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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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ElectionsCampaign TrailChan, Fielder kick off supe campaigns with large weekend rallies

Chan, Fielder kick off supe campaigns with large weekend rallies

Progressives count on turnout and field operations against billionaire money.

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Two progressive women running for what is now a male-dominated Board of Supes kicked off their campaigns this weekend, with hundreds turning out to begin the door-to-door process of fighting big money.

I counted more than 200 people at the rally to re-elect D1 Sup. Connie Chan in the Richmond Saturday. Campaign organizers confirmed that number based on the people signing in.

More than 200 people showed up to support Sup. Connie Chan

It was a broad coalition, with several major labor unions joining neighborhood leaders, Asian organizers, tenant activists, and several of Chan’s colleagues on the board.

On Sunday, at least 100 gathered at Precita Park to work for Jackie Fielder for D9 supe.

Both candidates will face a massive amount of money from right-wing groups funded by billionaires who want to take over San Francisco politics and promote an agenda that works for nobody except the rich.

Mike Casey, a longtime labor leader, told the crowd that the unions see Chan as an ally: “Connie walks the line with us, and we know Connie speaks for us, and Connie delivers for us.”

Sup. Aaron Peskin delivered a speech that was dramatic and blunt—and aimed directly at Mayor London Breed and her allies.

Peskin outlined the challenges that progressives face this year.

“We are seeing things we used to see in the US South,” he said, talking about blatant gerrymandering that the mayor “got away with.

“We have never seen the billionaire plutocrat money” that coming into the city now, he said. “We are used to biased press, but we have never seen anyone buy a press for political purposes,” a comment clearly about tech investor Michael Moritz, who has funded the SF Standard.

He challenged “a mayor who is trying to get rid of the only Chinese American on the Board of Supervisors” and said that even former Mayor Willie Brown, who was not at all happy with the Class of 2000 district supes, recognized four years later that experienced legislators we valuable to the city.

Chan has been in public service for decades, working in Rec-Park, in the DA’s Office, as a legislative aide, and as a supervisor.

Sup. Connie Chan said “the billionaires don’t like it.”

Chan also took on the mayor and her allies:

“We will hold the mayor accountable for spending,” Chan, who chairs the Budget and Finance Committee, said. “The billionaires don’t like it. They would like us to sit down, but we will fight back.”

Everyone knows that the billionaires want to make this fall’s election about public safety, and Chan’s main opponent, Marjan Philhour, has been attacking the incumbent over crime in the district. Chan said that public safety is not just about the police; it’s about a wide range of services that need to be funded.

Former Sup. Tom Ammiano took the stage at Precita Park Sunday to support Fielder.

He started off challenging the media narrative that the “moderates” had a good election March 5. “They are not moderate,” he said. “They are right wing.”

Big turnout for Fielder

In a nod to St. Patrick’s Day, he said that Fielder “will cast the snakes out of City Hall.”

Among the people who came to the rally were tenant and labor activists, neighborhood leaders, and a large number of young people, many of whom walked precincts for Fielder after the event.

Fielder immediately took on the so-called moderate agenda, saying that she will work for a city “that is equitable, where the wealthiest pay their fair share of taxes.”

Fielder has the support of former Sup. Tom Ammiano and incumbent Dean Preston.

In a direct comment on the neoliberal leadership in the Mayor’s Office, she said: “Do we want to go backward to the failed policies that got us here?”

She talked about taking a housing-first approach to homelessness, and about crime prevention, not just more police, and a city “that is not just prosperous but equitable.”

Sup. Dean Preston will launch his re-election bid next week.

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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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