If you haven’t already done so, either go get this week’s SF Weekly at the newsrack, or go read the article “The Worst Run City In the US” online as soon as you can. It’s a fact-driven piece that takes an in-depth look at why San Francisco city government is a stew of FAIL. Rather than an ideologically driven hit-piece, instead it points to actual facts and actual things that happen, and exposes the systemic bumbling that is ruining our city every day.
I would add one thing to this – in the end, while we can all complain about (insert politican(s) here), voters have to take some responsibility for this state of affairs. The fact is that none of these people would have been elected without SOMEONE voting for them, more often than not based on emotions, rather than reason, based on silly issues rather than real policy. It doesn’t help that voters give every single incumbent an automatic second term, no matter what. (This defeats the point of term limits)
That’s why so much of this goes on. The fact that supervisors spend endless amounts of energy on non-binding resolutions over policies they have absolutely no control over is proof. They know they can peddle this “feel good” crap to the voters, who will think Something Is Being Done, when it’s not. Just this week we had the pathetic spectacle of “Supervisor” John Avalos parading people to speak out on a resolution to “urge” the state to allow convicted felons the right to be home health care workers. Plenty of heartfelt testimony was broadcast live on cable TV, and everyone got to feel good about standing up for the rights of people convicted of felonies to take care of people’s grandmas in their home. WTF?
Mind you, if you think that Governor Schwarzenegger and the State of California (who are in charge of said policies) gives a hoot about what San Francisco elected officials think, go talk to Tom Ammiano about that one (and he’s actually important and stuff). It’s politics at its most cynical, offering false hope to a few, and a false sense of accomplishment to the electorate and the politicians.
But the Other Side is no better. Mayor “Football Bat” Newsom has been excreting press-release policies since day one, all to make him sound like a great guy, but when you look at his actual record, the only thing he’s managed to do is give big pay increases to government workers, and f*ck Muni up bigtime. We were told endlessly in 2003 that if we elected that “crazy” Matt Gonzalez, we’d have a government out of control and an executive who would not be able to manage a city responsibly. Well guess what? Plenty of people DID vote for Matt Gonzalez, and yet, that’s exactly what we got anyway.
Over at The N Judah Chronicles whenever I’ve talked about the Muni budget, I always point out that people are always being asked to pay more for a system that is getting inferior by the day. I can’t even count the number of days where the train system has had a total meltdown – always at rush hour time. The same goes for most functions. We’re always asked to borrow money (in the form of bonds) for basics like roads and water repairs, while real money goes to pay for poorly managed services. This is like borrowing money to pay one’s living expenses each month while spending one’s paycheck on crazy crap, then wondering why one is broke and in debt.
Until voters demand better candidates, or step up themselves, and are willing to make their decisions based not on how many f*cking junk mailers or Facebook fan invites or ads they get, and treat this like the serious problem that it is, they will continue to be served up a failing government, and frankly, they will deserve it.
Our City is worth saving, because it’s OURS and it’s awesome. Or at least it could be if we actually wanted it to be so.
Image credit: SF Weekly
- California Life
- California Politics
- Campaign Tactics & Analysis
- Debunking Politicos Pundits + Spin
- Democratic Party Chatter
- Gov. Doofinator's Follies
- Instant Runoff Voting FAIL
- Links of Interest
- Los Angeles Politics
- Political Direct Mail Archive – 2006
- Political Direct Mail Archive – 2007
- Political Direct Mail Archive – 2008
- Politics of Political Reform
- Pop Culture & Society
- San Francisco Politics
- Website News