He also realizes the danger of secrecy, corruption and cronyism in undermining faith in government. He's been an excellent supervisor, and the city would be well served by an Avalos administration.
Our second choice is City Attorney Dennis Herrera. We've had problems with Herrera in the past — his office disqualified a referendum on redevelopment in Bayview Hunters Point on the basis of a ridiculous interpretation of state law that he could easily have challenged. He's promoted gang injunctions that are anathema to civil liberties. His office has allowed city departments to keep secret more documents than necessary. He's weak on housing, declining to call for a moratorium on new market-rate units until affordable housing catches up.
But he, as much as Newsom, was responsible for promoting and defending San Francisco's landmark same-sex marriage campaign, he's got a strong record on consumer and environmental protection — and on most issues, he's a decent progressive. By all accounts, he's a good manager. He has a solid grasp of public policy issues. He agrees that a big part of the solution to the city's budget crisis has to be new revenue. He promised not only to introduce and lead a public power campaign but to appoint public-power-friendly commissioners to the Public Utilities Commission.
He would replace the Brown-Newsom hacks on key city commissions and in top administration positions — and we're convinced that he's principled enough to put an end to pay-to-play, unregistered lobbyists and the growing tide of sleaze in the Mayor's Office. He's a hard worker with strong executive experience, and San Francisco would be well served by a Herrera administration.
Then there's the third choice — which was, to put it mildly, a challenge.
There are a few decent candidates out there who have good things to say. The Green Party's Terry Baum, one of only three women in the race, is right on all the issues, but has no electoral experience — and honestly, little chance of winning.
Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting has been great on Prop. 13 and has gone after big business and the Catholic Church on tax issues; his "Reset SF" campaign relies a little too much on the idea that crowd-sourcing policy solutions will save the day, but we like Ting. Unfortunately, he's barely registering in the major polls and his campaign hasn't developed the kind of traction it needs to make him a viable challenger.
Supervisor David Chiu was a progressive once, and he claims he still is. He's personable and accessible and votes the right way more than half the time. But he is single-handedly responsible for giving the conservatives control of the Board of Supervisors. He was a swing vote for Ed Lee for mayor, he supported the Twitter tax break, he's trying to block Sup. David Campos' move to close a loophole in the city's health-care law — and in general, he's too quick to compromise and move to the center.
Bevan Dufty is the only candidate who shows a consistent sense of humor ("I'm a little Strawberry Shortcake meets Hello Kitty"), and he's often the star of the candidate forums. He's the only candidate talking seriously about the crisis in the African American community. He opposed the sit-lie law. He's got some wonderful wild ideas, like getting Virgin Airlines to decorate the inside of Muni buses to make the ride colorful and exciting. He actually cares about city workers. We appreciate having Dufty in the race.
But he's been abysmal on tenant issues, and told us that he thinks landlord tenant battles "are too adversarial." Overall, his voting record on economic issues has been consistently with the conservative wing of the board. We hope the next mayor finds a spot for him in city government; he has a lot to offer. But we just disagree on too many issues.