by Chris Daly
While we may never learn the true motivation behind the Lennar Corp.’s disclosure of polling numbers on the Bayview Affordable Housing Initiative (Proposition F), at least our assumptions are now confirmed. With Prop F polling ahead, Lennar is readying the kitchen sink to throw at it.
I’ve written before about the bold effort to qualify the Bayview Affordable Housing Initiative for June’s ballot. Many of the same community stakeholders have kept the campaign going and deserve even more credit for reaching out to political clubs and community groups, running nightly phone banks and dropping literature on the weekends. These true heroes have been doing the work to support our families struggling to make it here.
I have been heartened by the near-universal understanding of the importance of affordable housing for the health and well being of our communities. We know that affordability is our top housing issue, and the guarantees provided by Prop F are right on time.
But Lennar and their fleet of consultants are calling the Bayview Affordable Housing Initiative a “poison pill.” The irony here shouldn’t be lost on anyone. The Lennar Corp. is the one that violated their dust mitigation plan in Hunters Point. For over a year, Lennar polluted the Bayview with dangerous levels of asbestos particulate, churning poisonous dust clouds over community homes, schools and churches. Lennar tried to cover up their violations and then deceive the community saying that the asbestos was no great threat to their health.
Given this, perhaps it should come as no surprise that many in the neighborhood see Lennar’s initiative, Proposition G, as the real poison on the ballot. So far, Lennar has spent over $2.23 million on their effort. In the process they’ve successfully bought off nearly the entire political establishment in San Francisco.
By Election Day, Lennar will shatter all spending records for initiative campaigns in San Francisco. It’s as if they believe they can buy the City itself. But even with over $2 million spent, Lennar’s plan for Hunters Point and Candlestick still doesn’t poll as well as our plan.
We have a very real opportunity to score a huge political upset here. It’s going to take a whole lot of elbow grease and shoe leather, but so did everything else worth fighting for. Please call today to sign up for a phone bank shift or a precinct drop. Contact Jaron Browne at POWER at (415) 864-8372, ext. 303, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Daly is a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.