Saturday, May 15, 2021
Uncategorized First Assembly debate defines the candidates – and the...

First Assembly debate defines the candidates – and the shape of the race



Chiu and Campos define the issues — and themselves

By Tim Redmond

The gloves came off, quickly, in the first debate between Sups. David Chiu and David Campos Thursday night, as the candidates presented very different pictures of their politics – and took some direct shots at each other.

It suggested that the race for the 17th Assembly District seat will be hard-fought – and that the candidates will be trying to make clear that, while they vote the same on many issues, there are serious, significant differences in their issues, attitudes, and styles.

The debate, which was also the endorsement meeting of the San Francisco Young Democrats, packed the Koret Auditorium at the main library. And the club wound up endorsing Campos. But the event meant much more than one endorsement – it set the tone for a campaign that will help define San Francisco politics in 2014.

Chiu tried to portray himself as an effective legislator, open to compromise and working for solution. Campos presented the image of a fighter.

In a city under immense pressure, with anger boiling over and the demographics of the district changing, the outcome of this election will say a lot about what San Francisco is, what it’s becoming, and what the residents see as their vision of the city’s future. (more after the jump)

Marke B.
Marke Bieschke is the publisher and arts and culture editor of 48 Hills. He co-owns the Stud bar in SoMa. Reach him at marke (at), follow @supermarke on Twitter.


  1. Unfortunately, there is more at stake than who would better represent us in the Assembly. Ed Lee will appoint a replacement for the winner in the November election. I think an Ed Lee replacement for Campos on the SF Board of Supervisors would be much worse for progressives than an Ed Lee replacement for Chiu.

  2. Excellent, fair reporting on a civilized debate between two men of integrity. I think the candidates are closer together in their fight for the soul of San Francisco than might be immediately apparent. Granted, they seem to have different styles in working for the people of SF, particularly the disadvantaged. David Chiu is a fighter as much as David Campos, listens to everyone and never makes promises he can’t keep. I know him better and have seem him trudging the streets, fighting evictions, working to get legislation passed that benefits all of us, quietly helping nix the Washington 8 project, get fair rates for “Google” buses, get the tour buses out of family neighborhoods, and remain constantly attentive to actions that could undermine the real work for the people of our beloved city. Keep this debate civilized, and we may all learn more about the issues and how best to solve them. Thanks, Tim.

  3. It should be remembered that David Chiu was instrumental in destroying the progressive majority that existed on the Board of Supervisors when he was first elected. The election that brought in him and his ilk was the death knell for progressive politics having much of a chance in City Hall (with a few exceptions like the Ellis Act issue).

    Politics, like almost everything else, is relative. People like David Chiu are not moderates, they are conservatives in the context of San Francisco politics. (Actually, Chiu is a mix of conservative, liberal, and progressive, but is conservative on the big issues, and those are the most important ones because they affect more people and the environment.)

  4. I loved when Chiu talked about all the legislation he had passed, and Campos came back with the fact that the legislation has to mean something. I am speaking about the legislation to stop landlords rom converting their buildings to short term corporate rentals. This legislation has done nothing to stop the practice because San Francisco defines “short term rental” as anything less than 30 days. How ridiculous. that means this legislation does nothing, because it is still cheaper for a corporation to rent an apartment for 30 days even if their employee or consultant only stays there for 2-3 weeks.

    San Francisco needs to re-define short term rental as possible less than 90 days, or even 6 months! Then and only then will that legislation have some teeth.

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