Endorsements 2011 - Page 6

Avalos for mayor. Mirkarimi for sheriff. Onek for district attorney. Yes on C, No on D, E, and F ... complete endorsements for the San Francisco election

The Guardian endorses Ross Mirkarimi for San Francisco County Sheriff

Mike Hennessey has been sheriff of San Francisco for so long, and has done such a great job, that hardly anyone in town really thinks about the politics of the office any more. We take it for granted that we have the most progressive sheriff in the state, maybe the nation. We just assume that the jails will be run well, that the deputies will be held to a high standard of behavior, that alternatives to incarceration will be part of the program, that evictions will be handled in a humane way, that anti-recidivism programs will be funded and given priority, that immigrants won't face automatic deportation — and that San Francisco's top elected law-enforcement official will be a leader in innovative ways to approach law enforcement.

But it wasn't always that way, and it won't necessarily be that way in the future. This is a crucial election, pitting a progressive reformer who comes from the civilian world against two career law-enforcement officers. It's a chance to vote for someone who will continue Hennessey's legacy or to risk turning back the clock. That's why we're strongly endorsing Ross Mirkarimi, and only Ross Mirkarimi.

Hennessey was never a cop. He started off as a poverty lawyer, working in prison legal services under Dick Hongisto, who launched the tradition of progressive sheriffs in this city. He ran as a civilian and won — and there's a value to that. The Sheriff's Office in San Francisco has no Police Commission, no Office of Citizen Complaints; the only oversight of 850 sworn officers is the elected sheriff.

Since Hennessey's election, law enforcement lobbyists have managed to make changes in state law that bar anyone without formal police training from serving as a sheriff. Under current law, Mike Hennessey — who is widely respected by his peers — wouldn't be allowed to seek the office.

Mirkarimi meets the qualifications. He went through the San Francisco Police Academy as an investigator for the District Attorney's Office and graduated as president of his class. He holds the Peace Officers Standards and Training certificate and is thus in an unusual position: He can run for sheriff without being part of the law-enforcement fraternity.

It's not as if Mirkarimi is a stranger to the issues. He spent much of his first term in office working on public safety. When he took office in 2005, District Five, particularly the Western Addition, was plagued with violent crime. He personally appeared at every homicide scene, pushed for more police on the streets and for foot patrols and worked to organize the community around crime — and it worked. The murder rate dropped dramatically.

These days, Mirkarimi is working on anti-recidivism programs and wants to bring that approach to the office. Which is critical: Over the next two years, as the state implements a prison-system realignment, hundreds more inmates will be entering the San Francisco County Jail system — and while Hennessey has made a lot of progress, almost three quarters of the people who leave jail in San Francisco wind up getting in trouble with the law again.

The person who knows the job best is Hennessey — and he's made his position clear. When Hennessey decided three years ago that he was going to retire at the end of his term, he met with Mirkarimi and told him he'd like to see the supervisor as his successor. In fact, Hennessey told us, he offered to appoint Mirkarimi as undersheriff, so he could learn the job and run as the second-in-command. But that wasn't possible — city law prohibits sitting supervisors from taking another city job (unless it's an elected position).

If Hennessey had become acting mayor he would have appointed Mirkarimi sheriff. "Ross is the person I want to see in the job," Hennessey said. He noted two important reasons.


i'm white from another country. i agree. this is an extremely exclusive and individualist city. what is true is that this is a new age city, so you'll see some hipsters yuppie doing some yoga, that's what they call being open-minded. just like the burning man community (an icon of SF culture), it's a big joke, it's all about an exclusive club of neo-hippie new age rich and/or young AND white, the open-mindedness is all about being able to wear any kind of costume you want, while saying it's open-minded.

nevertheless, John Avalos is the guy for SF. But we need to help him go in the right direction. He's ready to listen. None of the others are.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

No idea where you're from or how long you have been 'here', but as a honky originally from another country (been here for over 40 years) I have to say that you have pretty much nailed the yuppie/hipster/trust fund/1% arrivistas who have been steadily homogenizing San Francisco for the past 10+ years. Enjoy what's left while you can, before they turn it into the wasteland they deserted.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

Avalos short Documentary. You should post this with the endorsement under his name:

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

It is a weird position: I am for the purposes of the bonds, but when I read how they will be funded I got nervous. They are funded in installments with a presumed interest rate. Those installments are years apart. The statements are predicting the interest rate for these future times as a cost for these bonds.

No one can know the interest rates six months from now, much less years. Although rates are low now, there is a real possibility they could increase. The bonds could cost much more to fund than the statements say.

Better to have fixed costs.

Posted by Guest Mr. Cranky on Nov. 07, 2011 @ 9:33 am

I wish the hell SFBG would bring back their "Who's supporting Whom?" section, which laid out on a grid what groups and individuals of note were supporting which candidates/props. I guess they don't want us to have that info as it might conflict with the SFBG brass. Some alternative press.

Oh, and I agree with the earlier poster: Leland Yee?

Posted by Dana on Nov. 07, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

John Avalos spoke up loudly when the Israeli military attacked the Gaza peace flotilla
on the high seas, assassinating 9 passengers one of whom was an American citizen, like lawless pirates of a rogue nation and the putative Federal representatives of the American people said nothing against the actions of the murderous Israeli state but counted their
AIPAC sheckles and said Israel alone has the right to disregard law and life at will.

The S.F "Jewish community" made a pro-Israel allegiance a prerequisite for it's AIPAC like endorsement stressing antipathy for the boycott Israel movement sweeping the world.
Herrera, so quick to boycott the American State of Arizona committed publicly to
be against the boycott of thegenocidal rogue state of Israel. If Arizona was to change
it's law to gulag and gradually exterminate the putative objects of it's disapproval would
Herrera then condone Arizona? Or is it just a matter of shekles?
We are very fortunate to have the option of choosing a man of integrity: John Avalos,
for Mayor of San Francisco.

Apparently the two Jewiish Billionaires caused the city pension attack to be on the ballot.
Just as the Judaic Koch billionaires are meddling in Wisconsin's government.

How is it that there ar so may of these Billionaires and the public is ever more impoverished?
What we have is a pattern of billionaire oppression emerging from the purposeful destruction of the US economy. Do we want them to tell us what to do on the local level which is the level
we are most likely able to have a voice that competes with shekles?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

Just FYI.

Maybe shut the f*ck up next time, as opposed to spouting mass generalizations that do nothing to benefit your candidate?


Posted by Guesty-Westy on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

Given Yee's authorship of a bill that attempted to strip first amendment protections from video games, and Herrera's statement that there is nothing wrong with Proposition L, I'm altogether disturbed by the Guardian's endorsement of them. Is the rightward tilt of the media now infecting the once-progressive Guardian as well?

Posted by Deekoo on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

Terrible web site! C'mon man! Get your typography and editorial design together. A reader can't put the proposition and its editorial together! Confusing. :(

Posted by Guest on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 4:21 pm
Posted by marke on Nov. 08, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

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