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ElectionsCampaign TrailWith Fewer retiring, Connie Chan takes up progressive banner in D1

With Fewer retiring, Connie Chan takes up progressive banner in D1

Longtime City Hall aide files for run with the support of the past three supes from the Richmond.

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District 1 has a remarkable political history. It’s not, by definition, one of the most left-leaning parts of the city. The voters who tend to be the most progressive are towards the center of the city, in Districts 5, 6, and 9.

But since the return of district elections, D1 has consistently elected progressive supervisors – Jake McGoldrick, Eric Mar, and Sandra Lee Fewer.

Connie Chan announces she is running for D1 supervisor

The only other parts of town that can claim that heritage are Districts 9 (Tom Ammiano, David Campos, Hillary Ronen) and 6 (Chris Daly, Jane Kim, and Matt Haney).

It’s never been easy – the progressive candidates have had to fight for every vote, and have often won by narrow margins.

So when Fewer said last week that she was not running for re-election, a key seat on the board (and a key part of the progressive supermajority) was suddenly in play.

Fewer and McGoldrick were both on hand Friday when Connie Chan, a longtime Richmond resident and former aide to both Sups. Sophie Maxwell and Aaron Peskin, announced she’s running for that seat.

Among the people at the event were not just Fewer and McGoldrick but Emily Lee, who works with SF Rising Action Fund, and Hene Kelly, a longtime activist with the teacher’s union and progressive leader in the Democratic Party. Eric Mar has endorsed her.

From what I can tell, most of the progressive leaders in San Francisco are ready to rally behind Chan, who arrived in San Francisco at 13 speaking no English and went on to graduate from Galileo High School and UC Davis. She’s been working as a community organizer and legislative aide since then.

With Fewer retiring and Sup. Norman Yee termed out this fall, there could be only one Chinese member of the board – Gordon Mar. “And Chinese people are 23 percent of the city’s population,” Fewer told me.

“It’s also time for a Chinese speaker on the board.”

Chan told me that she opposes SB 50 and wants to see 100 percent affordable housing in the Richmond. She said she has no problem with more density – if there’s the infrastructure to support it. State Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill, she said, puts a mandate on the city but includes zero money for affordable housing or Muni.

It’s hard to imagine that Mayor London Breed won’t push for a candidate in D1. But nobody has announced yet.

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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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