Engardio, a former writer for SF Weekly who once worked for the ACLU, is surprisingly conservative — he's a low-tax, high-police-presence candidate whose positions, on paper, are as far to the right as almost anyone in the race. But he's independent, is unlikely to win, and listing him as number three might help one of the other candidates edge out Garcia.
We could easily argue that Campos is the best member of the Board of Supervisors. He's hard-working, pays attention to details, understands policy and politics and is one of the two most reliable progressives on the board. (It's interesting that Campos and John Avalos, the two supes who refused to moderate their stands or compromise with the likes of Rose Pak, are now running unopposed; their constituents seem to like consistency and honesty.)
Campos is respected by his political opponents and trusted by his allies. He's shown considerable legislative skill, managing to guide Clean Power SF through the board with a veto-proof majority. He's been a strong advocate for Healthy SF and is trying to close the loophole some businesses use to exploit it. He's been an outspoken voice for immigrants. We see a bright future of Sup. Campos, and we're happy to endorse him for another term.
At a time when the progressive movement of San Francisco has been hobbled by self-inflicted wounds and downtown's divide-and-conquer strategy, John Avalos has stepped into an important leadership role. When we needed a mayoral candidate last year to represent progressive values in a large field of political moderates, Avalos was there, leading a strong second-place finish that showed the San Francisco Left is still a force to be reckoned with.
Earlier this year, it appeared that Avalos might have to endure a tough challenge by moderate union rep Leon Chow, who ended up dropping out of the race after media reports showed that he didn't really live in the district. With a walk to reelection, Avalos was freed up to represent progressive San Francisco interests at the bargaining table opposite the Mayor's Office and business community on two of this year's highest profile struggles: reforming the city's business tax and creating an Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
In both cases, Avalos needed to play political hardball and practice some risky brinksmanship, threatening to place competing measures on the ballot right up until the end. The resulting compromises that he helped forge, Propositions C and E, include tens of millions of dollars in new revenue that Mayor Ed Lee opposed, which will help save city programs and keep working class San Franciscans from being forced out of the city.
Avalos is a classic district politician, focusing much of his energy on advocating for the needs of Excelsior and other District 11 residents. But he has also become an important citywide leader, and he has our full support.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD
Every one of the 11 people running for Community College Board trustee — incumbents and challengers alike — agrees that the system is a godawful mess. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has warned San Francisco's largest educational institution that it will withdraw accreditation in 2013 if City College doesn't make dramatic changes in its financial and governance structures. A school that serves 90,000 people and is critical to the city's immigrants, job-seekers, and business community is facing the worst crisis in its history, with the unthinkable prospect of shutting down looming on the horizon.