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Corrupt SF Mayor Lee's Ally SEIU 87 Pres Miranda Physically Assaulted Dissident At Union
by repost
Thursday Apr 27th, 2017 12:47 PM
Corrupt Mayor Ed Lee's crony and loyal ally SEIU Pres Olga Miranda physically assaulted a union dissident and attempted to bully the rank and file union members. She also supports the POA and has helped defend racist police murders in San Francisco.
sm_mirand_olga_ed_lee_swear_in.jpg
Corrupt SF Mayor Ed Lee's Ally SEIU 87 Pres Olga Miranda Physically Assaulted Dissident Union Member In Thug Tactics

“You want to come for me? You want to fucking come for me? … You called me a bitch that’s why I called you a motherfucker.” (I could not hear Ming call Miranda a bitch in the audio recording.)

“Don’t call me a bitch if you’re not ready to come for me, bitch,” Miranda added.

Police Commission contender’s hot-headed history includes assault allegation


Olga Miranda, president of SEIU Local 87 and pictured during a March 16 Planning Commission meeting, is applying for an open seat on the San Francisco Police Commission. (Courtesy SFGovTV)
By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez on April 26, 2017 5:45 pmThere’s a new Police Commission contender in town: Olga Miranda, the firebrand president of Service Employees International Union Local 87.
She’s no stranger to regular readers of this column, as Miranda organized her janitor union members — in a big way — to hit the campaign trail for freshman Supervisor Ahsha Safai.

Many of those members complained she gave them two options: Help Safai, or pay a fine to the union.

Now, Miranda is applying for an open seat on one of San Francisco’s most powerful commissions, which decides rules of force for the San Francisco Police Department and plays a role in discipline for officers who clash with the public, among other high-profile duties.

Commissioner Petra DeJesus’ seat will become available on April 30. But DeJesus, a progressive and fierce defender of police reform, could be reappointed.

So why replace her?

Is it a political situation of “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” from Safai to Miranda? It’s tough to say. The moderate wing of the Board of Supervisors may be ready to support Miranda for this key position already.

Miranda has a tumultuous past, however, and some of the skeletons in her closet leapt to the fore just this week.

A man named Ming, who’s last name is being withheld, alleged to the SFPD that Miranda assaulted him late last year. The charges were not pursued, I’ve learned, but a leaked recording reveals an aggressive dressing down of subordinates in the meeting and calls into question Miranda’s temperament and fitness to serve.

Ming alleged in a police report that Miranda lunged across a room to attack him at a regular meeting of Local 87 on Dec. 8, 2016, and was restrained by a fellow union member. Despite that restraint, Miranda reportedly managed to grab a cup of hot coffee and throw it in the man’s face.

Ming complained of burns to his face and lap but told me he did not seek medical care. He did, however, file a police report.

“Had police been called, I would have been arrested, don’t you think?” Miranda told me. “I find it very misogynistic that a woman has to behave a certain way to get the job done.”

When asked if it is appropriate for a police commissioner to cuss at subordinates or throw coffee in their faces, Miranda said I was misogynistic for suggesting appropriate behavior for a woman. She also pointed out that the police report was filed several days after the incident, which she said called into question if Ming was truly injured.

The SFPD confirmed the details in the police report. No charges were filed and no arrests were made, though the District Attorney’s Office and the SFPD were unable to say why.

The Police Commission often hears matters necessitating a cool head, from officer-involved shooting deaths to delicate negotiations with the Police Officers Association.

But a leaked audio recording shows Miranda’s temperament to be anything but cool.

EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: An audio recording from a Service Employees International Union Local 87 meeting on Dec. 8, 2016. (WARNING: Explicit language)


Early on in that same December meeting, some two hours before the coffee incident, one of Miranda’s union members said to her, “I respect you, but sometimes I don’t like the way you are speaking out, even when you endorse Ahsha [Safai], in front of people.”

Miranda replied, “I don’t live in the Republic of China, so I’m [not] going to get burned to death in Tiananmen square. I live in the United States. I’m a citizen, and I can express myself any goddamn way I choose to.”

The union member replied, “You’re a president of the union. You have to be careful what you say.”

Later on in the meeting, Ming criticized how much money Miranda and others had spent from their budget after Miranda asked the union board members to pay more money for a recent election they had won.

Miranda zeroed in on Ming. “Who bought a bunch of fucking pizza that we didn’t need that had a lot of pork in it? We couldn’t feed goddamn anybody … we reimbursed you for fucking pizza that had pork in it.”

Ming replied, “Don’t cuss.”

Miranda replied that her only concern was paying back the money owed for the election, to which she added, “Then go fuck yourself then. Walk like a little bitch and walk the fuck out. You’re the one who walked out. You’re so good at punking yourself out.

“You’re a fucking embarrassment to manhood, alright?” she said.

Stammering, Ming replied, “Look at yourself, look at yourself, look at yourself.”

Miranda replied, “I am, honey. And all of my great shit. Fuck you, motherfucker. Fuck you, motherfucker. And your mother and your wife, too. Your wife and your mother, too.”

The group of board members began to shout at her to stop, shouting, “No!”

Miranda then said, “You want to come for me? You want to fucking come for me? … You called me a bitch that’s why I called you a motherfucker.” (I could not hear Ming call Miranda a bitch in the audio recording.)

“Don’t call me a bitch if you’re not ready to come for me, bitch,” Miranda added.

Ultimately, Miranda’s fitness to serve on the Police Commission is up to the Board of Supervisors, which would appoint her.

When I repeated her words back to her for comment, Miranda said, “I would just tell you to come and talk to the members. At the end of the day, it’s the members who want me here or who don’t want me here. I don’t mince my words. I am direct.”

Miranda filed her paperwork to serve on April 11, just five days after registering to vote in San Francisco, which was first reported by news site 48 Hills. The blog also reported she has a voting record in Albany, implying she once lived there and perhaps still does, though Miranda told me she lives in San Francisco. Residency in San Francisco is required to serve on the Police Commission.

The public can decide for itself whether Miranda has the temperament to serve. It’s the public’s right to let their supervisors know if they should vote for Miranda’s confirmation.

On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at joe [at] sfexaminer.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter.

SF SEIU 87 Pres , Zionist and SF Mayor Ed Lee Supporter Olga Miranda Wants To Do Damage Control For Racist Cops In San Francisco

http://48hills.org/2017/04/19/oust-sfs-best-commissioner/

SF SEIU 87 Pres Olga Miranda Wants To Do Damage Control For Cops In San Francisco

A close political ally of Sup. Ahsha Safai who has little or no connection to local police-reform groups is trying to out the city’s best Police Commission member.

Olga Miranda, president of SEIU Local 87, has applied to replace Petra DeJesus on the powerful panel. DeJesus’ term ends April 30 and reports that she may not be reappointed shocked police reform advocates.

<48hillssafai.jpg>
It appears that Ahsha Safai is trying to replace the best Police Commission member in the city with one of his political allies
There’s a clear stink of politics here: Miranda helped Safai get elected, and he chairs the committee that will screen applicants for the job.

Police commissioners have to live in San Francisco, and in her application, Miranda said she is both a resident and a registered voter.

But that’s a stretch: She has lived in the East Bay for years, and only registered to vote in San Francisco on April 6, 2017 — five days before she filed an application to be on the Police Commission — voter registration data shows.

The move is odd: Miranda owns a house on Stannage Ave in Albany. She has been registered to vote there until early April.

She has, if her filings are accurate, moved from there to a single-family house on Paris Street that has at least three other residents, according to city planning and voter-registration data.

Planning Department records show that house is owned by Roberto and Macaria Canchola, who is registered to vote there along with Andrea Canchola. Multiple sources close to the matter told 48hills that Roberto Canchola is a former board member of Local 87. At the time of filing of this report, we weren’t able to independently verify this information.

DeJesus has been a leader on the Police Commission during the most crucial times of police reforms, including deliberation on the use of force policy, the scathing Blue-ribbon report, the Department of Justice’s critical assessment and a list of more than 200 recommendations and the appointment of a new police chief.

Miranda, local activists involved in police issue say, has no known experience on police reform. However, she and her union have been known for their victories against Airbnb, Uber, and Square for better treatment for custodial workers. She is linked to Assemblymember David Chiu, who honored here as Woman of the Year. Mayor Ed Lee also recently honored her, saying “her years of fighting for good wages, health care and retirement benefits for the thousands of her mostly-immigrant members is legendary.”

Miranda’s application is supported by Safai, whom Miranda strongly backed during his race for supervisor. Safai chairs the Rules Committee, which will consider the application.

Miranda’s tenure at the helm of Local 87 has been controversial. Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez of the Examiner reported that Miranda’s allies proposed that members who didn’t work for Safai would be fined $150.

Safai worked as a consultant for the union until 2012. Miranda refuted the allegations and said supporting Safai came down to choosing a candidate that had policies that worked for the janitors.

Former District 11 Supervisor John Avalos says there are eligibility questions that need to be asked when it comes to Miranda’s application: “I think people on the Board of Supervisors are looking at whether Olga Miranda’s application is legitimate and it’s known that she has been living in Albany. The question is I hear she’s registered t vote in San Francisco now, but she hasn’t voted in the recent elections. So if you just moved to the city and just registered to vote does that meet the qualifications?”

Progressive politician and former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, who led the movement for a more independent Police Commission, said that reports of DeJesus being ousted is like “pouring vinegar on our wounds at a time when police reforms are being attacked by the Trump administration and Jeff Sessions is working towards undoing all the hard work done to push for police reform in the country. Removing one of the most viable and effective police commissioners San Francisco has ever seen is an attempt now to further erode the independence of the commission”

In her application submitted to the Board of Supervisors, Miranda talks about experiencing police and gang-related violence as she grew up in Los-Angeles: “(…) those formative years I survived shootings, beatings and was well aware of the mistreatment that many in my family experienced in the hands of police officers; I attended more funerals than school dances. It’s these type of experiences that foment a lack of trust from minority communities towards law enforcement” she wrote.

“…the commission needs people who will act and understand escalated discipline, collective bargaining agreements and can work hand-in-hand with all stakeholders, that is me.”

That worries former ACLU police watchdog John Crew who says the reference to “collective bargaining agreements” reminds him of the approach the Police Officers Association has taken: “They’ve been perpetrating a myth that negotiations are needed to implement the [recommended] reforms,” Crew told us. “Many police issues — especially those that involve how the police act towards the public — aren’t treated as working conditions questions that must be negotiated under state law or under the city charter because of their impact on the public. If she thinks the SFPOA has more rights than the public, that’s inconsistent with law and would reveal her to be an opponent of reform,” Crew said.

We reached out to Miranda for clarity but she declined to answer questions.

This episode appears to be strikingly similar to ousting of Angela Chan from the Police Commission in 2014. Chan was removed from the Police Commission with a 7-4 vote by the Board of Supervisors in a move driven far more by politics than by qualifications.

It’s important to note that for commissions such as this one when an incumbent comes up for re-appointment, the standard is usually simple: Is he or she doing a good job?

There’s little question that DeJesus is the most progressive member of the commission, and she’s done a great job holding the department accountable and pushing reforms. There’s no reason to oust her – except, perhaps, to repay a political favor to someone who has nowhere near the same qualification and until a couple of weeks ago didn’t even live in the city.


Ed Lee's Zionist Supporter And SEIU 87 Presdient Olga Miranda On Political Director Safai
by repost
Thursday Nov 10th, 2016 6:02 AM
Ed Lee's Zionist Supporter and SEIU Pres Olga Miranda argues why her political director and house flipper and illegal lobbyist should be the Supervisor in District 11. Miranda's ally Ed Lee has kicked more working class people including her own members out of housing than any mayor in recent memory

Ed Lee's Zionist Supporter And SEIU 87 Presdient Olga Miranda On Why Her Political Director and House Flipper Is The Best Candidate For Supervisor
http://www.sfexaminer.com/safai-district-11/
Why I am for Safai in District 11

By Olga Miranda on November 7, 2016 1:00 am
As the highest-ranking Latina on the San Francisco Labor Council and president of SEIU Local 87, I have the honor and difficult task of advocating on behalf of our city’s working families. This election cycle, I am fully supporting Ahsha Safai for Supervisor in District 11 because he has proven himself to be an ally of working families. In San Francisco, everyone is a progressive but what separates us is ideology versus action. Although some prefer to rewrite history for their own convenience by dismissing his contributions to the Fight for $15 and the Retail Workers Bill of Rights, the reality is Ahsha was there representing our janitors at the table. Every day our members are treated like second-class citizens and are invisible in the buildings they clean. In this race, our members have been called names like “dirty,” “uneducated” and “unaware.” Working families in D11 deserve to have a supervisor who will fight not just to fix a pothole but in making our district and its residents relevant again. I’ve known Ahsha for eight years and I have always been impressed with his passion and dedication to serving the underserved.

Ahsha’s candidacy reflects our city’s rich tapestry. Like many in D11, he is a child of an immigrant, parent and is aware of the safety net that is required to help our people thrive. It is these lived experiences that have shaped his initiatives. Ahsha is a proponent of (citywide and city-funded) universal preschool for four-year-olds because he knows that that is the most effective way to begin to close the achievement gap holding back our black and Latino children; Ahsha supports the creation of more Navigation Centers and permanent supportive housing for our homeless population because that’s what has been proven to work in helping people gain their footing; Ahsha supports the construction of more rent-controlled and below-market-rate housing to maintain our city’s unique diversity; Ahsha also supports the creation of a first-class transportation system and walkable neighborhoods because they are crucial for the environment, economy and our quality of life. These are not pie-in-the sky ideas written to pique voters’ interests, these are things Ahsha truly believes in.

Ahsha is the only candidate who helped save the Mission Childcare Consortium from being evicted, a family serving daycare with over 200 subsidized slots; Ahsha is the only candidate who led a neighborhood revolt against the Park Bond of 2008 which ultimately led to achieving over $4 million for the revitalization of Balboa Park. Now, imagine, how much better our district can be with Ahsha Safai as our supervisor. Ahsha also worked with me on two collective bargaining agreements for the janitors. Ahsha has been in the trenches with labor pushing for the passage of our nation’s highest minimum wage, Proposition J ($15 an hour). Leading Democrats are cheering his candidacy — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsom are just a few of the many who are supporting him. Ahsha earned the sole endorsement from the most progressive and engaged tenant organization, the Community Tenants Association. I know where Ahsha’s heart lies and once elected you will too.

The pain on our streets requires bold leadership, and I give no free passes, the livelihoods of those who rely on me to speak truth to power makes me accountable to them and only them. Our city deserves someone who is equipped to take the reins from day one and who can actually work with people across the political spectrum to get things done for District 11, Ahsha is the only candidate who can fill that void.

Olga Miranda is president of SEIU Local 87 and secretary treasurer for the San Francisco Labor Council.

Labor Leaders, Community Leaders, Business Leaders and Working Men and Women for Ed Lee
http://honorjourney.org/WebsiteCreations/allianceforjobs2/images/MayorEdLeeEventFlyer.pdf
Invite You to Please Join Us as We Host a Celebration of:

Reception

December 20th 2011, from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. at LiUNA!, Local 261
3271 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Event Hosts


Jobs and Growth for Workers

Edwin M. Lee

43rd San Francisco Mayor



Bob Alvarado

Executive Officer, Northern California Carpenters Regional Council

Russ Burns

Vice President, International Union of Operating Engineers/Business Manager, Operating Engineers, Local 3

Oscar De La Torre

Vice President, LiUNA!/Business Manager, Northern California Laborers

Ron Lind

International Union Vice President, President, United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 5

Dave Regan

President, SEIU United Healthcare Workers

Vince Courtney, Sr.

Executive Director, SF Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth

Host Committee

Leon Chow

Co-Chair, SFAJSG Director of External Affairs, SEIU United Healthcare Workers

Ramon Hernandez

Chairman, SFAJSG Labor Caucus, Business Manager, LiUNA!, Local 261

Pat Mulligan

Chairman, SFAJSG Labor Caucus, Financial Secretary, Carpenters’ Local 22

James Bryant

A. Philip Randolph Institute

FX Crowley

Business Manager, IATSE, Local 16

Theresa Foglio

Liaison, LiUNA! 261

Rebecca Miller

Political Director, SEIU United Healthcare Workers

Jacqueline Flin

Executive Director, A. Philip Randolph Institute

Gary Delagnes

President, SFPOA

Olga Miranda

President, SEIU, Local 87

Ken Oku

District Representative, Operating Engineers, Local 3

Victor Parra

Business Manager, LiUNA!, Asbestos/ Abatement, Local 67

Event Committee

Ellouise Patton

Special Projects Community & Political Coordinator, UFCW, Local 5

Joseph Bryant

Founding Executive Director, Laborers’ Community & Training Foundation

Fred Pecker

Secretary Treasurer, ILWU, Local 6

Sam Robinson

Business Manager, LiUNA!, Hod Carriers, Local 166

Hunter Stern

Business Representative, IBEW, Local 1245

John Ulrich

Vice President, San Francisco Labor Council

Don Wilson

President, Deputy Sheriff’s Association

For more information contact: info [at] allianceforjobs.org or to contribute online visit: http://mayoredlee.info/s/dec20/

http://www.winningdirections.com


SF supervisor hopeful and SEIU 87 Olga Mirand's Political Director Ahsha Safai touts tenure at troubled agency with corrupt bully
http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/SF-supervisor-hopeful-Ahsha-Safai-touts-tenure-at-9967499.php
By Heather Knight, John Wildermuth and Joe GarofoliOctober 12, 2016 Updated: October 12, 2016 3:38pm


Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press
IMAGE 1 OF 2San Francisco philanthropist Tom Steyer, left, tweets that “an attack from low-energy Donald Trump is a compliment.”
Like any legitimate candidate for supervisor in San Francisco, Ahsha Safai has a website explaining his background and why he should be elected to represent District 11. Interestingly, he includes his stint with the San Francisco Housing Authority. But anybody who’s followed city politics in recent years knows that isn’t exactly a good thing.


True, Safai worked as a project manager and administrative analyst for the public housing agency from 2000 to 2003. But in 2010 he was appointed to the commission that oversees the agency by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom — the commission that was so ineffective Mayor Ed Lee removed almost the entire bunch, Safai included, three years later.

In 2013, The Chronicle revealed several improprieties at the agency, including favoritism in awarding contracts, employee lawsuits alleging discrimination, and financial problems so bad the federal government rated it among the two worst public housing agencies in the state.

Public housing residents complained of wretched living conditions, including rats and cockroach infestations, mold and mildew, and elevators in high-rises that regularly broke down and stranded elderly and disabled people in their apartments.

An audit of the agency by Harvey Rose, the Board of Supervisors’ budget and legislative analyst, blamed the commission for allowing “the financial condition of the authority to reach a critical point, largely as the result of its own inadequate oversight.”

Lee replaced almost everyone on the commission, and the new group fired executive director Henry Alvarez, who is now working as a management consultant in Texas.

Safai now says the commission was very qualified, but that Alvarez intentionally hid information from it so it had no chance to right the ship.

“We did the best we could with information we were provided as commissioners,” Safai said.

The tumult resulted in new leadership, turning over management of the properties to nonprofits, and better maintenance on elevators and buildings.

“I look at every time in my life as being positive, I’m not a negative person,” Safai said. “At the end of the day, the agency is better for it.”

— Heather Knight

Email: hknight [at] sfchronicle.com, jwildermuth [at] sfchronicle.com, jgarofoli [at] sfchronicle.com Twitter: @hknightSF, @jfwildermuth, @joegarofoli

AIPAC Zionist Supporter Olga Miranda President of SEIU 87 Janitor’s union: Campaign for D11 candidate Ahsha Safai or pay $150- She Also Backs Corrupt SF Mayor Ed Lee
http://www.sfexaminer.com/janitors-union-campaign-candidate-ahsha-safai-pay-150/

Ahsha Safai is a candidate for the District 11 seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. (Courtesy Ahsha Safai)
By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez on October 4, 2016 1:00 am


If you’re a San Francisco janitor in SEIU Local 87, you may soon face a choice: Pay the union $150, or campaign for Ahsha Safai, candidate for District 11 supervisor.

Whether you consider that to be extortion of already overburdened workers, or a fair way of ensuring union participation, depends on who you are.

On Guard obtained the Aug. 18 meeting minutes of Local 87, which represents more than 4,000 private sector custodial workers. Its president, Olga Miranda, has also stumped heavily for Safai.

His candidacy comes at a crucial time, when five seats on the Board of Supervisors are up for grabs. Any two of them going to the moderates could tip the balance of power on the board back toward Mayor Ed Lee’s allies.

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Safai’s and opponent Kimberly Alvarenga’s campaigns have split unions in this town on either side, seen by the Labor Council’s “no endorsement” in District 11 — a clear peacekeeping move.

Safai earned $9,000 or $19,000 (depending on the year) for his work as a political consultant at Local 87 until 2012. He then began to independently consult for the union as a contractor (for about the same range of cost) and billed it through his consultancy company, Kitchen Cabinet Public Affairs.

Is this pay-to-play? Some Local 87 members sure do think so.

Local 87’s minutes describe members in the meeting proposing “Measures for members that did not show up to picket lines … motion to penalize members who did not show up @ [sic] Rallies during contract time will be fined $150/day or doing campaign activity for candidates endorsed by Local union.”

I can see a future with Supervisor Safai right now: “Comment at the Board of Supervisors, or you owe me $150.” “Curb your wheels, or you owe me $150!”

Essentially, if you’re not out on the picket line, you’ve got to help Safai campaign against Alvarenga — or pay up.

“I’ve worked as a political coordinator for SEIU for 14 years and I haven’t heard of such a thing,” Gabriel Haaland of rival union SEIU 1021 told me.

Now, granted, Haaland supports Alvarenga, but he was still adamant.

“It’s the most odd thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” he said.


That choice rankled longtime Local 87 members Elsa Almanza and Juan Avila, who I spoke to during the San Francisco Democratic Party board’s meeting last Wednesday.

“He’s not a trustworthy person,” Avila said of Safai. Almanza added, “He doesn’t do anything related to organizing the members.”

As you can imagine, Safai and Miranda, the union’s head, rebuffed the idea there was anything untoward about offering this odd choice.

Safai said the idea that people had to campaign for him or pay money was “a distortion of the truth” because members were given “options” and that “this is not something unique to my campaign. The union has done this in multiple situations in the past.”

Miranda said their union is very small, so it needs mechanisms to make members “accountable.”

She brought up a fair point: Her union only racked wins against tech companies like Airbnb, Uber and Square for better treatment for custodial workers because they picketed.

Miranda said if her members had a problem with stumping for Ahsha, “I would not have been re-elected.” She touted her win for Local 87’s presidency last week as proof that “our members trust us.”

SEIU Local 87 would benefit from a candidate who has its issues at heart on the Board of Supervisors, she said. For instance, a past proposal to extend hours on parking meters in the Financial District was harmful to janitors, she said.

“It benefits us to be involved politically,” Miranda said.

Seeing how hard they’ve stumped for Safai, you’d better believe it will.

* * *

Cue the tiniest of violins for politicians looking to circumvent campaign finance laws, as the Democratic County Central Committee voted last Wednesday to advocate for California lawmakers to restrict the DCCC’s campaign contributions to $500 and to add that limit to its bylaws. Previously, contributions were unlimited.

The resolution was authored by Petra DeJesus — hat’s off to her.

During last June’s election, DCCC candidates racked up more than $2.3 million in donations because of a fundraising loophole: If you’re running for supervisor, you’re beholden to a $500 contribution limit. But if you also run for DCCC at the same time, you can easily pocket $10,000 or more from a contributor.

Judson True, an aide to Assemblymember and incumbent candidate David Chiu, said Chiu supports the DCCC resolution and is “exploring a bill for next year,” but much work is still to be done.

It’s a start.

On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at joe [at] sfexaminer.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter.

Political Director Of Janitors SEIU 87 Under President Olga Miranda Is House Flipper And Supporter Of Corporate Controlled Ed Lee
http://48hills.org/2016/07/14/the-story-ahsha-safai-doesnt-tell-in-his-campaign-for-supervisor/
The story Ahsha Safai doesn’t tell in his campaign for supervisor
He's a real-estate speculator, house flipper, and gets almost half of his money from the real-estate industry -- so why is he getting progressive support?

BY TIM REDMOND - Jul 14th 1715 16

Ahsha Safai is running for supervisor in District 11 as a labor activist who has the support of some of the city’s unions – and is building some support among what is generally considered the progressive community. John Burton has endorsed him. It’s possible that the Democratic County Central Committee, which progressives fought hard to control, could wind up giving him at least a secondary nod.

He’s well known among city insiders as a former city employee and Housing Authority Commissioner, and ran against incumbent John Avalos four years ago.


There’s a lot to Safai’s resume that isn’t in his campaign material
But there’s a lot about his record that hasn’t received much attention. Safai is a real-estate speculator who made a big chunk of cash buying a house that was in foreclosure and flipping it. He makes most of his money – more than $100,000 a year – from a consulting firm that works with landlords. Nearly half of the money he has raised so far, our analysis shows, comes from the real estate industry.

And while he doesn’t list Mayor Ed Lee among his endorsements (nobody’s listing Lee these days since he’s so unpopular) Safai has long been a Lee supporter and donated to the mayor’s 2015 re-election.

Here are some things we’ve found researching Safai’s history:

— In 2004, he was sued for fraud in a real-estate deal that wound up with Safai buying a house that was in foreclosure at what the suit alleges was an artificially low price and flipping it for a profit of close to half a million dollars.

According to the lawsuit, Safai and his associates took advantage of a woman who was facing the loss of her property. Mary McDowell, who was working as a parking control officer in San Francisco, was living at 78 Latona Street in the Bayview when the bank that held her mortgage filed a notice of default.

She owned four other properties that were also in foreclosure.

Two real-estate sales people arrived at her home unsolicited in December, 2003, and told her they would buy her property and pay her enough to cover the notes on the other places she owned so she could avoid all the foreclosures.

The lawsuit alleges that the real-estate broker didn’t properly list the home on the Multiple Listing Service but instead brought McDowell an offer for $375,000 – “far less than market value,” according to the complaint. McDowell was “frightened and intimidated” into accepting the offer, and the house was sold to Ahsha and Reza Safai.

McDowell eventually dismissed the case, her lawyer told me, because “the defendants were dragging this out forever in court and she decided she had had enough.” Attorney C. Brent Patten said that no court ever determined whether Safai or the others had done anything wrong.

Safai in legal filings denied all the allegations.

But whatever the legality, Safai wound up buying a house that was in foreclosure at what turned out to be an excellent price. In 2005, according to the real-estate service Property Shark, the median sale price for housing in that neighborhood was $336 a square foot. Safai paid $177 a square foot for the 78 Latona St. property.

City records show that he and Reza Safai spent $60,000 renovating the place, and sold it less than a year later for $800,000.

So Safai was part of a group that bought a house in foreclosure from a woman who was in financial trouble and flipped it quickly for a short-term profit. That could be perfectly legal – lots of people have made lots of money buying properties in foreclosure and selling them for a quick profit.

But house-flipper is not part of his public resume.

Safai describes himself as the political director for SEIU Local 87, and had played his union connections into a number of endorsements. But forms he filed while he was on the Housing Authority Commission show that the vast majority of his income comes from his consulting firm, Kitchen Cabinet Public Affairs, that did work for one of Lee’s main consultants and at least one high-end landlord.

Safai’s economic interest statements for 2012 and 2013 show that he earned less than $10,000 as political director for Local 87, but more than $100,000 as principal in Kitchen Cabinet Public Affairs.

On his website, he describes that outfit as “working with nonprofits, community-based and political organizations throughout the Bay Area building community and revitalizing neighborhoods.”

And indeed, some of his clients include Local 87, the Teamsters Union Local 350, and Mission Housing Development Corp. Also on the list: SST Investments, a landlord that operates high-end apartments, and Left Coast Communications, the consulting firm that ran the somewhat legally dubious “Run Ed Run” campaign.

Clients also included Jacobs Engineering and KJ Woods Construction.


— Safai is the real-estate industry’s guy. A 48hills analysis of campaign contributions filed so far shows that nearly half his money – 45 percent – came from real-estate development, construction, landlords and landlord lawyers, and big downtown companies.

Among his supporters: Janan New, director of the Apartment Association; David Gruber, who holds the landlord seat on the Rent
Speculator, house flipper, and gets almost half of his money from the real-estate industry -- so why is he getting progressive support?
BY TIM REDMOND - Jul 14th
Ahsha Safai is running for supervisor in District 11 as a labor activist who has the support of some of the city’s unions – and is building some support among what is generally considered the progressive community. John Burton has endorsed him. It’s possible that the Democratic County Central Committee, which progressives fought hard to control, could wind up giving him at least a secondary nod.

He’s well known among city insiders as a former city employee and Housing Authority Commissioner, and ran against incumbent John Avalos four years ago.

But there’s a lot about his record that hasn’t received much attention. Safai is a real-estate speculator who made a big chunk of cash buying a house that was in foreclosure and flipping it. He makes most of his money – more than $100,000 a year – from a consulting firm that works with landlords. Nearly half of the money he has raised so far, our analysis shows, comes from the real estate industry.

And while he doesn’t list Mayor Ed Lee among his endorsements (nobody’s listing Lee these days since he’s so unpopular) Safai has long been a Lee supporter and donated to the mayor’s 2015 re-election.

Here are some things we’ve found researching Safai’s history:

— In 2004, he was sued for fraud in a real-estate deal that wound up with Safai buying a house that was in foreclosure at what the suit alleges was an artificially low price and flipping it for a profit of close to half a million dollars.

According to the lawsuit, Safai and his associates took advantage of a woman who was facing the loss of her property. Mary McDowell, who was working as a parking control officer in San Francisco, was living at 78 Latona Street in the Bayview when the bank that held her mortgage filed a notice of default.

She owned four other properties that were also in foreclosure.

Two real-estate sales people arrived at her home unsolicited in December, 2003, and told her they would buy her property and pay her enough to cover the notes on the other places she owned so she could avoid all the foreclosures.

The lawsuit alleges that the real-estate broker didn’t properly list the home on the Multiple Listing Service but instead brought McDowell an offer for $375,000 – “far less than market value,” according to the complaint. McDowell was “frightened and intimidated” into accepting the offer, and the house was sold to Ahsha and Reza Safai.

Related article Wiener featured guest at banquet of landlord activist who opposes transgender rights
McDowell eventually dismissed the case, her lawyer told me, because “the defendants were dragging this out forever in court and she decided she had had enough.” Attorney C. Brent Patten said that no court ever determined whether Safai or the others had done anything wrong.

Safai in legal filings denied all the allegations.

But whatever the legality, Safai wound up buying a house that was in foreclosure at what turned out to be an excellent price. In 2005, according to the real-estate service Property Shark, the median sale price for housing in that neighborhood was $336 a square foot. Safai paid $177 a square foot for the 78 Latona St. property.

City records show that he and Reza Safai spent $60,000 renovating the place, and sold it less than a year later for $800,000.

So Safai was part of a group that bought a house in foreclosure from a woman who was in financial trouble and flipped it quickly for a short-term profit. That could be perfectly legal – lots of people have made lots of money buying properties in foreclosure and selling them for a quick profit.

But house-flipper is not part of his public resume.



Safai describes himself as the political director for SEIU Local 87, and had played his union connections into a number of endorsements. But forms he filed while he was on the Housing Authority Commission show that the vast majority of his income comes from his consulting firm, Kitchen Cabinet Public Affairs, that did work for one of Lee’s main consultants and at least one high-end landlord.

Safai’s economic interest statements for 2012 and 2013 show that he earned less than $10,000 as political director for Local 87, but more than $100,000 as principal in Kitchen Cabinet Public Affairs.

On his website, he describes that outfit as “working with nonprofits, community-based and political organizations throughout the Bay Area building community and revitalizing neighborhoods.”

And indeed, some of his clients include Local 87, the Teamsters Union Local 350, and Mission Housing Development Corp. Also on the list: SST Investments, a landlord that operates high-end apartments, and Left Coast Communications, the consulting firm that ran the somewhat legally dubious “Run Ed Run” campaign.

Clients also included Jacobs Engineering and KJ Woods Construction.



— Safai is the real-estate industry’s guy. A 48hills analysis of campaign contributions filed so far shows that nearly half his money – 45 percent – came from real-estate development, construction, landlords and landlord lawyers, and big downtown companies.

Related article Real estate allies want to try again for Ahsha Safai at DCCC
Among his supporters: Janan New, director of the Apartment Association; David Gruber, who holds the landlord seat on the Rent Board, Russell Flynn (one of the biggest landlords in the city), David Wasserman (an eviction lawyer), Oz Erickson (a big developer), Mary Jung (lobbyist for the Association of Realtors), and Jim Lazarus (who works for the Chamber of Commerce).

The fact that a candidate takes money from special interests doesn’t always mean that candidate will do what they want. But it’s pretty clear from the preponderance of money that the people who have been making big money from evictions, displacement, and the destruction of neighborhoods think Safai is the one who will represent their interests at City Hall.


— He is a supporter of Mayor Ed Lee.Not a single politician in June used the mayor’s endorsement; in fact, polls show that more than half of San Franciscans would vote against someone associated with the immensely unpopular mayor.

Safai doesn’t list Lee’s endorsement on his website either. But he’s clearly a fan: In 2015, when 46 percent of the voters chose candidates with no name recognition, no electoral experience, and no real campaigns over the incumbent, Safai donated $250 to the Lee campaign.

That suggests that he endorses the agenda that the mayor has promoted: A tech boom that has created the worst displacement crisis in modern history.

Safai didn’t return messages left with his campaign. He will try to avoid a lot of these issues as he seeks progressive support. But it’s all there, on the record. And it’s worth thinking about.

Research assistance for this story was provided by Don Ray and Sofia Aguilar.
miranda_olga_aipac.jpeg
SEIU 87 Pres Olga Miranda Poster Child From Labor For Israel and Zionists
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd6JHMYr2ps
http://www.aipac.org/act/attend-events/policy-conference/videos/2014/speeches/miranda
My trip to AIPAC 2014
https://rabbieger.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/my-trip-to-aipac-2014/
by rabbiegerMarch 5, 2014
I have just returned from 2 1/2 days in Washington D.C. I was attending the annual AIPAC Policy conference along with 15,000 others who love Israel. AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. This important organization builds bridges and support for the State of Israel with the United States. AIPAC educates Congress and our elected leaders and works to strengthen the relationship between Israel and the U.S. AIPAC works effectively on college campuses with campus student leaders to combat the Anti-Israel fervor and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at Israel. They educate and reach African American leaders, Hispanic leaders and Christian leaders and educate them about the strategic importance of Israel and a side of the story that they may not have heard before. As we heard from the President of the Washington local SEIU 87, a dynamic Latina, named Olga Miranda said, “I never knew Israel’s story until AIPAC introduced me to it. I merely repeated what I heard on the news. Today I know there are two sides to every story. I am pro-Israel and I am the face of AIPAC.”

While I have attended local AIPAC events I had never been to the annual policy conference. We heard from an array of speakers including Hon Isaac Herzog, the head of Israel’s Labor Party, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Charles Schumer, and Sen. Robert Menendez, head of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary of State John Kerry and Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. It was amazing to me in a town so divided by partisanship to see the House Majority whip Rep Eric Cantor (R) stand side by side with the House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D) and together talk about their common and strong support of the Israel -U.S. relationship. Hoyer couldn’t resist chiding the Jewish Cantor that he had been to Israel more times!

One of the most powerful presentations came from Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Pnina Tamano-Shata (Yesh Atid) the first Ethiopian Member Knesset. Side by side they each recounted a similar story of being refugees: one from Cuba and one from Ethiopia and their journeys to become legislators and all they had in common. The common values of freedom and democracy and opportunity of Israel and the United States were never more evident.

All of this and many workshops on everything from the peace process, the war in Syria, Israel’s technology revolution, Iran, fighting Boycotts of Israel, the rise of Anti-Semitism in Europe, climate change and water issues in the US and Israel and so much more; workshops for Christians, students, Latinos, LGBT receptions and how to lobby Congress. Tuesday of the conference is devoted to lobbying your Congress person and Senators for Israel.

I also learned despite some critics that AIPAC is real bi-partisan. There has been a lot of critique on the left that AIPAC became a Republican stronghold. I didn’t get that. It was clear they were committed to bi-partisanship both in representing Israel’s political spectrum and the here in the U.S. Yes there are partisan Jews on both sides of the aisle. But as someone who is center left on Israel, meaning I believe strongly in states for two people, a Jewish democratic Israel side by side with a Democratic Palestine both who can live in peace and security, I did not feel out of place at all. Other progressives were there and I believe it is important to gather there so that the entire spectrum on Israel is represented and is part of the solution for a healthy Israel -U.S. relationship!

I learned a lot in a short period of time. I hope next year some of you will join me for AIPAC Policy Conference 2015. It is March 1-3, 2015. Registration is already open. If you love Israel and you want the US and Israel to remain strong partners for peace, freedom, trade, innovation, democracy, and security then you want to be a part of AIPAC. Join me there. I have already registered. How about you? If you want to register or view the videos from the conference here is the link: http://www.aipac.org

by JOEL B. POLLAK4 Mar 20143
During Friday’s final plenary session at the Policy Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), thousands of pro-Israel activists were addressed by Olga Miranda, president of Local 87 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). In the course of describing her pro-Israel views, she led the crowd in a chant of “¡Si, se puede!” (“Yes we can!”), and asked those present to support immigration reform in the U.S.

Those sentiments were more partisan than anything the conference had heard over three days. And the SEIU is is one of the most partisan organizations in American politics, serving as the Obama administration’s front line in pushing Obamacare and other policies. Occasionally, SEIU leaders have aligned with the most radical of the anti-Israel organizations: in fact, Local 73 was investigated in 2010 for ties to the Hamas terror organization.

Yet Miranda was onstage to testify about how she had changed her mind about Israel, especially once she visited Israel and saw the other side of the story. “Israel is the only thing I ever admitted to being wrong about in fourteen years,” she said. She singled out Israel’s immigration policy: “In Israel, immigrants are humans” (as opposed to the U.S., where they are “criminalized for wanting to provide food for their families.”)

The audience gave her speech a standing ovation. Miranda’s was a timely message about the power of persuasion for activists about to embark on visits to Capitol Hill, and perhaps nervous about convincing skeptical members of Congress to hold firm on Iran.

It was also a message to Israel’s left-wing critics, some of whom led protests on day one of the conference (and at least one of whom was arrested a day later in Egypt for trying to enter Gaza).

Yet AIPAC is hardly doing as much to court conservatives. There were no speakers from the Tea Party–the SEIU’s foe in the political trenches–to talk about what Israel meant to members of that movement, for example.

That may reflect a subtle political bias that persists in spite of AIPAC’s strenuous efforts at bipartisanship. More importantly, it reflects the undeniable political reality today that conservative support for Israel is not in doubt.

The confrontational approach of the Obama administration towards Israel has presented a unique challenge for AIPAC over the past five years. Those Democrats who addressed the conference–Sens. Chris Coons,

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)2%
, and Bob Menendez, plus Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew–were at pains to assure the activists of their party’s support.
AIPAC is trying to help them do so, without alienating the conservatives in its midst.