In Defense of Tech Workers:
"Half the time I spend in these companies is with the employees. And they are residents of San Francisco. And they are also working class. There's a lot of folks that are making $40,000 to $50,000 a year. And they’re struggling ... they have the same issues (as everyone else). How can I get to work on time? What about the schools? Public safety ... And I have these conversations over and over again with nonprofits as well as with people who’ve got work. The underemployed, same thing. So, these conversations are not had only with (the image of the tech worker that is being perpetuated) by those who don’t want the tech companies here. I'm interpreting their positions more and more as being anti- growth."
Response to Complaints That Direct Action Was Not Taken Against Tech Buses:
"Well, there is now, with respect to this pilot program that our Municipal Transportation Agency has been authorized to do by the Board of Supervisors. We have this next year to figure out how to make sure that the shuttle buses and all the other shuttles — because it's not just the tech shuttles by the way, people have to understand there are hospital shuttles, there are educational shuttles that are using these bus stops. We've all got to coordinate them better. And if the cost of coordinating those — so that they don't interfere with the regular Muni bus stops and their transportation schedules — if it costs more, we'll have to consider charging more. But it has to be a direct cost. We were forewarned through our city attorney’s office that we can only charge for these as much as they cost us."
On Closing Ellis Act Loopholes and Senate Bill 1439:
"I certainly think it's aimed at speculators. And (helping them) was not the original intent of the Ellis Act. The Ellis Act was to allow small landlords to get out of the business of being landlords. What got out of hand is that companies are coming in and they're forming LLCs and they're simply speculating on these properties. Coming in and wiping out long-term, rent-controlled tenants, and seniors and immigrants and others, on the speculation that they can sell the property to somebody else. That's a loophole in my respect. And I am very thankful to Sen. Mark Leno for helping take this on with us at the state level ... "
On Not Taking a Position on Proposition B:
"I can’t be distracted. I mean, right now, the advocates of Prop. B have the whole waterfront issue and I can't just decide to just have that fight and spend all my time doing it. We know where our housing can be built right now and it's in the southeast corridor, it's in Hunters View, it's in the south of Mission Bay, it’s all over those sites that we already have. We just have to get those projects going. ... These are the priorities that I am working on right now. I can't be sidetracked with a waterfront battle that I think would probably lose anyway. ... I've got other things to do."
On Supporting a Minimum Wage Increase to $15 an Hour:
"I said I was open to up to $15 an hour. And I didn't state a number at the beginning (of the minimum wage debate.) What I indicated was that I would like a process that included the chamber, small businesses, nonprofits, working-class folks. ... You've got to get people united around this in order for them to say that this minimum wage increase will help all of us, and will not decrease the number of jobs that we have. It's still related to jobs. You can't just increase minimum wage and then lose a bunch of jobs and say you've been successful. It's more complicated than that and we want to take up those complications in the right way."
On Students Leaving San Francisco Unified School District for Private Schools:
"The only way to invite more students into the public schools is to make sure that they are the best. And that’s my goal. And, certainly, that’s something that has resonated with the private sector because all the different companies – and especially Salesforce.com through Marc Benioff and Lynne Benioff’s efforts – to help me revitalize the middle schools in the city, which I think are the most challenging. And we have now another $5 million investment by Salesforce to complement our school districts' focus on getting all the core elements of our middle schools together as high-performing as they are in private schools. When you're walking in this summer, you'll see every middle school, all 20 campuses, WiFi-ed up, and every student having an iPad."
On Bringing African Americans Back to San Francisco:
“We are trying to create an in-migration of African American families by inviting small businesses back to Third Street and emphasizing the diversity of the city.We want to see a lot of not only food, but small retail establishments in the areas in which people have lived in in the past. I think what we’re doing in the southeast sector of the corridor re-invites a lot of great diversity in the city because the housing there is going to be that much more affordable.”
In Response to Caller Who Says Muni is the Worst It’s Been in 22 Years:
“Why don’t I make you a promise that I’ll ride those Muni lines myself so that I can get the experience you have. I do agree with you that this city has got to be a lot more civil at every aspect. And I can’t agree with you more that if we’re going to invite more people to use the public transportation system we’ve got to get an acceptable standard, kind of like when you’re riding on BART. I think there’s an instant respect. There are incidents that occur, but I think people do have to respect each other and I’m going to make sure that happens.
Listen to the complete interview here: