In a first, the mayors of the Bay Area's three largest cities are appearing together tonight on KQED NEWSROOM to discuss major issues they face, including housing, wealth disparity, the technology boom, transportation infrastructure -- and the changing venues for professional sports teams.
In a show taped Friday afternoon, Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco announced that he, Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland and Mayor Sam Liccardo have formed a "coalition" to present a united front in Sacramento on the affordable housing crisis.
Schaaf said she was "disappointed" that the tech industry is not doing more to help the cities solve their problems. And she got in a dig about the lack of diversity in the tech sector.
"Their workforces do not look like our cities," she said.
Perhaps the highlight of the show came when the show's co-hosts, Thuy Vu and Scott Shafer, asked the mayors about battles over where to locate the Oakland A's and the Golden State Warriors.
"He's stealing my basketball team," she said, pointing at Lee, "and he's trying to steal my baseball team," she added, pointing at Liccardo.
Liccardo noted that San Jose is the largest city in the nation not to have a professional baseball team. He also said it wasn't up to the cities where the sports teams would go, because "it's about a bunch of billionaires" who decide where they want to put their teams.
"We're saying, 'We want a fair chance to compete,' " he added.
Schaaf said that "the one thing we do need to learn from each other is that the days of government subsidizing sports teams is over. And that we cannot afford to have a race to the bottom in these kind of ill-conceived stadium deals."
Lee stated that the mayors will work together on another Olympics bid, and that a new kind of regionalism is in order.
"Our Bay Area is now having to compete with the likes of cities like London, Paris, Shanghai, other places," Lee said, implying that the three mayors will have to be a lot better at collaboration on regional issues than has been the case in the past.
Lee and Schaaf are jointly working together on a new transbay tube for BART, and Lee voiced support for extending BART into San Jose.
All three dodged a question about whether they would like the funds that Gov. Jerry Brown has committed to high-speed rail to be redirected to these regional transportation projects.
The entire interview with the three mayors can be seen on KQED NEWSROOM, a weekly news magazine program that airs on television, radio and online. Watch Fridays at 8 p.m. on KQED Public Television 9, listen on Sundays at 6 p.m. on KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM, or watch online here.