On Wednesday, April 20, 2011, the SoMa Leadership Council voted to support efforts to create an independent Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to oversee the implementation of the Community Benefits Agreement that is required of Twitter and other high tech businesses seeking to take advantage of the tax exemption recently granted by the Board of Supervisors. The vote was unanimous.
The tax exemption agreement won’t take effect until a Community Benefits Agreement, including an oversight body to oversee implementation, has been approved. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (MOEWD) recently released a draft agreement that community activists have characterized as much too weak.
The Mid-Market Redevelopment Project Area Committee, rumored to be favored by the Mayor’s office as the implementation body, was elected in 1997. Vacancies since then have been filled by the PAC itself. The committee is dominated by downtown development interests.
The SoMa Leadership Council urged the Board of Supervisors to avoid the negative baggage associated with Redevelopment and select a new independent body that is more representative of the community. The community has been noticeably absent in this dialog up until now. The credibility of MOEWD and the Board are at stake.