Jim Rivaldo, 1947-2007 - Page 2

Groundbreaking political consultant was a nice guy in an often nasty world

I didn't always like his candidates, but I knew he always did; when he told me about someone he thought should be in office I always knew he was telling the truth. He actually cared about people and issues, and when things went badly (when, for example, a candidate he helped elect to the school board voted the wrong way on the Reserve Officers' Training Corps and infuriated the queer community) he felt personally let down, just like the rest of us.

AIDS has ravaged his generation of gay men in San Francisco, and there aren't many people left in politics who are links to the days of Milk, who can remember and tell stories of a time when the idea of a queer person serving at City Hall was considered an astounding breakthrough. And it's in part because of him that San Francisco now has two queer supervisors, two queer state legislators, and queer representation at virtually every other level of government.

But I think the most remarkable fact of Rivaldo's life is that he was such a decent guy that he could be friends with so many people who were so often at odds, often to the point of not speaking. He talked to Jack Davis and Tom Ammiano, to Migden and Mark Leno, to Terence Hallinan and Kamala Harris. They all liked him; they all respected him. They'll all miss him. And so will I.

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