NEWLY APPOINTED DISTRICT 3 SUPERVISOR JULIE CHRISTENSEN CLOSELY TIED TO BACKERS OF 8 WASHINGTON LUXURY CONDOS
On January 8, 2015, after months of delay, Mayor Ed Lee bowed to the demands of developers and filled the vacant District 3 seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors by appointing corporate consultant Julie Christensen. As Supervisor, David Chiu had worked with the No Wall on the Waterfront coalition to stop 8 Washington, but his replacement Christensen tried to hide her position, telling the San Francisco Examiner she "would not say whether she had supported the 8 Washington development."
However, research reveals that Christensen is deeply tied and closely allied with the forces behind 8 Washington:
- Christensen serves on the advisory board of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR): SPUR is a big business group that strongly backed the 8 Washington luxury condos and SPUR opposed giving voters a voice in whether waterfront height limits should be protected or raised to build a wall of luxury condos.
- Christensen's political mentor and closest ally is Anne Halsted, the Chair of the SPUR Board of Directors. Halsted has been one of the most vocal backers of 8 Washington for years. In 2013, Halsted found herself in hot water for misusing her government title as a member of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission in a campaign ad promoting 8 Washington developer Simon Snellgrove's deceptive ballot measure.
- Christensen is also very closely tied to RENEW SF, a pro-development and pro-8 Washington group founded by Halsted's husband Wells Whitney. RENEW SF is chaired by Claudine Cheng, a developer lobbyist who strongly backed 8 Washington.
With this news, it's time to begin preparing for a big battle ahead to once again protect San Francisco's unique and spectacular waterfront from those who want to turn it into a wall of luxury high-rises and massive developments to serve their own agendas. Working hard and standing together, we can and we will protect the waterfront that belongs to everyone.