Sunday, October 21, 2007
San Francisco is having a true snooze of an election. With no real contest for mayor or district attorney, this off year exercise has little to draw anyone to the polls.
But the ongoing fight about whose city this is and what kind of place it will be goes on as usual in the propositions. The folks who want San Francisco to be a slightly exotic shopping mall full of financial and commercial headquarters for suburban commuters are facing off against the usual coalition of working class residents, transit users, renters, unions and environmentalists. The turf this time is the contest over Prop. A, our latest attempt to improve the bus system, and Prop. H, a grab bag off developers' wish lists designed make the city more friendly to cars.
Don Fisher, who owns the Gap clothing retail chain stores and would like to own San Francisco, is paying for Prop. H propaganda. Fisher is the kind of guy who collects art, decides his collection should be preserved by a museum, but wouldn't dream of accepting a wing of an existing institution -- he's going to build his own palace to his taste out in the Presidio (nominally a national park.) A proper contemporary plutocrat, this guy. What does he care whether the buses run on time? Or at all.
Proponents of Prop. A held a nice little rally in front of the Gap's downtown store last week. Hope San Franciscans bother to vote.