We already know that Airbnb has spent around $8 million dollars to fight San Francisco's Proposition F, a ballot initiative that seeks to impose restrictions on private, short-term housing rentals. But along with the $1,715,097 they've spent at Sadler Strategic Communications and the $264,800 they've spent at David Binder research (among many other recipients of funds) they'll now need to add a budget line for some more practical items: Paint remover and glass cleaning, after the windows of their campaign office were defaced this week with anti-Airbnb graffiti.
Capp Street Crap was the first to report that the No on F gang had given up on efforts to find a campaign office in the Mission, after an abortive attempt to open their headquarters in a building owned by a notoriously unscrupulous landlord.
Instead, they rented out a spot at 3200 Geary Boulevard at Spruce Street, once the home to a tragic little Radio Shack. In their report, Capp Street Crap said that "With the Mission gentrifying at a rapid clip and recent reports like this one in the Examiner suggesting short-term rentals have eaten a large piece of the neighborhood’s available housing stock, I’m guessing the SF for Everyone campaign will get a warmer welcome in its new location."
This has apparently not been the case, however, as Dyan Ruiz spotted the freshly-vandalized office while riding the 38 Geary Thursday.
It appears that the vandalism, which reads "FUCK AIRBNB" was spray-painted on the front windows and doors of the office, as well as another window on the Spruce Street side of the office.
SF Weekly reports that No on F's Campaign Manager Patrick Hannan took this to mean that "The proponents of Prop. F have gotten desperate."
"Illegal vandalism and graffiti," Hannan said, "won't make this misguided proposition better."
It's unclear of Hannan has reported the vandalism to the San Francisco Police Department, and a call to SFPD on the matter was not returned at publication time.
Meanwhile, however, Prop F's highest-profile supporters are addressing the attack without condemning it outright. For example, Sarah Shortt, the executive director of San Francisco's Housing Rights Committee, told the Weekly that the vandalism "clearly reflects the growing ire of residents of San Francisco who are angry that a corporate behemoth like Airbnb is not only stealing our precious housing stock, but buying the election."
"In the end," Shortt says, "the campaigning shouldn’t be about attacks on entities or individuals, but on the policies themselves and educating voters about what needs to change."
Soon, however, all this will be less a matter for spray paint than the ballot box: As of Monday, voting begins in the November 3 election. And in a little more than a month, the fate of Prop F (whatever that means in the long run) will be decided.