San Francisco is mired in an economic crisis of both local and global origins, with no end in sight. We need a bold new vision that inspires meaningful and lasting change. This is our initial public offering:
Facing deep, unprecedented structural budget deficits and a floundering economy caught in repeated boom/bust cycles, San Francisco faces a crucial historical moment--unemployment, income inequality, homelessness, consumer debt, and the home mortgage crisis all have conspired to create profound economic instability in the "City by the Bay." Without a profoundly new approach to sustainable economic development, job creation, community development, and affordable housing (among other key challenges), The City is headed for yet deeper deficits and structural inequalities.
In timely, well-researched essays, the authors -- writers and activists who are helping to convene the San Francisco Community Congress this August -- will lay out an inspiring and provocative new vision for the city's economy and the role of government--aimed at inspiring dialogue and meaningful change in both policymaking and thinking about how city's function within a global and regional economy.
This is designed as a visionary, big-picture "think piece" on San Francisco. It will blend utopian themes with real brass-tacks ideas for turning The City around, reorienting its economy and development toward local needs and wants--transforming San Francisco from its historic boom/bust cycles into a city that generates community-driven economic development and repatriates wealth and profits back into thriving and socially equitable local economic activity.
Our piece will raise profound questions for public debate and dialogue, and will examine broader economic and political dynamics that form the context of San Francisco's fiscal and economic crisis. We'll ask: what can cities do in the global economy? How can San Francisco buck the national and international trend of modeling its economy around alleged 'free-market' prerogatives that invariably end up making community needs a far-distant priority, if any at all? How can San Francisco become a truly sustainable city, both economically and ecologically?