Endorsements 2010: San Francisco candidates - Page 3

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David Chiu's progressive business tax because it would lead to "replacing private sector jobs with public sector jobs" — even though the city's own economic analysis shows that's just not true. She supports Newsom's sit-lie law.

Sparks is the candidate of the mayor and downtown, and would substantially shift the balance of power on the board. She's also going to have huge amounts of money behind her. It's important she be defeated.

Jim Meko, a longtime neighborhood and community activist, has good credentials and some solid ideas. He was a key player in the western SoMa planning project and helped come up with a truly progressive land-use program for the neighborhood. But he supports Prop. B and is awfully cranky about local bars and nightlife.

James Keys, who has the support of Sup. Chris Daly and was an intern in Daly's office, has some intriguing (if not terribly practical) ideas, like combining the Sheriff's Department and the Police Department and making Muni free). But in his interview, he demonstrated a lack of understanding of the issues facing the district and the city.

So we're going with a ranked-choice strategy: Walker first, Kim second, Hyde third. And we hope Kim's supporters ignore their candidate's endorsement of Keys, put Walker as their second choice, and ensure that they don't help elect Sparks.

 

DISTRICT 8

RAFAEL MANDELMAN

This is by far the clearest and most obvious choice on the local ballot. And it's a critical one, a chance for progressives to reclaim the seat that once belonged to Harvey Milk and Harry Britt.

Mandelman, a former president of the Milk Club, is running as more than a queer candidate. He's a supporter of tenants rights, immigrants' rights, and economic and social justice. He also told us he believes "local government matters" — and that there are a lot of problems San Francisco can (and has to) solve on its own, without simply ducking and blaming Sacramento and Washington.

Mandelman argues that the public sector has been starved for years and needs more money. He agrees that there's still a fair amount of bloat in the city budget — particularly management positions — but that even after cleaning out the waste, the city will still be far short of the money it needs to continue providing pubic services. He's calling for a top-to-bottom review of how the city gets revenue, with the idea of creating a more progressive tax structure.

He's an opponent of sit-lie and a supporter of the sanctuary city ordinance. He supports tenants rights and eviction protection. He's had considerable experience (as a member of the Building Inspection Commission and Board of Appeals and as a lawyer who advises local government agencies) and would make an excellent supervisor.

Neither of the other two contenders make our endorsement cut. Rebecca Prozan is a deputy city attorney who told us she would be able to bring the warring factions on the board together. She has some interesting ideas — she'd like to see the city take over foreclosed properties and turn them into housing for teachers, cops, and firefighters — and she's opposed to sit-lie. But she's weak on tenant issues (she told us there's nothing anyone can do to stop the conversion of rental housing into tenancies-in-common), doesn't seem to grasp the need for substantial new revenues to prevent service cuts, and doesn't support splitting the appointments to key commissions between the mayor and the supervisors.

Scott Wiener, a deputy city attorney, is a personable guy who always takes our phone calls and is honest and responsive. He's done a lot of good work in the district. But he's on the wrong side of many issues, and on some things would be to the right of the incumbent, Sup. Bevan Dufty.

He doesn't support public power (which Dufty does).

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