Marie Harrison's home for the city


By G.W. Schulz

I showed up at Marie Harrison’s beautiful Bayview-Hunter’s Point home on Quesada Street early at around 7 o’clock. A handful of supporters began to appear along with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and a few others.

If you’ve never seen Harrison’s block, go there. It will change your entire perception of the southeast neighborhoods if you haven’t seen the strip of stunning homes and meticulously maintained gardens that split Quesada complete with veggies and big flowers.

Harrison is likely the only candidate this evening who not only opened up her entire home to supporters (and at least one reporter), but also donned an apron and prepared spaghetti, garlic bread and salad for anyone who chose to stop by (including her opponent, Sophie Maxwell.) It was very difficult leaving to cover the other parties. She insisted that I return at the end of the night if I got too hungry. The temptation was strong.

I can’t confirm it so far, but I’m pretty sure Nancy Pelosi did not open up her home to supporters and offer them something like microwaved Lean Pockets, let alone fresh bread and pasta. I could be wrong. I’m merely speculating. In fact, I don’t think Pelosi even returned to her district for election day.

Anyway, noting the weather, Harrison told me the day at least stayed dry for voters. “The only thing that would make this more perfect is if I win on the first run,” she told me.

Harrison has earned an enormous amount of respect from many people in the neighborhood for her stubborn fight with PG&E over its closure of the Hunter’s Point Power Plant. She’s been a regular contributor to Willie Ratcliff’s Bayview newspaper and a devout activist with the non-profit Greenaction. Her staunch ally and Bayview colleague, Mesha Monge-Irizarry, a regular at police commission meetings, was also on hand.

Harrison did note something interesting: a resident from the neighborhood approached her recently and declared that he couldn’t vote for her because, “If you’re elected, the only people that will be working around here will be poor black folks.” Needless to say, she was a little shocked. Her Web site shut down inexplicably for several hours yesterday, and for some reason, the site wasn’t being picked up by Google searches.

All in all, Harrison was no different tonight than she normally is despite the tense contest: amiable and welcoming. Reporters who have interacted with her know she has a way with putting people at ease, and even if she loses tonight, it’s clear she’ll continue to be an activist force in District 10.

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