The two progressive candidates running for David Chiu’s now-vacated Assembly seat have finally found an issue to disagree on, and you’re probably going to hear a lot more about one specific housing project the board of supervisors shot down in late October.
It’s looking like it will be June 7, 2022 for the state assembly race pitting Matt Haney against David Campos for David Chiu’s previous job. And not unlike the 2014 race between Chiu and Campos, there is little difference between the two candidates’ progressive policy planks. Therefore they must make a big deal out of whatever hairs they can split between their two respective positions on everything, and as the Chronicle reports, both are making political hay out of a 27-story housing high-rise that the SF Board of Supervisors rejected on October 26.
Tonight the Board voted down a 495 unit housing project in my district on a parking lot on Stevenson/6th.— Matt Haney (@MattHaneySF) October 27, 2021
It was approximately 24% affordable with 100+ affordable units, near transit, w ground floor community space, & extensive neighborhood support from residents & leaders.
Haney took to Twitter immediately after that board meeting two weeks ago to complain about the vote (he was one of the three supes who voted for it), and he’s still playing offense with this as his new chosen signature issue. “Right now, this is a Nordstrom valet parking lot. It’s not serving any purpose for the community,” Haney told the Chronicle. “We have a homelessness crisis, a housing affordability crisis and a climate crisis. All of those things require us to build more housing.”
Campos seems happy to take the bait, posting a lengthy screed about it on his campaign website entitled Listen to the voices of the people who will lose their homes. “The proposal is described by proponents as housing in a former parking lot,” his website says. “But that parking lot is in a neighborhood — a community teetering on the edge of displacement. Of the proposed development, only 14.7% of the on-site units are affordable — meaning 85% will be luxury housing in a luxury high-rise. Yes, there is a promise of additional fees to fund additional off-site units, but that is not a guarantee of homes. Of the few affordable homes actually included in the project, just 40% are reserved for people from San Francisco — meaning less than 6% of the units could possibly help house the working people of our city.
“That’s not good enough,” Campos’ site says.
In additional comments to the Chronicle, Campos says of that rejected Stevenson Street project, "There is a very real fear of displacement of the people who live around it. And these are folks who are very low income who are struggling, and in many respects remind me of my family and my experience.” Campos emigrated from Guatemala when he was 14.
There are two other candidates vying for the Assembly seat that David Chiu left to take the San Francisco city attorney job, both of whom sound in favor of the housing project. City College board member Thea Selby told the Chronicle that the city has to “figure out how we’re going to get to ‘yes,’” and startup founder Bilal Mahmood said, “I’m obviously very concerned about gentrification as well, but that’s not an issue here.”
But Campos thinks gentrification is an issue here, and Haney seems game to make a single SF Board of Supervisors vote the primary issue in this state assembly race.
Related: Supes Shoot Down 27-Story SoMa Residential Tower Over Seismic, Displacement Concerns [SFist]