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Saturday, October 16, 2021

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UncategorizedTom's Town: Who is running for supervisor?

Tom’s Town: Who is running for supervisor?

By Tom Temprano

JANUARY 16, 2015 — San Francisco’s politicos and journalists are very clearly abuzz with speculation and rumors about the 2015 supervisorial race between recent D3 mayoral appointee Julie Christensen and (at this point only rumored candidates) Aaron Peskin and Cindy Wu.  For this week’s column, I’m going to refrain from talking about how much I hate the mayor appointing his legislative check and balance (because I’ve already beaten that horse to death), and instead share a number of rumors I’ve already heard about the Supervisors races to follow in 2016 – races that will have the chance to reshape a majority of the board.

48hillstemprano2Prior to speaking about the races themselves, lets speculate about who will be running many of the races. Fresh off the heels of running the most energetic progressive campaign in years, David Campos’ campaign manager for both his Assembly and supervisorial re-election bids, Nate Allbee, is purportedly putting together a slate of candidates to run for a number of 2016 seats. It also goes without saying that Nicole Derse, who ran Eric Mar’s tough reelection bid in 2012 and David Chiu’s Assembly race, will likely be at the helm of at least a few contests and that Enrique Pearce, the consultant behind Jane Kim’s successful supervisorial races and the Run Ed Run campaign, will be tapped to run a few races for the mayor’s preferred candidates.

Now that we know who might be behind the scenes, let’s take a look at who could be out on the streets shaking hands and stumping for votes. In numerical order:

District 1: With Eric Mar termed out this is a key must-win for progressives. Names I have been hearing on people’s wishlists include Board of Education member Sandra Fewer, current Mar aide Peter Lauterborn and San Francisco’s finest firebrand Hene Kelly. I would also be shocked if Mar’s challenger in 2012 and Association of Realtors darling David Lee didn’t give it another go.

District 3: Keep in mind that whoever wins in 2015 will have to go before voters yet again the following year. I predict that the second place finisher in this year’s race will be back at it the following year.

District 5: Supervisor London Breed just gained the pretty daunting title of Board president so anyone taking her on is going to face a steep test. That said, District 5 is supposed to be one of San Francisco’s most progressive districts and I hear that a couple noted tenants activists are feeling up to the challenge.

District 7: For a while people have been speculating that Supervisor Norman Yee preferred to be a one-term supervisor but, given his ability to be a solid and principled swing vote who can work with those on the left as well as those in the center, I’m guessing that both sides of the aisle will be telling him to run for reelection and that he’ll listen and seek another term. That won’t stop those on San Francisco’s far right from feeling that they could take out someone who has proved to be tenant-friendly and my guess is that his predecessor and current Feinstein staffer Sean Elsbernd will be getting calls urging him to give it a go.

District 9: With David Campos termed out (insert sad face here), this will be one of the city’s most heavily contested and watched races. One of the biggest open secrets in San Francisco politics is the fact that Joaquin Torres, son of political heavyweight Art Torres and the mayor’s Director of Neighborhood Services, has been preparing for this race for years. Things could get interesting among SF’s moderates if Josh Arce, who works for the powerful Building Trades, decides to enter the race as well. All of that said, this is one of the (if not the most) progressive districts in town, so either of them is going to have a tough slog. I hear that progressives are starting to coalesce around Campos aide Hillary Ronen whose experience in his office as well as her years at La Raza Centro Legal would make her an incredibly strong candidate. Plus, Ronen is a mother, something that has been sadly lacking from the Board of Supes for years, which should resonate with voters in all-important Bernal Heights. Latino Democratic Club board member Edwin Lindo is also rumored to be eyeing a run.

District 11: This is another seat where we will sadly be losing a staunch progressive, John Avalos, and can’t afford to let the seat swing to the right. A couple long-time progressive staffers names keep bubbling up to the top of the rumor pool– namely current Avalos aide Frances Hsieh and former Tom Ammiano district director and now SEIU 1021 Politic Director Kimberly Alvarenga.  D11 conversations also tend to include Gabriel Medina, the president of the Latino Democratic Club and Asha Safai, Avalos’ main challenger back in 2008.

And there you have it – a fresh helping of rumors and speculation for your consumption. Now, the real fun begins. Have at it, comment trolls!








Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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  1. The idea of District elections was that Supervisors would pay more
    attention to the concerns of those who live in their District, but John
    Avalos cares more about city-wide Progressive causes and the Mission
    than he does about his own District, which consists largely of
    homeowners and families.

    D11 has the highest homeownership rate in the City yet Avalos has done nothing to help homeowners with complaints of graffiti, vandalism, theft, car break ins, etc.. Geneva/Mission is still a run down mess and everyone has to drive to Daly City to shop. This is too bad because the surrounding houses are really starting to be fixed up, and values are going up in the neighborhood for the first time in a long time. But people see the Geneva/Mission shopping corridor and think the whole area is a hell hole.

    The District also has the highest proportion of people who commute to work by car, yet, again, Avalos is trying to close the freeway entrance to I280 by the BART station AND put low income housing at Balboa Park BART, which will make the area more unsafe than it already is.

  2. I live in D7 and hope Yee will be replaced by just about anyone. He is a zero, just there to be a swing vote.

  3. Tom’s piece is a perfectly objective analysis of the way things really are in the real world really. Only a troll would see it otherwise.

  4. I don’t think that is fair. Although I disagree with much that Sam says, he always speaks with dignity, decorum and decency.

    He is a worthy opponent and I have learned much from him.

  5. Gary, I envy the success you have had in holding back the scourge of new condo towers in your neighborhood. In the Mission my colleagues all let me down and approved a development plan which has blighted our neighborhood with these neobrutalist towers of despair.

    Paradoxically, Chiu has proven to be a much more faithful custodians of land use values than our own allegedly progressive Supervisor Campos. That is why I refused to vote for Campos in November.

    I envy your effectiveness where I have failed.

  6. Sam, I used to think the same thing,. But then I bought a condo and realized that these new condo developments increase my home value, and that is a more important factor for me at this point in my life as my career skills become redundant and I face an uncertain retirement..

    As a white male tech worker who helped gentrify the Mission by buying a condo here, how can I credibly oppose other white male tech workers who want to gentrify the Mission by buying a condo?

  7. The voters have never been asked about development plans on the east side in general. When they are asked more specific questions, like on the waterfront, they make their more stringent demands clear. This is why Ed Lee launched a full court press to keep Jane Kim’s ballot measure from going before the voters, because he knew he’d lose.

  8. Wow, what a concept. This article actually had new information not presented in other news formats. You actually wrote an article not based in spin and advocacy for your positions but instead presented new and relevant information Please keep it up.

  9. Sam, you don’t know fuck. Height limits on the waterfront is a very important issue here in District 3, where I have lived for 36 years.

    There are many efforts gearing-up – here is just one website – scroll down a bit on this one:


    Since you ALWAYS insist upon having the last word, I’m done.

  10. That tells me that it is your #1 issue, as I said. I’ve seen no evidence that it is the number one issue in D3 or anywhere else in the city. I suspect crime and jobs come higher for most folks.

  11. Sam, the waterfront trumps almost everything in district 3, outside of Chinatown. If you don’t believe me, just wait awhile. This is going to explode very soon.

  12. It was Rose Pak who first mentioned Peskin, not ‘resident lefties.’

    I wouldn’t hesitate to vote for him if he is the lesser of two evils. And I don’t want to leave the wrong impression: I hope Christensen succeeds as a supervisor. But she has to come clean about how she feels about the waterfront.

    If she doesn’t, she is toast. I can envision the campaign signs and I remember how effective campaign signs were to defeat AnneMarie Conroy: “Endorsed by the Republican Party” which was true.

    And here is another comparison: She was unfit for office and because of her connections, she was eventually appointed by mayor Newsom to head ’emergency management’ even though she had no experience. Thankfully the board went against the mayor and demoted her.

  13. But again, Gary, you assume that all D3 voters are like you i.e. caring about one and only one issue.

    Your fellow voters may agree with you on height limits but be far more concerned about transit, jobs or crime. If they like her on those topics they may overlook that they don’t like her on your pet issue.

    Your songbook only has one song in it.

  14. It would be a very backward step for D3 to elect Peskin again. And I think the resident lefties here are only mouthing support for him because they think me might win, and not because they see him as in any way a game-changer.

    I also don’t know why he would want to run, but then he seems to be under-employed these days (along with Daly, Agnos, Gonzelez and Ammiano).

    Wu versus Christensen would be a reasonable race.

  15. @Sam/Dave/Sybil: Height limits were reinforced in two recent city-wide elections, even though those who want to destroy the waterfront outspent those who want to preserve the height limits.

    She is free to focus upon whatever she chooses. BUT, she will answer to the us voters in the upcoming election.

  16. I’m way to the left and I hope that Peskin doesn’t run. He is just too divisive and hot-tempered. But I remind you that regardless of the number of Republicans in North Beach, Peskin won two elections here.

  17. Gary, I cannot speak for Dave or Sybil, but there is far more to being a supervisor than just deciding on a few new buildings. And in fact all eleven supervisors get to vote on buildings in your district anyway – planning i a city-wide function.

    There are issues around public safety, health, transit, jobs and so on. A supervisor can disagree with you on one of those issues but still be great on the others.

    You can afford to focus on just one issue, but she has to focus on all issues and be a supervisor for all her constituency, including people with very different views from your own.

  18. @Sam/Dave/Sybil: Height limits on the waterfront is not the same as “one lousy building.” Christensen is the district 3 supervisor and will answer to those of us who live in that district. So that gives me more ‘say’ as to what is important to district 3 than you. If you don’t like it, move here. But please don’t.

  19. The development plans for the eastern neighborhoods has broad support, and those vitally needed new homes have proven to be very popular. Wu’s instincts were right on the money there.

  20. Judging someone on their opinion on just one lousy building implies that that is the only topic that matters is this city. That is obviously far from the case.

    As others have said, she deserves a chance to prove her credentials and bona fides. And who is to say that most D3 voters think like you do anyway?

  21. I didn’t support Wu either.

    Regardless, Christensen HAS a record on 8 Washington and height limits on the waterfront. She is choosing to conceal that record.

    Sorry, but as my district supervisor, this is unacceptable and the behavior of sneaky politician. This issue isn’t going away so she really needs to come clean.

    She doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt until she erases doubts, which she can EASILY do. It’s not like we’re asking her to cure herpes. Just tell us where she stands on this important (to us) issue, or get the hell out of office.

  22. Peskin was far to the left of North Beach when he was on the board. North Beach still has old Italians in it that are not leftwing in the least. Have you ever been to Sts. Peter & Paul church in NB/ Tel Hill? There’s actually quite a # of Rs in that church.

  23. This is why Cindy Wu is yet another CCDC hack who has to please the MOH in order to maintain access to government and has done nothing to stop the onslaught of luxury condos on the east side as Planning Commission President.

    Wu is as ill-suited to D3 as Christensen.

  24. Well, yeah, but it’s different when it’s THEIR former SPUR advisor panel member, don’t you think? Much like how all SF landlords are evil except the ones they go to happy hour with.

  25. Team Campos reaped buckets of ink during the campaign that they deserve credit for and also show what some of the problem are with this mediocre politician.

    First, Campos took the lead on requesting money for DPH to hire navigators and help gay men pay for the drug Truvada, as a way to avert HIV transmission. In the end, Campos’ hearings at City Hall attracted much media but at the DPH clinic level, everyone who wants Truvada is getting it and being signed up for insurance coverage.

    The new money for more navigators kicks in on July 1 when the new fiscal year begins:

    Basically, DPH, of which I am a staunch critic and watchdog, has baked the Truvada cake with plenty of icing and at best we can say Campos put a cherry on it.

    Second, Team Campos and the Milk Club persuaded Facebook to allow drag queens to use their stage names on their accounts, something I very much support.

    The Facebook accomplishment is flashy and laudable but not exactly a pressing issue for the majority of voters.

    At the end of the day, it’s difficult to list signature legislation or accomplishments from Campos, a guy who’s been around City Hall for more than a decade and apparently still hasn’t out how things work under the dome.

    If he did, then maybe the LGBT shelter in his district would be open after more than four years of planning and stalling, the Tamale Lady would be running her cafe on 16th Street and he’d be putting out a monthly newsletter touting his work and that of his staff.

    Campos’ last newsletter was in October 2013: http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=2122.

  26. >”Christensen was on the advisory board of SPUR.”

    Cindy Wu was on the Board of Directors of SPUR.

    Which supports the notion that Christensen should be allowed to establish her own record rather than people doing it for her. Sorry.

  27. Dan, it’s not at all unusual for Greg to base his “analysis” on nothing but bias and speculation. After all Mirk “only scratched” his wife. You have to read his screeds as more akin to talking up his side – they are essentially football chants that have become more shrill as his side loses more and more.

    He sounds like he is being descriptive, but in fact he is being prescriptive – he hopes his words will persuade and not inform. So it’s important to call him out like you did here.

    The new D3 supervisor needs to be given a chance to shine, and not be pre-judged by those with knee-jerk partisan agendas.

  28. Christensen was on the advisory board of SPUR. SPUR supported 8 Washington and was against Prop B, which reinforced the voter-approved height limits on the waterfront. Christensen refuses to say if she supported 8 Washington or not.

    Give that the rest of the city is being destroyed by really awful buildings and no serious urban planning, protecting the waterfront is a critical issue to me and many in District 3.

    Oh, and I’m not anti-development. I believe that San Francisco could easily sustain a population of about 1.5 million without any loss of character or quality of life, if done properly (such as building out the critical infrastructure and expanding existing public resources BEFORE any development begins). But, it isn’t going to happen given the idiots we have in office and in the planning department, and their overall corruption.

  29. I love how people are lining up to run against Christensen, who is “far to the right of her district,” yet she hasn’t even made a single vote on the BOS, so has absolutely no record to run against. Heaven forbid we see how she performs before deeming her a loser

  30. Greg, you always sound endlessly optimistic about the prospects for the left despite the fact that the left have been losing ground electorally for more than a decade now. I guess the truth is more uncomfortable for you than the fantasy.

    Christensen is an unknown at this point so you cannot claim that she is left or right of anything. It’s not clear that she will be any less liberal than Chiu, for instance. Peskin is the classic “washed-up loser” and stands no chance. And D3 is an affluent district – perhaps the most affluent after Farrell’s hood. Throw in the powerful Chinese vote, which isn’t particularly liberal, and that’s a district that will continue to move to the center, in the same way we have seen with D5, D6 and D8.

    Mar, Yee and Avalos are all in western or southern districts and they are not particularly natural progressive districts, and of course becoming less so with our increased prosperity and demographic changes. You will lose 1-2 of those.

    Another way to look at it is to extrapolate Lee’s easy 60-40 win over Avalos. That implies the “natural” split for the Supes is something like 7/4 or 6/5.

    The amount of spin you apply to elections is stunning but then I guess that is what it takes when you are a natural minority. My track record of calling SF elections is pretty damn close, because I am not blinkered by wishful thinking, but instead have the luxury of accepting the truth.

  31. Breed isn’t arguably more moderate -she’s far to the right of her district, and only won because of a 4-way split among progressives last time. Hopefully that won’t happen again. Christensen is also far to the right of her district. If Peskin runs, he’ll mop the floor with her.

    D1 will be a tough slog as usual, but progressives are 4 for 4 in D1. If the right shoots themselves in the foot and runs David Lee again, progressives should go 5 for 5.

    Norman Yee should win re-election. He’s actually moderate in the true sense of the word (as opposed to conservative masquerading as moderate), so he fits the district better than the right imagines.

    D9 will stay in progressive hands no matter what. And D11 will be a battle, but the demographics of D11 have been galloping to the left over the last decade, so I’m hopeful there too.

    With any luck progressives should net +2 with this next election.

  32. It doesn’t look good for the left for one very simple reason. There are at least three supervisors who are to the left of their district (Mar, Yee, Avalos) but only one who is arguably more moderate than her district (Breed). The rest fit their demographic fairly well and mostly not up for re-election anyway.

    So if we see a reversion to the mean, it could be a disaster for the left, with only D9 electing one of the “washed-up losers” of the left, to paraphrase Greg.

    Demographics alone support the continued moderation of the board of supervisors, and probably the only thing that can save the left next time around is if the local economy bombs. And I see no sign of that – a one bedroom flat on my block just rented for 5K a month to a European tech worker. We are awash with prosperity and success, and Lee’s easy re-election will reinforce in people an understanding of why that it (Clue – it isn’t socialist anti-jobs policies).

  33. So Nate ran Campos’ reelection campaign when he had no opponent, that’s kinda like Enrique Pearce running the astroturf “Run Ed Run” “campaign” and claiming victory. And then Nate ran Campos’ failed bid for Assembly after being Campos’ legislative chief of staff where they produced a slim fraction of the legislative product of other ambitious supervisors such as Wiener and Chiu. Apparently they thought that they were entitled to win, that they deserved it, and that they did not need to appeal to the voters, just manipulate the political elites and avoid conflicts. Avoiding conflicts in this case meant standing down from siding with the community over the march of the luxury condos and the gentrification that they bring.

    The time to win elections is long before the filing deadline is on the horizon, it is in the years prior to an election when the relationships with the voters have to be nurtured and cultivated.

    Whether Daly could win in a D6 that contains a SOMA that is increasingly indistinguishable from Orange County or what I’d imagine the suburbs around Phoenix, AZ would feel like is an open question. Again, failure to organize San Franciscans to stand up to developers has led to the equivalent of ethnic and political cleansing of San Francisco’s east side.

    Having not sussed out how progressives could lose D5 in 2012 and D9 in 2008–Campos was the most conservative major candidate, progressives got half again as more votes albeit with no IRV vote transfer–I don’t see how operatives can put together a viable slate.

  34. How did you feel about Daly threatening to leave his BMR condo to run in another district that progressives felt entitled to?

  35. David Lee and Asha Safai? Those losers? They could try, but they flopped so badly that I doubt anyone would take them seriously. Big real estate may not want to throw good money after bad. If dusting off some washed up losers is the best the right can put forward, I think we could be looking at another Y2K.

  36. As a District 7 resident, I feel that our current supervisor, Norman Yee, is definitely not a good fit for the area. For one thing, he can barely string 4 words together coherently. At a neighborhood meeting I attended, I learned that he is “for pedestrian safety”. Wow. I have lived in SF all of my 59 years and have never met anyone who is not for “pedestrian safety”. He and his office don’t respond to emails or phone calls (unlike his predecessor). He was elected because he Asian — I think the Asian homeowners in the district have woken up and now know he is not their ally and would not vote for him again.

  37. Sam or Dave (same person) can you give us the right wing lonely sad guy perspective? Preferably you will have enough time to respond to every post just a few moments after the comment is published.

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