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Where I Stand

By Rose Tsai

As a mother of two school age children, I fear for their future. I fear that my two boys will not have the same opportunities I had when I came to this country with my parents back in 1963. I fear they will not be able to get a good education and go to our neighborhood schools. I fear that even if they are lucky enough to get a good education, they will not be able to get a job and live here because those jobs have gone overseas. I fear that my children will have to move out of our beloved city and neighborhood when they are grown because they cannot afford to stay. I fear that when I am old and retired, there will no longer be any social security benefits and safety network to rely upon because our government has squandered away our tax dollars and mortgaged our future away.

I'm tired of being afraid because our future is too valuable for someone else to waste. Ordinary people like you and me must take a stand and say stop squeezing the working and middle class.

Business as usual is not acceptable. If it's not working, then we must change. If it's not worth it, then we will not pay. Our leadership has failed us so we must look toward ourselves to lead.

How are we being led down the wrong path? Look at our bloated $5 billion budget. City Hall is proposing to solve the financial mess we are in by proposing more taxes. Look at the city's policies and the propositions in the November ballot.

Proposition K would add yet another cost of doing business by imposing a gross receipts tax of .1% on all businesses with receipts totaling $500,000 or more annually. This tax is calculated on gross receipts, not net receipts. There is no deduction for salaries and expenses in the calculation and determination of status so even if a business is losing money, it must pay this tax. Will this help us keep jobs?

Proposition J will increase the sales tax to 8.75% and equal the highest rate in the Bay Area. Would you shop here if a short trip outside S.F. would save you hundreds of dollars in taxes for large purchases?

Proposition A is the largest housing bond in the history of the U.S. This is a bond for subsidized housing. Who are we subsidizing? In addition to housing for the poor, Proposition A ask tenants and homeowners who are struggling to pay their rents and mortgages to subsidize people earning up to $95K annually make their down payment. Does this make sense?

Help tenants become homeowners by lifting the cap for condo conversion if all the residents of a building agreed to buy. Remove the barriers for homeownerships by letting people take advantage of the low interest rates but do not ask people who make less to subsidize those who make more.

Proposition B and L ask us to fund the preservation of old cable car barns, single screen theaters and the likes with tens of millions of dollars when we are in a financial crisis. Meanwhile, General Hospital needs hundreds of million for repair. Where is our priority?

The Richmond is a diverse neighborhood. Instead of allowing students to attend their neighborhood schools, students are being assigned across town to promote "diversity." Our schools are now more segregated than ever because those unhappy with this policy are opting for private schools or are moving out of the city.

Keep our children in our neighborhood schools. Neighborhood school promotes parental involvement, sense of community, and safety. The present school assignment policy does not work, let's change it.

Sometimes the problems in our city seem overwhelming and we do not know where to start. Let's start by setting our own priorities and not give City Hall a blank check. Take a stand with me and secure our future. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things if we take a stand together and vote for change.

Rose Tsai has been a resident and activist of the Richmond for 19 years. She is a mother, wife, radio host, and attorney. A graduate of New York University and U.C. Hastings College of Law, Rose has been analyzing public policies on the air for 10 years and believes that to be socially responsible, we must be fiscally conservative.