facts get in her way. This is small potatoes compared to the Ellison giveaway.

    Go Giants!


  3. When San Francisco pushed ahead with the payroll tax exemption for Biotech it was done for a specific industry and for a limited time. It did not have a geographic element. It only applied to mid-sized firms.

    If the core issue involving Twitter is the possible taxation of stock options, wouldn’t it be potentially cheaper for San Francisco to exempt IT stock options from the payroll tax for say 3 years, and leave the payroll tax in place? If that represents too big a loss for the general fund, then more narrow geographic boundaries than this existing deal could be created while exempting stock options from the payroll tax. San Francisco could still collect the 1.5% payroll tax on businesses that have $250,000 of payroll. If the City has new police beats and a MUNI line to pay for against the backdrop of the ongoing fiscal mess, then this seems like a more rational approach to “save” Twitter.

    A limitation of this “closed door” legislative process is only one option to “save Twitter” was put forward. This was presented as the one and only way forward which is autocratic as it gets.

    There are at least two well-defined economic interests involved in this deal: Twitter, which has brand going for it; Mid-Market commercial and Tenderloin landlords that don’t.

    If the ostensible goal of the policy is to increase employment, then having a look at the tax code is merited but it’s is hard to see the upside to either employment or the general fund of padding commercial landlords rents and profits.

  4. Bottom line?

    As Campos noted as soon as Chiu announced the new committee appointments: “We no longer have a Progressive Board of Supervisors.”.

    Not that it matters much. The Mayor has over 99% of the power anyway.

    Ergo … Let’s elect Jeff Adachi, Mayor.

    Someone give smelling salts to Salomon and we’ll wait until he’s recovered enough to start typing.

    llll …. iiii

    There, yes … Adachi. He’s the strongest Progressive candidate possible at this time and his ‘Son of B’, I predict, will be embraced by Gabe Haaland and 1021 by the 4th of July.

    Folks, we have to put a genuine Progressive into Room 200. Do any of you really think that David Chiu is a Progressive?

    Did you know that Leland Yee changed his vote over a hundred times AFTER THE FACT in Sacramento to make himself seem more Progressive when he’d actually sold us out?

    Dennis Herrera is a nice guy who just happens to have disenfranchised over 30,000 voters who wanted a voice in determining the fate of the Bay View.

    I’d much prefer 3 candidates but I have close ties with Gonzalez and Campos and they’re not running for anything.

    Who’s left?

    go Giants!


  5. @marc & mwbsf

    Marc’s philosophy is eloquent and correct but allowing Kim to get away with saying she didn’t know the substantive difference as described by Marc will give some people reason to give her pass after pass on her votes.

    She also said she did not know Richard Johns was in any way connected to Willie Brown but she was able to go back over ten years to find information on Paul Kelly. How many times should she get a pass on doing these things by saying she didn’t know?

    If she can’t analyze the “outcomes” and how the ends don’t justify the means, how did she figure out that there is not liberty and justice for all and state the pledge of allegiance?

    Are you going to contribute to the ridiculous idea she doesn’t already understand what Marc is saying every time she uses it as an excuse? Of course she knows these things. Otherwise, why did she ever choose to join the Green Party? Because green is a pretty color?

  6. I agree with Marc 100% on his 3/18 comments.

  7. @Hope, that all depends on how you know what “know” means.

    “I completely see where they’re coming from, philosophically,” Kim said. “Our disagreements are over the outcome of the issue.”


  8. @marc

    If you believe Kim did not know the substantive difference between Supervisors Campos and Wiener, call me – I have a bridge I want to sell you….

  9. What’s going on here is the rubber hitting the road on Jane’s choice to support David Chiu over John Avalos. Yesterday at Rules, the sabotage of Campos for the MTC and of Allen Grossman for Ethics are the first consequences of Jane’s choice.

    My understanding was that Supervisor Kim did not see a substantive difference between Campos and Weiner for the MTC until told there was one by her base. If this is indeed the case, then that is a major problem and needs to be addressed by progressive supporters of Jane who were closer into her campaign than I.

    Far from being a beauty contest or a test of friendship, these votes are eminently consequential when it comes to policy and how government function impacts real peoples’ lives.

    I’ve been working through the withdrawal symptoms of the addiction of supporting politicians, John Avalos excepted because he is the only one who is fully grounded and centered and is not scheming for advancement.

    I am the anti-Chiu because I insist on “take positions” on “issues” because I’m “ideological” irrespective of what politicians I might agree with on some issues might prefer. That means that this entire game is being played, to my mind, for one reason, and that is to make sure that the general public interest prevails over the narrow particular interest. Anything else is corruption pure and simple.

    If politicians take issue with that, if they take policy difference as a personal affront, then that is their problem and it bodes ill for their political future, see Kevin Shelley for an example. Shelley is a particularly apt example because his ship ran aground on his support for a narrow segment of the Chinese American community in an effort to appeal to Chinese nationalism, which was the propaganda justification put forth by Brown and Pak to slide Chiu and Lee into the top slots.

    Electeds had best get used to criticism when they play school lunchroom clique politics and grow a thick skin when righteously called on that crap, and do some electoral math to discern where viable, majoritarian coalitions lie and how their choices between relationships and policy impact on that math.


  10. Campers,

    At the behest of Salomon I’ll back off. Catch my gang at Daly’s Dive Fridays Noon – 3pm. Today’s special guest is Charlie Sheen and I’m having a tequila shot contest with him.

    Go Giants!


  11. H.
    I never “called” you a liar. We disagree about what happened. I listened carefully to the tape. I didn’t call him a traitor.
    You are right about one thing though. I criticized him, although I would say differently than you remember. I said that he was attacking workers and abused the public trust. As I noted above, I was upset and angry, I took what he did personally.
    Again, I think the world of you, and am glad you are willing to call me and everyone else out.
    Take care,

  12. @ Marc-
    Yeah, I kind of figured that must mean why people who oppose the deal believe it is better to lost Twitter and the payroll tax they’re paying, than keep them here… The demand for city resources. I thank you for spelling it out for me….
    What do you think about split-roll and the gross receipts tax as revenue raisers?

  13. Remember that it costs the City money to provide services to employees just like it costs the City money to provide services to taxpaying residents.

    If Twitter leaves, then the City will not have to provide transit and public safety services, and that mitigates some of the job loss.

    Frankly, laying down the law that we won’t let supervisors and the Mayor cut tax break deals in exchange for future political contributions will be more valuable, will put the general fund in a stronger position than negotiating with corporate hostage threats will.


  14. I just hope that the “progressive” infighting does not leave us crippled and weak, yet I am sure it will. I will state that I support Supervisor Kim, and find the whole Twitter deal very low on my list of priorities right now… I have strong disagreement with many people posting here who I do consider friends and allies, however, when people like Bobbi Lopez and Richard Marquez do not support this Twitter deal, then I know there are legitimate concerns. However, when I see a Black teenager being arrested walking home from work, or hear about Latino youth being killed and injured, I think the “progressives” need to get a grip. These are life and death issues, yet there has not been a peep of concern for these issues. I see affordable housing as a life and death issue too, but not the sole priority. But what really concerns me is the lack of SOLUTIONS being proposed! I have repeatedly raised limited-equity housing coops AS THE TRUE AFFORDABLE HOUSING SOLUTION, no one here cares. This is a true model for building community while giving people a stake in their neighborhood. I do not want to live in a city of white, affluent twenty-somethings, who typically move to the suburbs when they make families. I grew up in ethnically diverse cities, and hope to live the rest of my life in one.
    There are other revenue solutions-gross receipts tax, split-roll on Prop. 13, etc. but it appears to me that attacking Supervisor Kim is what appeals the most to her critics. I think Twitter IS pretty reprehensible to drive such a hard bargain… I would rather organize a Twitter boycott and even shame their corporate conscience into modifying their position. Let’s think outside the box for a change! I do not think we need to keep doing the same thing over and over again because we end up the same sorry results. I see so many vacant buildings that should be renovated and converted into affordable housing. Where is the movement to change this? Surely in the end, landlords would be better off selling or renting, than getting some “tax break” for their decrepit buildings.
    I feel sad to be on the opposite sides of the debate with Richard but I hope that this will not drive a wedge between our potential collaboration in the future.
    As for Gabriel, I think he is right on target for saying Jeff is attacking working people because he is! The irony is that if you are poor there is no one better to represent you legally than his office. It is a contradiction that is difficult to reconcile. I, along with my husband, worked on his underdog campaign and until his attacks on city workers, he had been a shining star. But now his stance is if you are a poor city worker you need to pay for the treachery of Wall Street and the greed of the insurance companies. But if that same worker needs a superior public defender, he’s got one for you.
    At first I did not get the problem with the Twitter deal, but now “I get it.” But I think we are lacking strategy on how to move a social justice agenda forward. And honestly, I am hardly one of the “greatest political minds in SF,” but isn’t this attack on Twitter a way to give Daly a platform for his mayoral run? The ironic part, is progressives are so isolated from the mainstream, they do not realize what a minority we are in SF, so we will have to compromise and collaborate to get things done.
    If SF was so progressive, CIndy Sheehan would have defeated Pelosi, it wasn’t even a nail-biter…
    Lastly, I do not know how many posters here are actually economically disadvantaged themselves but I am! With all due respect to Chris, I am sure he is much more business savvy than I, but he will never be in debt in order to put his kids through college, and I am sure they will get to live anywhere they want when they graduate college.
    I have two daughters, one graduating with her Masters and the other one graduating with her Bachelors in May, and neither one of them can afford to live in SF.
    So while it is fine to advocate for those you serve, etc., I am one of those that does not have resources and have no reasonable expectation that my daughters will ever live in SF, unless and until we build affordable family housing, like limited equity coops. So for those of you that want to dismiss me, this is real life for me!

  15. The Pandora’s box has already been opened. Unless the tax exemption is given to Twitter, they will leave. You can bank on that. If the tax exemption is given to Twitter, how many other companies will threaten to take their jobs across the county border? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Chris Daly correctly lists the various community non-profits that received money as a result of his negotiations (threats to fight projects) with developers. That could be viewed as a positive step to fund local community organizations. It could also be viewed as investments in Political Capital. My guess it is easier than fundraising.

  16. @ h we love your pokes. Not that we don’t like poke”s.! But an h Poke is a poke.
    h has brought light to things to people, that is a voice we either pay attention to or we snuffle it to the rear.

  17. Gabe and Marc,

    When someone calls me a liar as Gabe did I respond if able. In this case, thanks to Tony De Renzo’s film of the event, I’m able. This is the tape of the DCCC meeting in question. Go to around 30 minutes in and watch Gabriel go off on Adachi as a, “traitor who has abused his office”.



  18. This is the best progressive debate dialog about an issue that I have seen any place on the net. In my family we always agree that we disagree. My heart warmth goes out to Richard and Robert. Paul and I have had a separation of heart as well. But things get said and then things become forgiven. I was around with Jeoflin Roh and Antonetta back in the day when the Central City Collab was founded with the help of Chris and other people such as Richard and Robert. No titter shouldn’t hold SF hostage, but we all know Gavin Newsoms ties to the net with google and SF told google NO! via Chris Daly.
    Yes the SRO living is because Daly brought it forth but with the encouragement of the people who’s voice that had no sound in politics.

  19. h, put a bird on it, Cacao, already.


  20. Guys,

    Richard, I couldn’t agree more about Gullickson being a hero. Gabe, I’ll ask Tony to dig out the video of your rant at D Triple C. I watched and listened to you in person. I’d rather have Gordon Liddy watching my back than you.

    Brandon Belt is a monster hitter.


  21. Thank you, Richard. Your comments mean a lot to me, and when you return, I will be by your side.

    And I hope you come back. The fight these days feels strangely just a little like it did in the 90s when City Hall was run by a lot of empty suits who were more interested in their careers than social justice.

  22. This is what it looks like when we all just get along and sing Kumbiya.


  23. Hey H,

    I should really not be so public about my responses on blogs but I am already homesick, and I got nothing to lose. So hear it goes. I hear you H, but like you, and me and Gabriel, none of us are above scrutiny, critique and the need to forgive, apologize and learn from the lessons of struggle in our lives. In these struggles, many times I have been wrong, wronged and written off. Let me say this, though, in defense of “Gabriel Haaland”: Few activists, especially straight men, in the city can hold a candle to the breath and scope of his struggle and his commitment to social justice for all San Franciscans. When a young, 28-year-old, housing activist decided to run for Supervisor in 2000 and many ridiculed or outright laughed at him, Haaland stood up courageously, big time, at the Milk Club and stood up to Tom Ammiano, and many other members, and fought to support a straight white guy from Maryland. He stood up because he knew that members of the Mission Agenda, and many other low-income tenants, stood a greater chance of getting justice if Chris Daly was elected. When Roxanne Battershell, a transgender SRO tenant, died in the King’s Hotel fire — it was Haaland, and Ted Guilicksen (an all-too unsung hero in the city) who helped us lead the charge to include SRO tenants in the greater tenant rights movement. When undocumented Latina transgender tenants stormed City Hall — literally pounding on Mayor Brown’s door — risking arrest and deportation, demanding 60-day vouchers and permanent housing after the Hartland Hotel fire, Gabriel was there with us.

    It was Gabriel time and time again, as I have lost count now, who fought alongside Latinos and Latinas in the Mission against the dot.com displacement epidemic and convincing progressive queers that our fight was their fight; and it was Gabriel who first endorsed Jeff (I was also one the field campaigners for him) when Adachi, scorned by the local Democratic Party machine, challenged the Brown-Burton reign of domination.

    Now I ain’t like Lionel Ritchie, “easy on a Sunday morning,” but if I ever to return to that city I was born in and raised up in, I most certainly want Gabriel on my side, and I, on his.

    Solidarity forever.

  24. H.
    That didn’t happen.
    All the best,

  25. Attracting businesses to SF and encouraging other businesses to stay here is a worthwhile goal. Hopefully this will stimulate local employment and help provide a stable enconomic base to support SF government services and projects. Unfortunately, there is a negative perception, accurate or not, of a negative business climate here stemming from high costs of real estate, labor, taxes, and time-consuming permit processes. Businesses may not want to take on these economic uncertainties when other cities/counties are willing to be more accomodating. Inducing Twitter to stay here in SF will broaden our economic base and hopefully, help, not hurt, the challlenges facing low-income San Franciscans and our neighborhoods.

  26. @ Chris

    Your rejection of that obscene police MOU duly noted.

    …Although I don’t agree with Adachi criticism, if anything, he didn’t go far enough. For your consideration:


  27. @chris p

    Payroll tax exemptions do not promote start ups, even the Federal government has not considered them viable options. Small businesses are already exempt under the current payroll tax ordinance, and the proposed tax break has nothing available for them. In fact, they are offered only loans, forcing them into debt to compete with already super wealthy companies.

    This exemption has had very, very limited results across the entire city in the biotech industry. They have created only about 250 jobs over seven years and cost the city a minimum of $1.5 million which the controller says is difficult to calculate because none of the community benefit outcomes suggested are written into these contracts, just hoped for on bended, begging knee.

    This is just a favor for the politicians wealthy buddies. How long are we going to allow this to go on?

  28. Gabe,

    I stood and listened to you scream and call Adachi a, “Traitor!!” several times at the D Triple C meeting when the D-6 endorsement was under consideration. He got the nomination over your rants and won handily which NONE of your candidates did. Wait, you did have Cohen, right?

    You followed that by a continual campaign questioning Jeff’s integrity, accusing him of attacking the working class and being a tool of billionaires. That’s all bullshit and you know it. You are what you are, buddy. I’ve watched you for over a decade and you haven’t changed a whit. I love talking to you and having a good time but I wouldn’t trust you as far as I can throw City Hall.

    Nothing personal.

    Go Giants!


  29. Surely it is progressive to use the tax code to encourage and dis-encourage behavior.
    If this encourages start ups (business we should be attracting) to locate in the previously blighted mid-market, tenderloin then it is progressive.
    Daly you had 10 years. Yet I suspect most SF residence think little positive changed in your district. But you make the excuse you were only one of eleven and were therefore impotent as a supervisor. Good luck on running for Mayor, it will be an uphill struggle, as any time your name comes up in conversation people either roll their eyes, laugh or just say asshole.

  30. H.

    I think you are great, and I’m super glad that you poke everyone in the eye, including me, at every opportunity. I wish you the best. Really. But I don’t remember or know of any personal attacks on Jeff.

    I admit I was upset and angry initially, because I considered Jeff an ally. That was a mistake for me to take it personally, and I think I have even publicly admitted it that I consider that a mistake on my part. But to say I have been running around town trashing him is simply not true. Quite the opposite. In fact, I have told others within Labor that we need to debate him on the issues, and to stay away from personal attacks.

    Richard might be able to relate. I’m sure he initially felt personally betrayed when Supervisor Kim introduced this legislation.

    It’s hard when you forge relationships in politics to learn how to not take things personally. I’m not perfect, and I admit that I took it personally that an ally was doing this. Again, doing that was a mistake. This, my friend, is where I admit I was wrong. Not on the issues though. 😉

    All the best to you,


    I am not “Patrick”.
    Pat Monk.RN.

  32. Sorry for the typo above. Tommit Avicolli Mecca wrote a piece this morning that I thought was worth sharing. Immigrants, people of color, poor people, queer and trans folks will all get pushed out of the Tenderloin under this proposal. http://open.salon.com/blog/avimecca/2011/03/16/sfs_twitter_deal_is_queer_removal

  33. Correction to my last post – Shorenstein did have the expectation that Twitter might want to move in – what I should have said is it was just an expectation. I don’t think that was the sole reason they bought the building and the payroll tax exemption was also just an expectation. I believe in the end they knew they could make it work without Twitter or the tax exemption. Of course they are shrewd political players and they may have secured a deal behind the scenes before they bought the building, but still there was no absolute assurance that the tax exemption would happen. Bottom line – if the tax exemption doesn’t happen they will get tenants for the building and they will be paying taxes.

  34. Also, The Shorenstein Co. did not buy that building based on the expectation of having Twitter as a tenant or having a tax free zone. They don’t buy buildings they don’t think they can fill with tenants. They are going to renovate the building and fill it with tenants without a tax free zone. Why don’t we just let that go forward and we can then receive the tax revenue the City desperately needs? The Twits can move to Brisbane if they want and good riddance. I would rather have tenants in that building paying their fair share of taxes.

  35. Consider this. If Twitter does an IPO – and they will – both the executives and the employees with stock options are going to be very happy campers. Voila! – instant new campaign contributor pool for any politician who has done favors for the company.

  36. Richard,

    Don’t turn your back on Haaland. He remains the biggest backstabbing hypocrite in town. After spending the last 6 months launching personal attacks on Adachi, Gabriel is suddenly ‘shocked, shocked, I tell you’ that anyone would get personal with his latest allies.

    Daly’s accomplishments?

    On a moral and ethical level he was unparalleled. He led the fight to call out the Chinese commies on their murder of the Falun Gong.

    He was the only supe who had the nerve to stand up against the Blue Angels annual bomb runs over our City.

    Desk clerks in our SRO’s no longer try to extort money from you to allow a guest into your room.

    He went to the ballot with a number of propositions seeking more affordable housing.

    He fought Hastings Law School (and, Shaw’s hero, Seward) when they reneged on their promise to replace the SRO’s they destroyed for their parking lot. Hell, he even went to jail. I can’t recall another supervisor ever going to jail for their constituents.

    When he couldn’t stop the runaway developer steer running through our living rooms, he tore off bigger chunks of it for his people than any other supervisor.

    I could go on and on and on because I’ve been here from the very beginning and covered it all. Only Ammiano and Gonzalez match or exceed Daly in advancing Progressive causes over the last decade.

    I’ll fault Chris’ assertion that a supe “On a good day has 1/11th the power of the Mayor”. That’s preposterous. The Mayor has 99.6% of the power over the budget in this town (Lee is moving to make it 100% by removing the Add-Back process). It only seemed like Chris was more powerful because he made the most noise.

    In short, Daly worked and continues to work for the people. Newbie, Kim works for Downtown.

    Go Giants!


  37. Peace and solidarity to you, Richard.

    And didn’t Cornell West say, “Justice is what love looks ?like in public” or something like that. I’m sorry that you and Chris had your name dragged through the mud like that. All the best to you.

  38. Gabriel, thanks for the defense. Unfortunately I had to leave the country for us to make up. Keep fighting the good fight and fuck Twitter. And yes, spiritual healing helps us all as does, in the words of Marvin Gaye,”sexual healing, too.” As my old therapist you to say, “Richard, remember its always justice prior to love.” Peace and Soldiarity,


  39. After years of writing these things, I’ve picked up on a theme. Our opponents rarely take us on on the issues. Same went in the Board Chambers. I would make a whole bunch of points and then nobody would respond. On the internet you tend to get the personal attack and quarter-baked arguments.

    Notable exception here is seej. How do you improve an area without gentrification? Affordable housing. And it was the basis for the community’s Redevelopment plan. The trick is how do you make it happen, and that answer is political will. In office (and now out) I spent most of my time trying to develop the political will to enact the right answers. Coming up with those answers was the easy part.

    As for pension reform, I believe I was the sole vote against the cop’s contract. If you look at the big salaries and big pensions, that’s where it is. And that’s where any affective reform would need to start. Unfortunately, you’re also looking at one of the only pols who would start there. Adachi didn’t, and that’s why he not only lost, but also lost favor with Progressives.

  40. Twitter was obviously always willing to negotiate moving to this area. The false suggestion it might leave SF is a scare tactic to sell the offensive idea of giving a wealthy company as much taxpayer money as possible while cutting services, schools, MUNI, and just about everything else.

    Equally obvious is that, in the long run, the Beyond Chron crew couldn’t care less what people think about their actions so long as it doesn’t block their path to the bank.

    The idea SF’s usual suspect developers and their hand picked politicians intend to ever consider increasing affordable housing is absurd. Even when they contract to do it, they find a way to avoid actually getting it done (remember Lennar’s drastic reduction in the Bayview?).

    While the politicians act irresponsibly and try to hurt each other’s feelings, the only chance average taxpayers have is to hold elected decision makers accountable for their choices. It’s not the abstract concept of “the City” considering this corporate tax break and business subsidy but real people, namely our supervisors. If they approve this give away of our money, they are thieves, no better than common criminals breaking into your car or robbing you at gun point.

    Here is Supervisor David Chiu pushing for a tax break for some of the wealthiest people in our country while running for mayor at the same time mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera is on the radio suggesting an investigation of nonprofits use of city money might help balance the budget. Disgusting.

    We elect these people to act responsibly with our money (all our money which includes not only the general fund but each and every one of their salaries). How responsible is a tax break to billionaires when the politicians claim such economic hardship for the city?

    Kim and Chiu are already criminals for aiding and abetting the corporate fleecing of struggling families without ensuring community benefit. And any of the supervisors who vote for this are, too.

  41. @Patrick (last time for me) – Seriously? A Supe is 1/11 as powerful as a Mayor on a good day. Even so, I’ll put my Mid-Market record up against Gavin’s. Trinity. SRO hotel improvements. Community services in 6th Street corridor including the resource center. Bike lanes. Private auto restrictions. Resources for MUNI. City Place.

    What’s Gavin putting up? Nothing. And he’s the LG.

    BTW, thanks for getting me started on my Mayoral platform!


  42. I just read the remark about Richard Marquez above.

    Richard and I have had our moments, but I would never, ever, ever suggest that he was bribed or that Chris would bribe someone.

    As I said earlier, at times like these, when people personally attack us, I remind myself that people only resort to personal attacks when their position is weak and when their substantive arguments are weak.
    What’s so interesting about this allegation that Chris bribed Richard is that it does provide an inside window into how Paul thinks and operates. That’s the one beautiful thing that I have learned from my spiritual practice. When people project ugliness in their stories about you, it just reveals their own.

  43. How about expanding the SoMa Stabilization Fund Fee to all buildings in downtown San Francisco instead of just the 14 blocks in the Rincon Hill Plan Area? When I say downtown, I mean east of Laguna and north of 18th Street. All new dwellings, period.

  44. I was astonished at how poor the process was in drafting this legislation At one point a city staffer emailed another staffer and said, “Wow. When did the whole Tenderloin get thrown in?”

  45. Not that Hogarth is concerned about reporting the facts, but that deal he speaks of was negotiated by the United Pilipino Organizing Network where ten community groups like the Judith Baker Child Care, FEC Galing Bata/ the New Bessie, Veteran’s Equity Center, Manilatown, UP and a few others were broken off. It wasn’t the proudest moment in our community, but there was a lot of input, discussion and wrangling. This was the best deal that we could strike at the at that moment in time, the Filipino comunity was dealing with the completion of the new Bessie, building the I-Hotel Manilatown Center and opening the doors to the Bayanihan Center that houses the VEC.

    Now, if Paul wants to take isssue with our stand, history and our “get down” in the Filipino community, then you know where to find us.

    As for what role Mr. Marquez had in the negotiations, it was minimal at best.

    Chris was not in favor of the deal, but it took some coaxing by his mentor Bill Sorro to approve of this agreement, and some respect to the community he serves. The Filipino 3 Centers – Manilatown, Bayanihan and Don Marcos’s Cultural Center also got to use the Hotel for three lavish fundraisers – for free. Another agreement was that all pre and post hiring i.e. construction, admin, services, hospitality etc. went through the South of Market Employment Center. The Intercontinental Hotel is a unionized Local 2 Hotel, as well.

    For the record, I know people like to bandy around Bill Sorrro’s name particularly during elections. I wanted to firmly state that Bill disliked and hated Randy Shaw for the exact same reasons as he trying to spew out today. Randy Shaw is solely about Randy Shaw. And for Hogarth to prey on the Filipino community to prove his pointless point is simply pathetic. I served on two boards with Bill Sorro for ten years each in SoMa.

  46. @ Chris

    Thoughtful post – but how does one improve a blighted area without the rents going up?

    Regardless, isn’t this what we elect our officials to do? We are not privy to all the details and we expect them to weigh the costs (as you have presented) versus the benefits- under the assumption they clearly are making that Twitter will not move into this neighborhood without the incentives. I have no reason to question Ms. Kim’s motives.

    While I too am concerned about budget cuts to the Health Department, I wish instead of catching this deck chair being thrown off the Titanic you would have actually done something/ANYTHING about the City employee benefit crisis bankrupting our City. This Twitter deal is peanuts relative to the City’s unfunded pension and health care costs that WILL GUT our City services. You were asleep at the wheel my friend…

    Look forward to a beer at Daly’s Dive soon…Hope your new venture is going well.

  47. @Chris:
    You had 10+ years. Did the area improve?

    Other publications have reported that you are considering a Mayoral run. Would you point to mid-Market as an element of your platform to demonstrate a success? I assume not.

  48. @Patrick – in your initial comment, you take issue with my “ideas”. As if an idea would be implemented if it was a good one — even if it cost some of the nation’s most powerful people a lot of money.

    In your next comment you talk about excuses and “elected officials.” As if all elected officials have the same amount of power to affect change. Mayor = Supervisor because they are both elected officials!

    Apparently you are no expert at power-mapping. That’s cool– I will leave you alone.

  49. @Chris:
    I did read the post. I read it in detail. And my point is valid. Your position can’t be that mid-Market improved during your (long) tenure, because it didn’t improve. The post seems to be a litany of excuses and blame casting while documenting your efforts to stand up to downtown. It’s OK for an elected official to make excuses during their first couple of years in office, because there is a certain inertia to overcome on a land use issue such as mid-Market. But you had 10+ years and as far as I can tell, nothing got better. Regards.

  50. Randy Shaw just got handed an $82 million dollar no bid master lease contract for his and Paul Hogarth’s “journalistic activism” and selling out the progressive community. Plus $350,000.00 a year for the SRO collaborative. This giveaway lets them be both the “landlords” and “tenant organizers” of low income tenants, effectively doing code enforcement on themselves. The twitter tax deal is just more of the same as the last Randy Shaw sellout to Willie Brown and the developers that gentrified eastern San Francisco. In this current tax giveaway Randy and Paul are paving the way again. Same result… driving up the rents with the next real estate speculation bubble and then getting the rest of us taxpayers to pay the market street landlords for the overpriced rents. That is where the tax credit goes…right into the landlords pockets. And if anyone disagrees with Randy or Paul (or Jane it seems), they belittle them in Beyond Chron. Or call on their eviction attorney, Paul Hogarth.
    You have no room to call anyone a shill – Hogarth.
    Oh, and be sure to stay tuned to see where all the “community benefit” goes.

  51. Paul, will your “Uptown Tenderloin” condo increase in desirability and value if the Twitter deal goes through?

    Just asking.

  52. @Patrick – thanks for taking the time to comment without even having read the post. Cheers!

  53. Chris Daly was the Supervisor of D6 for 10 years. The mid-Market area never improved. It may have gotten worse. His ideas for the area thus don’t carry much weight to me. Perhaps it’s time for some different ideas.

  54. Wow, the personal attacks continue. Et tu, Paul Hogarth?

    Now the targets include Jane Kim’s own Field Coordinator!

    And let’s be clear, when Paul attacks Richard Marquez and the 6th Street Agenda (who was doing important organizing in the 6th Street hotels at the time,) he is also attacking Judith Baker and the South of Market Childcare Center, Luisa Antonio and the Veteran’s Equity Center, Jeanne Battalones and SOMCAN, Bruce Livingston and the Senior Action Network, etc.

    But first, a little bit of history… Initially, in concert with these South of Market community organizations, I opposed the Intercontintal. After meeting with representatives of Local 2 (who had already secured a card check neutrality agreement) and taking assessment of their organizational capacity, these organizations decided to enter into negotiations with Intercontinental to try to mitigate some of the negative impacts of the development. It wasn’t a perfect deal, but community organizations who would be impacted by the development got resources to organize their communities. That’s a good thing. And I backed up their decision — especially considering that we probably couldn’t kill the deal.

    Now let’s contrast that process and outcome with the one that Randy and Paul have engaged on the Mid-Market tax deal with the current District Supe. The initial position out of the gate here was yes instead of no. Any community benefits from the deal are an afterthought as opposed to an impetus.

    And proof is in the pudding. So far Twitter has agreed to no mitigations and instead has asked that services be redirected to them. Twitter has yet to offer any resources for their break. No open community process. No card check neutrality. No resources for community organizations. No nothing!

    And did I mention that Intercontinental pays all their taxes?

  55. Right you are Paul Hogarth,

    And using an astro-turf non-profit shield to make the citizens of San Francisco pay for you and Randy’s ‘Beyond Chron’ is cool, huh? You should be ashamed of yourself. Your tax filings list you as working .5 (a half hour) a week on the paper. What are we paying you both, $100 thousand a year each to write propaganda to advance your economic interests? What a crock!

    Throwing stones from a glass house surrounded by a mote full of gasoline is not that smart, kid.

    Go Giants!


  56. Yep. Bribing Richard Marquez $100,000 to support a luxury tourist hotel at 5th & Howard (that’s how much was paid to Sixth Street Agenda in 2003, a group that no longer exists) is all “community-driven negotiations.”