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San Francisco: Newsom's Well-Oiled Machine?

It's hard for residents and even casual observers of city politics to fully comprehend what the administration, led by the mayor's office, has accomplished. Good thing Mayor Newsom produced a slide-show that helped him crow about outline his accomplishments during the 2007 State of the City Address. The Chronicle reported that he spoke for 95 minutes about his more than 100 slides. Being that a picture is worth 1,000 words, perhaps he should have gone with the Cliff Notes version.

So far as the presentation concerned where we live, work, and play, we were encouraged by a $17.4 billion 10-year capital plan that includes measures for resurfacing streets, maintaining parks/rec, doing the same for libraries, and, importantly, devoting funds to fire protection/emergency response. But folks, particularly voters, should be less worried about future plans and more concerned with how Gavin executed on his recent plans. The answer? Well, as it pertains to the above issues, it seems pretty good: 20 active parks projects; plenty of progress on local libraries (6 complete, 1 active, 2 pending for '08; 5 for '09); and "greening" plans for streets throughout the city. And certain housing-related measures improved as well: almost 8,000 affordable housing units were built during his administration, and more than 6,000 formerly homeless people are among the beneficiaries. He also noted that evictions were down. If it seems over-optimistic— and perhaps glossing over many of the challenges faced by city residents— we suppose folks should keep in mind that, despite the less-than-imposing competitors, there is an election next week.
· Mayor Gavin Newsom Shows "Progress By The Numbers" in 4th Annual State of the City Address [sfgov.org]
· State of the City Presentation [sfgov.org; PDF]
· Newsom cites strides in Muni, homelessness in State of the City [Chronicle]
· Newsom claims progress in State of City address [Fog City Journal]

[Image courtesy Brant Ward for the San Francisco Chronicle; emphasis ours, natch.]