Za 4 BV w/Simi

Dear Friend,

I’m asking you for one hour of your time tonight to help save the homes of 400 Palo Altans.

The Buena Vista Mobile Home Park is in danger of being shut down. Not only is it the last mobile home park in Palo Alto, it’s also home to 400 low-income Palo Alto residents. In January, the County set aside $8 million dollars in affordable housing funds to help find a solution that allows the residents to stay in their homes and to preserve the site for affordable housing.

Last week, the Palo Alto City Manager conditionally matched that $8 million with City funds. Tremendous news, but it’s important that we both thank the City for this critical first step and ask for the Council’s continued support.moresimi

That’s why I would like you to join your neighbors and me TONIGHT, Monday, March 9 at 5:30pm at Palo Alto City Hall as we rally to save the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park.

Let’s thank the City, and encourage the City Council to ratify the funding at the earliest appropriate opportunity.

For more information, see the flyer below or visit our event page.

Hope to see you there,

P.S. The pizza’s on me!

edit to add: I called over to Delia at Pizza Chicago, across the street from BV to see if by chance Joe Simitian our pizza popi had placed a large order, on the size of 20 pies, and she said not to her knowledge. I had actually written about this before, government pizza, not to be confused with the Van Buskirk-ian “stale popcorn”/”state popcorn”. I am suggesting that our man Simi choose wisely in his pizza order. Something like this:

The Fridge, by Pizza Chicago

The Fridge, by Pizza Chicago

Mor ego the pint, I am trying to wrap my brain around what is actually happening at BV. Not to be a cynic, but is Joe Simitian the leading mover and shaker here trying to broker the deal, the way I have been saying at least since the fall the public sector ought do, or is he merely ensuring a fat profit for Jisser. Fair question, given the recent rout of the real estate interests here. I hardly know Joe, or Simi. (does anyone actually call him Simi?) He approached me after the campaign event at Etz Chayim and said I did a good job, (appreciated). I had approached him at his booth at the Los Altos Farmers market and suggested that the GJR of 6/14 indicated a leadership problem, and one that he could capitalize on, and show us the way (I was being serious, non-cynical and not ironic, although people have their doubt. As you say, you can fool some people some time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. And I’m not sure if Simitian endorsed 4 or 5 people in the campaign; based on his enthusiasm that one night, I wondered if he was kinda hinting that I should kiss that ring and ask for his name).

I was sussing around earlier my own email archive to try to document what I’ve said about BV. I believe I was among the most vocal in favor of trying to broker a public-led solution. for instance, as part of my application to the Sierra Club endorsement process, they asked and I stated that I think there should be a brokered solution. (Meanwhile, City Attorney Molly Stump had initiated a gag on candidates, and I openly defied that, thru a group email and other places. Aram James, a private attorney, even forwarded an on-point refutation of her stance: candidates cannot be gagged by leadership or staff during an election cycle).

I was not endorsed by Winter Dellanbach, the leader of the BV tenants, but I certainly dropped her name during the campaign. I was asked, at the panel at City Hall, “what do you think about BV?” and my reply was “we should talk to Winter — I pointed her out, in the audience — “she has the answers.”

I’ve been saying privately and maybe here on Plastic Alto that its a criticism of our superficial horse-race campaign season that a natural outcome of the campaign, with 10 candidates seeking 5 Palo Alto council seats, should have been a resolution of the case.
Scott Herhold last month lauded Joe Simi; today I just added my two cents:
I’ve been saying publicly since at least August, 2014 that leadership i.e. public sector should broker a deal to be rid of the bad actor and greedy current ownership, which is in place relatively short-time (although that fact is mis-reported, even by the Merc) and bought in well-aware of the pro-tenant covenant. Kudos to Joe for going all in here.

I lump together as birds of a feather three local debates: on Buena Vista, on Maybell and now on Stevenson House. Or as the pepperoni, sausage and cheese on my pizza, of social consciousness, of affordable housing, of tenants rights. Is there a pizza called The Saul Alinsky?

and1: Delia said that KJ the manager will be in at 3. Maybe we could come up with an ongoing Pizza for BV campaign, or a pie called Chicago Freedom Movement.

My basic stance is that Jisser bought it (from his family) for about $10M, in 1999 or so, A liberal bank found by the current tenants’ advocates offered to help the renters become owners, lending them bona fide $15 M to buy the owner out, he refused, saying if we the people only upzone him beyond the 4.5 acres at 15 units per acre, his land will be worth $20 M or more. So the $8 M each from City and County low income earmarks gives him his $20m+, right? Meanwhile, the Samantha Weigel of the San Mateo Daily Journal says that a foreign based entity bought a luxury apartment building with 111-units there for $73.6 M, and that a proposed 599-unit project in Hayward Park sold for $67 M, and DivCoWest spent $130 M to bury 210,000 square foot fully leased office complex on Concar, home to SalesForce. Or, as I say, the commercial real estate industry just here in Palo Alto is a billon dollar entity, and highly motivated so it is nearly impossible to regulate. (Our civic budget is more like $150 M, with about $10 to regulate builders, yet staff sometimes acts, it is a fair observance, like they work for the builders not we the people, and there is a bit of a revolving door, see Steve Emslie).

this is like the little peppers or parmesan dry cheese you shake on your pie, after-market: yes, in October under title “Palo Alto Pizza Democracy” I noted that when council was vetting Planning commish candidates they were served New York Pizza and I said that they should have served something better like Pizza Chicago. Then I addended that the City Manager office was having pizza office hours at six or so places, including both of the aforementioned, and some pretty good stuff.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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