Officially Designating San Francisco the Willie Brown Enterprise Zone
Shall the City admit what everyone knows?
Digest by Willie Brown's Ballot Simplification Committee:
The Way it is Now: San Francisco is a semiautonomous fiefdom in Northern California, and under the aegis of Chronicle columnist Willie Brown. In return for "consulting fees" extracted from developers, businessmen, shoe-shine boys, clothiers, cabdrivers, railroad barons, tech impresarios, Subway franchisees, fellow Chronicle employees, and serfs, Brown dispenses permission for others to go about their business — along with fashion and cinema tips.
The Proposal: That's the way it is now: We're just gonna be up front about it. We're also gonna name a few other things after Hizzoner, to go along with the Willie L. Brown Bridge:
• The planning department;
• The office of small businesses;
• The offices of medium, large, and extra-large businesses;
• The Financial District;
• The Internet;
• Union Square;
• Men's suits over $1,500;
• The water under the Willie L. Brown Bridge;
• 8 Washington;
• Mayor Ed Lee's first grandchild;
A "YES" Vote Means: You have chosen wisely.
A "NO" Vote means: Your ballot will not be discovered for many years.
Please vote for this. I have kids. Please.
How "W" Got on the Ballot:
Don't ask questions.
Transient San Franciscan Occupancy Tax
Shall the City collect its pound of flesh from each new San Francisco resident who fails to stay longer than 10 years?
The Way it is Now: San Francisco is a vast hotel for an increasingly wealthy coterie of young adults experiencing the "San Francisco" phase of their lives before moving elsewhere to grow up and be useful. That's why a $3,500-a-month studio in the Tenderknob downstairs from a methodone clinic sparks a bidding war while you're raising your kids in a subletted cardboard box.
The Proposal: Since San Francisco charges a 14 percent transient occupancy tax on hotel-goers who are kind enough to leave quickly — but nothing on people who drive up rents and inundate Dolores Park with PBR cans for three years before decamping to Portland — this measure would mandate that each new San Franciscan surrender a 25 percent levy if they leave before spending a decade complaining about Muni.
A "Yes" Vote Means: You're pulling up the ladder after you, just as the prior generation pulled up the ladder after it. But your ladder is bigger.
A "No" Vote Means: You will never understand "San Francisco Values." Never.
Controller's Statement on "86":
There's no stopping them. We might as well make money off these little shits. You're probably a little shit, too. But you already live here. Damn you.
Enabling a Bicycle/Automobile Amnesty
Shall the City require modifications to bicycles to improve overall safety on San Francisco streets?
The Way it is Now: As bicycle culture evolves in San Francisco in the vague direction of a Copenhagen, Amsterdam, or at least a middle-school bike rodeo, conflict between cyclists and drivers continues to escalate. Proposed solutions have included bike lanes, removal of parking spaces, human-sized vacuum tubes, seeding biking communities with Copenhageners in the hopes of generating some kind of osmosis, Critical Mass, Uncritical Mass, Boston Mass, and some actual planning.
The Proposal: Proposition 2x4 would require bicyclists in the city to adopt certain safety modifications to allow them to interact with automobiles in a less crunchy way. These modifications would include (but not be limited to): reinforced side-panels, protective glass, safety restraints, at least two extra wheels for increased stability, and an internal combustion engine to facilitate uniform traffic flow.
Proponent's Argument in Favor of Proposition 2x4:
Why anyone would want to get out there piloting something that looks about as suitable for transit as bathroom plumbing is beyond me. I mean a Radio Flyer is a safer option. At least it's got sidewalls. You don't go out into a hostile environment willfully unprotected. I mean at least crabs go down into deeper waters after they molt their shells. Jesus, you know what cars are, don't you? Like robots with squishy, over-caffeinated, short-fused innards. I mean forget it. And also, from the driver's perspective, it's all weird butts in expensive jeans, bobbing along the boulevard. I mean.
Council for Me Love Drivey-Drivey
League of Reluctant Hipsters
Rebuttal to Proponent's Argument in Favor of Proposition 2x4:
Fuck this. Move move move move move. Coming through, dino-sucker! How's things in your little glass box? You listening to some good tunes in there? Gotta have a sweet soundtrack for your slow decay. Us? We'll be taking a little ride out to the beach later, maybe have an unlicensed bonfire, who knows? You can come but you'll be in traffic probably. Maybe we ain't gonna see eye to eye as I blow by. Maybe we'll meet again on BART someday. Hey, you mind if I put my bike on that rail?
Ned or Abel or Chort, He Kind of Mumbled His Name
The Developers' Multiple Orgasm of Embedded Omnihousing Construction
Shall the City permit the construction of micro-apartments within lofts within luxury condominiums within live-work offices within single-family homes within geodesic domes within converted warehouses within residential high-rises atop a floating cargo barge — with illegal in-law units in the hull — docked next to Pier 39?
The Way it is Now: San Franciscans are never going to agree on a sensible housing policy. The market for senseless policies, however, is still surprisingly vibrant.