Eric Smith BOS 10 questionnaire

Eric Smith BOS 10 questionnaire

Postby Jeff_W on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:41 pm

Candidate name:

Eric Smith

Contact person:

Eric Smith

Mail address:

550 18th Street #305 San Francisco, CA 94107



Email address:

Web address:

Anticipated Budget:


Funds raised to date:


Percentage of donations under $50


Please write a brief response (less than 150 words) to each question. You will have additional opportunities to address these issues.

1. Why are you running? Why should we vote for you?

Recognizing that D10’s challenges are unique in the City, and that for too long the District has suffered from poor accountability, broken promises, and bad agreements, has strengthened my resolve to partner with the people who know the truth about what really needs to happen here and how to get it done. I grew up in Washington, DC. I saw the riots destroy my neighborhood, and I saw what it took for that neighborhood to come to life again with its racially mixed middle-class community still intact. My goal is to empower the leadership of the community to drive a reform and accountability agenda that achieves the same thing for D10.

2. What sets you apart from your opponents?

My experience in helping to nurture a green economy that offers solutions to D10-specific problems by converting waste into energy and industrial challenges into jobs is unique among the candidates. I find in talking with the voters that my sincerity, honesty, and independence resonate immediately as something entirely new and different.

3. San Francisco for Democracy is committed to grassroots involvement. Please explain how you are involving ordinary citizens in your campaign?

I have been working with folks throughout D10 and organizations with deep roots in the community and their effectiveness in championing the cause of ordinary folks is an inspiration. My work with them addresses the difficult issues facing our communities and our City with thoughtful engagement and brings a wealth of experience to solving problems in this era of limited resources and great challenges. I look forward to continuing to work together with them to solve problems in D10 and beyond.

4. San Francisco for Democracy endorses fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates. Please give examples of why you fit these criteria?

As director of the biodiesel non-profit Green Depot and board member of Biofuel Recycling and Literacy for Environmental Justice, I work to implement fiscally responsible practices above all. That is a deeply held value of mine, which I will bring to political decision-making as Supervisor. My progressive values became public record when I co-created the Tenderloin Housing Clinic's online paper, Beyond Chron. All of my work in D10 is part of a socially progressive agenda, beginning with my environmental vision that includes a first-hire job agenda for local residents. Also included is my work in urging the SF Department of the Environment convert the city’s entire diesel fleet to cleaner burning biodiesel, helping to create the SF Greasecycle program with the SFPUC, and my efforts on the board of Literacy for Environmental Justice, builders of the city’s first and only off-the-grid, LEED certified building.

5. What public safety strategies currently being implemented by the San Francisco Police department do you agree, or disagree with? What will be your agenda regarding public safety, if elected supervisor?

We need to look at public safety along with education, jobs, community development, and recreation. Without important alternatives, crime and violence will continue or escalate. We must give people productive and meaningful ways to be involved in the community. When people care about and are invested in their communities, crime is diminished. I support community policing and neighborhood crime watch programs that involve a greater number of people in protecting the community. Ultimately, economic development that offers career jobs is a key strategy to fill vacant spaces, employ people, and reduce crime. This is why much of my work has been focused on helping to foster new green job opportunities for D10 residents of all skill levels and on youth programs that strive to create leaders.

6. What do you believe is the correct percentage of units to be set aside for affordable housing, when property is redeveloped? Please explain why you believe that percentage is correct?

Housing is not a problem of supply, but affordability. I would look at ways to change the planning code and carefully scrutinize recent area plans and redevelopment plans to address low and moderate income housing needs. I would push for developer agreements targeting middle-income housing affordability. Most developers cannot provide for 50% affordable housing based on today’s economic model, however I believe with the right kind of incentives, tax increment financing and community benefits agreements, we can get close to that number.

7. Public transportation is dysfunctional in the City and County of San Francisco. Do you agree with that statement? If not, why? If so, what is your analysis of why it is dysfunctional? What will you do to make public transportation functional if elected?

Yes, I agree it’s dysfunctional. I would prioritize speeding up Muni within the District. Muni is fundamental for getting around the District and the City, and yet it takes much longer than driving does to get downtown from District 10, making Muni not a competitive option time wise. Also, I would aggressively promote a real transit-first agenda, with transit that services all areas from Visitation Valley to Mission Bay. I am working with the Bicycle Coalition, the Transit Riders Union and the Mission Bay CAC, and ENTRIPS to develop a comprehensive transit plan that connects our communities to downtown and other neighborhoods and makes sure that high-speed rail doesn’t negatively affect that plan.

8. What do you view as the top three issues in District 10? What are your solutions for these issues? Do you believe these issues are consistent throughout the city? If they are not consistent, what do you view as the issues outside your district that should be addressed in the coming years? Do you have solutions for those issues?

The top three issues facing D10 are land use, unemployment and the environment. Again, an extraordinary amount of accountability, scrutiny, and transparency must be employed in order to solve those problems. I work everyday on those very issues to take advantage of D10’s opportunity to lead the way as an incubator of a new green economy that uses greener truckers, turns waste into energy, builds green buildings, transports goods by rail, and produces local, sustainable biodiesel.

My biggest concerns about San Francisco are the budget, development, and social services. In addressing those issues at a citywide level, is impossible to overstate the need for transparency, scrutiny, and accountability, which is why those issues are the cornerstones of my campaign. Because D10 is where the intersection of those issues will have the greatest impact, the new Supervisor will play a very important in the future of San Francisco governance. I will work to find and implement solutions to the budget deficit, including cutting waste and creating tax equity between individuals and business.

9. What is your position regarding privatization in the public sector?

I do not support privatizing public employee jobs. I think it’s a terrible practice and not sustainable.

10. Do you favor the use of Project Labor Agreements in the public sector? Please explain your position.

Private contractors continue to make huge profits without being required to guarantee union jobs. Yes, I support PLA agreements, and I would encourage the public agencies to use them and be supportive with the understanding that the negotiations between the partners are key to their success and to bringing the many benefits they provide to families in D10.

Yes, I support private sector PLA’s. My only concern is to try to find some balance between first-source hiring programs so that residents living in their communities can access construction jobs in their community. This can be achieved by growing the bench as well as the pipeline to guarantee union jobs at every level.

11. What is your position regarding Sit/Lie?

I am against Sit Lie and have campaigned to defeat it.

12. Do you believe San Francisco should be a Sanctuary city?

I have serious questions about the role of any City and County deputies engaging in any action or activity that threatens our status as a sanctuary city. I will welcome a healthy and constructive debate on the matter of immigration law, the role of law enforcement and how it affects our community.
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