This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
1. Please explain your campaign platform in 20 words or less. “Bring the spirit of innovation back to city government, bridge the disconnect between City Hall and the neighborhoods and put jobs and schools first.” 2. Please list your votes on the local November ballot measures School Bonds – Yes Road Repaving and Street Paving Bonds – Undecided Pension Reform: Lee supported version – Yes Adachi Initiative – No Amending Initiative Ordinances and Policy Declaration – Yes Campaign Consultant Disclosures – No School District Student Assignment System – Yes 3. What is the worst budgetary problem in San Francisco and how will you address it? The biggest budget problem is that San Francisco is facing an almost endless cycle of deficits and potential cuts to vital services. We have seen this play out across the seemingly arbitrary across the board budget cuts, in a recent pension crisis that was years in the making, and in many cases, a costly and antiquated approach to service delivery, permitting, and regulatory compliance. As an entrepreneur and education advocate, I’ve spent the last two decades managing large budgets, helping businesses and schools do more than anyone thought possible with limited resources, and building sustainable financial models able to withstand a variety of economic contingencies. We can and must do the same for San Francisco, but it will require a different approach. As the innovation capital of the world, we must work to better utilize emerging technologies to streamline bureaucracy and improve efficiency. To avoid future pension crises, we must base our budget expectations on more realistic forecasting grounded in long-term trends – not short term yields. And we must commit to a process of bottom-up budgeting, where each program is evaluated on its merits with results tied to specific benchmarks of accountability. Finally, we must improve the transparency of the overall budgeting process. Where shared sacrifice is needed or tough choices demanded, the community will be far more accepting of the results when the community knows where their money is going and why. 4. What are your plans to attract and retain businesses in San Francisco?
As an entrepreneur who has run two businesses in The City and worked with hundreds across the region, I understand what makes our local economy tick, and the challenges of doing business in our community first hand. City Hall should not be picking winners and losers, but instead creating an environment that attracts entrepreneurs and puts San Francisco on a level playing field with competing cities and states. The current payroll and stock option tax system has proven to push job creators out of The City as they grow, creating a competitive disadvantage against other communities, and should be eliminated. We also need to strengthen the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and focus on building relationships with entrepreneurs and business incubators to encourage new companies that are created in San Francisco to stay in San Francisco. The City needs to lead new companies and neighborhood merchants through the complicated process of obtaining licenses and permits, and where possible, utilize technology to simplify and streamline the process. San Francisco must also leverage its reputation as the innovation capital of the world. Having mentored entrepreneurs around the world with Endeavor, I know that there are any companies that could locate some or all of their operations to San Francisco, and I will bring with me to the City Hall the relationships and expertise needed to make that happen. It’s clear that we can do a far better job of reaching out to these companies, and effectively marketing the benefits of locating in this world-class city. Austin, Texas, and Arlington, VA, have been aggressively pursuing new startups and we need to catch up. We should also expand on existing initiatives like China-SF to help attract foreign businesses. Finally, we must recognize that a high quality of life, modernized infrastructure, diverse neighborhoods and strong public schools capable of producing the workers new businesses need is an integral part of any effort to attract businesses to our community. These issues cannot be compartmentalized, and must be integrated into a comprehensive, long-term economic development strategy. 5. Do you support San Francisco giving tax breaks to businesses that agree to locate in economically distressed areas such as the Tenderloin district or Mid-Market area? While on paper, it may make sense to incentivize businesses in certain neighborhoods; the Mid-Market payroll tax break is a Band-Aid that does not address the larger systematic problems discouraging businesses from coming to San Francisco. We need a comprehensive approach that puts our community on a level playing field with competing cities and states, addresses the quality-of-life needs of employers and employees alike, and leverages our advantages as a hub of international finance, tourism, the arts, and emerging technology to the benefit of our entire community. 6. What proposals do you have for creating job growth in The City?
Ultimately, we need to reverse the commute and bridge the gulf between housing and jobs. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, nearly 100,000 San Franciscans leave The City everyday for better jobs, and there are more than 13 million square feet of vacant office space throughout The City. We must focus on bringing quality, high-wage jobs back to our community, and ensuring that the people who live in San Francisco are able to work in San Francisco. Job one is keeping high-growth companies in San Francisco. The payroll and stock options tax, as well as concerns about cost of living and school quality, is causing too many entrepreneurial organizations to leave The City as they scale, costing us thousands of jobs each year. We can and must reverse this trend. In addition, we can do more to help small businesses grow and succeed. I fully support expansion of The City’s Small Business Revolving Loan Fund, and as mayor, will lead an effort to help streamline the regulatory and permitting process, so that entrepreneurs willing to create jobs in our community, face fewer hurdles in doing so. As we seek to attract new businesses and new investment, our land use regulations must match the need for greater flexibility in developing currently vacant space, while preserving San Francisco’s unique neighborhoods. We also need to streamline the permitting process for new construction. Far too many projects and the jobs that come with them are getting held up with unnecessary bureaucratic procedures. 7. Do you support San Francisco’s policy of requiring contractors who bid on large public projects to guarantee that a significant percentage (at least 20 percent) of the work will be performed by city residents? I support efforts to create jobs for our out-of-work residents with local hiring, especially during this challenging economic time. However, we must also consider the supply of resident workers by trade and the impact that local hire legislation may have on San Francisco without reciprocal agreements with other cities. Traveling from project to project throughout the Bay Area is common in many trades, and San Francisco needs to ensure it has an available supply of trained workers who have completed the years of training and apprenticeship required. We should prioritize job training programs that lead to new apprenticeships and encourage innovations that will increase economic development and capital construction. As an educator and school reform advocate, I believe that we need to give every child the opportunity to graduate from high school career – or college-ready. We also need to focus on education and training programs for out-of-work adults. The implementation of the “local hire” legislation will be a complex process, and The City must work closely with the trades to craft a realistic policy that increases educational and work opportunities for San Franciscans while also maintaining its relationships with other cities and counties.
8. Over the past decade, growth in the salary and benefits of city employees has forced 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? The mayor must forge a cooperative relationship with department heads and city employees, rooted in transparent communication and a shared stake in putting our city on a more sustainable financial path. I am committed to providing fair wages and benefits to city employees, many of whom are commuting from outside The City each day because of the high cost of living in our community, and concerns about educational opportunities for their children. I believe that any changes to our wage and benefits structure must be matched with a commensurate effort to address the quality-of-life challenges that make it difficult for San Francisco’s own public employees to reside in the community they serve. I recently requested a detailed budget from every city department through a Sunshine Ordinance Request, and received no details outside of the City Controller’s budget from any department. It is clear that we need greater transparency in how city government spends its resources. Two immediate reforms I would like to see is the compensation incentive for department heads tied to delivering enhanced services for less money, not protecting and growing current budgets. I also believe the ratio of "fringe benefits" to wages is also unusually high and should be re-examined. 9. The state could soon allow cities and counties to add more local taxes. What additional taxes, if any, would you propose for San Francisco? While I support eliminating the job-killing payroll and stock options tax, I strongly support Sen. Mark Leno’s legislation to allow cities and counties to levy income taxes. If the legislation passes, I will advocate an income tax for the highest income earners to replace revenue lost payroll tax revenue, while ensuring that the wealthiest San Franciscans – many of whom work outside The City, are paying their fair share to support public services. 10. What should be done to make Muni more efficient? What changes should be made to address the MTA’s annual operating deficit? San Francisco should have a world-class public transportation system and funding for Muni will be a priority in the budgets I propose as mayor. State budget cuts have hit our public transit system particularly hard. In addition to other structural reforms, new revenue is required to get Muni on solid ground. I will investigate ways to increase revenue and support a $100 vehicle mitigation fee. Once we provide Muni with a reliable source of revenue, we can make progress on other important transit issues like improvement of on-time performance, cleanliness and expansion of service. Use of pubic transit will increase if it is convenient, reliable and safe. I will work to improve the flow of Muni vehicles and increase on-time performance. I support
implementation of Bus Rapid Transit lanes and synchronization of traffic lights on major transit corridors for buses and light rail to give them priority. We need to seek and listen to public input. Nobody knows how to improve Muni better than the people who use it and the workers who operate it on a daily basis. In addition, technology, innovation and data should be utilized and readily available to the public. Some of the brightest and most creative minds live within our city borders. Having information available and seeking the public’s involvement will lead to innovation and the “outside the box” thinking we need to improve our public transit system. We should evaluate solutions developed in forums like the recent Transportation Camp that was held in San Francisco attended by innovators in the field. We should be continually working to optimize the efficiency of Muni routes. We should continually test limited stop bus lines that meet demand and speed up transportation time. We should experiment with demandbased routing using existing GPS and sensor technologies. “Transit-First” means more than having a world-class public transit system. We need more dedicated bike lanes and additional bike storage. We need pedestrian friendly sidewalks and street crossings. Our land use policies need to reflect our transportation values as well. 11. Homelessness still seems to be the foremost topic on the minds of voters. What's your plan to get people off the streets, especially when they refuse help? We need to have a comprehensive, centralized, accountable and transparent homeless support program that puts its focus on getting individuals on the right pathway of support that leads to sustainability. That includes regular and robust outreach, and making the availability of permanent housing a priority. I support turning the successful Project Homeless Connect program into permanent facility. I will model successful programs like Denver's The Road Home, where they have been able to cut costs of homeless support significantly and improve outcomes to get the homeless individuals and families on a path to sustainability. 12. In 2010, The City amended its Police Code to prohibit sitting or lying on a public sidewalk in San Francisco between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., with certain exceptions. Do you support this policy? Yes, I voted for it and made a contribution to the initiative. 12. Do you support the Parkmerced and CMPC developments as currently proposed? I support the development of more family housing at Parkmerced but do not believe the current plans provide enough protection for those reliant on rent control, particularly the elderly. I support the CPMC project so long as health services, especially emergency care are protected at St. Luke’s. I would also like us to look for ways to develop more satellite health clinics throughout The City.
13. Do you support increasing the number of permits to allow the conversion of rental properties into condos? San Francisco only allows a small number of condo conversions each year and the number of applicants continues to climb. I support condo conversions and home ownership. As mayor, I will work to increase home ownership and help make ownership a reality for those who are currently priced out of the market. I have spoken to many tenants who would like to buy their current unit but who do not want to be in a tenant in common situation or attempt to seek financing for this structure. By allowing more of these permits we can generate needed revenue for The City and also enable people to own their current residences. 14. Some people in San Francisco think that all tenants should be protected by rent control, regardless of the tenant’s income or wealth. Other people in San Francisco think that tenants should be protected by rent control only if they are lower or middle class, and cannot afford to pay market-level rents. What is your opinion on this issue? I am supportive of rent control laws as they currently exist. I will protect tenant rights, especially for seniors, veterans and working families. I support the concept of means testing for rent control, and will study ways to effectively and efficiently tie rent control laws to income level. Rent control laws should not extend to those on the upper end of the income scale. It is not fair to low- and moderate-income tenants and it is not fair to property owners for millionaires to be living in fixed-rent apartments. By 2025 more than 20 percent of our population will be over the age of 65 on a fixed income. We need to have the affordable-housing stock to keep our residents in The City. 15. In 2009, San Francisco began turning over undocumented youths arrested for felonies to federal immigration authorities for possible deportation. The Board of Supervisors subsequently directed The City not to turn over undocumented youths unless they have been convicted of a felony, rather than simply arrested. What is your opinion on this issue? I support the current Board policy. We need comprehensive federal immigration reform, and our limited municipal funds resources should not be used to enforce federal immigration laws. As the granddaughter of immigrants, this issue is very personal for me. I know the invaluable contributions that immigrant families make to our neighborhoods and our economy first hand. 16. More than 5,000 children have left San Francisco over the last decade. What's your plan to keep families living in San Francisco? San Francisco is losing families at an alarming rate and City Hall has done nothing to stem the loss. We must address quality-of-life and affordability issues for our residents so living in The City is a viable option. That starts with fixing our schools and continues with the way we budget and allocate resources for the basic quality-of-life issues important to our community: clean, well maintained streets, good public transit, comfort
in safety and security, accessible parks and open space, support for the arts and a strong sense of local communities reinforced by vibrant merchant corridors. With less than half of ninth graders enrolled in our public schools are currently graduating from high school, teachers are facing unpaid furloughs, summer school and art instruction are facing draconian cuts, it is clear that many are leaving our city in search of better educational opportunities for their children. To keep families in San Francisco, and attract new businesses and families to our community, world-class schools capable of training the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs must be a top priority. As an educator and mentor, I have worked with numerous non-profits and innovators in this field over the last decade and led efforts to support teachers and transform schools in our most under served communities. As mayor I plan to be our Chief Education Advocate and lead a community wide effort focused on strengthening schools – including ensuring that every child can attend a neighborhood “community” school within walking distance of his or her home, making San Francisco a recognized national hub for educational innovation and excellence, and building bridges of mentorship and financial support with area businesses to help supplement the tight budget reality of our current system. 17. What are your plans to curb gang violence in The City? Curbing violence starts with education and community support systems. Too many kids have difficult home environments and need supportive services to help them engage and then focus on academics. We need community schools that put more of these resources in one location (including after school programs, counselors, and mental health professionals), so kids do not have to leave school grounds before their parents get home. The Healthy Start program at ER Taylor is a perfect example. In most cases, aggression is an outcome of stress and low self-esteem. Our children need preventive services versus early detention, which just creates a cycle that leads to gang involvement. Every San Franciscan deserves to live in a safe and secure neighborhood, and as mayor, I will work with our police and community leaders to improve neighborhood safety. I believe that we need a well-funded Police Department that focuses on building relationships with every community and uses technology to prevent and investigate crime. Police foot patrols are one of the keys to strengthen the bonds between law enforcement and our communities. Foot patrols turn police officers into members of the community and promote open communication between neighborhood residents and law enforcement. I also support increasing coordination between law enforcement and community and neighborhood watch groups. Technology has allowed for the development of crime-fighting initiatives like CompStat, the Bay Area Regional Crime Center, and the ShotSpotter program. I support full adoption of these programs and will push for the Police Department to find cutting-edge ways to combat and prevent crime and make San Francisco as safe as possible.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.