James Keys BOS 6 questionnaire

James Keys BOS 6 questionnaire

Postby Jeff_W on Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:25 pm

Candidate name:

James Keys

Contact person:

James Keys

Mail address:

P.O. Box 421434

San Francisco CA. 94142-1434



Email address:


Web address:


Anticipated Budget:

To the voluntary expenditure ceiling.

Funds raised to date:

Over 10,000

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 running to ensure that every resident has representation in our local government. As a community activist I am “on the ground” with SRO hotel residents, youth, seniors, low-income families, African American, LGBT, people living with AIDS/HIV and their concerns are that they do not have the “ear” of their local government. As a person who believes that every person deserves representation I hope that your vote will allow me to be your supervisor so that we together could improve the lives of the disenfranchised and then improve our city.

2. What sets you apart from your opponents?

Being born here in the Bay Area and living here in San Francisco’s district 6 for over ten-years I have seen this city go through tremendous changes. I managed the front office for the District 6 Supervisor for over 3-years. Also as a legislative intern I worked with the current supervisor and his staff to create and advocate for legislation that came out of his office. I was able to write policy and resolutions for the supervisor. I handled all of the constituent issues that came into the office and was able to represent the office on many issues in the district, including mental health issues. I have practical experience where my opponents have none.

3. San Francisco for Democracy is committed to grassroots involvement. Please explain how you are involving ordinary citizens in your campaign? As the coordinator of the Daly 06 campaign, I have professional campaign experience. Otherwise, this is truly a grassroots effort. With volunteers alone working on this campaign we have been able to submit over 1,000 ‘signatures-in-lieu” to the Dept. of Elections. Volunteers help shape fundraising drives, messaging and visibility events. And these volunteers are SRO hotel residents, youth, seniors, low-income families, African American, LGBT and people living with AIDS/HIV.

4. San Francisco for Democracy endorses fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates. Please give examples of why you fit these criteria? My work in the D-6 supervisor’s office, my work on the SF Mental Health Board, my past job at Senior Action Network has had me working on policy reform for health care for all, investment in children and education, equal rights under law, balanced budgets, citizenship through voting and participation in the political process, ethical corporate leadership, environmental responsibility, secure energy policies and fair trade issues.

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? Car patrol eliminated the neighborhood police officer. Police were pulled off neighborhood beats to fill cars. But motorized patrol -- the cornerstone of urban policing -- has no effect on crime rates, victimization, or public satisfaction. The reality is that the police largely react to crime and there is very little they can do to prevent it. Efforts in recent years to use community oriented policing, problem oriented policing, and other strategies to address the conditions that lead to crime are one way that police departments with the resources have responded. Putting more visible police cars out on the street is politically popular because it makes people feel safer but there's little reason to believe crime rates are affected. Foot Patrols will deter most “low-level” acts from occurring and instill a real sense of security in our neighborhoods. I will work with the SFPD and the community to expand foot patrols throughout San Francisco.

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? 1-in-every-5 people in San Francisco will be 50 years or older by 2012 and the city's homeless population has been estimated at 7,000-10,000 people, of which approximately 3,000-5,000 refuse shelter. The city spends $200 million a year on homelessness related programs. By increasing the number of set-aside affordable housing units to 25% we can include these people. Yet it makes little difference if these people cannot afford the price of this “affordable” housing. Housing continues to be one of the most difficult issues facing San Francisco families and other low-income San Franciscans including seniors and people with disabilities. It is my top issue in this Supervisor race. I actively campaigned for the Affordable Housing Charter Amendment and would continue the current District 6 Supervisor’s work to find a dedicated revenue source for affordable housing. I want to continue the work in this district that has prioritized the construction of affordable housing and the protection of our existing rental housing stock, especially the SRO hotels, and the extension of rental assistance to families who need a little help to stay in their units. I will keep the door of the Supervisors office open to community-based organizations and efforts like Housing Justice to continue this work. As someone who has lived in affordable housing in the Tenderloin, I am passionate about this issue.

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 public transportation is in disarray. As Supervisor, I would build on the work of the current and previous progressive Supervisors on transportation issues. I would work closely with Supervisor David Campos to pass his Charter Amendment for comprehensive MUNI reform. I would continue Supervisor Daly’s advocacy for a car-free Market Street and implementation of the Transportation Authority’s congestion pricing study for downtown San Francisco. I would add support to Supervisor Mirkarimi’s proposal to increase the parking tax or some other commuter tax. I support smart transportation projects like both of MUNI’s bus rapid transit proposals and the Transbay Transit Center. While I like the idea of a free MUNI, I realize that we would have to find significant ongoing revenue to support such a proposal. I support implementation and expansion of the City’s bike plan and also have been very involved in issues of pedestrian safety and improving our streetscapes for transit modes that are not private automobiles.

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? Housing- I want to continue the work in this district that has prioritized the construction of affordable housing and the protection of our existing rental housing stock, especially the SRO hotels. I will keep the door of the Supervisors office open to community-based organizations and efforts like Housing Justice to continue this work.

As someone who has lived in affordable housing in the Tenderloin, I am passionate about this issue. I also am sensitive to situations where low-income individuals and families who receive housing assistance are at risk of losing their benefits. I will work to provide real opportunities for low-income individuals in hotels to improve their quality of life by moving into better housing. This in turn would open-up units, which would allow homeless individuals to obtain housing.

Health and Human Services- I want to continue the work in this district that has prioritized the funding of services for those most in need in our district. This means fully funding a single standard of care for mental health, substance abuse treatment on demand, adequate homeless services, and AIDS/HIV services. As the Chair of the Mental Health Board, I know the importance of community-based mental health services. As someone living with HIV, I personally know how important these services are. Unfortunately, along with substance abuse, homelessness, and AIDS/HIV, these are the first to get cut during difficult budget times. I will make it my priority to fully fund these programs.

Pedestrian Safety and Livable Streets- Good walking conditions are the backbone of every community’s transportation system and one of the most important elements of livable communities. Neighborhoods where walking is an attractive, convenient and safe options are healthier for residents, have fewer cars on the road, and have a stronger sense of community. These are also areas that have strong commercial activity. A complete and well-maintained walking network has the greatest importance for those members of the community who depend the most on walking; the poor, the elderly, the disabled, children and transit users. Increasing the number and share of transportation trips that are accomplished by walking should be a key element of our transportation policy.

9. What is your position regarding privatization in the public sector? While an imperfect system, civil service is far better than the dynamics created by too many at-will employees which will inevitably lead to patronage and the corrosive elements of political machine-building within government. As someone from the ranks of the working class, I have seen how organized labor has helped the conditions of low-wage workers and see “outsourcing” as a corporate model for breaking the power of working people.

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

11. What is your position regarding Sit/Lie? I do not support the Mayor’s “Sit/Lie” ordinance.

12. Do you believe San Francisco should be a Sanctuary city? In policy terms, I would love to see a path opened for full citizenship to all residents through a process that is inclusive, coherent, timely, and easily navigable. This of course will take a lot of work at local, state, and federal levels. Until such an option becomes available we must be steadfast in our demand for a local policy that respects the human rights of all residents whether or not their papers are in perfect order. In 1989 the people of San Francisco knew right from wrong and acted accordingly. Much has changed in the last couple of decades but time cannot erase the imperative. Do the right thing! Uphold Sanctuario!
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