Angela Alioto for Mayor 2003
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Q&A with ANGELA ALIOTO

1. Do you support the MUNI fare increase?
No, increasing fares will only decrease ridership.
If not, what alternative sources of funding would you recommend to the San Francisco Transportation Authority?

MUNI needs to consider other means to increase revenues. I would like to see City parking permit stickers, so that every car that parks on city streets pays a fee. I don't like neighborhood parking permits because they hurt our neighborhood businesses. City parking permits would still accomplish the goal of prohibiting commuters from parking in our neighborhoods.

2. How would you make the city more accessible through walking and biking?
Walking and Bicycling need to become viable means of transportation as they are in most of the world. Many of our sidewalks need to be resurfaced, widened and buffered from traffic to make walking a pleasure again, rather than a danger. Bicycle lanes are a critical part of the equation and a viable network of lanes to and through all areas of the city needs to be completed. Bike lanes need to be more clearly marked to increase safety for the cyclists. (I would support marking Bicycle Lanes with diagonal yellow lines.) The supply of secure bicycle parking spaces needs to be increased and convenient bicycle parking should be provided at MUNI and Metro as well as grocery and convenience stores.

I have the highest praise for the S.F. Bicycle Coalition, who’s recent success such as the Polk Street lanes, which, though initially opposed by the merchants, has not caused the problems that were contemplated. Valencia Street bike lanes have shown similar success.

Many cities in Europe have these zones and they work well. At the very least, we should try closing areas of Market Street on a trial basis. I would also like to take a look at closing identified sections downtown on Saturdays for a short period and see if it works—that would include bringing the restaurants out into the streets etc—making it a real open space (except for buses and taxicabs on certain main streets).
Do you support removing minimum parking requirements for housing?

I support one-for-one parking for new construction except for limited uses in high density areas where clear evidence exists that transportation is adequate and that residents will not require automobiles. I am tired of seeing front lawns paved over to create parking spaces because our planning department miscalculated usage

3. With the $350 million deficit, would you balance the budget by making deeper cuts or increasing revenues?
What cuts or revenue enhancements would you propose to balance the budget?

Neither. - I will hold public hearings with each City department head during the first 80 days of my administration. The purpose of these hearings is to review each department budget for waste and lack of compliance with the City’s charter; review and assess the job performance of each department head; and to provide accountability to the public. I fully intend to put an end to the status quo and open up the budget process. Without much needed reform, we will continue to see cuts in vital services such as health care and homeless programs and the threats of layoffs to city workers who provide these services.

I will oppose every effort to balance the budget on the backs of San Francisco’s children, seniors and the sick and the city employees who provide services; I will hire an independent auditing firm to work with the Board’s Budget Analyst to conduct a top-to-bottom budget review and weed out waste and mismanagement - many of the Budget Analyst’s recommendations are not followed or ignored; and I will open the budget process to the public by bringing budget hearings directly to the neighborhoods.
We will not have 2,600 workers in City Hall making over $100,000 by the end of my first year in office. When my father was Mayor, 7,000 public employees served approximately the same population. Now we have 31,000. I believe we can run the City of San Francisco within the $4.9 billion budget by eliminating waste, corruption and mismanagement.

Before there can be change, there has to be acknowledgment of the problem. In the public hearings with each City department head, I will be calling on all San Franciscans; their valuable experience and first-hand knowledge are a valuable asset we must take advantage of. This civic exercise will provide a catharsis that will bring everyone to the table when I formulate my budget priorities.
I will cut spending and close the deficit by reducing the 600+ mayoral assistants—some who make more than $120,000 per year; and I will stop the wasteful practice of giving sweetheart contracts to political consultants and contributors, and implement controls and open sole-source contracts at every level to Sunshine and competition by our local small businesses, which currently fills only 3% of the City’s contracts.

4. Do you support Assemblyman Mark Leno’s proposal, AB1690, to allow local governments to levy local income taxes?
No.

5. Would you use pension funds to balance the City’s budget?
No.

6. How do you propose to revitalize the local economy, bring new small businesses to the City, create new jobs, and diversify the economy?
Businesses want safe streets, good schools, housing that's affordable to its workers, cultural and recreational opportunities, pleasant neighborhoods, and a business-friendly environment when they are investigating new venues. We need to do for every business what the present administration has been willing to do for Bloomingdales, or for Don Fisher.

San Francisco needs to invest its limited resources in diverse business opportunities rather than blindly follow a trend, which is the lesson learned from the dot com bust. Welcoming and working with diverse industries and businesses, we can rebuild San Francisco's economic base much like Seattle reinvigorated its economy after the collapse of its airline industry. Over reliance on any one industry, no matter how lucrative, makes us vulnerable. On the other hand, tourism is a constant exception, which I don't include in these remarks.
I have grave concerns about the way we have been doing business, especially in the last several years. The city has become a laughing stock of corruption, mismanagement and waste. Scandals, which — six years ago, would have been considered unspeakable atrocities are now accepted as normal and commonplace. As I move around this City and talk to people from every corner and neighborhood the message always comes back to the same thing. Clean house Angela! That's what I'm hearing everywhere. Clean house. I think San Franciscans are sick of distrusting our government and we won't tolerate it. I'm listening to people from every part of the City, I'm not just talking. And I'm hearing it over and over again.

It is time for a San Francisco renaissance. We will begin by admitting that we have a serious problem. We need to manage our homeless problem compassionately and effectively and restore fiscal accountability. It’s all about integrity and leadership, not politics.

We can also reach out to improve our image. I'd even consider hiring a PR firm as other cities have, probably not the firm the Hotel Council hired for those billboards, but one that will reinvigorate our tourist industry. I will be San Francisco's best ambassador and I won't be telling people to come here to “lie, cheat and steal,” I'll tell it like I feel it because San Francisco will always be the greatest place to be for me. And I think people and businesses in other cities will believe me.

7. Do you support raising the business tax?
I have been supportive of raising business taxes in the past, but do not favor such a move during an economic downturn unless an emergency arises and protections can be built-in for small businesses and Mom and Pop operations. As an elected official and private citizen, I fought to provide resources for services. I supported an increase in the property transfer tax in 1994 to generate needed revenues to protect health services; I support the establishment of a “transit assessment district” to fund MUNI; In 1994, I fought to increase the current franchise fee agreement between the City and PG$E (the franchise fee was set in 1939 and has not been increased since). According to the Board’s budget analyst, my proposed increase would have generated approximately $29.5 million over a two-year period. If we were to increase the fee to today’s national average, we would generate much more than the $29.5 million estimated in 1996. I have also been a strong advocate for the municipalization of our electrical system. I first began working on this issue in the late 80's. I fought for a feasibility study that would determine what would be needed to accomplish municipalization. Public power would generate millions of dollars for the general fund and provide cleaner and less expensive services to the residents of San Francisco.

I do want to stress with regard to these tax questions, however, that I firmly believe there is so much waste in our budget, that upon analysis, such waste —once rooted out—will adequately address our budget needs. I plan on spending my first 80 days in office proving that concept.

8. How do you plan to improve the responsiveness and the accountability of the City’s police officers?
As the attorney who won the largest Anti-discrimination trial in the history of our nation, I think that it is fair to say that I have become more or less an expert. Our City is in violation of so many human rights discrimination laws it isn’t even funny. The reason is, primarily, political will is lacking and secondarily, education is so very lacking. This is an area where I will make an immediate change as mayor, and the Police Department will be my first stop, with DPW and the fire department my second and third stops. (Not to mention the Human Rights Commission.)

I can reasonably state that the lack of sensitivity training in the Police Department is a travesty. The highest-ranking officials do NOT understand the fundamentals of civil rights laws. Zero tolerance has got to be the standard for specified behavior. Currently, we are dealing with an officer who has 16 prior misconduct complaints; this is absurd. He should have been terminated after the second complaint. In my administration the policy will be —one proven complaint and the officer will be placed on probation, after two proven complaints, that officer is out. Some violations will bring immediate termination. Those violations will be made very clear to every officer from day one. In my administration, the police will be there for the people, and the people will feel that the police are there for them – not against them!

What recommendations would you make to improve the City’s Police Commission?
In July of 1989 I introduced legislation (Resolution #564-89) to reform the Police Commission the legislation failed at the Board. I have advocated for Police Commission guidelines and /or Charter Amendments that would provide procedures for hearing charges against police officers when the Office of Citizens Complaint and the Chief of Police disagree as to whether disciplinary charges should be filed against a police officer before the Police Commission. I support the Police Reform proposition that has been approved by the Board for the November ballot.

9. What is your stance on public power?
My stance is the San Francisco Gas and Electric Company. Nothing less.
I was the first elected official to propose municipalizing the City’s electrical power system, successfully passing legislation that called for the first-ever feasibility study on public power; I successfully passed legislation to increase the franchise fee the City has with PG&E for use of the city easements - the proposed increase would have brought in over $20 million in additional revenue for the City over a two-year period (this legislation was vetoed by former Mayor Frank Jordan. (We were unable to override his veto because of votes by Barbara Kaufman and Susan Leal to sustain the veto.) As Board President, I created the Committee on Public Power and served as its Chair. I convened the Committee for Lower Utility Bills in my legal offices when I was no longer a public official and worked to put the MUD on the ballot. I appreciate the leadership the Green Party devoted to that effort and that it continues to take leadership on the issue. My record speaks for itself:

Resolution #389-94: Supporting the use and sale of local, public electrical power and urging the Mayor and the PUC to aggressively bid for the National Park Service Contract for the generation of electricity at the Presidio.

Resolution #863-94: Authorizing San Francisco to join Women's Energy, Inc. in its protest of the National Park Service's Presidio power bid award.

Resolution #963-94: Urging the Mayor and the PUC to explore a franchise fee increase for PG&E's use of city streets to provide electrical power & gas to its customers.

Ordinance #90-95: Amending the Administrative Code to require the PUC to prepare and transmit to the Board of Supervisors a preliminary report regarding the feasibility of municipalizing the electricity utilities distribution system in San Francisco.

Resolution #251-95: Urging the Mayor and the PUC to request that the City Attorney immediately file an appeal to overturn the National Park Service's award to PG&E to provide electrical power to the Presidio.

Resolution #1091-95: Urging the Mayor and the PUC to terminate immediately the contract with Strategic Energy Ltd. for the municipalization study and to review and reevaluate the contractor selection process.

Resolution #604-96: Urging the PUC to terminate its contract with ETAG to prepare a preliminary feasibility study regarding the municipalization of the electricity utilities system in San Francisco.

How would a public power oversight board be selected and administered?
As the mother of one of the elected MUD Board members, I have a natural bias toward elections. Elected boards have served Sacramento and other public power cities well. I am also open to an appointed Board if it will move things along. Please check out my plan, "San Francisco Gas and Electric Company" on the homepage.

10. What would you do to reduce the environmental impacts of the power plants, the Naval Shipyard, the Superfund sites, and the wastewater treatment plant on the residents of Portero Hill and Bayview/Hunters Point?
Power Plants: The two aging power plants have to be shut down as soon as possible. I am committed to shutting down the PG&E power plant at Hunters Point by 2005. Also, I oppose the expansion of the Mirant Power Plant and will make every effort,in consensus with the local community, to shut it down.

In the interim, the transmission lines both outside and within the City need to be repaired, maintained and replaced. This factor alone will allow us to shut down one of the power plants.

The combustible turbine engines that the City received from the Williams Energy Company should be located at the San Francisco Airport. Under no circumstances should they be placed in the Southeast Sector which has taken the full brunt of pollution from the two aging, toxic and polluting power plants all these years.

We need to fast track the retrofit of energy saving light fixtures and replace electric equipment to conserve energy. Hetch Hetchy must provide the maximum amount of energy to the City — energy that belongs to the City's constituents. The longer-term solutions will be provided by a San Francisco Gas and Electricity Company that will be created within days after I am sworn in as Mayor.

Naval Shipyard and Superfund Sites: Right now the Navy is doing the clean up. The City needs to monitor their progress very closely, and many of the residents who attend the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meetings and provide much of the meaningful input, such as Dr. Ahimsa Sumchai, Francisco DaCosta, Espanola Jackson and Willie Ratcliff are among my best supporters. The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard is a Superfund Site and has stringent requirements to address hot spots and other toxic pollutants. The Federal Government has the money to do the clean up, but we must keep the pressure on them through the City Attorney as well as the RAB and the advocacy groups, such as the Community First Coalition and Environmental Justice Advocacy which I trust will keep a close watch on the Navy.

I am not convinced that the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency should be the recipient of the rehabilitated parcels from the Navy. Redevelopment takes projects out of the tax stream for 20 years, further damaging our City’s economy. I am predisposed to the community-based plans advanced by the Bayview Hunters Point Shipyard Residents Stock Ownership Development plan (BVHP RSOC). So far not a single parcel has been conveyed.

Waste water treatment facilities: The City fully understands that the present Raw Sewage Waste Water Plant situated in the Bayview by Phelps Street is old and over-burdened. The facility should no longer accept the raw sewage from Colma, Daly City, Brisbane, and Burlingame. The Bayview Raw Sewage Waste Water Treatment Plant takes over 80 percent of San Francisco's raw sewage. Sadly, over 80 million gallons of secondary effluents are pumped into the Bay by Pier 80.

Years ago San Francisco voted for an expansion of the Southeast Sewage Plant. The plan called for a Cross Town Tunnel that would take the secondary effluents into the Pacific Ocean. Nothing ever happened. It is time that first the Cross Town Tunnel is built. Colma, Daly City, Brisbane, and Burlingame should have their own decentralized treatment plants.

11. Current educational budget cuts are going to deal a further blow to the City’s public schools. How would you work to ensure that San Francisco puts the needed resources into its schools?
San Francisco’s Mayor must play a strong role in providing all children access to quality education. As Mayor, I will work closely with the teacher’s union, the School Board and school district administration, as well as the Board of Supervisors to develop a collaborative strategy for increased funding with increased accountability, and improvement of programs. In 1994, I sponsored Proposition A, which raised funds to build new schools and improve existing buildings. I strongly support legislation that would allow local voters to raise taxes for their schools. I am committed to working with local, state and federal officials to increase teacher’s salaries and build teacher’s housing on City properties to retain and attract the best teachers. We need to provide the materials our teachers need as well, our children deserve the best education. I will oppose any attempts to drain funds away from our public schools.

We must provide adequate after-school programs, child care services and healthcare programs for our children. Such programs work hand-in-hand with our schools. We need to establish a child care "Quality Enhancement Fund" to improve child care services and underwrite staff training and to increase availability to low and middle income working families.

Though I have not studied the proposed school bond on this November’s ballot, from a casual perusal, it appears to be well thought out, and the goals seem specifically designated to much-needed projects and uses. These are the benchmarks that I require before I endorse any more bonded indebtedness, especially in these economic times. The fact that it was unanimously approved by our elected school board, is a compelling argument for me.

What share of the City’s general fund should go to the school district?
Again, I support housing for teachers and better salaries. I believe that the schools and the Mayor’s Office can have a very special relationship, whereby the schools benefit in many ways, not just financially The Mayor’s Office can acquaint parents with available city-funded and sponsored services and assist with parenting skills, housekeeping, substance abuse, etc.

12. How would you restore and increase the availability of doctors at the City’s health centers and at San Francisco General Hospital?
San Francisco’s non-profit hospitals need to perform their fair share of charity services. These hospitals, such as Sutter Health, operate under favorable tax-exempt terms and should, at minimum, devote 3% (national average) of their care to charity cases. This would relieve some of the strain on the Doctors at our Health Centers and at General Hospital. I support extending the Healthy Kids program to provide health coverage to all uninsured children and youth not eligible for other public health programs. This is the beginning of implementation of Universal Healthcare.

I served as Chair of the Board’s Health Committee for six years while the HIV/AIDS epidemic was in its beginning stages and implemented much of the City’s responses to HIV/AIDS. I will work to implement the Universal Healthcare Policy placed on the City’s ballot in 1996 - a policy that has never been reviewed, funded or implemented. It will not take me seven years to implement such a plan. I will bring together healthcare workers, clients and the related-city departments to work on this issue, and to develop a plan that will protect and expand health programs. Providing healthcare to all San Franciscans has always been, and will remain, one of my top priorities.

13. How would you improve the availability of mental health services?
I established the Mental Health Board and am confident that they are performing well. The decrease in FY 2000-2001 in psychiatric hospitalizations from the previous year is testimony to intensive case management programs that encourage clients to live productive lives in the community rather than in institutions. It is also the result of the availability of community-based alternatives such as supportive housing, acute diversion residential programs and the Mobile Crisis Team. Reducing the need for psychiatric emergency services and inpatient hospitalization not only decreases costs, it produces results that have significantly less recidivism. It provides a model for the implementation of the Universal Healthcare policy.

Community Mental Health Services, the School District and Westside Community Mental Health Services jointly operate a pilot program at Visitacion Valley Middle school, a treatment program for children with serious emotional disturbances. The model should be expanded to serve the approximately 12,515 children and youth between 0 and 17 years old who are seriously mentally disturbed in San Francisco.

Our standards of care for mental health treatment need to meet community standards regardless of income, residency or eligibility. An especially important aspect is the culture of the client in the context of mental health. Programs need to be relevant to the needs of our diverse population of African American, Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino clients as well as the Anglo/Caucasian clients. I applaud the Peer Internship program that pays consumers as they become peer support counselors, this is a key program to improving our cultural competency.

Our grant writing and funding resource staff needs to be fully funded and integrated into the Department of Public Health. It is estimated that nearly half of the adults over 60 years old who need mental health services do not receive them. This population of 2,500 older adults should be covered by the Older Adult System of Care grant from the State Department of Mental Health. This opportunity needs to be fully realized.

Though my record on health issues is pages long, the following is representative of my views:
Resolution #174-90: Urging the State Legislature to restore $15 million in cuts to community mental health services.

Resolution #129-91: Urging San Francisco to establish a policy opposing electro convulsive therapy.

Resolution #131-91: Urging the United States Govt. to remove HIV from INS exclusion for travel, immigration to the US.

Resolution #305-91: Urging the State Legislature to restore $100 million in substance abuse funding for the "Drug Waiting List Program."

Resolution #406-91: Urging the State legislature to allow testing and approval of new AIDS-related drugs through the California Food & Drug Branch Program.

Resolutions #80-92, 81-92, 82-92, 83-92, 84-92: Resolutions establishing San Francisco's needle exchange program.

Resolution #482-92: Urging the State Legislature to increase the number of AIDS-related drugs made available through the "AIDS Drug Assistance Program." .

Ordinance #98-93: Establishing the San Francisco Mental Health Board

Resolution #155-93: Opposing federal legislation reversing recent regulations lifting travel restrictions barring people with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States.

Resolution #160-93: Urging the federal govt. to allow Haitian refugees living with HIV entry into the US for medical care.

Resolution #512-93: Opposing Senate Bill 1239 regarding mandatory AIDS testing.

Resolution #637-93: Urging State Legislature to allow the medical use of marijuana.

Resolution #923-93: Urging the US Congress to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug and allow physicians to prescribe marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Resolution 924-93: Urging the SF Dept. of Public Health to add medicinal marijuana into its master plan for substance abuse and HIV treatment.

Resolution #43-94: Urging the Federal Dept. of Health & Human Services to provide public service commercials regarding condom use and HIV targeted to gay and bisexual males.

Resolution #179-94: Opposing Senate Bill 1432 that would classify HIV/AIDS as a venereal disease.

Resolution #204-94: Urging the federal government to designate San Francisco's public health clinics as federally qualified primary care clinics.

Resolution 376-94: Creating the HIV Youth Advisory Task Force to provide policy and program recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor.

Resolution #442-94: Urging the SF Dept. of Public Health to conduct tests for lead poisoning at the Geneva Towers public housing unit.

Resolution #730-94: Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation allowing for the medicinal use of marijuana.

Resolution 1003-94: Restoring full funding for the Dept. of Public Health's Center for Special Problems, ensuring continuation of the CSP's unique mental health services.

Resolution #186-95: Supporting Assembly Bill 1529 that allows for the possession and medical use of marijuana.

Resolution #263-95: Opposing state legislation call for the mandatory name reporting of people with HIV/AIDS.

Resolution #309-95: Supporting Assembly Bill 1408 that would allow for the compassionate release of prisoners in the final stages of a terminal illness (AIDS, cancer).

Resolution #311-95: Opposing federal legislation that would require mandatory HIV testing of newborn infants.

Resolution #426-95: Urging the appointment of mental health & substance abuse "czar for the San Francisco Dept. of Public Health.

Resolution 469-95: Urging the expansion of City employee health plans to include coverage of Traditional Chinese Medicine and alternative therapies.

Resolution #485-95: Opposing the closure of the Dept. of Public Health's Tom Smith Center that provides substance abuse and alcohol treatment services.

Resolution #1041-95: Urging the major television networks to carry public service announcements regarding condom use & HIV transmission.

Resolution #114-96: Urging the Gov. & State Legislature to increase funding for the State "AIDS Drug Assistance Program" and to approve the addition of newly approved drugs to the ADAP list.

Resolution #134-96: Opposing federal legislation that requires mandatory discharge of all HIV-positive military personnel.

Resolution #407-96: Urging the Department of Public Health to provide sexual assault services specific to the needs of young girls.

Resolution #578-96: Urging Mayor Willie Brown to direct all city agencies to refrain from building power generation plants in the Bayview Hunters Point district.

14. What is your stance on the City’s solar energy initiatives: What would you do to implement the mandates of these initiatives more quickly?
I am excited by the passage of Propositions B and H making San Francisco the leader in solar power in the nation. B and H were both approved by the voters by an overwhelming margin on November 6, 2001, yet a year and-a-half has gone by and no bonds have been issued. As a long time advocate of the City’s involvement in the electricity business, there will be no foot dragging from the Alioto administration. I supported both propositions when they were on the ballot and spoke out in favor of them in conjunction with the coordinated campaigns to pass public power and bring clean energy to our city.

Proposition B mandated the City to issue $100 million in revenue bonds to finance renewable energy projects on municipal property. So far only the contract to place the 675 kW solar electric system at Moscone Center has been awarded. I would make it a highest priority to accelerate PUC cooperation and provide leadership to implement the voter-mandated renewable energy plans. The Pier 96 site is an appropriate use of municipal property for solar projects and once the bids are in, a fast track for permits and installation could be a major step toward the closure of the polluting Hunters Point plant. The installation of solar panels at the new neighborhood libraries should also be encouraged and aided by the Mayor’s Office, to produce energy and educate the public in their own neighborhoods about the viability of solar energy.

In 1996, I authored legislation (Resolution 578-96) which called on Mayor Brown to direct all city agencies to refrain from rebuilding power generation plants in the Bayview/Hunters Point district. I worked closely with community leaders in writing this legislation, unfortunately, the policies of the current administration have been the opposite of City policy.

I will be proud, as Mayor of San Francisco, to oversee the gradual movement away from fossil fuel driven energy to renewable energy plans. By increasing the use of clean, renewable sources of electricity, we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels —and if some fossil fuels are necessary, it should be small, distributed natural gas using the latest and cleanest technology available.

I also believe that a public power authority would be more environmentally responsible than P.G.&E.

15. How would you preserve and revitalize San Francisco’s arts community? Would you provide low-income assisted housing and studio space to artists.
San Francisco’s reputation as a City that respects the arts has taken a nose-dive in recent years. Artists are no longer flocking to our shores, they are fleeing.

We need a renaissance of the arts.

I was the originator of the film commission, that opened the door for many artists working in the movie and TV industries, not only for performers, but also for stage, wardrobe, video and related arts.

I successfully fought a move to require permits for poetry readings, ensuring the right of poets to freely congregate and create artistic works. I named Via Ferlinghetti and Beach Blanket Babylon Avenues to promote the arts.

I have been a consistent supporter of arts programs from the City's hotel tax, and sponsored resolutions supporting art programs for youth in schools and City-owned facilities. I’ve been an advocate for the City's street artist program and made the San Francisco Fair an official showcase for creative arts.

I have been active in the preservation of San Francisco's artistic and architectural treasures, such as the landmarking of the Columbo Building, Our Lady of Guadeloupe, Shrine of St. Francis, St. Brigit's. I favor restoration of our San Francisco spaces, including interiors, that will bring artists and related craftsmen employment.

I would favor assisting artists with housing and workspaces, and if there is a silver lining in the current glut of office spaces it may be that they are conducive to conversion to actual live-work spaces for artists.

In the long term, however, we need to get the artists communities at the table to work out solutions. I believe creative people will find ways to deal with problems that bureaucrats would never imagine. I have no confidence in the current Arts Commission.

As Mayor, I will revive the City's dormant spirit, launching an annual international festival as a showcase to promote San Francisco's authors, filmmakers and artists, and I will appoint Art Commissioners who have the vision to fulfill that mission.

16. What harm reduction measures do you propose to deal with the issues of HIV/AIDS, drug addiction, and treatment? How do you think prevention funds should be spent?
As Supervisor when the epidemic was beginning to show up it was a very frightening experience. I served as Chair of the Health Committee at the Board of Supervisors for 6 of my 8 years, where we worked with the communities and the health experts to craft a responses to the crisis. I am alarmed to learn that the number of AIDS cases rose 2.2% this year after ten years of decline. The newly diagnosed HIV cases among gay men is up 7.1%, an increase for the third year in a row. It is clear that we are doing something wrong. I am determined to work on this problem as Mayor I will appoint Health Commissioners with the commitment to turn the crisis around again.

While I hope that the LGBT community begins, as it did before, to take the initiative on the issue, the City needs to be there with every resource available. As you can see (in question 13 above) I am personally invested in these issues. A lot of influential people were very upset about my Needle Exchange legislation, but now it is being copied around the world. I was committed to dealing with the HIV/AIDS crisis then and I will not stop now.

17. What would you do as mayor to protect San Francisco citizens from the USA PATRIOT Act?
I fully support the Board of Supervisors resolution opposing the USA Patriot Act and related Executive Orders. As a civil rights lawyer, I am appalled at the wholesale disregard for civil liberties it assumes. While I affirm the City’s strong opposition to terrorism, I will take whatever action is needed to convince City agencies not to aid federal authorities in investigations that jeopardize a person’s civil liberties, whenever legally possible.

The USA Patriot Act’s use of racial profiling creates an atmosphere of hate against immigrants who are innocent. This is something we in San Francisco will not tolerate.

18. Do you support Supervisor Tony Hall’s proposal to hold protestors responsible for the financial losses during the days of protests immediately following the outbreak of war?
No. Freedom of Speech in San Francisco is legendary. If laws were broken, such as damage to property or persons, there are sufficient laws that are applicable and it is a matter of enforcement.

19. Do you support the SF Tenants Union’s initiative on Rent Control?
I’m not sure I understand the question. I have always supported rent control. I understand the current measure the Tenant’s Union is seeking to put on the ballot is a rent freeze. I’ll watch the progress of the initiative with interest and listen closely to the public testimony.

I am extremely concerned that more than 10,000 rental units have been taken off the rent rolls through the Ellis Act by small landlords who are tired of the rental business - we must do something to stop this loss, as it only drives rents higher.

I also believe that landlords/property owners who are elected to public office should not be allowed to vote on any issue where they have a direct financial interest.

Rents in San Francisco are ridiculous—they are the highest per capita of any other city in the United States. We must work to bring down rents so that all our residents can afford to live here.

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