The front of San Francisco City Hall
San Francisco City Hall. Photo by Eleni Balakrishnan

Let us start with the premise that San Francisco is a city with serious challenges and an unserious government. Let us be frank: This is a poorly governed place. You could even claim it’s the worst-run big city in the United States. And long has been.

You could garner broad agreement with a premise like this, just as you could with the premise “Klay Thompson is good at basketball.” 

Once you get into the why, though — why is San Francisco, a place that’s so rich and so replete with smart government officials, governed so abysmally? — it gets tougher. 

But along comes Michael Moritz with an op-ed in the New York Times to tell us why. 

He says it’s all those loons on the Board of Supervisors; it certainly has nothing to do with San Francisco’s 30-year string of establishment-friendly, pro-business, moderate mayors. 

We’ll get into the substance of Moritz’s article momentarily, but, for many readers, that was a challenge. Whatever Times scribe wrote the headline — “Even Democrats Like Me Are Fed Up With San Francisco” — was apparently channeling The Onion or the New York Times Pitchbot Twitter account

You simply can’t headline a story “Even Democrats Like Me” … when the me in question is a venture capitalist with a net worth of some $4.2 billion who supported Mike Bloomberg in the last election and has a long history of donating money to Republicans. This gets readers off on the wrong foot as surely as scattering ball-bearings atop a stairwell. As headlines go, it borders on sabotage. 

Moritz, a gifted journalist before going into more lucrative endeavors, likely can’t be blamed for the Times’ parodic editorial choice. But he can be blamed for writing that San Francisco has “been crippled by a small coterie who knows how to bend government to its will” when he’s the guy who’s put some $11 million into political donations over the last decade and a half. 

That’s parodic, too. And that’s just the money that we can easily track; that doesn’t include 501(c)4 donations and other sorts of endeavors that needn’t be disclosed. 

If you’re going to supposedly get into the nitty gritty to explain how San Francisco fails, facts matter. So Moritz navigates into the ditch when he writes things like: “The nominating committee of San Francisco’s Democratic County Central Committee has an impressive record in backing candidates seeking their first electoral victory as members of local transportation and educational boards. These slots put candidates on the conveyor belt to higher office.” 

First off, there is no “nominating committee” on the DCCC. Second, there is only one elected transportation board in town, the BART Board. And no San Franciscan has parlayed that into a means of ascent to higher office since Ella Hill Hutch in 1977.

Are these the most important points? Not really. But a lack of subject-matter fluency leads to the quick evaporation of one’s credibility. Even a nuclear physicist loses the confidence of the bar room when he talks about kicking a touchdown. Same goes with an ace journalist turned VC going on about nominating committees in the nation’s paper of record. 

Now, when it comes to billionaire inveterate political donors, you could do a hell of a lot worse than Michael Moritz. He is a long-haul San Franciscan. He has put tremendous amounts of dough into funding school summer programs, funding good journalism at the San Francisco Standard, and funding the University of California, San Francisco. In 2020, Moritz and his wife put $2 million into Right to Recover, which gave much-needed funds to low-income workers stuck at home with covid. 

So it’s disappointing that a deeply intelligent and committed San Franciscan out-and-out wanders through the looking glass when he writes that “mayors have been stripped of much authority while remaining convenient heat shields for the” Board of Supervisors.

This is a statement akin to the former editor of the Chronicle claiming that they simply had to retain Willie Brown’s column because Willie Brown is an everyman.  

Simply put, it’s hard to make a less accurate statement than this. 

The mayor of San Francisco, let alone its present mayor, has not been “stripped of much authority.” There are lowly aides in the mayor’s office fresh out of Public Policy grad school with more input and influence on the city budget than all 11 elected supervisors combined. The amount of money the supervisors and mayor fight and claw over during the budgetary add-back process is scores or hundreds of millions of dollars out of a budget approaching $14 billion — around 7 percent of the discretionary portion of the general fund and 1 percent of the overall budget.

Da Mayor Willie Brown and Mayor London Breed share a moment at the traditional John’s Grill election day schmoozefest in 2018. When Brown asked Breed how she was doing, she replied “I’m feeling like a winner!” Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

Far from being “stripped,” Mayor London Breed has, in her five and a half years in City Hall Room 200, managed to coalesce more and more power. She was able to appoint new department heads after the Federal Bureau of Investigation swooped in and arrested her longtime allies. That led to her being able to appoint a new City Attorney. She also appointed the District Attorney. And three school board members (voters retained two of them). And the Public Defender, too, if you go back that far. 

Two of our current supervisors were originally appointed to office, and three others beat appointed incumbents — meaning five of the 11 supes could have been mayoral appointees if not for those meddlesome voters. 

When a mayor disagrees with the Board, he or she can opt simply to not spend the money underlying the Board’s legislation. In 2020, for example, all 11 supervisors voted that the city obtain 8,250 emergency hotel rooms and Breed blew it off, veto-proof majority be damned. That’s how the system works, and that’s how it was designed to work. 

None of this seems like any rational description of circumscribed mayoral power. What’s more, most every issue most worrying San Franciscans — crime, filth, drug-use, homelessness — is under the aegis of the mayor. And that’s long been the case: When San Francisco had a moderate board under moderate Mayor Ed Lee, the city also had a homelessness crisis, a drug overdose crisis, filthy streets, a property crime crisis, a failing public transit system and an even worse affordability crisis than the present. 

None of this is to excuse the governance of our board or our mayor. The purpose of this article isn’t to say San Francisco is well-governed when it’s clearly not. But the board, despite what you’ve read from VCs on Twitter and in the Grey Lady, plays a circumscribed role.

If San Francisco is a presentation of “Hamlet,” then the Board is Rosencrantz or Guildenstern. Maybe Polonius. 

The mayor is Hamlet. 

On 15th Street. Photo by Lydia Chávez, Jan. 3, 2023.

There are plenty of troublesome kicking-a-touchdown type passages in Moritz’s short op-ed. 

His dismissal of ranked-choice voting seems, for all the world, to imply that the system can be “gamed” after the votes are in. His bemoaning of businesses fleeing this city doesn’t note that, as terrible as San Francisco’s business climate is, those companies often relocated to states with tax burdens less onerous than California’s. His complaint that voters enacted too many business taxes also neglects to mention that voters obediently enacted the gross receipts tax that Ron Conway and the city’s political moderates told us to — and our city government handed out the Twitter tax break and stock options tax break.

His swipe at the Chronicle as contributing to bad government seems like a cheap shot, considering the paper is doing some stellar investigative work and has certainly seen leaner and badder days (a certain everyman’s column was, indeed, cashiered).  

But let’s look at the more elemental issues. The problems beguiling San Francisco — a middle-class exodus, affordability issues and property crime, drug use, homelessness and more — have been decades in the making. They have worsened under the watch of both liberal and moderate city officials (and 30 consecutive years of moderate mayors).

Moritz bemoans that San Francisco is a one-party town. But so is virtually every major American city; of the 20 largest American cities, only two are led by Republicans. And, more to the point, what tenets of the modern GOP would possibly contribute to a better-run government, especially on the municipal level? 

San Francisco’s problem is not liberalism. It’s incompetence. It’s sloth. It’s poor governance, dysfunctional bureaucracy, and casual corruption enabled by vast and steady torrents of wealth. 

Well, it was fun while it lasted. And now Even Democrats Like Me are Fed Up with San Francisco. 

City Hall and SF’s first sanctioned tent camp

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Managing Editor/Columnist. 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. “It’s incompetence. It’s sloth. It’s poor governance, dysfunctional bureaucracy, and casual corruption enabled by vast and steady torrents of wealth.” Thank you, JE, for your pitch-perfect critique.

  2. Another stellar job by our Joe! Frankly, I wish we could tax these billionaires who live here and then whine and whine and whine and lie and lie and lie. And our Mayor needs to be voted out next elections. She has not done a damn thing to make SF better.

    “…what tenets of the modern GOP would possibly contribute to a better-run government, especially on the municipal level? ”

    I do not see any policies at all coming out of the GOP these days, much less something that would help cities. All they seem to get off on is owning the libs and making the lives of trans folks and young women as miserable as possible by eroding civil rights. Hopefully op-eds like this will keep all the Republicans out of SF. Including those who lie and claim they are Democrats.

  3. Corruption is the main problem. It generates systemic indifference to everything else. This is not a large city. But the corruption per square foot is astonishing. For example what percentage of the homeless budget is swallowed by salaries, pensions and benefits of the homeless bureaucracy? Why is “spiking” tolerated in the police and fire departments, when it constitutes fraud? Who wants elected officials who are everyone’s 3rd choice?

    1. Welcome back, Tom!!! We’re in agreement, again. I also agree with Joe Esknazi that we have a strong mayor (thanks in part to Willie Brown), but also agree with much of Michael Moritz’s NYT column. I’m generally an agreeable person except when Grant Colfax called NYC’s homeless program “warehousing” and said he would never allow it here. Is that why so many have had to live on our streets through the harshest winter in recent memory?

  4. Joe. Excellent article. Actually it’s too polite. Mayor Breed is responsible for the political lynching of Chesa Boudin by a credulous public, spoon fed with 9MM in MAGA money, who willingly marched to the polls like lemmings and ousted a truly honest and ethical District Attorney. The consequence of all this is the undeniable fact that crime has ramped up since Chesa was ousted. It’s no wonder that business is suffering. After all, Mayor Breed and her cadres red baited Chesa and conned the public into drinking the kool aid that this Progressive DA was responsible for their woes.

    I think you are blind to issues due to your need to defend the Far Left Tribe.

    Theft is acceptable because it rights an inequality.
    Selling Dangerous Drugs is acceptable because of a need to respect personal choice.
    Focusing on Pronouns & Microagressions must be a priority.

    Dude, the priorities are screwed up.

    1. Joseph — 

      I think you need to stop typing with your face.

      Also, stop with the random capitalizations already.


      1. Joe: Well sahnd ouch and oops typed with my nose. Well said!

        PS I am a member of the PrEtty moderately Left Of Senter medIum tribe. One of our leaders just became an emerita. No, the caps aren’t random, they are a bonus puzzle for your juvenile readers.

      2. In your comments here, Joe, like in your article, it would be great if you could resist the defensive, Facebook reply-style writing, and offer a more detailed and adult-like use of words to maybe offer something of substance that might inform people instead of irritating them to make yourself feel good.

        1. Sir or madam — 

          I don’t have time to mix it up with every half-bright, bad-faith troll who pounds his chest in the comments section.



  6. Mission Local can’t stand it when anyone deviates even slightly from the current progressive agenda.

      1. Truth hurts, huh?

        You could try re-examining your values. It is possible to be a progressive and not support, for example, fentanyl dealers.

        1. Jason — 

          The truth doesn’t hurt, but crass stupidity and false arguments do.

          Go outside and play, kid.


  7. I read his op-ed in the NYT and was floored by it but you certainly took it apart here. I still think district elections have turned out to be bad because I want a more moderate, even more rightwing board of supes. But you got him good! He doesn’t sound like a bad guy at all just someone who didn’t take the time to fact check a lot of ideas that seem to make sense until you fact check them. I guess I’ve been giving Mayor Breed too much of a pass for the mess here. My personal take on it is that the junkies and pushers have to go first before we can start making progress again. Yes that’s what I said. Chase the junkies on every street corner out of town and the crazies too. And if a wing nut Republican city government will do that then elect it. I have many reasons to be a Democrat. For starters rent control! Otherwise I might be in a sleeping bag too. But I’m not a junkie. This city has been in bed too long with its junkies. It’s time for a divorce. I’d actually be moved to support you here but I’m retired and on a limited income. Mr. Moritz could put a little of his money to worse use than here.

  8. The “moderate” supes you give a free pass to just approved giving sanctuary to fentanyl dealers. 2000 in SF dead so far, but you and Chesa tell us the criminals are the actual victims. Joe, you can use your bully pulpit to criticize and try to silence those who want to discuss and resolve the city’s problems, but it’s your politics and those of the supes that are an abysmal failure that’s destroying our city.

    1. “supes just approved giving sanctuary to fentanyl dealers”

      All immigrants ALREADY have sanctuary in San San Francisco and always will, stop lying.

  9. I dont think San Francisco is alone in this quagmire. Central government, city governmrnt and local, are all necessary in the management and governance of our global population. Unless of course, as some would have it, we regress to tribalism, which would be a social catostrophe vs. the social fraying we have now. What are the solutions? There are none. Only preparation as the empire crumbles.

  10. The Chron reported today that the city faces an estimated $16 billion bill to repair damages done to the homeless hotels during shelter in place. It also reported that the board of supervisors unanimously approved suspending legislation that would prohibit approved consumption sites. Even when they have an opportunity to stop crime, they blow it.

  11. San Francisco is a political springboard to more powerful state and federal positions. I wonder how much more effective our electeds would be in addressing day-to-day issues if their number one goal was not to kowtow to single issue voter blocks so they can get elected to the next best thing, but instead to actually focus on making San Francisco a more livable city.

  12. Joe joe,

    Agree with many of your points but the BOS are way more dysfunctional and progress impeding then you’re giving them credit for…

    I would suggest if we stuck you and Moritz in the room there would me more agreements than disagreements.

  13. San Francisco is the worst-governed big-city in America, tied for first with every other big city.

    And nowhere near as bad as Rome, to name just one example.

  14. My folks on the east coast asked me to read the NYT op ed and tell them what I thought. Thanks for giving me the option of “here, this will be more informed than my thoughts.”

    Would love to read about your thoughts of what could solve things.

  15. My favorite part is how he blames the city’s troubles on being a one party town, yet is quite upset that there is a member of the Board of Supervisors who is a member of the Socialist Party of America.

  16. Why does the NY Times editorial editor choose Moritz with lines like “even Superman with a light saber couldn’t fix this town” when there is someone like Joe? Each column is both something I didn’t know or forgot, mixed with the playful use of high brow and low brow references? No one since the master of … comes close to Joe’s writing about the city by the bay.

  17. A refutation of Moritz’ article needs more than picayune arguments herein. I believe Moritz paints a fairly accurate picture of our situation, leaving out a few minor quibbles. And our civic woes are not much different than those of of Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and almost every large city in The West that I have visited in the last couple of years.

    What exactly are you defending?

    Obviously, fixing these problems is beyond the abilities of our local (popularly elected) leaders. We need Federal and State and locally-based initiatives with governments working in unison before we will see any change. But first we have got to get a grip on open drug use on the streets. Standing by to that is a pure sign of capitulation.

  18. “She also appointed the District Attorney. And three school board members (voters retained two of them).”

    Can you perhaps remind readers WHY a new DA had to be appointed? Where did Saint Chesa go? And those previous three school board members also?

  19. SF voters/residents have never agreed on the who/what/when/where/why regarding the deplorable condition of our City or on SF governance–a city where progressives have indeed had a lasting impact on the body politic. Are there wealthy professionals who seek influence thru political donations? Are there non-profit orgs that have an outsized influence on public policy, especially homelessness, housing, public transportation? Are there political actors in SF who are in it to win it? Is there bloat/corruption within the City’s ranks? Hardly new info. With all this top-heavy talent writing about SF, one would expect a proposal, a roadmap, even perhaps a reference to the excellent efforts by former mayor Art Agnos to resolve the homelessness/housing crisis. Both articles are well written, both offer minimal stats. But this back/forth whinging! Scoop Nisker’s tagline applies here: “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.” So, Michael, Joe, do you have actually have any new ideas?

    1. There are enough interests with power in contention, you’ve named most, that effectively collaborate with each other to limit those allowed at the table.

      I’ve been watching this for decades and I’ve got no idea how one punches through that kind of money running interference against challenge, especially when the nonprofits are paid to intercept and neutralize any demands from change from below and to the left and will do so until the moment that they’re cut off from city funding.

      I’d imagine that any tech, media or sports exec who made it into room 200 would end up as a Frank Jordan mayoralty, cluelessly trying to wrestle with the bureaucracy, being held to a draw by obligations, soon ceding to a unified political class reclaiming their franchise.

      London Breed, potentially relieved of the burden of having to cater to the progressive nonprofit class with the Board progressive/liberals wiped out to < 6 would only throw down with the Urban Alchemy quality operations which is objectively incapable of moving the bar, just laundering money into different pockets.

      I can't see a way out of this other than a negotiated settlement amongst all of the interests who realize that their sinecures and corruption are hurting too many people. Power in the US does not think that it should suffer for poor outcomes like in Europe, so that's not going to happen.

      Should San Franciscans call for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission process to work through the pathologically bad blood and try to find some kind healthy consensus?

  20. There are a number of problems in SF’s governance. One, of course, is corruption and the seeming acceptance of it from pretty much the entire City family from the mayor right on down the line. That corruption has been an undercurrent for a long time in places like DBI and in the restaurant inspection area, but since the mid-90’s, it’s percolated to most departments. But there are other issues as well. In no particular order:

    -A form of government that has no real center of accountability. There’s a strong Mayor and a city administrator.

    -Term limits. Supervisors spend their first term in office learning who does what. Their second term is spent figuring what their next elected or appointed post is going to be and organizing to get it.

    -An over-reliance on appointed commissions. A lot of City functions don’t really need a board or commission to oversee their activities. It also gets back to the No central point of accountability. When you have everyone in charge, no one is in charge.

    The Charter reform that was developed and passed in the 90’s was absolutely horrible for the City. It took a system that was, at best, marginal, and made it completely unworkable.

    Government reform to make San Francisco better run will require more Charter reform to correct the problems the last “reform” created, and it will take a willingness of the City family, the press and the electorate to weed out and end the corruption.

    I’m not hopeful either will happen.

  21. nicely put! It’s just another example of shit-stirring but this time the culprit is a billionaire democrat – i wonder what he’s angling for?
    Mayor Breed is no better and no worse than the other Majors – but then again, the problems are bigger than SF, bigger even than California.

  22. Death by a 1,000 cuts, no rain drop can be blamed for the flood. I’ve lived here for over 3 decades and worked for the city 3 years. Saw it from the inside out. But Slow streets is the nail in the coffin for me– And I bike a lot, but still need a car a few days a week for reasons beyond this. A few more years and I am out of here.

    1. I bike a lot, and also live on a “Slow Street.” I don’t own a car, but sometimes rent, or use Uber/Lyft/taxis. And friends with cars visit my block. You have to drive a bit slower, but there no problem with access. What’s the problem?

      1. the streets are not a public park… and they should stay clear for motor vehicle traffic to enhance safety, commerce and emergency services. the lack of regulation on shared-ride services like Uber/Lyft, scooters, pedestrians in the street, etc reminds me of Delhi, not a modern liberal society that values equal access and public safety. You can’t dangle a man over the side of the GGB and claim you are trying to break his fall…

  23. Moritz: It is all the fault of the Supes.

    Eskenazi: It is all the fault of the Mayor.

    Isn’t the truth in the middle? Or even that the voters do not want either side having all the power? Checks and balances, and all that?

  24. “poor governance, dysfunctional bureaucracy, and casual corruption” are not enabled by wealth. They are an immutable feature of government – the more government you have, the more corruption and dysfunction will follow. The reason for this is that all laws and organizations have rules with unintended consequences that can be gamed. To keep people from gaming them would demand we hold them to an incredibly high ethical standard, which is impossible as one-party rule ensures they face no consequences for their actions. There is a difference between being “democrat controlled” like most cities and being completely and totally beholden to one party.

  25. Crime, filth, homelessness and property crimes all stem from the long ago decision to stop enforcing vagrancy laws. As judges would never allow that anymore even if there was political will and I suspect on a secret ballot you’d get a lot of support for rounding up the tents full of addicts and just shipping them away it is a moot point whether mayor is Center Left or Left. When I came to San Francisco Moscone was mayor and it was a wonderful place.

    1. Things were good when Moscone was mayor?????
      Oct 1973 – April 1974 Zebra Killers serially kill 15 people, wound 8 others, including Art Agnos, who became mayor in 1988
      April 1974 Patty Hearst and SLA rob and shoot 2 people at Hibernia Bank on Noriega St
      Jan 1976 Moscone installed as mayor
      Nov 1978 Moscone and Harvey Milk assasinated by Dan White, an elected official and former policeman
      Nov 1978 Jim Jones and People’s Temple mass suicide in Guyana, including killing a Congressman and wounding a future Congresswoman after his wielding large political influence in SF for multiple years.

      Regardless, there is always something wrong here, but there is always something right. I walk all the neighborhoods. There are a lot of people pitching in with community gardens, cleanups, trying to have a community vibe, make their City Space better. The parks seem like they are being cared for better. I’ve lived here 72 years, my whole life. It is a work in progress, it is hard, but is generally good.

  26. Campers,

    Top Problem is Graft.

    And, Corruption if there’s any difference.

    Fed by a series of mayors who encouraged same.

    As long as you have anyone like Breed as top exec it will continue.

    In my opinion only way to get an honest mayor is to count our County Vote with an Open Source algorithm.

    We would seem to have just lost that option with reappointment of whatshisname but we can still try.

    Only other Major change we can enact thru the Ballot Box is to Elect our Top Cop.

    Other nite I stood as final Public Comment at Manny’s week-long Homessless Symposium and got boo’s outta place with one question …

    “Ms. Freidenbach, if the Mayor agrees would you agree to move all of your people off of the sidewalks of San Francisco and over to Treasure Island ??”

    Niners should resign Garroppolo even if it costs ten mil.

    Go Niners !!


  27. Moritz is a leading figure in a right-wing libertarian cabal with their eyes and bulging wallets intent on taking over the city. I agree with most of what you’ve written Joe, but when it comes to running the city into the ground, the mayors (actually more than 40 years — since the demented DiFi took over in 78) have been hardly “moderate”. They have intentionally and systematically gutted city services, mostly through contracting out to profit-making and nonprofit private organizations, which themselves are underfunded, undertrained and understaffed. In my mind, there is no greater symbol, example, than Recology which has had a monopoly contract with the City since the 1930s. When I got here is 77, the streets were a mess. They are much worse now, and the corrupt relations with city officials which Joe’s articles have shown, comes as no surprise to anyone who is not asleep or stoned. Though Nuru was removed from DPW, nothing has improved and arguably gotten worse. That DPW cannot, or will not, systematically pick up refuse and provide garbage cans has nothing to do with the Board of Supervisors (which at best does little or no supervision).

  28. What Abby said. The Tech billionaires and venture capitalists have created new Astroturf groups like SOAR, D2Unite, saveouramazingrichmond, activat8, GROWSF, UNITEDEMCLUB, etc. with a goal of targeting any supervisor who disagrees with or challenges this mayor’s edicts. Next up: remove the districts for supervisors and make them all generalists so the Mayor has even more control.

    1. When hell freezes over is when we will lose our district elections, I do not think voters will ever change this. While SF has a bunch of billionaires, we outnumber them at the ballot box!

  29. Great reporting Joe! On this point, you couldn’t be more right: “San Francisco’s problem is not liberalism. It’s incompetence. It’s sloth. It’s poor governance, dysfunctional bureaucracy, and casual corruption enabled by vast and steady torrents of wealth”

    The numbers are mind boggling. San Francisco has a budget of $14B, roughly 800K people, so $17,500 per person in city spending each year. The highest in the nation by far! The average for the top 100 cities is $2,605 — meaning we would need to cut 85% of city spending just to get to the average. I’d be fine with a budget 2x the average, but 6.7x the average? For the “services” we get? It’s insane.

    San Francisco’s government spending per person is more than double that of the state of California, and roughly equal to the federal government. It sounds like hyperbole, but never in the history of the world has a government managed to do so little with so much.

      1. Incorrect. The $14B budget is for one Fiscal Year — for example, June 2022 to June 2023 is FY2022-2023, but that’s still only 12 months.

        1. and, “SF is not only a city but also a county” is a lame excuse. what does that matter in regards to spending per capita, efficiency, etc.

          1. This comment shows you have no clue how our governance system works. Cities and counties are responsible for different things, and administer different programs,

          1. There’s the general fund budget and then there’s the fiscal year budget. It gets confusing because the general fund is close to half of the FY budget, and, like you say, the FY budgets are projected two years at a time.

            But $14B is one fiscal year. Your link is in reference to general fund revenues and expenditures.

  30. Thank you for this insight (and funny) correction to the horrendous and embarrassing NYT OpEd. Unbelievable, the Grey Lady publishing that. And please write more on the seemingly growing and coordinated attacks on the board, not b/c the board is great but because it’s increasingly being scapegoated (by voices tied to wealthy interests and the Mayor’s office) and something smells rotten… maybe just the stench of a slow power grab to undo what institutionalized shared power there is left.

    1. Abby and All,

      Don’t forget Laguna Honda and all of the Properties of SFUSD and SF State and the rest slowly being overcome by the Power of Local Real Estate interests.

      I had a serious professional tell me at the Cohens Homecoming Sunday that one way to house 700 homeless was to move them to Laguna Honda which is going to be vacant.

      I’m still laughing.


  31. “He says it’s all those loons on the Board of Supervisors; it certainly has nothing to do with San Francisco’s 30-year string of establishment-friendly, pro-business, moderate mayors.”

    Many cities, in fact most, have ‘establishment-friendly, pro-business, moderate mayors’, while only a few have a bunch of cosplaying socialist loons that dominate the city legislature. Not coincidentally, many cities are managed quite competently whereas only a few (the ones with the looney toons) are failing in spectacular fashion (SF, Oakland, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago).

    So gee… I wonder which is the problem?

    1. As long as the other party is led by fascist goons and christo-fundamentalist culture warriors — and as long as local opposition party wags declare continued fealty to those national leaders — I’ll take my chances with the “cosplaying socialist loons.”

    2. Meanwhile: Red states have 9 of the 10 worst labor participation rates (people working), they’re overwhelmingly the most poverty-stricken states and they’re at the very bottom for education and healthcare. Go look at the stats.

  32. San Francisco’s problem is that the mainstream Democrats and their alt right conservative allies have decided to exterminate progressive politics as an object lesson. They do this by running against their own failed strong mayor record, but using media to frame progressives relentlessly for this.

    Progressives, for their part, have already taken the kill shot and are exsanguinating while lumbering across the savannah one last time. It is not like Tim and Marke over at 48shills are in any way capable of running a media campaign to capture and neutralize the framing, their nonprofit funders’ chains would get yanked by Breed and that would stop real quick.

  33. Pin SF’s decline on the too-moderate black lady who grew up in the projects? LOL. Nice one, Joe. 🤌🤌🤌
    SF has shared power and no accountability. But not for long!

  34. Since you’ve added “smart” to characterize our local government officials… here’s a light on the dynamics of “smart”. To start, the City&County is not alone with this, tech companies suffer from it as well: It is incentivizing “innovation” when the ask is to get stuff done. What this produces is an army of “smart”, “talented” people with laser focus on putting their contributions to the Big Thing on their resumes. So they can stay on the train that’s rolling towards the Next Big Thing. That’s why we can’t have trash cans like every other place does. That’s why the “A” in Muni’s ATCS is supposed to stand for “Advanced”, not “Automatic”. That’s why “harm reduction”. And as all these fat years enabled the parade of mayors present and past to not mess with it, this army has swelled to a mighty 40,000 heads, not even counting all the NGOs. A force of it’s own now, there to serve itself more so than the C&C. Just look at all the overflowing trash cans everywhere.

    1. Daniel,

      Notice that a VP from Recology was reported to have committed Suicide ??

      Right about the time Recology gave 62 million in overcharges back to City ?