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Groundbreakers Q&A: State Senator Scott Wiener

  • Ruhstaller 726 K Street Sacramento, CA 95814 (map)

Listen to the podcast of this conversation at Soundcloud, iTunes and other podcast players

Meet Scott Wiener, a.k.a. Wei Shangao.

That’s his Chinese name, the one he picked for himself when running for the 11th Senate District (every candidate for political office in San Francisco must have a Chinese name on the ballot, per the federal Voting Rights Act) and it means “bold, majestic, charitable and tall. “

Well, Wiener is definitely tall (he’s 6’7”) and when it comes to politics, he certainly is bold. As the State Senator representing San Francisco and northern San Mateo County, he has made waves since he came to Sacramento in 2016.

  • His Senate Bill 50 is the most talked-about bill so far in 2019. It generated enormous debate over whether its proposals to make it easier to build housing around public transportation and in wealthy suburbs would actually help solve California’s housing crisis. It was shelved last month amid intense opposition from local government officials, who objected to losing control over how their communities develop, getting a “I’m severely disappointed” Tweet from Governor Newsom. Wiener plans to reintroduce the bill.

  • Wiener is also famous for his “keep the bars open till 4 a.m.” bill, citing the cultural and economic benefits of nightlife. Former Governor Jerry Brown shot it down in 2017, saying “we have enough mischief from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem." Wiener reintroduced the bill this year, thinking he’ll have a better chance with Governor Newsom.

  • Last year, he authored SB 822, which established the gold standard for Net Neutrality protections and reinstated Obama-era regulations (they were repealed by the Trump Administration). The California legislature passed it, but now it’s the center of a lawsuit from the Justice Department.

  • In his prior position on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Wiener authored first-in-the nation bills that requires water recycling in the city’s new building developments, and up to six weeks of paid time off for all new parents after childbirth or adoption.

Wiener is one to watch in the State Capitol, he has authored some groundbreaking bills, and we think he’s going places. (After all, Gavin Newsom also started his political career on the SF Board of Supes).

So come join us at Ruhstaller as we talk with Wei Shanghao about how bold, charitable and majestic he is as a politician, legislator and groundbreaker in California. Bring your best questions to ask him, too.

Admission is free, but RSVP to reserve your spot, because we only have so many seats!