EDITORIAL We've long encouraged the California Green Party to focus its energy on local races, and in San Francisco, the Greens have had considerable success: Matt Gonzalez and then Ross Mirkarimi were elected supervisor as Greens (and Gonzalez made a hell of a run for mayor). Sarah Lipson and Mark Sanchez won school board seats. The idea of someone from the Green Party running citywide is no longer all that unusual, and if the party can continue to generate energy and enthusiasm over the next few years, it will become even more of a source of progressive leaders and provide competition to the Democrats who have controlled city politics for decades.
We focused in last week's endorsements issue on a few contested Democratic primaries for state assembly and senate, but there are several Greens worthy of note who are challenging entrenched incumbents. Our Green primary endorsements:
For US Senate: Todd Chretien
Chretien is one of the most exciting Green Party candidates in the country. He's trying to turn a nonrace into a referendum on war and abuse of power. This East Bay resident has spent years fighting for social justice, first as a socialist and then as a Green. He's smart, passionate, eloquent, and right on the issues. He's clearly not going to beat Dianne Feinstein, but if he gets any media attention, he'll be able to raise some important issues.
For US Congress, District 8: Krissy Keefer
Keefer, a dancer and Guardian Goldie winner, has long been an active part of the city's arts community. She's always been political, and became an antigentrification activist during the dot-com boom. She has virtually no hope of beating incumbent Nancy Pelosi, and her platform is a little, well, abstract. But we've always liked Keefer and we appreciate her spirit in trying to hold Pelosi accountable.
For State Assembly, District 12: Barry Hermanson
Hermanson spent 25 years putting his ideals into action as the owner of a small employment agency, where he sought to raise pay rates for temporary workers. His strategy: reduce his own commission, and pay the temps more. He put a bunch of his own money into a successful citywide campaign to raise the minimum wage. If Janet Reilly wins the Democratic primary for this seat, most progressives in town will probably stick with her — but if Sup. Fiona Ma comes out on top June 6, Hermanson could emerge as the only alternative. SFBG