View from the middle

One San Franciscan's letter to Ed Lee


OPINION Editor's Note: Between the well-funded, politically connected campaign pushing Ed Lee to run for mayor and the high-profile critics who say he should keep his word and step down, it's hard to tell how the average city resident feels. So to reflect that perspective, we're reprinting a letter that was sent to Lee on July 29.

Dear Mayor Lee,

My name is Peter Nasatir; I'm a middle-aged, middle class San Franciscan who works in middle management. I'm not an activist and I have no political ax to grind. In fact, I rarely write letters like this, but felt compelled to do so because I've been reading how you are considering a run for mayor this November. For your own integrity, and the good of the city, I urge you not to run.

One of the reasons you have been able to achieve the successes you've enjoyed this year is because San Franciscans know your time is finite, thus giving you the ability to avoid the kind of hard slog other mayors have found themselves in. You have been able to stay above the fray and receive near-universal support precisely because you've been able to do the amazing job you're doing without having an eye on the upcoming election.

If you run, you'll look like another cynical politician, who promises one thing and does another. Plus, with your experience, think how much political capital you'll have when you return to your old position. And if you decide to run in 2015, you'll already have on-the-job training no other candidate would have and have proven yourself to be a real leader for taking the high road.

I know Willie Brown and Rose Pak, who are considered influential community leaders, have been at the forefront of your bid to run. However, they also carry a lot of damaging baggage. Just look at the front page of today's (July 29th) Chronicle. With their names attached to your run for mayor, your image in the eyes of many San Francisco voters is already tainted before you even have a chance to file your papers.

As much as I respect you and the incredible job you are doing, I can say without hesitation that if your name is on the ranked-choice ballot this November, I will not vote for you in any of the three positions.

On behalf of many like-minded San Francisco voters, I urge you to do the right thing and not run for mayor this November.

Thanks you for your consideration of this matter.  


Peter Nasatir


Mr. Nasatir, have you ever changed your mind about anything? Did you ever try something you doubted you could do and discovered you were good at it? If the guy is doing a good job, does he not deserve a chance to continue to do a good job? So he has backers. Shockingly, politicians--and Mr. Lee has surely become one of some sort--politicians need backers. Perhaps what the City needs right now is a management type. We haven't tried that one for awhile, huh? Don't be so polarized by your disappointment that you don't look at the future good.

Posted by Jodella on Aug. 10, 2011 @ 6:49 am

Let's be clear.

Lee would not have been appointed mayor had he not promised the Board Of Supervisors he would not run. And that commitment is what enabled the Board to trust Lee and work collaboratively with him for the good of the City. Lee would not have accomplished the things he did without that condition of trust in place.

Lee also repeatedly (I'm guessing literally -scores- of times) very clearly, in public, promised that he would not run; and now he is running.

That is not 'changing your mind'.

That is purposeful deception of the public, and political manipulation.

Ed Lee has lied and gamed the system in an ongoing attempt to re-entrench corporate and developer control of City Hall.

And if we do our jobs as organizers and voters well, he will pay for that lying and manipulating by losing both the election, and his former post of City Administrator.

We need to organize and win, so that Lee's gutless gamble does not pay off.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 11, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

Adachi also changed his mind...when he was asked if he was going to run he said no

Posted by marcia on Aug. 15, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

...and saying "no" to a reporter is somehow equivalent to Lee's taking the interim mayor's job on the condition he would not seek a full term ...

Good grief.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 15, 2011 @ 8:35 pm