Lee, who is riding high politically with no re-election rival in sight this fall, doled out statistics that underlie the city’s prosperity. He also noted the flip side: sky-high housing costs, declining diversity and an ever-present worry that many residents feel about the future.
“The change we see — exciting to many, scary to some — can be good, as long as we manage it responsibly,’’ he told a gathering of several hundred city officials and supporters at a gleaming new food distribution center in the Bayview.
Few mayors have found themselves in Lee’s situation. The unemployment rate has dropped by half in his first full term with 76,400 new jobs created in four years. But the effects on housing are punishing: the median purchase price of homes crossed the $1 million line last summer and $3,500 apartments have waiting lines.
Lee believes that incremental steps are the answer, a path that will take time but avoids sharp housing controls or major taxes to soothe the shock waves of the city’s tech-fueled rise. It’s the right message for a city that wants results but not the disruption that could chill the good times.