Can Muni Owner/Riders Trust the So-Called “Progressive” Muni Charter Amendment? A Challenge to the Supervisors!

My good friend Joe at the SF Weekly blog, the Snitch, has a short post up today with the outline of the so-called “Progressive” Muni Charter Amendment. It covers a number of issues, and I’m going to take a look at the full text before I pass any final judgment on it.
However, this so-called “progressive” charter amendment on the outset has some serious flaws, policy-wise and practical. It makes some noise about funding Muni – fine – but it also is giving Supervisors the power to easily discard any route changes they don’t like, practical scientific analysis be damned. It also does nothing to overcome the burdensome, costly and often antiquated work-rules that result in things like the infamous “pay me not to work” scam, and other inefficiencies as well. (Sup. Campos was offended by this, apparently.)
WhatEVER. Remember how everyone did what organized labor demanded in 2007 with Prop. A, and it ended up blowing up in everyone’s faces? That went well.
There’s another, more practical problem with this amendment – besides being complicated, there is absolutely no organization, no cash on hand, no nothing going for it right now to see it get passed. Fix Muni Now has been up and running and had to earn 75,000 signatures on the street, while this thing is bottled up at the Board until at least July 20th, if not later. So while one is a coherent, viable operation to pass a difficult measure (Fix Muni Now), “progressives” aren’t even organized enough to wave signs for this thing. (Good luck with that).
It would have been nice if there was one, multipartisan thing on the ballot to improve Muni, kind like how we all came together to save SF General Hospital, but that’s in the Haley’s Comet league of Things That Rarely Happen.
As I said, I’m waiting to see the official wording and read every line of it myself (So you don’t have to!). For now, though I am issuing a challenge to the progressive Supervisors who created this thing: I’m asking them to post here why they feel this is the best way to “fix” Muni, and answer questions from you, the Muni owner/riders and from myself.
Let’s see if they can talk to you directly and explain this in their own words. I wouldn’t suggest holding your breath though – you don’t want to die of asphyxiation!

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2 Responses to Can Muni Owner/Riders Trust the So-Called “Progressive” Muni Charter Amendment? A Challenge to the Supervisors!

  1. david vartanoff says:

    1, If TWU backs it, VOTE NO!
    2, I don’t care about who appoints the MTA because with maybe one exception the BOS has approved every Mayoral choice.
    As SPUR and others have pointed out, there are many small steps which could save serious money, but the basic problem is still a culture of “getting over’ on the part of many of the workers and an unwillingness to make useful changes on management’s part. The recent decision to abolish the “ghost jobs” is a great first step, but there are dozens of others that could make service much better.

  2. Greg says:

    @david: TWU’s leadership (and I can’t emphasize that strong enough) has really blown what little political goodwill it had with the riding public, and has emphatically stated on several occasions that it could give a sh*t about Muni or making it better. So they’re not working in good faith on any of these issues, and as I’ve said before, the fact they have a front group claiming to be a rider’s union AND have seats on the board of another shows they are not to be trusted. Remember this is the union leadership that openly backed rude drivers including a famous incident in 2006.
    It doesn’t have to be this way, of course, but the union leadership of many city unions see the City as a big jobs program, and the idea that they provide services to city residents seems to come in a distant second. A pity, since it is the residents who pay the taxes that fund said government and it’d be better if we were all in this mess together!

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