Shaw's "housing civil war" is really about influence peddling

Randy Shaw advocated publicly and privately for the Twitter tax break he crafted in 2011 with Jane Kim and Ed Lee.
Luke Thomas

I’m always wary of the BeyondChron stories by Tenderloin power broker Randy Shaw, who uses the website as a propaganda tool for his interests and those of the politicians who he helped get into office, including Mayor Ed Lee and Sup. Jane Kim, as I wrote in last week’s paper.

Sure, they can be a great way to understand what the Mayor Lee and his business community allies are up to, as Shaw floats his little trial balloons that try to frame the city’s political dynamics in the interests of his allies. And now, he’s got San Francisco (aka Modern Luxury) Magazine amplifying those efforts.

For example, did you know that we’re in the midst of a “housing civil war” in San Francisco? No, me neither. But that’s what Shaw declared this week, a declaration that the folks at downtown-friendly Modern Luxury amplified today by reprinting that story.

The tone of the story is a little more even-handed than usual, given that Shaw is being careful not to hurt his close relationship with Kim. But it’s also clearly a shot across her bow on behalf of Lee and the pro-development crowd that Shaw has cozied up to in recent years.

Kim already engages in a delicate balancing act between the progressive community that helped her get elected (which is increasingly restive about the gentrification and displacement that have been fed by economic policies she supported after winning the race in 2010) and the political establishment surrounding Mayor Lee, whom she regularly lavishes praises upon.

Apparently, it’s a dance that she’s performed pretty well, given her lack of serious challengers as she runs for reelection this year. But Shaw’s piece seems to be a subtle public warning to remember where her political bread is buttered, and to not go too far with her proposal to limit luxury condo development when it exceeds 70 percent of the total housing construction.

As with any legislation, the devil is in the details on this one, and Shaw seems to be trying to have a big say in influencing those details by declaring a “war” without identifying any of its combatants or battlefields. Then again, this piece doesn’t seem intended for a general audience, but for those in the back rooms where Shaw truly exercises his power.   



Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:20 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

Nonprofit slumlord.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

It's much better to spend 24/7 trolling political chat-rooms whining about people who actually get things done?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

I provide more housing to the poor via my property tax payments than Randy Shaw does who takes tax dollars back to the Berkeley Hills. The cost of that housing is a green light for developers who are cleansing east side neighborhoods of the unrich.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

live in SF, then we would have 400,000 extra residents in the city. Care to guess how much higher rents and home prices would be without commuters?

You are part of the movement of replacing poorer people in the east side with more affluent folks like, say, white male tech workers

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

I am saying that San Francisco residence and voter registration should be required for all who work in political nonprofits and for the City.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 1:36 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

City government is a welfare program for residents, not for everyone else.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

But that has nothing to do with where its workers live.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

Commuter workers in the public have much less allegiance to a municipality than public sector workers who are residents. It is similar to how the Chinese Communists used troops from the provinces to repress democracy protesters in 1989 and similar to how everyone knows that homeowners have a greater stake in their community than renters, right?

Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 6:10 pm

Marcos is getting pwned.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

Your contempt and hatred for San Franciscans knows no bounds.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 7:38 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 7:18 am

powerful city with the power to tell people where to live.

The voters do not.

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Posted by clash of clans triche gemmes illimité on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 10:09 am

should move to the east bay so the housing they take up here in San Francisco can rented at market rate to "successful" people? Aren't the poor and homeless losers according to you and should not be subsidized?

Posted by Guest III on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

I don't think that's what he's saying at all.

Yes, Shaw works at a nonprofit that provides some housing. But it's at a higher-than-necessary cost. And Shaw's a bootlicker for Ed Lee and Jane Kim.

Posted by SFRealist on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 6:35 am

Surely that can only happen if others are willing to subsidize them. There is no cheap housing in SF. There is only subsidized housing.

SF spends $160 million a year on the homeless.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 7:20 am

Not cheaper homes, but it could be done at a lower cost.

For instance, I could be wrong, but I believe the city's tax dollars are used to fund Beyond Chron. To me, that website seems like a megaphone for Randy Shaw. Why should we pay for that?

Posted by SFRealist on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 7:47 am

homeless or else spend much more money to do so.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 2:35 pm

Shaw leverages his power over tenants to coerce them to vote for candidates that throw more money at Shaw once elected and uses tax dollars to subsidize his website that promotes this scam politically.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 8:08 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 2:34 pm

Nonprofit landlords have power over the people living in master leased buildings because they can evict them. The pressure when a THC droid comes by pressuring someone to vote can be significant for someone facing the kinds of challenges that would end someone up in a THC master leased hotel.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 5:12 pm

vote anyway, so any impact would be slight.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 5:31 pm

does not mean it does not happen.

Posted by Guest III on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 7:44 pm

How do you think that Jane Kim demolished Debra Walker?

Posted by marcos on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

My post was directed at "Guest", whose question to Marcos about what he has done for the poor and homeless (and appearing to defend Shaw) is pretty rich.

Posted by Guest III on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 7:42 pm

And to answer the question, I was involved with the team that put together the San Francisco Community Land Trust 10 years ago that has begun to acquire rental buildings at risk of Ellis for conversion into permanently affordable housing. It may not be much, but I'd wager its most than more "Guest"s have done for affordable housing.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 7:52 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2014 @ 11:36 am

In other words, you're a staunch advocate for blight and keeping the city budget operating at crisis mode as it tries to meet its debt obligations, and unintentionally forcing responsible elements in city government to have to pander to developers and the wealthy in hopes of making up for it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

Need a tune up, you're failing the Turing Test.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 14, 2014 @ 4:59 pm

as you claim. In particular, give the building address, the date the Ellis was issued, and the date when you saved those tenants from eviction.

Without those details and the ability for us to verify them, your claim is worthless and self-serving.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2014 @ 5:19 am

Oh please. Shaw's TCH is one of the City's most prolific evictors. The THC has made claims to the SF Superior Court that its units are not subject to rent control without a single eyebrow being raised by the powers that be. When complaints arise about the conditions of the buildings the THC receives over $100million to manage Shaw uses his City-funded blog, BeyondChron to state that the TCH is not the landlord of the properties it manages as a means to dodge responsibility, yet in its many, many eviction actions with the SF Superior Court, the THC identifies itself as the "landlord". The influence Shaw has over the City means that no meaningful oversight or investigation of this organization will ever come from the City. Time to bring in the Feds.

Posted by roflynn on Jun. 14, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

rent control. There is a specific exclusion from rent control for all housing owned by the federal, state or city government, or by charities and non-profits.

And of course you would expect them in any event to evict where they have just cause, which they do have with many of their "tenants".

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2014 @ 5:17 am

The properties that the THC manages are all privately owned so yes, Rent Control applies.

Posted by roflynn on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 11:01 am

exempted from rent control, but I am not certain about that.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2014 @ 11:16 am

essence of politics i.e. building consensus, establishing balance and seeking common ground.

I realize that that sounds outlandishly conservative to you, but that just goes to show how extremist and out-of-touch you are.

Oh, and you are shocked that any kind of war is going on in SF over housing. Er, really?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

What you call "consensus building" means commuting in from a mansion in the Oakland hills to lord over "the most vulnerable" as a landlord while taking home a hefty salary and cutting deals to screw your base with the megarich and developers all while claiming to be helping out "the most vulnerable."

I call that corruption.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

It is about whether one supports consensus-building or whether, like Steven, you want all-out war where if you cannot win everything you want, you might as well take nothing.

Compromise is the art of politics.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

This is about political and housing self determination for San Franciscans without the interference of the commuter political class and their developer patrons.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

of people the city needs to live here, and not based on the random historical fact of who just happens to be here at any one time.

Housing policy anticipates who will live here in the future.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

that housing policy ought to be geared to housing workers in its principal industries, which are tourism, health care, and education. techies like to say they're only a small part of the city's workforce but all of the housing seems to be getting built just for them.

Posted by MossyBuddha on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 11:01 am

professionals including techies, bankers, doctors, lawyers, consultants, fund managers and others. There are tens of thousands of families making 150K a year or more, who can afford a million dollar condo.

They all sell, kinda proving my point

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 2:34 pm

If we build more market-rate homes, we get more BMR units under the existing rules.

If we build less market-rate homes, we also get less BMR homes.

You cannot change that with any change in law because we cannot force developers to build any homes, and they can always invest elsewhere.

This is where the left get themselves in a bind, as with 8-Wash. They hate the wealthy so much that they would rather have less homes for the poor than build anything for the rich, even when that build costs the city nothing and in fact brings in more tax revenues.

It's weird but then, as they say, only in San Francisco. Bite off your nose to spite your face.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

If we raise the affordability take then fewer crap projects would get built and those that did get built would provide more affordable. Easy peasy.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:43 pm

problem is that investors only care about one thing - ROI. Or more accurately, annualized ROI.

Raising the MBY extortion would simply reduce the number of projects built. You'd end up with maybe the same number of BMR units, or less.

All you really achieve is build less homes for people who are willing to pay a market rate, and that is a pointless achievement.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

Kim is retreading my idea, thanks.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 1:11 pm

Tinkering with the numbers isn't an idea at all.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

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