Thursday, September 8, 2011

Supervisor David Chiu Speaks to BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) members welcomed San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu at the September 7, 2011 meeting.  Mr. Chiu, who is also a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco, recently received the second place endorsement (what does this mean?) for that position in the November 8, 2011 Municipal Election from BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee (BOMA SF-PAC).

About David Chiu

Supervisor Chiu was elected in November 2008 to represent San Francisco's District 3. District 3 is home to many diverse and vibrant neighborhoods, including North Beach, Chinatown, Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill, Polk Street, Nob Hill, Union Square, Financial District, Barbary Coast and Fisherman's Wharf. In January 2009, David was elected President of the Board of Supervisors.

Before joining the Board, David was a founder and Chief Operating Officer of Grassroots Enterprise, an online communications technology company. Prior to Grassroots, he worked as a criminal prosecutor at the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and as a civil rights attorney at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. In the mid-1990s, David served as Democratic Counsel to the U.S. Senate Constitution Subcommittee and as Senator Paul Simon's aide to the Senate Budget Committee. The eldest child of immigrant parents, David Chiu grew up in Boston and received his undergraduate degree, law degree, and master's degree in public policy from Harvard University.

David Chiu has lived in District 3 for over a dozen years, in the Russian Hill and Polk Street neighborhoods. Before taking office, David was a hands-on leader in San Francisco and in District 3, as a Small Business Commissioner, chair of Lower Polk Neighbors, board president of the Youth Leadership Institute, board chair of the Chinatown Community Development Center, judge-arbitrator for the Polk Street Community Court, and president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area. David was previously elected to the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee and chaired California's 13th Assembly District Democratic Committee.

Meeting Discussion Topics

Supervisor David Chiu and Richard Rabbitt, GAPAC Chair
In 2008, Supervisor Chiu was not supported by the aggregate business community - including BOMA - in his initial run for District 3 Supervisor due to a number of factors, but we are proud to support Mr. Chiu with a second place endorsement for Mayor in 2011.  This is was not a decision that the BOMA SF-PAC members took lightly and it was based on solid job performance by Supervisor Chiu in his elected role and as Board President to champion the passage of a number of future-focused, job producing projects for the City and County of San Francisco and, also, streamlining the way government works with the public at large.

Mr. Chiu stated in his conversation with the members of the GAPAC that the tone, under his watch, has changed at City Hall to one that moves beyond the politics of the past and focuses on the future of the City.  His record in the past three years, according to Chiu, included balanced budgets, increased housing stock, pension reform and economic growth.

Moving the City Forward

Economic Growth

San Francisco is still in a recession and has lost a lot of jobs over the last three years.  Mr. Chiu mentioned that he's concerned that San Francisco is "becoming a bedroom community for Silicon Valley companies" and he wants to make it easier for technology companies to start, grow and stay in San Francisco.

Mr. Chiu mentioned that we need to reshape the political dialogue in San Francisco to one that can be 'progressive,' i.e., maintaining the social values of San Francisco, without stopping economic progress that funds city services.

Indeed, the members of the GAPAC offered a number of excellent suggestions to Mr. Chiu regarding their thoughts on keeping businesses in San Francisco, specifically technology companies.  The Supervisor welcomed the continued dialogue and asked that BOMA members be at the table to discuss ways the business community could shape a number of important economic issues in San Francisco that will be addressed in the near-term including reforming the business tax system in San Francisco and the mobile food truck proliferation.

Government Efficiency 

Supervisor Chiu spoke about his efforts to streamline the way the City Government operates including budget reform and overall inefficiency measures, "many of the City's departments aren't rowing in the same direction...[the] Bureaucracy is not as efficient as it could be; I'd like it to have a business oriented focus," said Chiu.  He also suggested that he has the political will to push for efficiency measures that will save the City money to help pay for essential social services that the City and non-profit community provide.

BOMA San Francisco appreciates Supervisor David Chiu's time and we thank him for speaking to the members of the Government and Public Affairs Committee.

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