Campos Wants Companies to Pay for Arts

Supervisor David Campos, alongside Supervisor Eric Mar and journalist Belva Davis.

En Español.

Arts and culture is what the Mission is about and companies can help pay for some of it, said Supervisor David Campos, who spoke at the San Francisco Arts Town Hall at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Monday evening.

“Arts and culture make District 9 what it is,” said Campos when asked how the arts are a cultural asset to his constituency.

Campos and other candidates running for supervisor in November took the stage Monday in front of 450 people to answer questions from award-winning journalist Belva Davis about the future of the city’s arts funding.

“The talent you can find in [the Mission District] is comparable to what you can find in the rest of the city, or even the rest of the world,” he said, pointing to Balmy Alley as a great example of some of the creativity one can find in the neighborhood.

Despite the city’s vibrant arts culture, Campos said the amount of money currently going toward the arts is “less than it should be.”

Giving Twitter a tax break to move into the mid-Market area resulted in less funding for the arts, Campos said later in a phone interview.

The District 9 supervisor voted against that tax break in part because it meant losing various community benefits that the tax would help fund, including potential infrastructure projects, such as public artworks, designed to mitigate the local effects of a development.

“Specifically for larger developments,” said Campos, “community benefit agreements should be part of the deal. We should make sure that the arts are included.”

Campos said that startup companies in the Mission District present an opportunity to the city. Many of them will benefit from the gross receipts tax reform measure on November’s ballot, if it passes. The measure would replace the city’s current payroll tax with one that taxes business revenues. The money businesses save could help fund art projects, Campos said.

“We should approach these businesses that are going to be saving money and see if they can make a contribution.”

Proposition 30, which would establish a temporary tax to fund primarily K-12 schools and community colleges, could also help bring in more money — but that is up to voters.

“We still need to do much more if the state doesn’t step up, if Proposition 30 doesn’t pass,” said Supervisor Eric Mar, who sat alongside Campos at the town hall meeting.

Campos agreed, adding that he plans to request a hearing in September before the Joint City and School District Committee, which he chairs, to talk about a “plan B” for arts programs if Proposition 30 doesn’t pass.

“Part of it is just getting more info about what the expected level of funding will look like, locally,” Campos said. “I think there’s a lot of hope that the tax measure will pass. But you have to prepare for the worst.”

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  1. Anyonebutcampos

    Hey Campos – how about working on the number of shootings and late night muggings in the Mission? Have you read Mission Local recently?

    • Christie LaRussell

      I am a full time artist with a studio in the Mission and I happen to agree with the Anoyenbutcampos post. I would love to tax the heck out of EVERYONE and send me a deduction on my studio rent (said with eyes rolling). As an artist in the Mission I would like to see a friendly exchange and support for us. This is not the answer, it will create (and rightfully so) resentment. Can he not just say something like; “Hey… go to Open Studios… buy a piece of art for your business”. That, well, I think is a better win-win. It is hard enough for all of us, home owners, business owners, etc. to get bye these days.

  2. turnemout

    Again, Campos is way, way off the mark. Does he even realize that this “tax break” he and his cohorts speak of is not even really a tax break? The ridiculous tax that Twitter and Zynga were exempted from was a severely antiquated tax that no other major city in country enacts! ALL businesses in the city should be exempted from this tax. But of course with the board of supes being so anti business, this will never happen.

    Want to fund the arts, fine. Maybe the City should manage its $6 Billion dollar annual budget a little better, no?

  3. CWWSF

    What are your priorities Santos? Art or jobs? How about crime and education? The people who live here need jobs and to be safe in their neighborhood and to have their children educated as best we can afford. A mural wont help that. And if you think it will because “people” come to the Mission to see the art and end up staying for lunch, besides being self congratulatory nonsense, that is also a prime example of trickle down economics which doesn’t work from this side either.

  4. Glen Parker

    If you can’t make a living selling your art perhaps you need to reconsider and find another line of work and make your art your hobby. I don’t expect the government to give me money so I can work on a model railroad that is more art than much of this other stuff Campos wishes to throw money (extorted from needed businesses) at.
    What he can do is take some of the money spent on the homeless and illegals and set up a permitting process so us citizens can get a concealed weapon card. The gang bangers and the fine gentlemen in dark hoodies are all carrying, why not the rest of us? Are our lives and property just not that important to Campos and the SF government?

  5. bob

    Campos is a know-nothing. Artists are flourishing in the mission without government bureaucrats raising taxes. “Public artworks”, i.e., Precita Eyes’ government-imposed politically correct murals are mostly blight IMO.

  6. marco

    I’m all in favor of supporting the arts, and I do, but the last thing we need is more taxes on business to fund some amorphous program with little or no oversight. Remember how loud the homeless non-profit industry screamed when they were asked for an accounting of their spending a proof of results? When will these “progressive” BoS clowns wake up and see that there are real problems here they are failing to address… namely: jobs, filthy streets and bums, a broken building department, and crime problems due to progressive coddling of gang criminals. Campos is so out of touch with what is important in San Francisco.

  7. marco

    Campos — How about reading this first, and then making some plans for our neighborhood’s future:

  8. Old Mission Neighbor

    Is this guy going to get voted out or what? Everything he does makes him seem completely out of touch with the neighborhood.

  9. Pamela

    Campos constantly reminds me why I did not/won’t vote for him. For some reason, he seems to think it is normal behavior to live in filth, garbage, crime.
    Marco hit it right on the mark. Crime daily, everywhere in District 9. Campos is the perfect reason to bring back citywide supervisor elections. Under his watch,with the exception of Bernal Heights which is slowly but surely upgrading, the Mission has become an even more violent place to be. Everyday there is a major quality of life issue that has yet to be addressed.
    I’m all for supporting the arts, as many of my family & friends are artists, but like one of the posts stated, go to Open Studios, go to the monthly art walks, shop locally not at big-box or chains. Keep the money in the community.

  10. randolph mortimer

    I don’t understand why Campos’ racist position on white people moving to the Mission, oops I mean gentrification, is tolerated at all.

    Can you imagine someone running with a similarly racist position against Latinos in the neighborhood and blaming them for the problems of the Mission ? There would be a mob with torches and pitchforks in no time (and rightrfuly so).

    Campos wants to continue the tradition of conflict along racial lines in the Mission, something that any so called ‘progressive’ should be ashamed of. He could be working to address the needs of ALL residents of the Mission, but instead he bases his campaign on straight up racism and refuses to even respond to an entire slice of the neighborhood. What’s more, he refuses to acknowledge crime or quality of life as even a problem in the Mission, which keeps us ALL down.

    If only he wasn’t running unopposed.

  11. punti

    Private consumption choices — such as saying companies/individuals should shop at Open Studies — are important, but they’re irrelevant to this issue.

    Funding for public art of the type Campos is talking about is not some government contracting scheme for artists to make a buck — it’s about our joint existence as neighbors, as citizens, as community memembers and about the built environment, the public space, that we all share, and that is not market-based.

    So many comments from people who appear to think the word “social” means “making money off individuals interacting on a website.” Not everything is microeconomics, and many commenters would do well do expand their minds beyond freshman economics and market-worship. Markets are important, but the world, human society, and civilization is bigger than that.

  12. Neighbor

    The arts makes District 9 what it is? Coulda fooled me.

  13. Over Taxed

    As other posters have said, don’t tax me to give my money other people to not work and do “their art”.

    It would be wonderful, but the government doesn’t pay me taxpayer dollars to do my art. I work to pay my way and do my art hobby.

  14. sfmissionman

    I know why I am not running against David Campos: I’m not qualified. But I don’t know why NO ONE else is running against him. D9 is not just the Mission. It’s also Bernal Heights and part of the Portola. Another four years of third-world Marxism makes me glum.

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