The 1 Percent

The adulation of the technoriche

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It’s hardly news at this point that billionaire tech mogul Sean Parker tore up a public campground to build the sets for his $10 million fantasy wedding in Big Sur. And it’s been widely reported that Parker paid a $2.5 million fine to the Coastal Commission, which he tried to spin as a wonderful environmental gift to improve the state park system.Read more »

The NY Times and class struggle

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The NY Times isn't exactly a revolutionary left-wing publication -- and while columnist Paul Krugman routinely talks about the income and wealth divide, it's not typically a staple of how the Times cover the news. But David Leonhardt is starting a blog on the decline in the middle class and is going to turn it into an article during the later parts of the presidential campaign -- and amazingly enough, he's got it pretty much right:Read more »

8 Washington's going on the ballot

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San Franciscans are going to get a chance to vote on the most expensive condos in the city's history and the future of development on the waterfront as soon as this November.

Opponents of the 8 Washington project turned in 31,721 signatures to the Department of Elections July 19, and since only about 19,000 have to be valid, it's a safe bet the referendum will qualify.Read more »

Developer hires crew to block signature gathering

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The developer of 8 Washington has taken an unusual if not unprecedented step to prevent a referendum on his waterfront condo project from succeeding: He's hired a crew of people to surround signature-gatherers and try to drive away anyone who might sign a petition to put the project before voters.Read more »

We can stop 8 Washington

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There's a week left to stop the sale of San Francisco's waterfront to the 1 percent.

The Board of Supervisors approved the 8 Washington project, and a coalition that (for various reasons) opposes this giant pile of housing for the very, very rich is trying to put the issue on the ballot. That takes a lot of signatures, and there's only one week left to collect them.Read more »

Thick petition against a big project

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My old friend Sue Hestor stopped by my house June 24 to ask if any of my neighbors might want to sign the referendum petition on 8 Washington. She was carrying a clipboard with a document the size of a phone book attached to it. Almost 600 pages, neatly bound.

I flipped through it. Lots and lots of background documents on the project, nothing anyone's ever going to read. But thanks to some slick moves by the developer, Simon Snellgrove, supported by his allies on the Board of Supervisors, the referendum petition has to have all of that material attached.Read more »

Putting 8 Washington on the ballot

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The fall ballot's going to be crowded -- and one of the issues that may face a vote is the future of the 8 Washington condo complex, the waterfront multi-zillionaire housing that the city doesn't need.Read more »

Gosh, we need more condos for millionaires

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I guess it's really, really important for San Francisco to build more housing for the very rich because there's just such a profound need for it. In fact, the demand for million-dollar condos is so high, and the supply so tight, that the folks at Rincon Tower (which is hideous) are bringing in celebrities to try to sell the last few units.Read more »

8 Washington isn't getting much better

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When the Board of Supervisors approved the environmental impact report for the most expensive condos in San Francisco history, several members of the board said they weren't entirely happy with the project. Supervisors Christina Olague and Eric Mar both complained about the height and bulk and Olague said she wanted a parking fee.Read more »

Why the May 15 vote on 8 Washington matters

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Brad Benson, the special projects director at the Port of San Francisco, took me on a tour of the 8 Washington project and gave me his pitch for why the city ought to allow a developer to put the most expensive condos in city history, housing for the top half of the top half of the top 1 percent, on a prime piece of waterfront land. Read more »