San Francisco isn’t a liberal bastion that is out of step with the rest of the country. That’s just all right-wing spin attempting to suppress any notion of the economic “fairness” of San Francisco, according to California Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi spoke at an event hosted by Politics & Prose, a Washington, D.C., bookstore at the Sixth & I Synagogue to promote her book “Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters.” Bookstore co-owner Carla Cohen asked Pelosi why San Francisco was demonized by the right wing of the Republican Party and why that was used in a manner to create the idea the Speaker was a “crackpot marginal leftist.” Pelosi told the audience she had a theory it was based on economics.
“[I] have this theory about why they try to say that about San Francisco,” Pelosi said. “Because – I think it all comes down to economics – follow the money.”
Pelosi proposed San Francisco was demeaned because of a fear that people around the country may see the Golden Gate city as the vanguard of how government policies can improve the lives of the classes in society.
“I won’t go into my political speech about how the middle class has been ripped off,” Pelosi said. “[B]ut what I say is the following – they like to characterize/mischaracterize San Francisco that is a place out of the mainstream because I think they don’t want to follow our lead in this respect.”
Pelosi, serving in her 10th term, said it was San Francisco’s policies on health care, wages and the environment that were the specifics aspects the right wanted to create a distraction from.
“In San Francisco, every child has health care until 25 years old,” Pelosi said. “In San Francisco, we don’t have a minimum wage, we have a living wage. In San Francisco, the environment is not an issue for us, it is a value. It is an ethic – it is protecting God’s creation. And so the exploiters of nature, of workers and the rest – like to use other aspects of our lives, which we take great pride in.”
Pelosi beamed about her hometown’s “respectfulness,” which is different from what some call the city’s “tolerance.”
“People say, ‘Oh, it’s easy for you. You come from such a tolerant city.’ I said, ‘Tolerant isn’t a word that I use. We’re not tolerant, we are respectful. Tolerant has a little condescension to it. We are respectful. We take pride in the diversity of our compilation – people from all over the world – no matter gender, orientation and the rest.”
Those aspects of diversity were targets to prevent the San Francisco type of prosperity from spreading all over the country, she said.
“So they like to use something that might menace some people in some parts of the country,” Pelosi added. “But, I think they really try to put us down because they know we’re a model for the country, that we’re the future in terms of having many more people participate in prosperity.”
It’s all an issue of economic “fairness,” according to Pelosi.
“So they make these characterizations because they know they are going to have to pay the price of fairness in the economy,” Pelosi concluded.
San Francisco is often used in news media coverage that promotes policies that encourage more regulation for social and economic good. In 2007, several news outlets featured the city because its mayor, Gavin Newsom, instituted a ban on the municipal entities purchasing bottled water due to the effects the plastic water bottles might have on the environment.