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Bevan Dufty

Bevan Dufty

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Bevan Dufty mayoral candidate questionnaire
Bevan Dufty mayoral candidate questionnaire

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Published by: San Francisco Examiner on Sep 17, 2011
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09/17/2011

 
Bevan DuftySan Francisco Examiner mayoral candidate questionnaire
 
1. Please explain your campaign platform in 20 words or less.
Pay attention to the basics so we fix the big picture.
2. Please list your votes on the local November ballot measures
School Bonds – YesRoad Repaving and Street Paving Bonds – Yes (we need to fund these improvementsevery year, not using bond funds)Pension Reform:Lee supported version – YesAdachi Initiative – NoAmending Initiative Ordinances and Policy Declaration – YesCampaign Consultant Disclosures – YesSchool District Student Assignment System – No
3. What is the worst budgetary problem in San Francisco and how will you addressit?
There has been much discussion of increasing pension costs. I am very supportive of thepension reform plan put forward by Supervisor Elsbernd in partnership with labor unionsand am confident that the proposed modest changes to the health service board willenable even more savings over the long term. As mayor, I will focus on bringing downhealth care costs by implementing smart preventative health measures to curb obesity andhelp employees stop smoking. Preventative health measures work- and healthier publicemployees means better city services for all San Franciscans.
4. What are your plans to attract and retain businesses in San Francisco?
I will start by meeting with business leaders who are located in San Francisco, thankingthem for their commitment to our city, and engaging them in my economic developmentstrategy. I recently met with John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo, and was dismayed thathe has not felt thanked by a mayor for keeping his jobs in San Francisco. We have abraintrust of business leaders, and it is time to actively seek their guidance in how weinvest this money to improve our city. This involves execution of large events likeAmerica’s Cup, as well as the day-to-day investments in our school system.As supervisor, I worked with many local entrepreneurs — from restaurateurs to biotechinnovators— who spent too much time and money jumping over hurdles. I co-sponsoredlegislation to support three targeted payroll tax exemptions focused on creating biotech jobs for San Franciscans, and allowed biotech firms to pay permit fees once they hadtheir certificate of occupancy rather than at groundbreaking. These measures increasedthe biotech presence from 2 firms to 73 firms and created over 3,000 new jobs. As mayor,I will continue to leverage my years of experience with city processes to focus oncommon sense reform and streamlining regulations so that businesses can open faster.
 
5. Do you support San Francisco giving tax breaks to businesses that agree to locatein economically distressed areas such as the Tenderloin district or Mid-Marketarea?
Yes — By encouraging growth in areas of the economy like New Media and Biotech, weare investing in our economic future. I believe the Twitter payroll tax break will helprevitalize the Mid-Market area and boost The City as an economic force. In thiseconomy, it would be irresponsible to turn away high paying jobs—particularly in an areaof The City with high crime and blight.We must make more systemic changes to the payroll tax system in the long term. I wouldlike to see the tax burden on business lessened and to instill a certain level of parityacross industries so that we don’t have pockets of the business community that are over-burdened. I have spoken frequently with our excellent City Treasurer, Jose Cisneros,about taking the approach that Los Angeles used to reform business taxes. They broughtin an outside consultant and worked methodically over three years to formulate a planthen approved by voters overwhelmingly. I would like for Treasurer Cisneros andController Ben Rosenfield to lead a similar effort involving the board, mayor andstakeholders.
6. What proposals do you have for creating job growth in The City?
When I talk to people around San Francisco, their primary concerns are jobs and thefuture of our city’s economy. In order to get more jobs in San Francisco, we need havegreat schools that train students for tomorrow’s economy. The future of our economy islinked with our ability to improve our public school system. My child starts public schoolthis year—I will be the nation’s most active mayor collaborating for great publiceducation. I will continue my work connecting private sector resources to our schools sothat our youth can excel in the high-tech and science corridors of our economy. I will tapinto our excellent brain trust of business and labor leaders who have a stake in our city’sfuture, and engage them in the development of programs like the vocational training atJohn O’Connell High School, the Athletic Scholar Advance Program at Mission HighSchool, and the Biotechnology Academy at Lincoln High School. If we can improve ourschools, employers will be more apt to locate in San Francisco and attract the best talent.I see schools as crucial not only for the economy of today, but also for the foundation of our city’s economy in the future.
 7. Do you support San Francisco’s policy of requiring contractors who bid on largepublic projects to guarantee that a significant percentage (at least 20%) of the workwill be performed by city residents?
Yes – I was the eighth vote on the Local Hire legislation. I believe this legislation wascarefully crafted to secure jobs for San Franciscans and stimulate the local economy.After careful review by the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, itis estimated that local hire will generate over 300 new jobs for San Franciscans per year.In addition, the legislation is expected to generate nearly $177 million for the generalfund over the next 10 years.
 
 
8. Over the past decade, growth in the salary and benefits of city employees hasforced the city to reduce services in a variety of areas. Are city employees overpaid?Are benefits too generous? If so, what can be done about this?
There is no reason our city workforce can’t be as competitive and dynamic as the greatcompanies in the Bay Area. I will be a mayor at the bus and rail yards, and meetingregularly with employees from every department. I will motivate and uplift ourworkforce so that every San Franciscan can walk out of their door and see their cityworking for them.A resident in Glen Park asked me how I’d spend my first day as mayor, and I told her I’dgo visit the child welfare workers. Here are individuals faced with the most difficultsituations including violence and abuse that face our city, that operate every day withvery little pay and even less appreciation and support. We don’t need to cut paychecks;we need to listen to the people on our front lines, promote talent from within, and stopspending millions on out-of-town managers that are simply out of touch with SanFrancisco.We have a health care crisis that that is challenging our bottom line. As I wrote above, Ibelieve an aggressive shift toward preventative care is necessary to keep costs down, andensure that our employees are healthy and able to come to work.As mayor, it will be my responsibility to showcase to The City how a respected and well-run workforce can deliver top-notch services. I believe in the thousands of hard-workingindividuals who are keeping our streets clean, our children safe, and our buses operating,and know that I can do a better job motivating and managing the workforce to get theresults that The City needs.
9. The state could soon allow cities and counties to add more local taxes. Whatadditional taxes, if any, would you propose for San Francisco?
I am very interested in finding a way to fund the undergrounding of utility lines, andwould consider working with businesses, neighborhood groups, environmental groupsand utility companies to find a revenue-generating opportunity to fund theseimprovements.
10. What should be done to make Muni more efficient? What changes should bemade to address the MTA’s annual operating deficit?
Muni requires a mayor's daily attention and dedication as well as long-term vision. I willbe a mayor standing at the bus and rail divisions, talking with Operators as well asregular riders, and insisting that we not just be a transit-first city in words but in deeds. Iride Muni almost every day, and have dedicated a large part of my working life totransportation policy at the federal level in Los Angeles and San Francisco. I am excitedto lead our city toward high-speed rail, the Central Subway, Transbay Terminal, andincreased transit-oriented housing and commercial development.As supervisor and chair of the Transportation Authority, I successfully pushed the MTAto build a new central Transportation Management Center that will streamline operations.

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