The latest SF political mailer drops a provocation in the old San Francisco street poop debates, and it’s largely paid for by a union that may gain some members under a Department of Sanitation and Streets.
The San Francisco street poop discourse has long been effective clickbait for the local and national media, and poop has popped up in politics too. In a 2018 District 6 supervisors candidate debate, poop zingers featured prominently in the debate between Matt Haney Sonja Trauss, and Christine Johnson. Haney would win that election, and after the Mohammed Nuru-DPW scandal broke, he rode that poop-complaint powered sentiment to establish a Department of Sanitation and Streets.
SF's streets are some of the dirtiest in America. Prop B takes the nonsensical step of entirely eliminating our brand new, voter mandated Department of Sanitation.— Matt Haney (@MattHaneySF) August 30, 2022
All we can expect are even filthier streets and sidewalks, and more corruption & cronyism.https://t.co/Hud0a6jr6u
Yet in July, a post-Haney Board of Supervisors puzzlingly put forth a November ballot measure to cancel the as-yet unformed Department of Sanitation and Streets, even though voters just approved the department with a 60% majority vote in November 2020. That ballot measure to eliminate the department and fold it back into Public Works is called Prop. B, and it’s strongly opposed by labor unions,
Which leads us to the shitty political ad above, which is now being dumped into mailboxes all over town. “Don’t kill the Dept. of Sanitation!,” the ad declares, alongside comical but highly charged images of a pile of poop (complete with a fly) and a syringe. The above-named CleanStreetsNow.com website cleverly places a rat next to its Mohammed Nuru-referencing “FBI Idictments [sic] for Bribes” section.
And well, well, well, the fine print on the back of the ad tells us that the No On B campaign is financed to the tune of $59,228 by San Francisco Laborer’s Local 261 PAC.
That $59,000 is chump change in this local election. As seen above, the tech-bankrolled YIMBY housing measure Prop. D is rolling in $2 million in donations. Heck, Dede Wilsey wipes poop off the sidewalk with $59,000 checks.
But it is darned curious that every penny of the current $104,929 that No On B has raised is from labor unions. There are a few cropped out in the image above, but the donors are still all labor unions or labor advocacy groups, like San Francisco Building & Construction Trades Council Issues Committee and Laborer’s Local 67 PAC.
Yet if their opponent Oversight Done Right, Yes on B were to criticize them for getting all their contributions from special interests, that would be like Eddy Street calling Turk Street “shit-covered.” All of Yes on B’s current $99,499 in contributions comes from large real estate developers, or PR firms that represent real estate developers. Again, the above image crops a few donors out, but there are sizable donations from Boston Properties ($10,000), Seven Hills Properties LLC ($10,000), and the San Francisco Apartment Association PAC ($5,000).
It’s obvious why labor unions want a Department of Sanitation and Streets. More public employees means more dues-paying public-sector union members. But why are developers and their PR firms against the Department of Sanitation and Streets? Are they just trying to cozy up to Mayor Breed, who supports Prop. B? Are they pining for the old Nuru-style “pay-to-play” days to come back?
If you have theories on why the developers don’t want this street cleaning department, feel free to talk shit in the comments below.
Images: Joe Kukura, SFist