Angela Alioto’s surprising announcement that she wants to radically weaken the city’s Sanctuary ordinance has already cost her political support.
Mark Leno announced Friday that he was rescinding his endorsement for his third choice. The Latin@ Young Democrats and Latino Democratic Club denounced her in a Medium piece.
And all of us who follow local politics were shaking our heads, wondering: What is this about?
Alioto told the Examiner she wants to collect signatures for a fall ballot measure that would
allow law enforcement to report undocumented immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if the person has been booked into County Jail on suspicion of a felony, or booked on a lesser crime than a felony but had a previous felony conviction.
The proposal would also permit city agencies including police to report undocumented immigrants who were previously convicted of a felony.
Is Alioto going to organize her own campaign to collect signatures, and pay for it out of her own pocket? Or will she work with the Police Officers Association, which has endorsed her, to try to bring a Trump-style ballot measure to San Francisco?
It’s too weird – but it also signals that she is going hard for the right-wing vote.
So, apparently, is London Breed, who is the beneficiary of a letter from Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, George Schultz, that apparently has gone out to Republican voters. Schultz calls Breed “the right leader at the right time.”
The letter says Breed will “add 200 more police officers” and “lead with fiscal responsibility, with a keen eye on the budget.”
The letter was paid for by the Breed campaign.
The Breed campaign did not respond to my request for comment on the letter.
Secretary Shultz is not only an American hero and a great San Franciscan, he represents a dignified, collaborative brand of policy thinking that transcends today’s petty partisan politics, and I’m proud to have his support.
I wonder if those viewpoints includes Shultz’ one time “joke” with President Ronald Reagan that they should send then-Libyan Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to San Francisco, which was first reported by the Washington Post in 1986.
“Why not invite Qaddafi to San Francisco, he likes to dress up so much?” Reagan reportedly joked, to which Shultz answered, “Why don’t we give him AIDS!” The Post reported laughter following the “joke.”
Then-Supervisor Harry Britt, a noted champion of LGBT rights in The City, publicly shot back at Shultz.
“Perhaps we should send Mr. Shultz to Libya,” Britt told the Associated Press. “He might be more comfortable there with the sensitivity toward human life that the Libyan Government displays.”
Meanwhile, an event organized by District Five residents who are concerned with the future of Fillmore Street had to shut down early Saturday after supporters of Breed arrived and shouted down speakers.
Agonofir Shiferaw, former owner of Rasselas Jazz Club, told me he invited Sup. Jane Kim and Mark Leno to address the event at Origin on Fillmore to see what the progressives had to offer the community.
“For the past six years, nothing has happened on Fillmore, and 14 businesses have closed,” he said. “I wanted to hear what the progressives had to offer.”
According to video posted on Facebook, Kim got to speak for a few minutes, and when she asked for questions, Ace Washington, a City Hall regular who is supportive of Breed, asked Kim how she expected to accomplish all the promises she was making.
Fair question, and Kim was ready to answer – but at that point a group of Breed supporters told Washington to “not get started with these white people” and shouted him down.
“This is London Breed’s house,” one of the Breed supporters said. He later referred to Kim with a nasty racist slur.
They asked why Breed wasn’t invited to the event. (Shiferaw told me that Breed has been District 5 supervisor for six years, and he wanted to give the other candidates a chance to address the issues he felt she was ignoring.)
A few people tried to calm things down, but the Breed supporters wouldn’t back down. At one point, one of them said “they’ve called the police.”
Yayne Abeda, who was one of the moderators, said “nobody has called the police.” Then she declared the event over.
The Breed campaign issued this statement, through spokeswoman Tara Moriarty:
Board President Breed was not invited to the event in the Fillmore and did not attend.
She condemns racism and intolerance of any kind.
London Breed has never been anything but respectful to Supervisor Kim, and they maintain a positive professional relationship even against the rigors of a hard-fought mayoral campaign. She has even praised Supervisor Kim for her approach to the mayoral campaign in editorial board meetings. Supervisors Breed and Kim are not the problem.
Furthermore, on this campaign, London Breed has been the target of hate speech and threats leveled by her opponents’ supporters. She does not hold that ugly behavior against her opponents, nor does she believe they’re responsible for behavior they can’t control. She believes all of the candidates in this race are better than that.
Breed did, indeed, not attend, but her former chief of staff, Conor Johnston, was outside holding a sign.
Moriarty at press time had no provided me with any public examples of a self-identified Kim or Leno supporter issuing threats or using hate speech.
Kim posted the following on Facebook:
There have been a lot of comments in response to an event I attended yesterday which was ended abruptly. Unfortunate statements, including ethnic slurs, were directed at me, as an Asian-American.
I do not take these comments personally and we cannot let this divide us.
We must also acknowledge that there continues to be a lot of pain and anger along the fault lines of race, gender, and sexuality.
Race and gender are inextricably linked to poverty, economic insecurity and access to quality housing, education and even justice itself.
This is why I have devoted my career, as an organizer, civil rights attorney and now as an elected official to heal our historic divides and address inequitable access to justice in our city and nation.
We have enough xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Black sentiment and division coming from the White House — San Francisco has to stand together against systematic intolerance and support the real, hard work to make San Francisco a safe and diverse community for all its residents. We cannot allow our communities to get pitted against each other. We are better than that.
This is the work we need to do and I am committed to continuing to take this on with you.