Endorsements 2010: San Francisco candidates - Page 2


And while neither of the two top progressive candidates is actively pursuing a credible ranked-choice voting strategy (Kim has, unbelievably, endorsed James Keys instead of Walker, and Walker has declined to endorse anyone else), we're setting aside our concern over Kim's ill-advised move and suggesting a strategy that is most likely to keep the seat Chris Daly has held for the past 10 years from falling to downtown control.

Walker is far and away our first choice. She understands land use and housing — the clear central issues in the district — and has well thought-out positions and proposals. She says that the current system of inclusionary housing — pressing market-rate developers to include a few units of below-market-rate housing with their high-end condos — simply doesn't work. She supports an immediate affordable housing bond act and a long-term real estate transfer tax high enough to fund a steady supply of housing for the city's workforce. She told us the city ought to be looking at planning issues from the perspective of what San Francisco needs, not what developers want to build. She's in favor of progressive taxes and a push for local hiring. We're happy to give her our first-place ranking.

Jane Kim has been a great SF School Board member and has always been part of the progressive community. But she only moved into District 6 a year and a half ago — about when she started talking about running for supervisor (and she told us in her endorsement interview that "D6 is a district you can run in without having lived there a long time.") She still hasn't been able to explain why she parachuted in to challenge an experienced progressive leader she has no substantive policy disagreements with.

That said, on the issues, Kim is consistently good. She is in favor of indexing affordable housing to market-rate housing and halting new condo development if the mix gets out of line. She's for an affordable housing bond. She supports all the tax measures on this ballot. She's a little softer on congestion pricing and extending parking-meter hours, but she's open to the ideas. She supports police foot patrols not just as a law-enforcement strategy, but to encourage small businesses. She'd be a fine vote on the board. And while we're sympathetic to the Walker supporters who would prefer that we not give Kim the credibility and exposure of an endorsement, the reality is that she's one of two leading progressives and would be better on the board than the remaining candidates.

Hyde, a dynamic young drag queen performer, isn't going to win. But he's offered some great ideas and injected some fun and energy into the race. Hyde talks about creating safe injection sites for IV drug users to reduce the risk of overdoses and the spread of disease. He points out that a lot of young people age out of the foster-care system and wind up on the streets, and he's for continuum housing that would let these young people transition to jobs or higher education. He talks about starting a co-op grocery in the Tenderloin. He proposes bus-only lanes throughout the district and wants to charge large vehicles a fee to come into the city. He's a big advocate of nightlife and the arts. He lacks experience and needs more political seasoning, but we're giving him the third-place nod to encourage his future involvement.

Progressives are concerned about Theresa Sparks, a transgender activist and former business executive who now runs the city's Human Rights Commission. She did a (mostly) good job on the Police Commission. She's experienced in city government and has good financial sense. But she's just too conservative for what remains a very progressive district. Sparks isn't a big fan of seeking new revenue for the city telling us that "I disagree that we've made all the cuts that we can" — even after four years of brutal, bloody, all-cuts budgets. She doesn't support the hotel tax and said she couldn't support Sup.

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