The class of 2010

How will four new supervisors handle a budget crisis, a new mayor and rapidly changing city? We talk to the freshman about their priorities, goals, and ambitions


In about a month, the first class of district-elected supervisors since the 1970s will be gone, termed out, done with the transformative politics they brought to San Francisco. It's a milestone worth marking: in 2000, when the city returned to district elections, everything changed. Machine-driven politics, controlled by money and mayoral power, vanished almost overnight. Constituencies that were virtually shut out of the corridors of power — tenants, labor, environmentalists, economic progressives, public power activists, the list goes on — suddenly had a seat at the table. Neighborhood issues started to matter. And downtown power brokers were no longer the only game in town.

But term limits mean that none of the members of the class of 2000 can remain in office beyond Jan. 8, 2011; and along with the new members elected two years ago, the class of 2010 will feature four new faces. It's a diverse group. Two (Malia Cohen and Mark Farrell) have never before run for, much less held, elective office. One (Jane Kim) is Asian, one (Cohen) is African American, one (Scott Wiener) is gay. Farrell, who will replace Michela Alioto-Pier in District 2, is the only straight white guy. (Carmen Chu was reelected from District 4).

Overall, it's safe to say, the ideological balance of the board hasn't changed much — but the political approaches will be very different. In 2000, the election was all about then-Mayor Willie Brown, about fighting (or appeasing) the Brown Machine. This group of candidates didn't run against anything in particular — and with the balkanized nature of local politics, they all have divergent bases of support.

So we sat down with the Class of 2010 and asked them to tell us what they plan to do with the next four years. Two trends emerged: all of the new supervisors want to be seen as independent of any political operation. And most have no clear agenda whatsoever for addressing the biggest problem facing the city — a looming budget deficit that will define almost everything they do in their first year.

At a moment of major fiscal crisis and political change, these four people will on center stage — and what they do could determine both the direction of the city and the hopes of the progressive movement. Click below for our exclusive interviews and profiles:







Someone needs to tell Mark Farrell that the gubbment has been supporting home ownership for decades and look where we are now.

Most people HATE investment bankers.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

Moving slowly but surely to the center people.

You guys spent years letting Daly deteriorate the image and overall influence of the Progressive faction. He pretty much knew he could act like the village idiot at every turn and still enjoy your unquestionable support. Eventually, that's going to bite him - and you - in the ass.

You have no idea how much irreparable damage he did to your cause.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 08, 2010 @ 9:09 am

Look at the DCCC machine - led by tired, corrupt old has-beens like Carol Migden (in politics for 1/2 a century) and lilliputian dictator-wannabe Aaron Peskin.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 08, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

Not one of them gives a single substantive statement, and, for the record, these are three conservatives and one liberal — NOT one progressive and three moderates! Watch Jane Kim sell out fast.... You heard it here first. And Malia will be a disaster for rent control if she has her way....

Posted by George on Dec. 08, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

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  • Class of 2010: Malia Cohen

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