In his tenure on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Scott Wiener’s propensity for wading into city minutia earned him the nickname “The Tinkerer.”

Now a state senator, Wiener is done tinkering. His latest prospective housing bill, SB 50, could be transformative. The bill, which faces a make-it or break-it hearing today, would upzone vast swaths of the state, allowing multi-unit buildings into neighborhoods currently restricted to single-family housing.

This, Wiener tells Mission Local’s Miki Katoni, is the way to start chipping away at this state’s housing deficit.

Tenant organizers, however, see things differently. They claim SB 50 would be like dropping a gentrification bomb on California.

It all plays out in front of Katoni’s camera. And, all the while, housing is growing ever harder to obtain — and retain. — Joe Eskenazi

(Video by Miki Katoni)

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Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

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  1. I am so glad that Scott Wiener continues to do his good work, I support SB 50 and more housing development. Elitist so-called progressives (and tenant organizers) have ruined the city.

  2. SB 50 is a non-issue for San Francisco.
    If it’s not tough enough yet to get a smaller scale 4 unit building up – the city will just put up more roadblocks like further complicating and increasing costs for demolition permits. Even if it goes against the letter of SB 50 – they’ll find a way.
    We live in a very conservative municipality.

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