Purchased a FORA.tv video on another website? Login here with the temporary account credentials included in your receipt.
Good evening and welcome to tonight's meeting of the Commonwealth Club of California. I am Greg Dalton, CEO of the club. We are delighted this evening to present San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in his annual forum here at the Commonwealth Club. Today the Mayor Newsom will be in conservation with Scott Schaefer of KQED Radio. Please welcome Mayor Newsom and Scott Schaefer. All right. How are you? I am good. Good, well I want to start, we have had these conversations. Seems like every year since you been in office and we're getting to the end of your first term and just wonder as you look back, what would you say is your biggest success, your biggest failure, or your disappointment in those in those first time almost four years now. Well let me answer it by asking a little different question and that is what am I most proud of and I could tell you what I am most proud is getting 5460 human beings off the streets. What I am most proud is proving a lot of my critics wrong when they said we couldn't house 1872 people, let alone a 1000 people, let alone 500 people by coordinating a new strategy to provide care not cash. What I am most proud of is turning the debate away from managing the homeless problem to beginning to solve the problem through a housing first project. What I am most proud of is that this city is about to become the first city in US history to provide universal health care and no longer talk about the problem but actually do something about it. What I am most proud of is this is a city that's not making pronouncements about moving forward to a greener more sustainable future but just on Earth Day, breakfast a few weeks ago I announced that we are already 7.5 percent below where we are in our 1990 levels in 2007. Lot of Mayors now are making pronouncements about 2030 rolling back their CO2 emissions about 25 percent while where they are today, this is a city that's already rolled them back 7.5 percent below they were in 1990. I am proud of the fact, we are 70 percent recycling rate just shy of that, the highest in the nation. I am proud of the fact that we have been able to accomplish a lot of things against the back drop, a difficulty with one billion 29 million dollars structural imbalance in the first three years I was in office that we have been able to accomplish all that and move the city forward in spite of historic budget constraints and I can go on, but I can tell you those are things as a San Franciscan, I care deeply about and as Mayor I am very proud of that. And what are you least proud of or most disappointed by? That there are thousands of people still on the streets, that are suffering that need our support, that we are a point in the margins on the environment and we can do so much more that we continue to suffer from a remarkable income inequality the likes of which few cities in this country experience, we have seen too many kids killing other kids. We are seeing in our city, the wealthiest city and the wealthiest state and the world's wealthiest Democracy, we are still seen so much suffering particularly in and around our Housing Authority projects and in communities not far from where we are. Where people drive by at SRO and don't know that five members of a family are living in a 150 square foot apartment using a bathroom with about 34 or 50 other residents in a single room occupancy hotel as they drive by to get dinner in North Beach. Those other things that keep me going and those are the things I am most concerned about. Most people I think would acknowledge that a lot has been done in the four years around homelessness and it seems like the debate has really shifted, I mean, there was a huge fight when you were running from over care not cash, and whether you were climbing on the backs of the poor to become Mayor, looking back on that is it your sense that the whole tender of the discussion around homelessness has changed or it is a constant battle to sort of Its remarkable, I think, you know, we are now in an election year so I think, you know, all bets are off in the next six months but I think its been a remarkable three and half years where we have reconciled our differences and I think we share the same goals, the advocacy community, board of supervisors and most of my critics and our supporters that we care deeply about people that are suffering from their dignities of homelessness. People are out there on the street corners suffering from bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, paranoid, people that are dually diagnosed with drug or alcohol addictions and what we have done is we shift the debate again away from this continuum of care where we are focusing on managing the problem to now having a model program for the rest of the nation called Direct Access to Housing, which was in its infancy when I first became Mayor but which has been exponentially expanded over the course of the last few years, we have evidence. 95 percent of the people that we have housed are still in housing. We have seen a decline in the case load associated with our efforts under care not cash declined 86 percent. These are staggering numbers, I stopped in the street by people than in the past would have been out there criticizing and protesting and now we are sitting there breaking down and crying that I never thought in my life, that I would have what I have now because of this initiative and I can tell you that's a ennobling thing and that's something that needs to be replicated for a thousands of more people and that's what keeps us focused and keeps us going. I should make one final point that we have received in the last number of years historic amount of funding from the federal government that's also a remarkable thing. When you consider again that the federal government in the state was not looking favorably just a number of years ago on what San Francisco was doing around its homeless problem, now we are getting a historic amount of federal funding even from the Bush administration because they are funding not the process but the results. They are funding the successful nature of this new model which again is being replicated across this country. And yet most people I think, will evaluate how well you or the city are doing on homelessness, by how many homeless people they see. And there are still a lot of people out there, thousands of them I mean, I live in the Mission and I drive sometimes up Duboce or Division, you see encampments with tents and so on at night. Does this, we does, is that going to be there forever? No, we are going to keep fighting. We are not going to give up, we can house everybody. But there is a price to pay for that and you know, a lot of folks, are frustrated, you know, one thing we have done we we started this program called Return to Residence, this was quietly controversial, in the years past it would have been more controversial because we didn't lead with it. We've built trust and confidence that we are going to do it the right way and one of the things I started noticing, we had no outreach workers when I started. There were no homeless outreach workers, literally in this city. We had outreach contracts but they weren't actually proactively going out in the street and helping lift other people up. What was the mobile assistance program? That was a reactive program, it was reacting to phone calls that came in, it was not proactive consistent outreach. There was those events that were half and there were three different types of reactive outreach but there were no outreach workers in the traditional sense on a consistent basis going out in the streets. One of the things they came back with is not only the need for housing but so many people wanting to reconnect with friends or family and it was interesting there was a real, my aversion was well, I didn't want to get involved in the whole discussion around "greyhound therapy" that we were just going to get someone a bus tickets, sent them a long way ticket some place else. And so no one wanted to get in that debate, not least of which me except that they convinced me by putting a human face on it, this is what folks needed the most. They did need the government to care about them more, than they needed their family to care about them more and so we did as we created a framework that someone had to be on the other end of the line and which hardly had been perfect, some folks have taken advantage of it and come back to the city after going to Seattle or going to Wisconsin or other parts but what is damning and remarkable is that every single state in the continent of United States we have returned someone home, think about that. So when you, when I answered the question, well you still see people out in the street I get that but we now have the first database in our city's history. We know where people are from, we know how long they have been here and an extraordinary number of people have not been here about that long. So as we house thousands of people, if thousands of people that don't make their way into one of the most compassionate cities in the United States and we are not an island and we are not putting up that 700 mile fence around the 7.5 square miles of San Francisco, that some are arguing for other emigrants that may come into our city because we have always embraced new comers of all kinds. People can afford to live here and people that are struggling to make ends meet. You said a moment ago That's the challenge. - to get people off the streets, you said you said that we, you know, the base of that, it could be solved eventually and said that there would be a priced, there would be a cost, what are you referring to? Yeah, well, you know, this city is bearing the cost of doing more than probably most cities in this country arguably we can make the case that there are maybe one or two other cities that even come close to making an investment in poor people that San Francisco does. And so that comes at a price, now the challenge for us is well we can reconcile that but we'll lose part of our soul and our values then need to be questioned. A lot of people criticized me saying well the more you develop this housing first, the more people are going to come. I get that argument, but at what point do I say no to your person that you care about that's been up in that side walk for three weeks. Or to someone's aunt or uncle or brother or sister, son or daughter do I say no to them because they just got here six months ago and no longer are we going to service their needs. I can't do that, we can't do that, that's not what the city is about. So it needs regional leadership, it needs state wide leadership complete utter absence, a state-wide leadership. Including our representatives? There is simply a lack of resolve and constancy there is intermediate interest but there is not the kind of follow through and commitment that needs to be build the real partnership like New York did with its state, New York City, they have a New York New York model become the model for supportive housing in the country. It wasn't a federal effort it was a state effort with the city of New York. Now it's a unique city in terms of the size of the city, in comparison to the state but we are working right now with Maria Shriver and a member of her family who happens to be a city council member down in the Southern part f the state Santa Monica and Angela Alioto who runs our tenure effort to end chronic homelessness to really bring this to the forefront in this state and its one of the reason I want to be here in the next few years because I got a lot of more work to do on this, but I think we are on the right path. You you have taken a pounding over the four years over a variety of things we will talk about some of them. Looking back as as you when you came into office do you think that you were naÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¯ve about certain things and about the way politics works or what a Mayor could or could not do in San Francisco? No, I didn't do, I mean sure, I mean, I hardly had all the answers, I hardly understood the job but I don't think I was naÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¯ve, I have been in elected office I think I have been close to 11, 12 years. Had the opportunity to see one of the masters at work, first hand love them or hate them, Willie Brown, you know, and so I saw the good and the bad. I saw his fights with members of the board that, you know, that haven't been resolved even with a new Mayor and, you know, I saw the interaction, I saw the debate, I saw the frustration I saw his approach and I learned an enormous amount from him in his history. Has your style changed, would you say is your philosophy of the governing changed since you can - No, I mean, nothing has surprised me, because I am I walked in with my eyes wide open that everything it would be new and the experience would be enriching and fruitful at times and other times frustrating and burdensome. But no, I think what I have maintained, perhaps it's even been elevated is the sense of idealism that I didn't even know I had because we have actually accomplished things that I never if you told me three years ago, I never thought we would ever accomplish. If you told me this city and I am not taking credit for any of this, I am just saying as a citizen in this city, if three years ago you told me the following five or six things would all be happening in the next few years I would have thought you were exaggerating. This is the city that is funding comprehensive Arts Education every child in every classroom K-12 because we are fed up with the state and federal government getting out of arts funding, dance, music and theater. This is the city that's doing universal pre-school, we are already doing in 14 neighborhoods, we are going to complete this effort by 2009, what cities are doing universal preschool in valuing the importance of early childhood education. This year we added 1500 slots for after school programs 1320 that were enriched slots. We are going to have universal after school in our city, what city possibly can lay claim to doing universal after school, we are going to start with elementary and Middle School students. We have a local, global climate action plan that's an envy for the rest of the nation. We're actually delivering on our environmental goals in historic ways we are doing universal health care. We are housing thousands of people in unprecedented rate. We are building more housing generally than in any time in our cities history. We have seen the economy grow in extraordinary ways. Unemployment is down 41.5 percent compared to where it was three years ago. 57 new headquarter companies, 11000 new small business registrations last year. Historic amount of spending that we have seen, I can go honestly on and on and I never would have believed that all of that was possible. Well let me just And that's giving me, Scott, tremendous amount of optimism about what we are capable of doing in a city. When in the past I thought well the state needs to step in and do that work in the federal government. As Mayor I have discovered not excuses but remarkable possibility. One of one of the things your critic say and I will just say critics on the board, for example, is that you are great at press releases and image making, great at doing the public kinds of things but not so great about following through. And and I'll only give you a couple of examples of I think what they would point to - one of them is something that you just mentioned, the universal health care. You had a press conference about a year ago and stood up and talked about how we are going to be the first city in the country to provide universal health access for everybody. That's right. And here we are about a year later and there is a pilot project that's about to begin in July. I think in Chinatown 500 people and it seems that that your statement they we're doing universal health care is little grandiose compared to what's actually happening and you know, at this point no one has it. Not true. Well it's just not true let me give you some facts. Because again because this is frustrating because it's very misleading and I I wish that someone had informed you Well the person who told me was the person on your advisory. Because but here is my point, when we announced it, we said we were going to begin it. as a pilot in July of this year. So that's one thing, two we already have it, zero to 24. When I became Mayor I ran on this Scott and no one has focused on this. I said I was going to expand Universal Health Insurance for everyone 19 to 24. And we have been doing that in the last few years and people are enrolled in that program, we are the first and only city in the United States with Universal Health Insurance, 0 to 25. And we are about and I think I made that statement we are about to, I said in July enter into a new phase, we are going to provide health insurance for all 82000 uninsured. It's never been done in US history. And it won't be done in July first. It will actually, you are right, through NEMs, through our neighborhood partners and through others through the San Francisco Health plan, we are going to get people medical home, a medical ID card and we are going to begin the process of doing something over the course of the next 18 to 24 months that will begin slowly and then ranch it up over the next few years. I don't know how, that with respect, is not delivering on the promises that we make. Well the person on your Advisory Committee who I talk with also said that it's highly doubtful that this program is really going to survive a legal challenge that's being waged, I think by restaurants and other small businesses. What are your thoughts about that? The same person probably told you it was going to be highly doubtful that we didn't ever get any money from the state for our program, and we just got $73 million from the state. Should have been I would have argued, it would have been at front page news. Barely it was mentioned in our local press. Do you think you don't get enough credit for what you do? No, its not about me this plan and the folks that put it together deserve an enormous amount of credit for drawing down $73 million from the State of California. Does any did anyone know that? That's a - $73 million been drawn down from the state for this health access plan. Not because they didn't think we can do it. Not because they thought we were foolhardy, not because they were cynics because they were optimists and they thought we can do something that could be a model to others. Because they actually believe we can deliver on this promise. So again Scott, I mean, this is remarkable criticism when you consider it or do it something that no other city has ever done in one of the process of order of magnitude change from the way we have been doing business and we didn't just have a press conference on this. We have actually spent thousands of hours. And my staff is as focused on this as anything they are working on and we don't govern by just having a press conference. We actually do things in between press conferences. And and we actually try to make progress. But but there are but there are other examples. I will give you an example. Diesel buses or hybrid buses year ago you stood up and you said, the city was accepting 56 buses that were the beginning of getting the dirty, noisy, diesel buses That's right. - off the streets. How many of those are actually We have got 56 coming in June. But the press conference was a year ago Because we announced I got I got to find out your sources because we announced the procurement of those buses and we just got delivery of those buses. So we announced the procurement of those buses and, you know, you are in government. You don't just make a contract it done just they don't just arrive from Europe that next afternoon and they were tested on the city streets because this is the first time we have had these buses of this type. We tested a dozen or so different types of buses. 56 are going out in June, 30 more are going out by the end of the year. Clearly on the streets in June. They are out in the street. They are already a couple out but the rest are coming out in June. So yeah we also announced let me could I, we can talk about this 75 other things we announced that are already happening. We talked about B20 and Biodiesels. We're ahead of our goals in doing B20 and all our, and all our diesel vehicles, which was a mandate that we put into effect through executive order we are doing that, and we are an envy to most other cities in the nation. And that's associated with some of the conversion programs we are doing with our fleet. What else you have got, because those aren't very good I need some Well we could keep talking about MUNI a little bit, there was a I am I am happy to talk about MUNI because we need to do a better job at MUNI. I need as Mayor to improve my performance on MUNI and we need to improve the on time performance of MUNI. But I don't know if if you know this. Through the first quarter of the year, the last month has been terrible. On first technology we had the highest on time performance since 2000. You didn't know that because no one is going to write about that. The highest on time performance since 2000 in the first quarter of the year, we were actually making progress on reliability, numbers are up. Pedestrian related incidents numbers are substantially down. On the experience that people have in terms of the cleanliness budget, the survey numbers were up. We had a very difficult time integrating we are having a very difficult time integrating the third street light rail the T-line, which you know, I am ultimately accountable for but there are lot of engineering decisions made decade plus ago when the funding came in, left turns here, stops there that in hindsight may not have been the best decisions but we take responsibility for trying to improve it. And you are going to see some improvements there you already have. But it's not moving as quickly as I'd like. Let's talk about the Police Department because that has been a department not only for you but for other Mayors that has been problematic. How satisfied are you with the job Heather Fong is doing? I am very satisfied. She has brought a level of integrity to the department at a time when just remember where we were. This Police Department has had a difficult decade and a half, I mean, you had the entire command staff indicted, by the former DA. We had three police chiefs in a very short period of time. That was not a lot of trust and there was a lot of lot of negativity in the department. We brought someone in that was What would you mean by negativity? Because there was a lot of frustration, there was a lot of negativity between the DA and the Police Department. There was lot of negativity that permeated around the department in the press, the indictments were national news, they were international news. There was a lot of frustration, there was a lot of change that was ongoing in the departments, so I tried to bring someone in that has integrity someone that can navigate through that. And I think, she has done a good job under very difficult circumstances and one of the most difficult circumstances she has and appreciate you referencing the other cities is that we have a shortage of police officers and we are aggressively trying to recruit new officers so that we could do more in terms community policing, do more in terms of our intervention efforts in crime prevention strategies. And we have we would like and love to talk about some of those specific plans, what our hiring strategies are. But I am satisfied, she had had a very tough job to do in last few years and I think she is doing it well. Some of your allies on the board Bevan Dufty, former supervisor Ma, supervisor Maxwell complained that she is not communicative. You know, that she is not visible enough. That she is not doing enough of telling them what her department No, she is not she is not, well she is not a press conference person. But there but there are folks who would say about she is not a great manager either. Well I don't know if that's fair. I mean, of course, they are critics but I think she has done a good job under difficult circumstances. Are you satisfied with where the crime rate is? Absolutely not, I don't think there is a Mayor in big city Mayor in the country that's satisfied with the crime rate - crime. Homicides between 2004 and 2006 in this country have gone up 10 percent. You had a 14 percent increase in gang related homicides in Los Angeles last year. With Chief Bratton well known for his efforts and success in New York and he is facing an increase in gang related homicides and gang related homicides across this country have gone up in almost every big city we are all frustrated. I don't think Mayor Brown in Oakland was in competent, but he had a huge increase in homicides last year. I don't think he didn't care, I think he cared deeply. I don't think he didn't try. I think he tried desperately. I think Mayor Menino in the Boston Miracle that we all talked about has tried a lot in this last year and half, it's been difficult for him. In the last two years, crime in San Francisco has dropped 3.4 percent. Last year it dropped 11 and a half percent, homicides, that is. We have seen and this doesn't get the attention but it's an interesting stat. Black on black gang related homicides where I got myself in a lot of trouble because I said start a recall campaign against me in relation to the gang related activities has dropped 60.5 percent in the last 24 months What are the accounts for that? I think a lot a lot of factor. The grace of god, accounts for a good part of it. People are being shot, in some cases surviving. A lot of people are being shot and surviving. I think aggressive intervention, we have increased the gang task force by 16 members. We have saturated certain areas of our city. We have been before there was a requirement to do a small community policing thing that got a lot of attention in City Hall. We actually started community policing in the big four housing projects in the South East sector of San Francisco and I think it's had a lot of effect in Sunnydale at West Point, Middle Point, Oakdale and some and Alice Griffith formerly Double Rock. We are now doubling that effort in the western edition and Visitacion valley. So we've worked hard, we have increased our Hunter units, we have worked with the state operation impact with the CHP and we have invested and this is important, an historic amount of money into alternatives to crime and violence because we recognized in our campus it's not a place of peace. So we have invested in summer job programs, $12 million last year. We provided prioritization for jobs for people coming out of juvenile probation. People that actually made mistakes in their lives were given priority jobs. We have created a lot of new community building efforts where we have focused on people with felony arrests. We focused on getting people off the streets and in the job training programs. Not just actual jobs or job training. And we have got a lot more work to do. And am I satisfied absolutely not. Can we do better? I believe we can and I am not going to stop until we do a better job on that as well as MUNI. As you know the department has been criticized for having or not criticized is the right word, but it has been, the statistics have shown that there is a much higher rate of African American felony arrests in San Francisco. Three times the rate of LA, of San Jose, double Fresno five times the rate in Oakland. What's your sense of why that that's? Well in case a couple of things. We also have among the highest arrest rates overall of any city in this state. This is most most people are not, they say well no one is getting arrested. The fact is people are getting arrested more in this town per capita than almost every major city, there is just two other cities in the state. And it's not LA. It's not Oakland that have they are all lower arrest rates and only two that are higher. We asked an expert because we didn't we couldn't we couldn't explain this and it was a concern to all of us. And we asked an expert Dr. Fridell who came from the University can't remember which in Florida. South Florida. South Florida and she came in and she did a report and analysis and she concluded that she cannot conclude that there is racist policing policies that are either being directly implemented or being effectuated but she can't conclude that there is no intuitive bias, that we all sort of have as human beings as it relates to arrests. And she came up with the strategy and recommendations to make some improvements and she also noted that we have some of the most progressive strategies on the books of any city in the nation and we should be very proud of that. We are now taking her report and we are rolling it into a larger report looking at best practices of policing in this country. Many, by the way started here which is not a great sign because you want to think that they have it and that when they will be adopted everything will get better. But we are keeping an open mind and we've got a comprehensive report that we hoped to have done by the end of the calendar year and this group called PERF which she was associated with, is going to be doing this analysis with the support of the controller's office. Again a comprehensive review of best practices for policing which is long over due and something that I am very eager to support. There is a phenomenon I mean a lot of black communities are there in the country where there is lot of pressure for people not to talk to the police. And Huge problem. Huge problem how how big a problem is this. Here and why is it what can be done to really get beyond that? Well we have tried a number of things. It's the whole and it's the whole snitch phenomenon. You may have seen 60 Minutes, finally picked it up - its very difficult thing and had a guy who I have immeasurable respect for, I visited recently in Harlem named Jeffrey Canada who was the principal in that effort. And Jeff and I have talked directly about this and this is a phenomenon that's hardly unique in our city. People won't come forward to tell us what they have seen. Right? When I became Mayor, a literally a few days after three guys who worked on my campaign were shot. Two of them were killed, one of them, I visited in the hospital. I got a little trouble for this because people felt I was being a little too aggressive because I went and visited this individual and I said to him, his name I won't share, I said you know, tell me what happened. You know, who did this because I know you know because your friends have told me and there are lot of other witnesses, and I won't say a word. I said what do you mean and he mentioned his sister and his mother. I said I will give you my credit card right now, we will get you out of here, he goes no way. And it was a big wake up call of these phenomenon. Just killed two of his best friends and he was shot. But doesn't but I couldn't believe it he had bullet holes everywhere and he was up the next morning watching a DVD. And the point is what? The point is he didn't want to uproot his life. He didn't want to snitch, he was born, I mean, he was rather he was raised not to snitch. He doesn't tell on people, he doesn't believe in that and he was also worried about his life and he wasn't worried about literally losing his life as much as his life becoming uprooted. Everything he knows is in this community and you couldn't move him far enough to feel safe and feel connected. He was going to be disconnected from everything he knows and everything he has experienced and this is a phenomenon that's happening at every city who is trying to address this. Let me tell you what I try to do. I don't know another city that does this, we actually increase, lifted all these rewards, you know these $10,000 rewards for information leading to an arrest. I remember doing a lot of rewards and I went up to the West point, Middle point up in Bay View. I went out there and I actually announced all these rewards, right, where one of the homicides were and everyone is laughing at me. No one did a thing, you know, they all said man you don't understand. And they were right, they were irrelevant. Not one person, not one tip so about a year ago I asked, I said give me analysis of all the rewards going back to when you are there with Art Agnos in the Mayor's office and we have millions of dollars of outstanding rewards and no one had tapped any of these things and so I said well, maybe the rewards are just not good enough and so we actually increased 12 rewards to $100000. You take a $100000 we will some [0:31:37] ____ not one person has done it. We are now going to advertise those rewards even more aggressively. I am thinking of doing a few to quarter of a million dollars so its not even relocation money. That's a substantial amount of money, there is just an unwillingness in many cases to rat someone out. So is there any one -? By the way, I met with some former gang members, some current gang members and I had this exact conversations Scott, I will never forget, it was the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium we did it very quietly without anybody knowing about it, met them upstairs and I started to getting a lecture because I was so - I said give me a break, I mean, I mentioned this guy and we know who killed him and by the way we arrested that guy on another charge. He was also involved in killing a six week old baby and we got him on another thing. In this case, those two people will never be arrested for that [0:32:27] ____ and they started lecturing me. They said don't you Mayor tell us about this code, you want a code it's at the military, you want a code its in your Police Department, you want a code of silence I will give you a code of silence and they went on and on an on. That was big blow back and I went, you know, interesting point, right. I mean, that they that the and by the way it was a big wake up call on me, there is a phenomenon on this country of gun violence that is almost inexplicable. No one is going to understand it. Mayors across the country we, 210 mayors who are bound together to do more aggressive and progressive and antigun legislations. San Francisco has done the most of aggressive anti gun legislation in the nation and you may have seen something in the paper today on that and I am proud of that. Is it going to solve the crime violence issue, no but the reason we are doing is we are dealing with reality and that is kids killing kids with the same weapons or war that are being used in Iraq and I find it phenomenal. The phenomenon that 12 to 15000 people are killed every single year in the streets of in our city of America, on our own streets where there was a real war and yet we have not focused on that at all, yet we are all consumed appropriately with 3401 people as of yesterday dying in US military operation - personnel dying in Iraq, where we all lament that but we are not focused on the tens, ten plus thousands people that died just last year on our streets. So we are seeing a phenomenon in a way, its a long of saying this, their focus on the war was damning and it's just got me thinking and this is, I am not, making this excuse but the impact this war is having, I am convinced of this. The impact, the images, the violence, day in and day out how its permeating, in our own minds, in our own psyches, but with our kids disproportionately. I have seen pictures that the police have given me, we have taken over 2262 weapons off the streets in the last two years, I have seen pictures of some of these weapon caches and these kids are in military uniforms would be same in AK47, emulating the war in Iraq, emulating this war and I have just thrown it out as an interesting discussion around what has gone on in last few years. It hasn't been the economy, it hasn't been the arguments around abortion which is an interesting one about crime phenomenon when abortion became legal in this country. It's not these usual macro reasons but to me there is something to this whole issue that, I think, needs to be explored more deeply, the impact the war has had in terms of the psychology of our kids in the cities across this country. Well, radio audience, I just want to remind them that they are listening to the Commonwealth Club of California Radio program and our speaker today is San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Let's talk sports, 49ers. They assumed to be heading south should that matter, and there are other cities where football teams play, the Giants the Jets they play in New Jersey, I mean, should it really matter. Yeah, you know, that's a legitimate point and you know, to the extent that it matters and I think, it does to the pride and spirit of the city. It's an intangible, I think, sports matter and and so, you know, I think this - the phenomenon that we have all experienced with that we believe, advocacy, I mean, I like that the idea that thousands of people can come together with completely diverse backgrounds and they could sit there and hug us, complete stranger because they have one thing in common and that's what's happening out on the play field. I think that's a rather remarkable thing in society today we need more of that. So I don't discount the phenomenon on sports in terms of building community and anchoring people to a common focus and common set of goals and expectations and interest. But we can sell our soul, so I mean, I love all the economic arguments for 10 games a year. Give me a break, I mean, you know any one in Santa Clara that believes that, you know, the football stadiums are not economic stimulus, they did not create any economic stimulus, baseball stadiums arguably do. Very different sports, so when we talk about keeping the 49ers we are not going to do at all costs. We are not going to write a 160 or $180 million check, I never look you in the eye and say that's a good investment. Was that the really the issue there when the talks broke down, was it money? No, it was the current plan that they did not like from a fan experience perspective. They didn't like and I understood it having a parking garage and that was by the way many parking garages. Wasn't one parking garage but that had a capacity of 15000 vehicles that was a legitimate argument towards dumping out all those cars once the game concludes and moving people out from the fan experience it was about the construction and the density of the current plan and so they decided to look elsewhere but we have a new plan and yesterday it passed nine to two at the board of supervisors, an extraordinary thing, an extraordinary, Scott, thing. You want to talk about effectiveness in government. This was an effective strategy that supervisor Peskin deserves tremendous credit, supervisor Maxwell deserves enormous credits for working with our team to pass something in four and half months that arguably I thought would take four and a half to five years and that was a conceptual plan to completely redevelop the South East sector of San Francisco to develop 8500 housing units with a substantial percentage affordable. 300 acres of open space, millions of square feet of commercial space in green technology and life sciences and bio tech and But the 49ers aren't particularly interested in that. Doesn't matter, we are going t go forward and develop this site with or without the 49ers. We have given them a 22 acre pad to start and if they want to come, they can come. We have set the table for the 49ers. They have got 19000 spaces all surface parking lot we can convert the surface parking lot into ball fields to substantially increase the number of soccer fields and softballs fields and baseball diamonds in our city. Its dual use turf, we have integrated the stadium to a master plan that is, would be the envy of other cities. There is, it is conceivable Scott, this is what a big deal this is. That by the summer of 2009 the city will be developing over 15000 housing units in the Bayview-Hunters Point region in Treasure Island. Treasure Island alone is 6000 housing units 1800 of them are affordable, the most sustainable greenest development in the United States of America. Something we should all be very enthusiastic about and very proud of that that project could be happening at the exact same time as this Hunter point project is happening. No one could have convinced me again looking back just three years ago that we could be doing it in just a few years. It's another reason I want to be here to make sure we fulfill our commitments to the people of the south east sector in the Bayview-Hunters Point plan. By the way, jobs components, rebuilding public housing. The Alice Griffith site, more affordable housing, homeowner shift opportunities, more open space, bridging the issues of the old industrial past and the pollutants for middle Bayview-Hunters Point power plant in dealing with the environmental and justice issues. All of these things is part of this master plan and I just couldn't be more pleased. Yesterday was a great day in San Francisco and from my perspective as a San Franciscan getting this over the hurdle and it came at the same day the 49ers, they had to punt down there to put off a decision on the ballot and so hope now you all paid some attention. Speaking of paying attention the analysis after, when they announced they were going down the Santa Clara was that you hadn't been paying attention, paying attention to him - I appreciate these questions. That's just utterly untrue. I mean, this is what they said. Now this is what this is what their PR person said and this is what one reporter wrote about the - yeah, well. And it - and it and it was very unfortunate, and that was completely untrue and everybody that knew the facts knew otherwise, and they stated those facts ad nauseam. So it's just utterly untrue, there wasn't a week that went by and literally we had a standing meeting every week. Was there a misunderstanding of some kind. Maybe I mean, because you were surprised. We had a standing committee every single week in my office with Michael Cowan and Jesse Blout, my Head of the Economic Development Office. I met with John York dozen, two dozen times. And there were hundreds of and there were hundreds of meetings and communications. Those are reasons Scott that Lennar spent millions of dollars on the current proposal. It was because they thought we had a deal. There is a reason that we move forward the Olympic bid because we thought we had a deal. We had just done focus groups with the 49ers to show how you can roll this out in order to get public support, weeks before the announcement. We were down making the presentation, the exact same night, John York called me, we were making a presentation the USOC, the Olympic Committee about our Olympic Plans because we thought we had a deal. Everyone, not just me everyone associated would have thought we had a deal. So what they did is try to spin it and it was very misleading and very unfortunate now. But the fact is we were very engaged and we are very engaged and we are going to see what we can do. We changed sports, baseball. Giants don't pretty well this year, Barry Bonds is closing in on Hank Aaron's record, about eleven - ten home runs away. What's an appropriate way to mark that? If you, I am going to let others judge that. I think, it's a phenomenon to watch a 42 year old I am 39, and I can't even you now, I can't even run right now, because I got a bad hip. A 42-year-old stealing bases, a 42-year-old that's batting 300, a 42-year-old that has hit as many home runs as he hit in his prime when apparently he was doing certain things that may have been inappropriate. He's a phenomenon to watch. I don't think, you know, I think sports should be put in perspective. Again it's about building community sense of pride and enjoyment, but it's a game it's a game, its not life, it's game. It's for fun, it's for enjoyment. Well it's big business too? It's a business exactly. And to the extent that that people are the critic of Barry Bonds have every right but, you know, lot of people go out and watch them and a lot of, and I'll be out there and hopefully when he breaks that record here, AT&T and I think, he will be, you know, and obviously its an asterisk, but I am I am enjoying watching them and I think even people hate them. Like I know people who hate them, love watching them, that love booing them and that's part of the expand experience as well. We love to hate, politicians and athletes and its, its okay. And umpires. That's right.