I know why we are pissed by that answer also. Major corporations have stolen our money and blown it at the race track in get rich quick schemes and we are handed pails to clean up their brown. Health Care has been bleeding Americans dry for ever and now when we see the problem we still get only the slightest improvement. (An improvement if your an insurance company). Bigotry and hatred have combined to create fascist laws against gays in many "liberal" states. The state can't pay for ADAP and yet there seems to be room to pay for lots of press secretaries and still not raise taxes on the rich. Yep Its been a year of change and this is what post Bush has left us with. Ineffectual government that still cares noting about the people and only about the bottom line and we have to pay for their gross spending and back room deals. However if people are the government then we are just as responsible for what has happened to our city, our state and our country.
We as environs in San Francisco have watched as our city has become a playground for trust funds and condo owners while squashing the creative and underground scene. "What about the children?"; we hear it all the time. Myself; and most of my friends; were thrown out of your suburban safety nets and sought refuge and community here in this city. It became a refuge where we could gather and create and find family. We are not leaving without an fight and were not going to let an entertainment commission, drunk on it's own power, destroy the world we have worked to create. We am not going to stand silent while our places are taken from us by selfish condo owners who move next to bars and whine until they get their way! That person who moved next to the Cinch and started complaining was only there for one year or less and the Cinch has been a bar SINCE ITS INCEPTION! Anyone who has seen the place in the day knows how old it is! Yet one selfish person can complain and because she has money and isn't a degenerate gay dictates the actions taken. If I wasn't a lady I would have some very choice words for people like that!
So hey policy makers if you are looking for income I have a few suggestions.
1. Decriminalize pot - A projected 1.6 Billion in tax revenue. Not to mention if we let no violent offenders out of jail, pardon them and wipe the slate clean, we could save millions there. Plus we would have more people out of jail serving as farmers helping to stimulate our economy even more.
2. House the homeless - It costs 2 times as much to keep a person on the street. Police, Fire, Sanitation all work over time due to our lack of compassion. The argument that you would "not want one or several of them living by you or your bar (Marlene's)" makes no sense! I hear that people are afraid there will be excrement and needles in their bushes. Who poops on the street when they have a toilet? Would you shoot up in an alley if you had a home? These problems exist because we allow the dignity to be stripped from our fellow man and believe if we shared the wealth there would be less for us. ABSURD! Wake up there isn't any for you unless your an insurance executive and you steal it.
3. Charge Large Car Owners MORE! - More to cross the bridge more to park more for healthcare more for insurance more! we could call it the selfish and heartless tax. The I'm so selfish I have a giant car tax. The I do what I want and I don't care give me some McDonalds so I can throw the containers out the window later because I'm so ignorant tax. The Me Me Me tax. A tax for America.
4. Charge a fee for every menu and club promotional card that litters the street. Make it so people can collect these cards, turn them in and the clubs and restaurants can help the local ecology and community. These invites and menus are not recyclable because they are covered in plastic. This is left all over the sidewalk after a busy night, or in the case of menus wind and rain, and end up in our sewers and the bay and the ocean. We can help people, build community, and help the ecology in 1 foul swoop.
5. Property taxes on Commercial real estate must be raised and the state policy changed. There is a Prop 13 from 1978 that has stripped foreign investors of their responsibility to our community and they used little old ladies to do it. When you house or property is Assessed it is given a fair market value and you pay taxes based on that assessment. In Ca the property taxes were actually going up so fast that elderly did loose housing. Yet here is the down side. The Gate Residence Hotel has had the same owners, investors, who have owned the property since 1978. They pay 2% increase annually since 1978. The rate of inflation is usually 3.5 or higher. Cheep property taxes for prime down town location. The Hotel goes out of the business of being a residency hotel and many poor are out of housing that many have been in as long as the hotel has been around. Now the Hotel is owned by the same people but a new Leaser is found to open a Commercial Hotel, the Infusion Lounge, and a Chinese restaurant. All booming and doing very well. Still owned by the same people. Still only a 2% increase each year for a property assessed as a residence hotel. Get the picture. What do you think the Fairmont pays in property taxes as compared to a new home owner in the city? So why do young couples and singles and the poor not have an easy time staying here and yet foreign investment gets breaks for holding on to property?
6. Tax the Churches. Listen they are making policy, owning vast tracks of land, doing business from their offices, and paying to advertise their views on propositions. Tax them and start treating them like the lobbying groups that they are. The Christian Right and Mormon's have put their hand in deciding law and influencing votes on a national level, why not treat them like any other business. Unfair policies for bigots doesn't wash and neither do the laws that they pay for.
With all that said I would like to remind us that we can change these unjust laws and we can do it soon. The trick is to be responsible and take part and do it. Grass roots still works. Vote, read a paper, get involved and hold people accountable. Hold yourself accountable. That way we can have some other color that brown. We can have a government that works for us not special interest. Wouldn't it be better if we turned off the TV for a second, got off our cell phone, stopped texting on our blackberry and remembered we are part of a world that was happening right here and now? I mean look what's happened since we've been away.