Dean Preston files for D5 supe

Plus: Progressives rally around Gordon Mar -- and a powerful housing measure needs help

We just finished one election cycle, but the next one is already on us – and it’s shaping up as a key test of the newly elected mayor and her allies.

London Breed will take the oath of office July 11, and fairly shortly thereafter, will appoint her replacement for D5 supe. That person will not have to run until 2019, giving them a chance to build a record – but tenant advocate Dean Preston, who came close to unseating Breed in 2016, has already announced he is running for the office.

Dean Preston files for supervisor in D5

He’s running as a democratic socialist and will have significant momentum from the passage of Prop. F, which guarantees every tenantwho faces eviction the right to a lawyer. Preston was the initiative sponsor.

From his campaign statement:

As a democratic socialist, I believe that basic necessities like healthcare, housing, and education are human rights. In San Francisco, across the state and across this country, we need fundamental change and democratic socialists are leading the way. We can no longer tolerate a society of such vast inequality that billionaires are calling the shots in City Hall while thousands are left homeless on the streets every night. Enough is enough.

Preston has already been endorsed by Supervisors Hillary Ronen, Aaron Peskin, and Jane Kim; former D5 Supervisors Matt Gonzalez and Christina Olague, Democratic Party Chair David Campos; former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano; and former Mayor Art Agnos.

By announcing his run before Breed names her replacement, Preston has made it clear that he’s not running against any individual – he’s running in favor of a political agenda.

And since he won 48 percent of the vote in 2016, running against the incumbent board president, he will be formidable.

Now that D4 is in play, the progressives seem to have agreed to rally around Gordon Mar. Li Miao Lovett, a City College union activist, also filed to run, but this week decided that the progressive movement would be better off with one candidate. So she dropped out and endorsed and will fully support Mar.

Lovett had the support of the Bernicrats and Democratic Socialists of America, two groups of (mostly) young and (very) well organized activists who played a huge rule in the June passage of the tenant right-to-counsel law and the defeat of the Police Officers Association Taser measure.

But she told me this week that she thinks, given the short election cycle, that the resources ought to go into the progressive candidate with the best chance of winning. It was a move that we see too rarely in this town: For Lovett, the race was about the progressive agenda, not just about her.

Reporter Joe Eskenazi, in his daily text message, said that “if Mar was hoping to benefit from cadres of young, enthusiastic DSA volunteers stumping for a progressive female candidate and pushing a ranked-choice strategy – well, too bad.”

I’m not so sure. Gordon Mar has been a part of the progressive movement in this city for a long time, and if the DSA folks talk to him and look at his record, they may decide that he’s also worth stumping for.

I am a bit alarmed that the Coalition on Homelessness ballot measure that would tax big business to pay for a radical increase in funding to get homeless people off the streets is in trouble – in part because everyone these days relies on paid signature gatherers and the landlords in Mountain View are paying up to $40 a signature to repeal rent control.

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez has the story here. It’s bizarre that real-estate interests on the Peninsula are buying up all the signature-gathering infrastructure – and undermining the ability of smaller operations to get progressive measure on the ballot.

But it’s not too late to do this with volunteers. The measure is only about 1,000 signatures short, and that’s 50 people gathering 20 a day. This is a big deal; you can help out by signing up here.