Phil Matier: A Mayoral Tale Of Two Cities
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Low approval ratings can be problematic for politicians, but one local lawmaker appears to be weathering the storm. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s latest approval rating isn’t so good with voters, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone challenging her, much less making waves about it.
It was explained to me by Larry Tramutola, a political advisor who runs campaigns in the East Bay, why Mayor Quan’s approval rating is only at about 40 percent. For starters nobody even wants her job and if they do, they probably aren’t qualified for it, so having said that, she’s sitting pretty good for now.
Some things are going right in Oakland with their strong housing prices, it’s a seller’s market and they are experiencing an art revival of sorts with a lot of fairs and creative activities going on. Despite those bits of good news, crime rates still put a damper on that city’s progress.
Meanwhile, across the Bay, her San Francisco counterpart Mayor Ed Lee’s city is experiencing an explosion of growth. Just yesterday I went down Mission Street and there must have been about 20 cranes starting from the Embarcadero until about the Castro District. High-rises are going up at a rate I’ve never seen before.
Right now he’s trying to finalize a deal before he goes off to China for a string of high-rises on Treasure Island as well as over 1,000 homes in the old Naval Shipyard. The city is on a roll and I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen so much development like this.
The question remains to be seen is if this will be sustainable in a boom-bust world and with a population of over 900,000 approaching one million people in the next 20 or 30 years. It’s obvious Mayor Lee is pushing hard on the tech front and on construction developments. One thing remains to be seen is how successful he’ll be on the tourist front. He’s determined to get a Super Bowl bid here and he’ll shell out city money for the America’s Cup Race.
What’s really interesting is the silence that surrounds all of this in San Francisco. There used to be fights all the time, but the old left guard has turned into a new, younger libertarian group that seems to be going with the flow.
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