Nick Josefowitz #1, Catherine Stefani #2 for San Francisco District 2 Supervisor
District 2 includes parts of north San Francisco like Pacific Heights and the Marina. After Mayor Ed Lee died, then-District-2 Supervisor Mark Farrell became interim mayor, and appointed aide Catherine Stefani, who remains supervisor. Stefani faces clean energy entrepreneur and BART Board director Nick Josefowitz, businesswoman Schuyler Hudak, and businessman (and sole Republican) John Dennis.
Josefowitz has in the past supported solutions to our housing shortage commensurate with its severity, and would continue to push for more housing of all forms as District 2 Supervisor. Other candidates are reluctant at best on this front.
One of Josefowitz’s accomplishments could result in as many as 30,000 housing units around the bay area. In his role as BART Board director (a seat I recommend Janice Li fills), he was integral in crafting AB 2923, a recently-passed state law giving BART the authority to build dense housing on BART-owned land, and changing the zoning on that land.
He also supported SB 827, which would have legalized apartments near transit across California. These two bills demonstrate that Josefowitz wants to address the housing crisis at the necessarily regional level.
Josefowitz’s plans for the city’s housing are similarly pragmatic and bold: he wants to expand by-right approvals (having supported SB 35 and other streamlining legislation); build more housing on District 2 transit corridors; legalize more types of accessory dwelling units (a.k.a., in-law units) easier to build; set policy to maximize below-market-rate units, not percentage; and repealing Prop 13 (I wrote more on this regarding Prop 5). He also wants to build 3,000 homeless shelter beds, and make it easier for people to bike, walk, or take transit rather than cars.
All three other candidates emphasize local control when it comes to housing, evident from each’s skepticism of SB 827:
My concern with SB 827 was that the bill would have removed any possible input from the City on development projects. — Catherine Stefani
I support upzoning with respect to and mindfulness of the integrity of all communities in San Francisco….I believe the decision should be with individual owners, but with consultation of the neighborhood associations. — Schuyler Hudak
Before ceding authority to the state of California over planning I think we should make the effort on the local level to solve the problem. — John Dennis
San Francisco’s housing situation shows the failure of local control. Unless Prop 13 is repealed, homeowners will always be incentivized to block new housing, and enough of them will do so if afforded the opportunity. State legislation, regional action, and citywide consistency are critical tools to ensure sufficient housing can be built.
Josefowitz would advocate for these necessary steps, despite the inevitable blowback from constituents. Vote for him as District 2 Supervisor, and list Stefani #2 to ensure a Democrat holds the seat.