Local Candidate Questionnaire: Gordon Mar, 2018 Candidate for San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Here at TechEquity, we believe that voting down the ballot is crucial for active, local citizenship. While a lot of the national spotlight is on congressional races, there are a multitude of local candidates that have the potential to make significant impacts on your communities.

We’ve reached out to candidates for San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Oakland Mayor, City Councillors of Oakland and Berkeley, and CA State Assemblymembers to answer our five-part questionnaire. Check out our index of the seats on the ballot and the candidates who have responded to our questionnaire.

Below are the questionnaire responses from Gordon Mar, 2018 candidate for San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Disclaimer:

We’re a nonpartisan 501c3 non-profit, which means we cannot and do not endorse candidates. With that in mind, we gave every candidate that we could reach an opportunity to fill out our questionnaire.

Displayed are the unedited answers from each candidate as they came to us. We are publishing these questionnaires to educate voters on candidates’ positions; we do not endorse their positions nor statements.

Candidate’s Name:

Gordon Mar

Office for which Candidate is Seeking Election:

​Board of Supervisors

Jurisdiction in which Candidate is Seeking Election:

​District 4

Candidate’s Website:

www.gordonmar.com

Ed Lee will be remembered in large part for his work to grow San Francisco’s tech economy by creating incentives to attract tech businesses to the city. What elements of his policies would you retain and what would you change?

San Francisco needs a diversified economy, and tech should certainly be one part of it. Yet the economic benefits of the tech sector have not been equitable and has created huge negative consequences, including rapid displacement and gentrification, and exacerbating the housing crisis.

We need to negotiate harder when it comes to economic and land use decisions, to ensure that the jobs we bring in benefit San Franciscans across income levels and that employers become responsible members of the community. I have been doing this work for decades; I helped negotiate an $80 million community benefits agreement during the redevelopment of California Pacific Medical Center. As Executive Director of Jobs with Justice, I have been negotiating for local hire provisions as part of the Central SOMA plan. We need to carefully review, and mitigate, possible negative impacts to San Francisco’s diversity in every respect.

The housing crisis is the most urgent issue for our members, and it is TechEquity’s top advocacy priority this year. What is your view on how we can solve the housing crisis and make the Bay Area an affordable place to live for people at all income levels?

Affordable Housing For All

There are immense opportunities for housing that is affordable in San Francisco, including the Sunset. We can build a neighborhood where diverse people get their everyday needs met, feel stable and secure, and thrive across generations.

Building housing that’s truly affordable

  • Build workforce and family housing that’s affordable on public lands owned by the City, including four sites I’ve identified in my district
  • Negotiate hard for the highest levels of inclusionary housing for all new developments — housing that’s affordable for middle and low-income residents

Incentivize homeowners to build In-Law units

  • Provide homeowner grants to build affordable units for senior, disabled, or low-income tenants
  • Increase construction financing options for homeowners, both with public investments and working in partnership with financial institutions
  • Identify permit fee and tax waivers for landlords who bring units to the housing market
  • Improve educational outreach and technical assistance to make sure they are culturally appropriate

Rental housing affordability

  • Provide emergency and need-based rental assistance and utility assistance
  • Invest resources for tenant-landlord dispute mediation and resolution, including tenant counseling
  • Incentivize owners to rent to long-term tenants to keep communities alive and vibrant

A Community Plan for the Sunset

  • Move forward on housing priorities alongside transportation, jobs, small business, parks and open space, demand for public services, and other public infrastructure
  • Prioritize the community first and oppose policies that bypass local control in land use decisions such as SB 827
  • Consider and mitigate all possible impacts on displacement, vacancy, and developer speculation
  • Support merchants, small businesses, and non-profit and service organizations by advocating for affordable commercial spaces

How will you address the homelessness crisis? Do you think the City’s current budget allocation for homelessness is adequate? What solutions do you think are working, and what else would you implement?

Homelessness

In such a wealthy city, it is unacceptable that people live on the streets. We need to get people the care they need and get them off the streets and into housing. Homelessness is a housing issue and a public health crisis. We need a data-driven approach to homelessness that responds to the specific circumstances of individuals.

High-intensity services where it’s needed the most

  • Expand outreach, drop-in services, shelter beds, and facilities to get people off the street and into housing
  • Invest in wraparound psychiatric resources to get the most at-need individuals into care and to protect the public health and safety of all
  • Fund homeless services by taxing SF’s biggest corporations, which is why I support Prop C

Mobile outreach and behavioral health services in the Sunset

  • Create mobile outreach services to rapidly respond to the dispersed homeless population in the Sunset
  • Coordinate service response in Golden Gate Park to protect the public health of all and keep the park safe for everyone to enjoy
  • Improve 311 service requests for homeless individuals and educational outreach for residents to maximize the effectiveness of city services

Preventing homelessness by addressing affordability

  • Provide emergency and need-based rental assistance and utility assistance
  • Ensure there are resources for renters to find and secure safe and reliable housing
  • Develop supportive, permanent affordable housing to keep residents housed and off the street

How would you create more stability for renters in our city, especially for low- and middle-income renters?

I am a small property landlord with my realtor wife Cecilia. We are committed to supporting tenants, who are vital to the fabric of our community. I am uniquely qualified to bridge the relationship between landlords and tenants. Because of my positions on affordable rental housing and rent stabilization, I am endorsed by the San Francisco Affordable Housing Alliance and the SF Tenants Union.

  • Provide emergency and need-based rental assistance and utility assistance
  • Ensure there are resources for renters to find and secure safe and reliable housing
  • Develop supportive, permanent affordable housing to keep residents housed and off the street
  • Incentivize homeowners to build in-law units: In-laws, or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), provide financial stability for both tenants and homeowners without displacement. In-laws give homeowners an opportunity to gain income by providing tenants a home that’s naturally affordable, including for family members and especially for senior, disabled, or low-income relatives.

I will:

  • Provide homeowner grants to build affordable units for senior, disabled, or low-income tenants
  • Increase construction financing options for homeowners, both with public investments and working in partnership with financial institutions
  • Identify permit fee and tax waivers for landlords who bring units to the housing market
  • Improve educational outreach and technical assistance to make sure they are culturally appropriate

How do we modernize the city’s transit and mobility system to accommodate the rapidly-changing needs of the city’s residents?

I ride the L-Taraval every day, and rely on MUNI to move around the Sunset and across the city. Local residents deserve a say on the public services we rely on. Every project, from safer streets to expanded transit service, should involve the community from start to finish. Because of my track record and positions on transportation, I have the sole endorsement by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

  • Increase commuter service so people can travel efficiently between neighborhoods to work, attend school, and access services.
  • Reduce “switchbacks” on the L Taraval and N Judah so commuters can get home effectively without transfers
  • Keep pedestrians safe to realize Vision Zero goal to reduce injuries and death, especially in high-risk locations such as Sloat, Sunset, Lincoln, 19th Avenue, and along transit lines
  • Add protected bike entrances into Golden Gate Park and promote safer cycling throughout the Sunset
  • Advocate for a citywide bicycle plan to expand safe and green commuter options
  • Create a comprehensive Sunset Community Plan, a community planning process for transportation alongside housing, jobs, small business, parks and open space, demand for public services, and other public infrastructure

Check out our index of the seats on the ballot and the candidates who have responded to our questionnaire.


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