Chalk down a minor victory for businessman Ed Jew in his battle for lower sewer rates. The Public Utilities Commission has announced a new “Community Assistance Program” which offers a 15 percent sewer service discount for low-income families. Such a program was one of Jew’s key demands in opposing the new sewer rate hike.

Advertisements

As of last week, Marcia Rosen’s contract as head of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency was up, with no discussions for renewal. That’s all the BP can confirm thus far, though City Hall speculators are talking up Planning Director Gerald Green for the post. Rosen’s three-year tenure at Redevelopment has been marked by an increased focus on building affordable housing, a focus that put her at odds with many of the most vocal neighborhood supporters of Gavin Newsom’s mayoral campaign.

Jose Ricardo Bondoc, affectionately know as “Richie,” is one of the hardest working campaign staffers in town. Last year, he single-handedly collected more than 2,000 signatures to help put Gavin Newsom’s name on the ballot, and led a parade of signature-toting volunteers into the Department of Elections. This year, his services are in the employ of Myrna Lim, who’s challenging Gerardo Sandoval for his District 11 supervisor seat. … Out in the district, he’s twice run into the incumbent, most recently Wednesday afternoon outside Cala Foods in the Excelsior. Both times he asked the supervisor to sign for his opponent. … “When you’ve been doing it with a group of people for as long as our group has been doing, it almost becomes second nature to ask whoever passes you, ‘Would you like to sign our petition?’ ” Bondoc said. “You find yourself asking people you wouldn’t normally ask in your right mind.” … And what was the reaction: “He quickly exited stage left … which is probably the best thing he could have done.” … One story going around has Richie asking Sandoval to be No. 2000 to sign the petition. “The story gets embellished,” Bondoc said Thursday. … The Lim campaign has collected 2,100 signatures toward a goal of 2,500 and plans to deliver them to the Department of Elections by the July 22 deadline. Said Bondoc, the soft-spoken 29-year-old whose reputation around town is quickly growing: “We definitely hope to make a big production.”

State Sen. John Burton has endorsed Supervisor Tom Ammiano for re-election in District 9, as have School Board member Mark Sanchez, a prominent member of the Green Party, and labor activist Dolores Huerta. Matt Gonzalez, Board of Supervisors President and also a Green, has backed challenger Renee Saucedo.

Local Greens are splintering over last months national convention, where most of the San Francisco delegates, including longtime party activist and District 5 Supervisor candidate Susan King, voted to give the David Cobb/Pat LaMarch ticket the party nomination, thereby helping to kill an effort to endorse both Cobb/LaMarch and the independent Ralph Nader/Peter Camejo ticket. The dual endorsement would have given state parties a chance to pick which ticket to put on the party’s ballot line, and Camejo, former California gubernatorial candidate, had the votes locked up until a chunk of his delegates shifted. …

Global Exchange’s Medea Benjamin helped lead the charge for Cobb, who promised not to challenge Democrat John Kerry in swing states. Matt Gonzalez, New Paltz Mayor Jason West and Donna Warren, the party’s former lt. governor candidate, were on the Nader side of the equation. … “We think the only way Democrats are going to give us runoffs is if they feel pressure in swing states where Greens can put on the pressure,” said S.F. Green Jim Dorenkott, who volunteers in Gonzalez’s office, arguing that in swing states with Democratic control that party could change laws to allow greater ballot access. “They are going to let people vote their conscience in swing states, which is a de facto vote for Kerry, without getting anything in exchange,” Dorenkott said. …