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Thursday, September 28, 2023

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News + PoliticsElectionsPreston campaign kickoff draws large and diverse crowd

Preston campaign kickoff draws large and diverse crowd

District 5 is one of the critical seats progressives will try to win in 2024


A large and diverse crowd, including labor, neighborhood groups, and current and former elected officials, showed up at City Hall today as Sup. Dean Preston announced his intent to seek a second term.

Even Preston seemed a bit surprised by the size of the turnout, which indicates that he has a solid base as he prepares to face massive spending from conservative tech billionaires.

At least 100 people crowded the steps of City Hall to support Preston

As he noted:

 I know we will once again face opposition from the richest and most Republican of San Franciscans. They hide behind a web of shadowy political action committees, and they will put out a fog of disinformation – they’ve already started.

Preston addressed the crowd:

From the residents of the Fillmore – I see Thomas Paine tenants, Midtown Residents, FD Haynes and more – to SRO tenants and longtime leaders in the Tenderloin, to the community advocates in Japantown, to small business owners across the district to the San Francisco tenants union and all the eviction defenders who are here, to the democratic socialists of the San Francisco DSA chapter, to the neighborhood association leaders, and to the parents whose kids are just back in school this week.

And the unions here who have already endorsed me before I even announced. Our public sector unions SEIU 1021 and IFPTE Local 21, and the United Educators of San Francisco, thank you, for what you do every day, and for your faith in our city and this campaign.

And to the elected leaders who fight alongside the tenants, workers, and small businesses in our communities. Former Mayor Art Agnos, Tom Ammiano, Supervisor Shamann Walton, Public Defender Mano Raju, BART Board Director Bevan Dufty, DCCC Member Keith Baraka, who are here today, and the dozens of others including Phil Ting, Mark Leno, BOS President Peskin, and Supervisors Chan and Ronen who have already endorsed this campaign.

His theme: This is a “campaign for the people, not the powerful.”

Preston, a former tenant lawyer, is running in a district that, under the recent new lines, is heavily renters:

District 5 is a 90% renter district and we’ve written dozens of laws to protect tenants from eviction. We’ve overwhelmingly won at the ballot for social housing. We’ve taxed vacancies and fought for housing and behavioral healthcare for unhoused people. And District 5 – hell, all of San Francisco – has been with us every step of the way.

I talked to Tom Ammiano, who has seen supervisors from the pre-district election days to the present, and he told me that

It’s very dark times for progressives in San Francisco, but Dean is a beacon. He’s incorruptible and really what a supervisor should be. My perception is supported by the vitriol, which I am very familiar with, that is addressed at him from the right wing.

This is the beginning of what will be a series of critical campaign launches for progressives. Jackie Fielder has already raised a significant amount of money in D9. Connie Chan will be organizing a grassroots effort in D1.

The right is aiming to spend almost unlimited money to block progressive candidates, but hasn’t yet shown much in the way of grassroots support.

And Election Day is now 15 months away.

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Tim Redmond
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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