Team Avalos - Page 3

As a mayoral candidate, Sup. John Avalos casts himself as a movement builder

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John Avalos, mayoral candidate: "There's a Johnny Cash song I really like called 'I Won't Back Down.' "

"That's what is the biggest threat to San Francisco, is losing the working-class," said community activist Giuliana Milanese, who previously worked with Avalos at Coleman Advocates for Youth and has volunteered for his campaign. "And he's the best fighter. Basically, economic justice is his bottom line."

Tenants Union director Ted Gullicksen gave Avalos his seal of approval when contacted by the Guardian, saying he has "a 100 percent voting record for tenants," despite having fewer tenants in his district than some of his colleagues. "David Chiu, had he not voted for Parkmerced, could have been competitive with John," Gullicksen said. "But the Parkmerced thing was huge, so now it's very difficult to even have David in same ballpark. Dennis [Herrera] has always taken the right positions — but he's never had to vote on anything," he said. "After that, nobody comes close."

Cash poor, community rich

There's no question: The Avalos for Mayor campaign faces an uphill climb. Recent poll figures offering an early snapshot of the crowded field peg him at roughly 4 percent, trailing behind candidates with stronger citywide name recognition like City Attorney Dennis Herrera or the incumbent, Mayor Ed Lee, who hasn't accepted public financing and stands to benefit from deep-pocketed backers with ties to big business.

Yet as Assembly Member Tom Ammiano phrased it, "he's actually given progressives a place to roost. He doesn't pussy-foot around on the issues that are important," making him a natural choice for San Francisco voters who care more about stemming the tides of privatization and gentrification than, say, rolling out the red carpet for hi-tech companies.

One of Avalos' greatest challenges is that he lacks a pile of campaign cash, having received less than $90,000 in contributions as of June 30, according to an Ethics Commission filing. "He can't call in the big checks," said Julian Davis, board president of Booker T. Washington Community Service Center, "because he hasn't been doing the bidding of big business interests." A roster of financial contributions filed with the Ethics Commission shows that his donor base is comprised mainly of teachers, nonprofit employees, health-care workers, tenant advocates, and other similar groups, with almost no representatives of real-estate development interests or major corporations.

Despite being strapped for cash, he's collected endorsements ranging from the Democratic County Central Committee, to the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, to the city's largest labor union, SEIU 1021; he's also won the backing of quintessential San Francisco characters such as renowned author Rebecca Solnit; San Francisco's radical bohemian poet laureate, Diane di Prima; and countercultural icon Diamond Dave.

While some of Avalos' core supporters describe his campaign as "historic," other longtime political observers have voiced a sort of disenchantment with his candidacy, saying it doesn't measure up to the sweeping mobilizations that galvanized around Gonzalez or Ammiano. Ammiano has strongly endorsed Avalos, but Gonzalez — who now works for Public Defender (and mayoral candidate) Jeff Adachi — has remained tepid about his candidacy, stating publicly in an interview on Fog City Journal, "I like [Green Party candidate Terrie Baum] and John fine. I just don't believe in them."

Ironically, Sup. Sean Elsbernd, often Avalos' political opposite on board votes, had kinder words for him. "John is intelligent, John is honest, and John has integrity," Elsbernd told the Guardian. "I don't think he knows the city well enough to serve as chief executive ... but I've seen the good work he's done in his district."

Comments

Thanks Bruce,

Seeing John's smiling face on the cover of your paper made my morning.

Giants cutting it close,

h.

Posted by h. brown on Sep. 07, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

In today's Examiner, Former Mayor Willie Brown boasts that he and Rose Pak have raised $70,000 in just one night for Ed Lee. Ahead in the polls, the Examiner is already heralding a return to the Brown days of patronage politics and the bad old days of investigations of downtown corruption from the FBI, should Ed Lee win.

Ed Lee is running on job creation and I'm sure has his number 2 and 3 ranked choice candidates already in line. Conservatives have multiple choices in this years mayors race. Al Gore just announced his endorsement of Alioto Pier who also is running on the jobs she has created. Conservatives could split the vote every which way but lose and with Adachi in the race, Lee will get a shlacking from someone who has his own ideas of reducing the benefits and wages of workers who find him difficult to bargain with. Money is going to be pouring into these two candidates and no, doubt this will be one of the most expensive races in city history.

Progressives, from this article about John Avalos, are trying to build a movement but it isn't clear who is actually in this movement to help. Yes, John is doing much better probably because of David Chiu's fall from progressive grace but with no ranked choice strategy and cooperation with another candidate, Lee and his coat-tails of patronage politics will surely return to Room 200.

Progressives could win in November with a smart strategy that envisions someone who you would actually like to see in Room 200 despite flaws in their past voting records. Choosing someone who is viable is also important. I've seen Terri in a labor endorsement forum and she struggles to get her message across. Taxing the rich is a great mantra but with no specifics on how to do that. Squatting in abandoned buildings is equally interesting but has a homeless policy is leaves me asking how does this work since most abandoned buildings are dangerous and dirty to begin with. Bringing up Matt Gonzalez to a public sector union was equally not smart given Matt's endorsement of B last year. It fell flat.

Building a movement requires a leader who can reach into moderate districts and win with a better message that includes job creation, independence from the usual suspects and speaks to both moderates and progressives.

Posted by Guest lucretiamott on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 4:56 am

FYI.
A good basis to build on might be Sue Bierman's 1994 Prop O. Yeah it's old and dated but so are many of us. The link I have below does not seem to work anymore except from my original email.
http://sfpl4.sfpl.org/pdf/main/gic/elections/November8_1994short.pdf
If anyone is interested in doing more than simply regurgitating the same old bile on this site, you can probably get an updated link from:-
JohnArntz@sfgov.org

Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 8:16 am

Elizabeth Roberts, you say (sarcastically) in a post above:

“the other candidates supporting a $700,000 wheelchair ramp project for a single ramp is a much better use of the city's money than supporting nonprofits … Avalos has exactly the budget experience that the next mayor of San Francisco needs to have.”

John Avalos was right to vote against the wheelchair boondoggle, as you suggest. The city could have put in a small lift that would have cost only a few thousand dollars.

However, Avalos is wrong to give the nonprofits everything they want, without requiring any city oversight as to their performance and accountability.

Our nonprofit political complex exercises the same influence over the supes that the military-industrial complex does over Congress.

It’s time to rein them both in.

Sen. John McCain will never be in the forefront of reining in the military-industrial complex. And Supervisor John Avalos will never be in the forefront of reining in the nonprofit political complex.

It's not hard to figure out why in either case.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 9:10 am

Link appears to be working.
FYI.On my computer I printed out pages 206>222.
A review of those in favor and those against illustrates that not much has changed.
There are many articles on-line for those who are truly concerned. The general consensus is that the proposition was defeated as a result of an extensive 'disinformation' campaign funded by Shorenstein, how surprising. Amongst the other usual suspects were; Golden Gate Restaurant Assosc; SF Republican Party; SPUR; SFChamber of Commerce. Sound familiar.

Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 9:15 am

I'm glad to see some major articles about the candidates, finally, but your approach is too inconsistent.

With your piece on Leland Yee, you spoke mostly to his detractors, nothing at all from the Labor Council, CNA, the Sierra Club or the many others who support him.

With Avalos you spoke mostly to his supporters.

We need to read both sides, for all of the candidates, Even the ones you like.

Posted by quahog on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 11:59 am

Lucretiamott, you make some good points in your thoughtful and detailed post above. Some thoughts follow.

You say:

“Former Mayor Willie Brown boasts that he and Rose Pak have raised $70,000 in just one night for Ed Lee. Ahead in the polls, the Examiner is already heralding a return to the Brown days…”

Ed Lee is ahead in the polls, fundraising, and media hype.

What is the progressive strategy for answering this push? Are progressives even capable of thinking in strategic terms anymore?

You say:

“with Adachi in the race, Lee will get a shlacking from someone who has his own ideas of reducing the benefits and wages of workers…”

Jeff Adachi will have a respectable showing at the polls. However, too many forces hate him – not just dislike him – for him to win.

The only person who thinks Adachi has a serious chance to win is h brown. And he almost never supports a winner. Usually, an endorsement from h brown is the kiss of death for any candidate’s chances.

You say:

“Progressives, from this article about John Avalos, are trying to build a movement but it isn't clear who is actually in this movement to help.”

SF progressives aren’t interested in building a movement. They’re a doctrinaire sect that demonizes anybody who only agrees with 90% of their views. They want complete unanimity of belief, or else!

John Avalos will be the progressives' sacrificial lamb. He will perish at the polls for their political sins. As a result, they will feel cleansed and morally superior to everyone else. That’s what they’re all about these days.

We’re dealing here with the political equivalent of a salvation religion.

You say:

“…Lee and his coat-tails of patronage politics will surely return to Room 200.”

The problem is that a salvation religion doesn’t know how to build a broad-based coalition with heathens. The religionists want to convert the heathens, not co-operate with them.

You say:

“Progressives could win in November with a smart strategy that envisions someone who you would actually like to see in Room 200 despite flaws in their past voting records.”

“Smart” and “progressive” parted company in SF a long time ago. Doubt it? Look at the posts here by Vigilante, Pat Monk, “Guest,” h brown, and marc salomon, to name just a few. They have made anti-intellectualism into a way of life and a political program.

You say:

“I've seen Terri in a labor endorsement forum and she struggles to get her message across. Taxing the rich is a great mantra but with no specifics on how to do that.”

Voters are tired of ideologues who shout bumper-stick slogans through bullhorns. That’s not enough anymore.

You say:

“Bringing up Matt Gonzalez to a public sector union was equally not smart…”

Gonzalez is good in the courtroom but a disaster everywhere else.

By the way, have you ever seen his artwork? It’s amazing that no one calls 911 when he has an exhibit, to report a crime against art.

You say:

“Building a movement requires a leader who can reach into moderate districts and win with a better message that includes job creation, independence from the usual suspects and speaks to both moderates and progressives.”

There you hit the nail on the head.

SF progressives are incapable of such an effort. They’d rather be ideologically pure than electable.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

@Ruthie.
You aked for :- "details "
I ask:- Well ?

Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 8:01 am

Hmm, guess Ruthie slithered back under his rock.
Wassa matter, you wanted details; print to small; make to much sense.
Would love to see you lift 'selected' phrases or passages, out of context of course, from the original proposal, and give us the benefit of your adult, rational thinking and objections; preferably something original and constructive and not your usual boring, boilerplate, repetitive, bumper sticker bs.
By the way, I'm curious, is there anything/anyone that you do like; that you do support/agree with; that does give you pleasure.
But maybe you're not responding because I'm to rude, ignorant, uncouth, inconsequential, incapable of objective thought and unwilling to consider 'other' points of view. Oh well, your prerogative. But just FYI, if there were 4 choices, both Tony Hall and Teresa Baum would be on my list. But I guess you hate Tony also.
"We" have to find a way to stand together, unlike congress, despite our 'differences', or we'll all end up in the same khazi.
PS: Any other members of "Ruthie and The Hagfish" are welcome to chip in.
EG; Meathead; Lucie; Mattie; Snappy; "Guest".
OOOH. Have I been a bad boy, will I get spanked and 86'd, wouldn't be the first or last time.

Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

It requires creative, original, intellectual thought, and the ability to engage in rational dialog.

Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on Sep. 11, 2011 @ 2:53 pm