Activists organize, and some journalists chronicle, a progressive resurgence in SF

Milk and Moscone championed progressive causes.

While Mayor Ed Lee jets around the world, still too focused on fueling the economic fire that is gentrifying San Francisco and displacing its diverse population — and as the San Francisco Chronicle and other downtown boosters niggle on the margins of the city’s biggest issue — local activists and some media outlets are paying attention and pushing back.

The New York Times ran an excellent Sunday piece about the growing populist backlash here against Mayor Lee’s economic policies and his friends and benefactors in the tech industry, a story that the Santa Rosa Press Democrat also put on its front page, but which the Chronicle only briefly mentioned today on its business page in a short story wrapping all the high-end housing now coming online. Instead, on Sunday the Chron ran this pro-landlord garbage

Meanwhile, as we report in tomorrow’s edition of the Guardian, more than 20 local organizations have combined forces this year to organize and promote tomorrow's (Wed/27) annual memorial march marking the 1978 assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Sup. Harvey Milk in City Hall, which will this year focus on their legacy of advocating for renters and keeping this city affordable by and welcoming of the working class and outsiders of all types.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: this is a struggle for the very soul of San Francisco, and it’s a struggle that we at the Guardian renew our commitment to with every issue we print. See you all on the streets tomorrow night starting at 7pm in Milk Plaza and Castro and Market.    


attempts to conjure up the illusion that the revolution is just around the corner.

It reached its most ludicrous apogee during the brief, ill-fated Occupy miasma, when Steven earnestly tried to convince readers that the great socialist day of reckoning was at hand.

But now all it takes is some tacky piece of journalism somewhere to get his juices going and his rhetoric scaling dizzy heights.

You know, Steven, gentrification and capitalism is what happens while you're busy fantasizing about a future where you are relevant.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

If EVER the progressives get some kind of electoral victory, Eric is here claiming that the people have spoken and that this heralds the start of a great green revolution.

Which somehow never quite materializes.

Posted by anon on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

Remember how they were crowing how the victory over 8 Washington is the line in the sand and how it's signalling a turning point? They point to it and say how people will now vote against the proposed Warriors arena at the waterfront. Almost everyone I know could give two shits about 8 Washington. Besides it being an off election year, lots of people saw it as a fight between a billionaire who wanted multi-million dollar condos vs. millionaires who didn't want their views blocked (which lowered their property values). But bringing the Warriors and an arena that could host concerts and conventions is something that most San Franciscans want.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

Your obsessional envy, anger and bitterness of Steven and the Bay Guardian is obvious to any observant person. It must make you grieve deeply to know that Steven has accomplished something, while your meaningless and pathetic life involves sitting and moaning, whining and complaining about this site daily. (You and that sick "anon"). Have you been banned from all other sites?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 11:03 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 29, 2013 @ 7:33 am

The housing rev is coming - from Lancaster, Ca., where Mayor Rex Parris now requires all new homes to be solar powered.

Germany requires that all solar homes be paid $0.54 kwh for feeding surplus solar onto the grid.
Germany will be 100% solar by 2041, thanks to its Feed-in Payment policy, where homes are now making $5000. a year harvesting solar.

I blame the typhoon that hit the Philippines on when Ronald Reagan ripped the solar panels off the roof of the White House.
The US was the world leader in solar housing under Carter.

Posted by Paul Kangas on Nov. 30, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

If each progressive would take a homeless bum home with them what a wonderful world this would least for the rest of us and the homeless bums.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

They just agitate for laws that will enforce other people to do things..

All the voluntary hours, charitable donations and setting up of trusts and foundations to do good are done by successful corporations and their hard-working employees.

Posted by anon on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 1:31 pm

Funny how conservatives just make stuff up. Don't you guys make fun of the ostensibly progressive Obama all the time for having been a community organizer?

I know several people who will tomorrow be working at charities helping people on Thanksgiving. I know progressive people who do kind and charitable things all the time (even as Right-wingers invoke Christianity at every turn while holding un-Christian beliefs).

Newsflash: one can be kind on an individual level and still advocate for a more humane government and society. I know it's a concept that eludes the right-wing amygdala, but it is nevertheless true.

Posted by Mike on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 10:38 am

up to a homeless person or recent evictee to live with them?

They are happy to force property owners to rent to these people for a fraction of the real rent, but would never dream of making the same kind of sacrifices themselves.

While in all my voluntary duties, almost everyone there was a corporate employee, and nobody was an activist or advocate or agitator.

Some people do - activists just talk about what other people should do.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 10:48 am

I seriously doubt that your sociopathic lying self ever volunteered for anything but if you did by mistake (or maybe your boss or spouse forced you) it was probably through the Church.

I have cooked and served food with Food Not Bombs and everyone of that crowd is an activist that makes a real difference in feeding hungry people.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 1:41 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

Was your "volunteer" activity Court Ordered? That might explain your cohorts.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 6:24 pm

Organizations and organizers are meaningless unless there is an organic connection between the organizers and organizations on one hand and the people they claim to organize on the other.

We've learned, hopefully, that organizations of organizations and organizers are not up to the task of performing heavy lifts. That requires mobilizing several times more civilians than mercenaries.

Given that the organizers and their organizations have crafted an ideology where they detest most San Franciscans for one reason or another, I don't see how San Franciscans are going to respond to the appeals of the organizers and their organizations in numbers required to contest corporate dominance.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

for the kind of class warfare that a small minority on the left love to wage.

The sad thing for the progressive movement is that most SF'ers like Mayor Lee and his policies, hence his 65% approval rating.

I see nothing in Steven's fantasies that changs that compelling consensus.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

Care to offer any proof for your point, or cite a recent poll showing the alleged support for your mayor? There's been plenty of recent polls showing a significant majority of San Franciscans are concerned with the gentrification of San Francisco, such as this one

And there's been plenty of media coverage and chatter on the street indicating that your jet-setting mayor is increasingly out-of-touch with the pulse of this city. As are you, Tony the Troll. 

Posted by steven on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

then you would understand why the most recent opinion poll (rather than your very specific and carefully worded efforts) shows Lee's support at a solid 65%.

Most people understand that business isn't the enemy, but rather the opportunity. And that a life under our policies would be like living in 1070's Bulgaria.

I'm not Tony, although I know you want me to be. I'm just a typical, moderate, hard-working San Franciscans who asks for a handout from nobody.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

Where is this mystery poll that you cite so often here? I haven't seen it, and you didn't provide a link when asked. Frankly, I think Lee's support is probably well south of his 65 percent high in the Chamber poll from almost a year ago. We know from campaign finance reports that a Lee committee did commission a poll in September, and you'd better believe that if it was a favorable one then they would have released the results. The silence is telling. And the polling done by the No on Props B&C campaign showed that most people have problems with Lee's economic policies, which is one reason why the 8 Washington went down hard at the polls after Mayor Lee made himself the public face of that campaign. The tide is turning in this city, my dear Guardianistas, as those with open eyes and minds on this site know. 

Posted by steven on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 5:46 pm
Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

real consensus. Bruce and Tim knew when to lay off the gas, but Steven just charges towards the cannons like a drug addled, oh, wait a minute. . .

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:37 pm

to halt evictions or to declare vacancy control - which are three of the Guardian's foremost goals. Any mayor is constrained by the reality of state and federal law and that's not going to change no matter who's in control of City Hall. San Francisco and its high class problems are not foremost on the minds of anyone outside San Francisco - the hive mentality refuses to recognize that.

Ultimately that's what enrages progressives - they're basically powerless before a massive machine they neither fully understand or are capable of slowing down. So they content themselves with giving favored groups "priority" for affordable housing they're unlikely to ever be able to access anyway. Ignoring, of course, that by shoving more people in line without increasing supply they're only pushing more people to the back and lengthening everyone's wait. But how many progressives live in city affordable housing anyway? Certainly none of the BOS does. Steven doesn't. Calvin Welch doesn't.

Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

income tax or, even better, a city wealth tax.

But I do not think that Steven cares about people not being able to afford housing, except insofar as it means that the SF voting demographic is gradually changing as a result, and is becoming more moderate as techies arrive and the ageing hippies are driven out or die off.

With each passing year, Steven goal of a glorious revolution and the socialist republic of San Francisco becomes a little more distant.

But at least he will get an end-of-year bonus from his capitalist bosses, and can buy some good drugs to assuage the pain of political failure.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 7:40 am

So instead of figuring out how to prevail over corporate power in ways that are legal and feasible, the professional progressives are reduced to banging their heads against the wall over and again. Similar to immigration, the single issue activist does not give a damn about building a progressive coalition capable of winning. No, in the case of immigration and housing alike, coalitions are built between the activists and conservatives in ways that screw the broad middle.

This is why progressivism is nearing extinction under the advocate/activist model. Bill de Blasio made a successful appeal in NYC given the hand of cards that he was dealt and comes into office with a significant mandate that will instigate action in Albany. San Francisco's professional progressives cannot see the big picture for their picayune concerns and as a result of successive losses, have taken to blame more and more of the electorate.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 7:51 am

and so the demographics favored progressives, and many tech and finance workers had left SF.

Ten years on, the economy has fully recovered and the demographics no longer favor progressives. Avalos did noticeably worse than Ammiano (even though he was just a write-in) and Gonzales.

Their day in the sun has passed.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 8:26 am

effort coming up soon. Progressives spent too much effort to keep him in office to allow the voters to defeat him now. Mirkarimi is their Stalingrad - they'd rather be massacred en-masse than allow their man to go down in flames. And by doing so all the old fissures will erupt anew, just like they did during the last election with the Julian Davis (Steven's bestie BTW) debacle.

Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 9:31 am

the sheriff which is essentially an administrative post with little policy-making power outside of purely procedural issues.

Maybe the left thought that Ross would refuse to carry out evictions and foreclosures. And perhaps Ross might even thought of doing that before he was neutered by his own slap-happy hand.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 10:07 am

Progressives are never wrong - they are just too early.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

BS they were wrong in Detriot…..

Posted by Guest on Dec. 06, 2013 @ 5:59 am

Steven, it takes more than inchoate public opinion swinging "our way" to raise the level of political energy that can make change. We're in the political space between "yes, the problem progressives outline is real for 'me,'" and "yes, I'll vote for a progressive candidate for office or a ballot measure."

One structural problem with activist/advocate-centered politics is that the activist/advocate takes the public agreeing with them on one issue as the public endorsing their entire agenda.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:33 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:41 pm

Paid single issue advocates do what they must to advance their agenda, ignoring everything that challenges their agenda and supporting everything that moves it. Multiply that by each and every issue and you've got a self-interested cacophony that denies the self interest of anyone not in on their operation. Thus can progressive ideas be majoritarian ideas but the progressive coalition has been engineered into a circular firing squad instead of an inclusive, broad coalition. I mean, if they can't handle me given my relatively better record of success because of my independent political grounding, then they're writing off 4/5 of the electorate a priori.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

I mean, if they can't handle me given my relatively better record of success because of my independent political grounding, then they're writing off 4/5 of the electorate a priori.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

"I'm just a typical, moderate, hard-working San Franciscans [sic]..."

You're a typical conservative hiding behind the word "moderate" (to try to appear less right-wing, less rabid and less hateful) which is typical of conservatives in San Francisco. You and others like you are not fooling anyone, so you can stop this game playing.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

68% want San Francisco to build more housing. "Progressives" rally against any kind of housing and block it wherever and whenever it is built. So-called "Progressives" are against progress of any kind, especially the kind that might accidentally lead to someone who wasn't dirt poor ending up with a place to live.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

There is nothing extremist about demanding an end to wasteful, inefficient political corruption, the majority of which comes from corporate interests demanding public subsidy as well as the labor/nonprofit nexus.

There's nothing in the agenda of the governing coalition for most San Franciscans. That means that there is plenty of political hay to make.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

trying to feather the nests of their public sector union friends.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

8 Washington. Central Subway/SOMA. Eastern Neighborhoods. Market Octavia.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

The City "family".

Posted by racer さ on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

The progressives via nonprofits and labor are junior partners, practically interns, in the corruption endemic to the City Family. They are not the source of the problem, but in hitching their poverty mitigation wagons to the business interests that generate more poverty than wealth, they are not part of the solution either.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 6:38 am

You never saw any corruption when Brown was the Mayor? Seriously?

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

The only way that corruption will end in San Francisco is when Brown dies in prison or as Mussolini or Gaddafi expired.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

If development wasn't so opposed in SF, there would be little need for employing devious strategms.

The left has brought this upon themselves.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

To make an omelet, you gotta break a few eggs.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

grease a few palms….

Posted by Guest on Dec. 06, 2013 @ 6:00 am

progressives these days. Moscone was a white wealthy resident of St. Francis Wood (bourgeois!!) and Milk was a white small businessman who made his biggest mark on "lifestyle" issues like the pooper-scooper law (bourgeois!!). Steven and his pals would scoff at these two today, considering them bougey relics better replaced by LA transplants like Avalos or Campos.

Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

courage to take a stand against what were genuine injustices.

Whereas now, being progressive is essentially a kneejerk, reflexive whinery against success, prosperity and progress.

And it embraces the very type of stereotyping and class-based hatred that the original progressives fought against.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

Today's progressives, while still led by whiney white men like Fairfield resident Chris Daly or erstwhile Burning Man attendee Steven Jones, are sternly opposed to SF's white power structure except when they're replicating it, like at the SFBG.

Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

The Guardian actively supported Milk and Moscone while they were alive, and we support their legacy today. Our progressive values haven't changed, despite the mispresentations by our critics (which existed then, just as they do today). The progressive movement isn't "led" by anyone that you cite, it is a broad-based coalition driven by values and ideas that defy the basic capitalist-plutocratic paradigms that you all seem to slavishly adhere to. The Guardian and the progressive movement welcomed white men like Milk and Moscone then, just as it welcomes me and other white men today, even as it values and seeks diversity. The progressive movement is a big tent, and we welcome anyone who wants to help fight for the broad public interest over the narrow economic interests of a small minority of exploitive San Franciscans. But they are few and we are many, so keep reading, get involved, and take a stand.   

Posted by steven on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

It is restricted to a few unions, activists and interfering NIMBY nabobs of negativity.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

And to make your point you quote Spiro Agnew, the conservative felon who resigned the vice presidency in disgrace. Perfect! 

Posted by steven on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 10:51 am

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