A YIMBY Action Endorsement Questionnaire. View all November 2018 Questionnaires.

Victor Olivieri

Candidate - SF City College Board

City College owns a good deal of land in San Francisco. A distressing amount of this land is surface parking lots. Do you think this is a good use of this land? Would building student, educator, staff or other kinds of housing on these lots be a better use? How important is this issue to you?

City College Ocean Campus is in desperate need of repair and the Trustees are trying to issue a $1.355 Billion Bond. I would love to embrace this opportunity to create a model for the rest of the country and create the first truly sustainable campus that also minimizes the need for commuting by shaping an academic village around it, with the Balboa reservoir project and the nearby merchant and transportation corridors. City College also has several properties throughout the city that could be developed for affordable housing for our faculty, staff, and students. I want to guide these City College centers into becoming truly urban campuses that interact with the community and surrounding spaces with mixed-use buildings – with classrooms and retail on the lower floors, and affordable housing on the top floors – every new or refurbished building serving 3-4 aspects needed in the community we serve without the need to commute. City College ultimately would benefit greatly by being able to retain junior faculty members with affordable housing, but it should also be helping our most underserved community members by providing them with a path for a college education or a vocational trade alongside supportive housing. For example, the John Adams Center has a parking lot that could be developed into the multipurpose biomedical sciences center that the Dean has been wanting to establish there for a while, and it is in a very central/accessible location for a mixed-use building.

More and more students attending City College suffer from homelessness and high housing costs. What do you believe the College Board should do to address this problem?

As Trustee, I will work with the Board to advocate for the highest number of affordable housing units to be built in the Balboa Reservoir project (as a key stakeholder in the community) and direct the Chancellor or his designee to negotiate a contract to have units earmarked for our faculty, staff, and students. I will also work with the Board and Chancellor to identify sites to strategically develop in partnership with wraparound service providers to ensure our most underserved students have the supportive housing and a path to education and a career. For example, surface parking lot right across the street from the Mission Campus that could be purchased by City College for $3 Million and developed quickly using a BOOT strategy. While everyone is concerned about the Balboa Reservoir, I feel development on adjoining and City College-owned land will be a much more straightforward path to providing housing for our faculty, staff, and (most of all) students. With the high cost of education throughout the country and the exorbitant cost of housing in San Francisco, City College can seize the opportunity to become a truly urban campus and become revenue-neutral institution by expanding its service to the community with housing options.

More and more CCSF educators struggle with the cost of housing. What do you believe the College Board should do to address this problem?

1. Prioritize the $1.355 Billion Bond issue to build mixed-used buildings that incorporate affordable housing while taking care of retrofitting and building new (mixed-use) buildings throughout the campuses (not just at Ocean Campus).
2. Develop surplus property (like the Gough site) into affordable housing and expand its service to the community by housing faculty, staff, and students.
3. Partner with the City, BART, Muni, and last-mile transportation providers to full subsidize the transportation costs of our students (then faculty, and then staff).
4. Focus on getting as many units for faculty on the Balboa Reservoir project.

Getting to and from City College is a problem for many students and educators. Do you see this as a problem? What solutions do you think the College Board could pursue to address this? Please feel free to discuss transit, shuttles, protected bike lanes, etc.

As Trustee, I will partner with the bicycle coalition and last-mile transportation companies to raise awareness, develop a concerted effort to drive less, and switch to zero-emissions vehicles. I will also partner with the City, SFMTA, BART, bike sharing, and last-mile transportation companies to provide all of our students, faculty, and staff free or heavily-reduced transportation to City College. I will instruct the Chancellor to work with the Deans to conduct a curriculum review that identifies which classes should be offered on different campuses to make sure every community has equitable access across the city and minimize the need to commute. Partner with bike sharing and last-mile transportation companies on free or subsidized passes for all students, staff, and faculty, to encourage alternative forms of transportation. Have bike share and last-mile companies encourage the use by students by donating to money for miles to the Associated Students student resource centers at the beginning of each semester. Partner with the bicycle coalition to schedule several “Bike to School” days to raise awareness. I also want to work with SFUSD, after school curriculum partners, retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and van transportation services (like Chariot) to expand our lifelong learning curriculum and create more after school programs for children on City College.

Housing at the Balboa Reservoir is a critical issue. Are you committed to ensuring at least 1500 units of housing are built as quickly as possible at the Balboa Reservoir, especially considering that the project is 50% subsidized Affordable?

Yes, absolutely. As Trustee, I will work with the Board to advocate for the highest number of affordable housing units possible (no less than 1,500) and direct the Chancellor or his designee to negotiate a contract to have units earmarked for our faculty, staff, and students. While my opponents are claiming responsibility for the negotiation of 500 beds for students and 200 units for faculty and staff, in exchange for City College land, no agreement has been reached. It is important to note two of those Trustees have also worked to stop and stall the project with a resolution to take the land back from PUC and build the Performing Arts and Education Building. In my mind, with City College being such an important stakeholder in the project, the Trustees should use their position with the community to get the developers to include the units for faculty, staff, and students without a land transfer. The surrounding community is right to be concerned about increased congestion and lack of parking, so earmarking units for people who will be working and studying across the street makes perfect sense for all parties involved. In a worst-case scenario, City College should buy a number of units for faculty, staff, and students from the project and ameliorate the issues of affordable housing, congestion, and student dorms while creating a new line of revenue.

We have a major labor shortage in the building trades. There are fantastic careers in the trades, but many people are not aware of this path or view it with prejudice. How do you see the role of City College in getting more people finding out about and pursuing these career paths?

I want to explore the possibility of working with the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) to expand the FREE CITY program with a comprehensive curriculum of apprenticeships and nontraditional tech certifications that lead to good-paying local union jobs in the industries San Francisco needs the most. I want to work with our local labor unions to strengthen our world-class trade and hospitality training programs that lead to good union jobs, including the expansion of the CityBuild Academy model, the expansion of tech and biomedical certificate programs that make students career-ready with leading industries right here in San Francisco, I also want to partner with local companies, curriculum partners, and SFUSD to give students opportunities to learn from these great local union jobs, and have the opportunity to engage in non-traditional learning environments, like CityBuild Academy, coding bootcamps, hackathons, makerspaces, and shared classroom facilities across the city.

Is there anything else you think our members should know about your candidacy? Links, references, endorsements, etc?

I have received broad support and endorsements from across the entire San Francisco Democratic political spectrum: from Nancy Pelosi, Scott Wiener, and London Breed, to David Campos, Jeff Adachi, and Shamann Walton, including three sitting City College Trustees (Alex Randolph, Tom Temprano, and Shanell Williams). Here’s a full list: VictorForSF.com/endorsements

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