SAN FRANCISCO (April 26, 2018) California State Sen. Scott Wiener today is playing to his base – the real estate industry. As honorary speaker at the “Global Leaders in Real Estate Summit” being held in the lavish Julia Morgan Ballroom (465 California Street 15th Fl.) in San Francisco, Wiener shows where his loyalties lie.
While Wiener tries to market himself as a reformer and progressive democrat for the people, insisting that he can fix the housing crisis through draconian and fatally flawed laws like Senate Bill 827, his real agenda is to solidify his relationships with deep-monied pockets.
In fact, Wiener allowed Senate Bill 827 to be ghostwritten by real estate interests, and he did not actually “author” the bill — a fact few in the media mentioned in their coverage.
At $1,000 a pop, his talk today has attracted well-heeled principals of major investment firms like Oaktree Capital, Cushman & Wakefield, Canyon Partners Real Estate, BlackRock, and other private equity and portfolio players, tax strategists and global investors.
Laurence Fink, CEO of the private equity giant BlackRock, recently told CityLabs, apartments in cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, and San Francisco have begun to replace gold as the primary store of wealth for the super-rich.
These wealthy business types aren’t gathering Thursday in a lavish setting closed to the public to help out the people.
Wiener’s bill SB 827, which FAILED in the state Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on April 17, would have let developers build towers five stories high, wiping out beloved historic zones, single family neighborhoods and existing affordable housing in huge swaths of California. A developer boon, a community nightmare.
His companion bill, Senate Bill 828, passed the Transportation and Housing Committee, on April 24, and it would force California cities to massively rezone themselves to make way for apartments, eating up open space for breathing, job-creating industrial-zoned lands and hundreds of thousands of parcels on which affordable housing ALREADY SITS.
We’re sure that with SB 828 surviving the first huddle in Sacramento this week, the crowd inside the ballroom today will give Wiener a very rich round of applause.