A general obligation bond to improve San Francisco parks ought to be a slam dunk, particularly when it's getting pushed by Sup. Scott Wiener, who isn't exactly a pro-tax kind of guy. The left always votes for these things. Wiener's lining up the moderates. Proposition B would, in normal circumstances, get 70 percent of the vote.
But there's an awful lot of pent-up anger at the Rec-Park department, and if you want to know why, just check this out. A group of mostly immigrant soccer players, who've been using a park in the Mission for pickup games for more than a decade, are now getting kicked out two nights a week -- because Rec-Park has turned the place over to a private outfit that charges money to enter the games.
Oh, and you have to register on your smartphone.
So the young white techies who want to play soccer and can afford $7 for a game on parkland our taxes paid for get to play, and the Latino immigrants -- who, by the way, were there first -- lose out.
You like that? It's the direction Rec-Park is going under the direction of Phil Ginsburg.
Even the Guardian, which has never opposed a GO bond for anything except prisons, had a lot of trouble with Prop. B. And while Wiener, in a meeting with us, dismissed most of the opposition as marginal, it doesn't take much to prevent a bond from getting a two-thirds vote. Here's the question Ginsburg needs to think about:
Would he rather have his park bond -- or evict the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council recycling center? Would he rather have his $195 million for badly needed capital projects -- or privatize recreation facilities? Will he do anything, anything at all, to show some good faith that he's heard the message from his critics?
Ginsburg and Wiener both support the idea of coming up with a new (tax-based) revenue source for Rec-Park. And we went along with the park bond, reluctantly. But if doesn't show us any reason to believe there's hope for the Latino immigrants to play soccer without paying $7, if he isn't changing his tune at all, he may not get his two-thirds vote Nov. 6. And he's going to have a hell of a time convincing any of us to give him any more money in the future.
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