Wow, that was fast!
Within moments of an announcement of a potential charter amendment to change the way the broken, dysfunctional SFMTA is run, the Mayor’s crack team of taxpayer-funded PR people were in full attack mode. Apparently even discussing any idea to change the MTA is sacrilege, Satanic, even. Because it’s so well run and cost-efficient and gets you where you wanna go on time, right?
I’m going to take some time to read this thing myself later today. I’ll keep an open mind, although it’s difficult to assess this since nothing is set in stone. In other words, people need to tone down the alarmist reactions and remember the following:
-There is no evidence, that this thing will go to the voters at all,
-There is no evidence if it does go to the voters that said gang of Supervisors will raise the (tons of) cash and hire the talent to run “real” campaign to pass it.
-We have no idea if it will be modified, or if, as my friend Joe at SF Weekly suggested, just a bargaining chip in a bigger political poker game.
So for now, while I applaud anyone for at least trying to tackle the Muni mess, we are a long way from anything real that can be objectively assessed. That’s why it was so disappointing to see so-called “rider advocacy groups” like Rescue Muni on the immediate attack, doing the Mayor’s bidding early this morning on Twitter with alarmist rhetoric over this thing when really, we have no idea what this thing is going to look like.
Wouldn’t a better response to this mushy proposal have been a detailed critique + actual suggestions to improve it so we get a better Muni? Isn’t that what rider advocacy groups do best? Or is currying favor with Room 200, and the political establishment more important?
It’s the San Francisco Way to play “choose up sides” and fight to the death if something wasn’t made by The Faction One Belongs To, because playing politics is more important than actual results. For the Mayor’s press flack to run around screaming about this thing is laughable as Mayor Newsom is simply unable to tell anything but lies about Muni, and has done a lot to destroy it.
Don’t think for a moment that this doesn’t apply to the “progressives” who came up with this – they literally copied the Fix Muni Now amendment and pasted it into theirs, but of course didn’t bother to include Sup. Eslbernd in the discussions because of political differences. Cheap shot, boys. A better Muni isn’t a “progressive” issue or a “moderate” issue or whatever – a better Muni is what we owners of Muni deserve, and we don’t give a damn about political sides.
So, to review: some Supervisors (!) have made a suggestion that may get totally rewritten, and may not even get to the ballot, and if it does, may not even have the cash (at least $500,000-$750,000) and talent to get it passed. There’s plenty to like and hate. There’s plenty of time for everyone to modify this before it might go to the ballot. It might be all nothing more than a bargaining chip to achieve some other goal so all this emotion may be for naught anyway.
All we really know is that the moment you discuss trying to fix a broke Muni, you start to find out how San Francisco’s dysfunctional politics prevent practical solutions – and you start to see who represents which factions that keep it that way.
Maybe the real solution is for the alleged elected officials and their apparatchiks to stop worrying about which “team” gets more political points, and instead worry about how best to achieve something for the common good of Muni’s owners. Wouldn’t that be a nice change?
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