LAGUNA HONDA: Tenants Vow To Fight $500 Million Bond Measure
San Francisco tenant activists are vowing to "fight a proposed $503 million bond to rebuild Laguna Honda Hospital if the cost is passed on to renters," the San Francisco Examiner reports. Ted Gullicksen of the San Francisco Tenants Union, a "powerful group" in the city's politics, said, "There will be an active opposition campaign from the tenants. We'll get the word out that not only will there be a rent increase, but that it will be a big one." Tenant concerns are driven in part by the fact that earlier this year, Mayor Willie Brown (D) "persuaded supervisors to allow landlords to pass the costs of any bond-related tax hikes on to their tenants," the Examiner notes. Upon hearing of the tenants' planned opposition to the measure, the mayor said, "I don't believe tenants are so insensitive to the needs of patients at Laguna Honda that they would even assert their displeasure on the basis that they may have to share the costs."
Poor Vs. Poor
Marie Ciepiela, director of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, countered Brown's statement, "We are not against the need for the hospital. We just don't like the idea of playing the poor against the poor." According to Ciepiela, if the bond measure passes, tenants could see their "rents ... go up $10, $20, $30, $50 a month." The Examiner reports that the city "would assess $300 more a year in taxes on a residential property valued at $400,000 to pay off the Laguna Honda bonds" (Gordon, 7/22). Click here to read an Examiner editorial calling for more discussion of the bond issue.