Jim Meko BOS 6 questionnaire

Jim Meko BOS 6 questionnaire

Postby Jeff_W on Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:07 pm

Candidate name:

Jim Meko

Contact person:

Jamie Whitaker

Mail address:

366 Tenth St. San Francisco, CA 94103


(415) 624-4309

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?

I am a 33-year resident of District 6 and a self-employed small business owner in San Francisco since 1981. I decided to run for office because I am tired of the divisive nature of public discourse I see in City Hall. It only benefits career politicians and dismisses community stakeholders.

I have the most complete understanding of the all the components of land use and planning, including the quality of life impacts, of any candidate. I am chair of the Western SoMa Citizens' Planning Task Force. I also have a good understanding of both sides of nighttime entertainment issues, due to my experiences on the Entertainment Commission I’ve held since 2003 and three decades of living in the heart of South of Market’s nightclub district.

I have a history of working with Community-Based Organizations, Homeowners Associations, neighborhood groups and individuals for many years. My goal has always been to ensure that everyone has a chance to enjoy the kind of GREAT neighborhood we all deserve.

2. What sets you apart from your opponents?

I'm a grassroots candidate and am not beholden to any of the power brokers in this town. I have a proven track record of facilitating consensus and will listen to all sides on an issue and try to find a solution that everyone can accept.

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

This is my first time running for public office. I have long been a neighborhood activist, acting as the guardian of my South of Market neighborhood. I have never looked at politics as a career. My campaign began with a kitchen cabinet made up of my trusted friends and neighbors rather than political consultants. My friends who live in District 6 help me with my campaign and getting our message out, not professionals. Jamie Whitaker, a Rincon Hill neighborhood resident and a Democracy for America “Dean Dozen” endorsed candidate for State Representative in Michigan in 2004, provides a lot of input as one of many of Gov. Howard Dean’s supporters from 2003/2004 who was inspired to run for public office with no prior experience in politics other than running Dean for America meetings in mid-Michigan. Kris Schaeffer, a gifted facilitator, Toby Levy, the South Park activist, Marlayne Morgan, president of the Cathedral Hill Neighbors and Gerry Crowley, former member of the DCCC, have all contributed to my campaign. My friend Anthony Faber helps me with these questionnaires and visibility.

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

I am a fiscally responsible progressive. I respect the public’s trust that their tax dollars are doing the most good for the greatest number of people (as opposed to being wasted on ineffective, inefficient programs and projects). I back the Fix Muni and Pension Reform measures that will help to save our City’s vital services. I have long been protective of our rent-controlled housing stock and supportive of tenants rights. For those neighbors living with HIV/AIDS, I believe that access to medication and the certainty of housing should be a priority for our communities.

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?

I support foot patrols in those corridors where street crime is especially problematic and residents would otherwise be fearful to leave their homes without SFPD in sight. I do not support the Sit/Lie measure on the November ballot because it would criminalize stoic, passive activities on the sidewalks when we truly need policy reform that will empower police to remove the bullies who intentionally create fear in others with threats and actions. We need to slow cars down in order to enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety … perhaps 25 MPH in downtown San Francisco. We need to fix our budget priorities to give young people meaningful activities. Kids in summer school or with jobs are more likely to claim responsibility for their place in society and far less likely to be out causing trouble.

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?

No amount of luxury housing will ever provide sufficient affordable housing in San Francisco. The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance is really a vehicle to build workforce housing aimed at maintaining the middle class in the city and that in itself is a worthy goal. But housing targeted at the low income population is a public trust and can only be accomplished with the cooperation of the federal, state and local governments and the non-profit housing sector. I have always supported bond measures that increase local spending on low income housing.

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?

I agree that public transportation in the City and County of San Francisco is dysfunctional. We need to pass the Fix Muni measure this November so that collective bargaining occurs and so that Muni can hire part-time operators to drive during the morning and evening rush hours when we need the extra services (as opposed to being forced to hire full-time workers that are underutilized). We need to implement bus rapid transit lanes so that bus riders do not surrender so much time as a cost of taking the bus versus driving a car. We need to consider removing bus stops in the flatter areas where it will not negatively impact the mobility of our seniors to a significant degree. We need to implement the findings of the Transit Effectiveness Program (TEP) – a roadmap to improving public transit based upon data collection.

8. What do you view as the top three issues in District 6? 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?

Many District 6 residents rely on city services. The budget is a major problem we need to address now rather than kicking it down the road. Public safety is a major problem. Our police stations in District 6 are overwhelmed. Housing that is affordable for our middle class families is another big problem in District 6. These solutions involve private/public partnerships within a framework that is based upon community input. I am a champion of participatory democracy because our government works for the residents and the residents know what is best for their communities.

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

In general, I oppose it.

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

I will have to analyze project labor agreements that have already been negotiated on a case by case basis to determine my support if they come before me as a member of the Board of Supervisors for review. My biggest reservation about project labor agreements is being assured that safety is prioritized in practice and not just in words on a piece of paper … once a structure is built, it becomes a much more expensive problem if shoddy labor or materials were used to build it.

I support the bidding process for all public works projects by which the people of the City and County of San Francisco are assured high-quality work at the best price available in the market with a preference for companies that provide living wages for workers and have an established record of work safety for employees and the use of high-quality materials.

11. What is your position regarding Sit/Lie?

I do not support Mayor Newsom’s current sit/lie legislation. I do support finding a solution that provides residents with a sense of safety on our streets and sidewalks. There has been a lot of irrational noise and heat generated on both sides of this issue, but the fact remains that many well-meaning people live in fear. Residents should not have to put up with bullying and intimidation while walking to and from their homes.

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

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