Bernie Sanders was in town Saturday morning to rally with Jane Kim (and a lot of other progressive candidates) before doing an event in favor of Prop 61.

Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Jane Kim rally with Kim and D11 candidate Kimberly Alvarenga
Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Jane Kim rally with Kim and D11 candidate Kimberly Alvarenga

The Kim HQ on Market Street was packed, so full that the crowd has to be told to step back to let the candidates stand in front. Some of the news photographers were getting crabby and one tried to push me out of the way.

But the candidates were ebullient and the spirits were soaring when Sanders showed up. Kim made a strong speech, noting that more than $1 million has been spent attacking her. “We are fighting for who this city is being built for,” she said.

She drew a clear distinction with her opponent, Scott Wiener, noting that his idea of criminal justice is locking up people who break into cars for six months “so they can think about it.”

“It’s easy to build a new jail,” she said. It’s harder to look for alternatives, to build supportive housing so that people aren’t breaking into cars to get their next meal.

Sanders gave a fairly typical stump speech, but his points still resonate: If we were living in a desperately poor country, we could argue about the lack of health care for all, the lack of decent affordable housing, the lack of social services. “But we are not a poor country,” he said. “We are the richest country in the history of the world.”

Kim has been a bit cautious in her local endorsements — she’s given the nod to both Ahsha Safai (really?) and Kimberly Alvarenga in D11, and she hasn’t endorsed in D5. But Alvarenga (and not Safai) was on the stage. And I saw the name of Dean Preston on the list of candidates that were supposed to be acknowledged, although Preston, the D5 challenger who is endorsed by Sanders’ operation, had his own mobilization.

Sen. Sanders and Dean Preston
Sen. Sanders and Dean Preston

In fact, Bernie posed with Dean at the Prop. 61 event later in the day.


Bernie stands next to Sup. David Campos and a Yes on H sign
Bernie stands next to Sup. David Campos and a Yes on H sign

David Campos, who is one of the proponents of Prop. H, which would create an Office of the Public Advocate, was standing next to Sanders and mentioned the issue to him. I tried to chase the senator down after the event, but the rule was “no interviews” and when I asked him about some of the local ballot measures, he just waved and got in his car.

Lots of candidates at the Bernie-Jane Kim rally
Lots of candidates at the Bernie-Jane Kim rally

But the Bernie endorsement is a good counter to the vast wave of attacks that the Wiener camp is putting out. Sanders told the gathering that the only way to stand up to money is grassroots organizing, and Kim’s got a lot of people on the ground. This race is still really, really tight.


  • Y.

    The Prop. 61 connection to Michael Weinstein and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation makes me quite worried that Sanders, SFBG, and many Californians are getting bamboozled. Weinstein scares me.

    • The Weinstein proposition is Prop 60, not 61.

      • chris12bb

        Prop 61 was written and is being promoted by Michael Weinstein.,_Drug_Price_Standards_(2016)

        Prop 61 – Drug Price Standards
        Prop 60 – Condoms in Pornographic Films

      • Y.

        The arguments against 61 in the voter booklet start off with Weinstein. They say he wrote an exemption for his HMO into the law.

      • Y.

        This is a neat summary of the top expenditures pro and con each of the CA propositions. Weinstein’s AHF put $14 million into Prop. 61, $4.5 million into Prop. 60.

      • pch1013

        He is behind both.

  • danimalssf

    A) that is not what Wiener said, this is: “San Francisco at times is a consequence-free zone,” Mr. Wiener said. “I’m not advocating extreme law and order, but there has to be consequences. Sometimes people might need to spend six months in jail to think about what they did.” So yeah, nice journalism there. And B), just for the record, Tim, what is the appropriate punishment for someone who breaks into your car and steals your stuff?

  • Greg

    It’s nice that Bernie’s in town stumping for candidates and props. But as progressives, we do realize that it’s going to be harder to count to 6 if Jane Kim wins…. right? If Wiener wins, and Fewer wins in D1 as expected, all progressives need is to win *either* D5 or D11. Very doable.

    However, if Kim wins, progressives need to run the table, winning Every Single Race: D1,3,5,9, and 11. Just one single loss brings about the specter of the nightmare scenario that Tim Redmond alluded to earlier: Ed Lee resigning and the Board supporting a crony of the tech bosses with 6 votes, and staying in power another two terms. That’s some seriously stark math there.

    Nor is Kim making things any easier. Instead of helping progressives keep the BOS, she has hedged her bets on D5 and D11. She is AWOL on exactly the two races where progressives face the toughest fights. That shows that she is a standard politician who puts her career above all else.

  • sebra leaves

    It will be interesting to see if the Clintons come out in favor of any of the City Hall opponents. It is not as if they need to worry about their supporters here. In a lot of ways the land wars must go to Washington as we are seeing more evidence that they are being waged out of the nation’s Capital and filtered through the states.

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  • bear on the peaks

    Two reasons not to vote for Jane Kim: Tenderloin and South of Market. I used to go to clubs late at night in these neighborhoods; now I won’t go near them during the day. The Stanford lawyer from the East Coast should find another city to use to brace her political ladder. As for Bernie, Hillary’s pied piper, I have lost all respect.

  • Rob Geller

    Just to be clear, the three School Board candidates onstage at the event were Jane Kim’s choices, not Bernie’s. As the top endorsement for School Board this year by the San Francisco Berniecrats Club, and the only local candidate actively responding to Bernie’s call to get involved and run for office, I will actually bring his ideas and philosophy to fruition. Vote Rob!

  • robo94117

    Jane’s sellout to big soda didn’t sway Bernie? Maybe nobody told him.

  • Robert Banks

    What is Jane’s position on Prop 60?
    I can’t seem to get a clear answer.