Endorsement Interviews

Endorsement interviews: David Onek

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David Onek has been running for district attorney pretty much since former D.A. Kamala Harris announced she was seeking the office of attorney general. He's clearly, repeatedly and strongly said he opposes capital punishment and will never seek the death penalty. He told us he's running because "the criminal justice system is broken" -- and vowed, among other things, to start a restorative justice system for juvenile offenders.  And although he's never been a prosecutor, he told us that "we've been arresting and prosecuting people just fine -- now we need to reform the system."

You can see a video of his opening statement and listen to the full interview after the jump.

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Endorsement interviews: Jeff Adachi

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Jeff Adachi is running for mayor -- and running a campaign to change the city employee pension system. He told us he entered the race late because he was watching some of the debates, and "nobody was talking about the real reform issues."

He talked about his pension plan and argued that it's better for city workers than the plan the mayor (with the support of labor) has proposed. We asked him why he was so focused on one side of the equation -- cutting pensions -- and not on the other side -- raising taxes ont he rich -- and he said he wasn't opposed to new taxes. But he didn't offer any specifics.

He did, however, say he would set aside $40 million for micro loans to small local businesses, fully fund the Youth Works program and summer school and create partnerships with wealthy individuals to build affordable housing.

You can listen to the interview, and watch his opening statement, after the jump. Read more »

Endorsement interviews: Phil Ting

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We've started interviewing the candidates for mayor, sheriff and district attorney, and, as usual, we're taping the interviews and posting the audio feed unedited for your listening fun. We're also putting up videos of the candidates' opening statements.

mayoral candidate Phil Ting's basic pitch: "The most progressive thing we can do is make government more efficient." He talked a lot about his crowdsourcing website, Resetsf, which allows hundreds of San Franciscans to weigh in on the city's problems -- and offer solutions. Among his solutions: One minute of improved time on every Muni line would save $20 million a year. That means eliminating some bus stops to make the busses go faster.

He argued (with me) that San Francisco can eventually build its way out of the housing crisis by constructing more units on transit corridors. He vowed to reverse Gavin Newsom's policy on sanctuary and told us he supports the central subway. Listen and watch after the jump. Read more »

Endorsement interviews: James Keys

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James Keys, a former legislative intern in Sup. Chris Daly’s office now running for supervisor in D6, is making economic and social justice the centerpiece of his campaign. He talks, for example, about using city resources to make sure that SRO residents have a chance to move on to more traditional apartments. “We have a lot of housing in the pipeline,” he told us. “But I’m not sure if people are really moving in.”Read more »

Endorsement interviews: Janet Reilly

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District 2 supervisorial candidate Janet Reilly is running to represent San Francisco's most conservative political district, and even though she has the support of many progressive groups and the local Democratic Party, she's running on a platform of mostly conservative positions. She opposes all the revenue measures on the November ballot and argues that closing the big budget deficits the city faces in coming years should involve “more fiscal discipline” and making cuts to wasteful city programs and the city money going to nonprofit groups.

But when asked how she'd be an improvement on incumbent Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier, an uncompromising conservative who consistently votes against the board's progressive majority, Reilly says that she has good relationships with local leaders off all political stripes and will therefore be able to play a key role in facilitating good policy discussions and compromises.

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Endorsement interviews: Chris Jackson

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In 2008, San Francisco voters elected Chris Jackson to the Community College Board, where he serves as Budget Chair. And from 2007 until spring 2010, Jackson worked as a policy analyst for the San Francisco Labor Council.
Those experiences helped convince Jackson, whose grandfather came from Mississippi to work at Hunters Point Shipyard, of the pressing need for the next D10 supervisor to promote progressive policies that help working class families remain in San Francisco. Read more »

Endorsement interviews: Natasha Hoehn

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Nataha Hoehn got her start in public education teaching junior high English in the South Bronx, and she’s now working for an education nonprofit. She chairs the After School for All Committee, and is a big fan of community schools for every kid.

Hoehn also wants to see more local control over education spending. The SFUSD, she pointed out to us, has to apply for state funds in 136 categories -- textbooks, transportations, etc. “It ought to be a block grant,” she said.Read more »

Endorsement interviews: Elsbernd on Muni reform

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Sup. Sean Elsbernd came by to talk to us about Prop. G, his ballot initiative to change Muni workers’ pay, and threw in a pitch for Prop. F, a fairly minor change in the way the Health Service Board is elected.Read more »

Endorsement interviews: Hydra Mendoza

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Hydra Mendoza is running for a second term on the school board, and she told us that four years wasn’t enough time to get done all the work that she’s taken on. She’s pushing for the “career to college” program and for citywide preschool.Read more »

Endorsement interviews: Jane Kim

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Jane Kim’s top issues are economic development and jobs. She told us she wants to encourage small business in the district, starting with an “empty storefronts” campaign. She’s pushing local-first hiring for construction and development.

Kim said she wants the city to index affordable housing to market-rate housing and try to keep the ratio from getting too far unbalanced. She’s calling for a new affordable housing bond.Read more »