Run, Ross, Run
By Tim Redmond
No, we didn't walk away with a candidate for mayor, and yes, that was disappointing to a lot of us. I actually thought for a brief moment that the chants of "Run Ross Run" as Sup. Mirkarimi took the stage late in the day would make a difference, that he would realize he has a constituency and that running for mayor would be a good move for him politically, but that didn't happen. After a strong speech proclaiming that "somebody" has to take on Gavin Newsom, Mirkarimi made clear that it wasn't going to be him.
And Chris Daly, who had at one point said that he would run if noboby else did, bowed to the reality of the fact that he has a young child and another on the way, and took a pass.
But overall, the convention was uplifting, inspiring and productive. Whatever the daily papers may say, Daly made the right point at the end: The state of the progressive moment in San Francisco is strong. Progressives control the Board of Supervisors, the School Board, and a number of other top positions; half of the elected officials in San Francisco now put themselves under the progressive banner, Daly noted.
And the green and blue baloons and beads represented what could be a very hopeful future trand -- the left wing of the Democratic party and the Green party, working together on what is for most a shared aganda.
We ought to do this sort of thing more often.
A few great moments:
Sheriff Mike Hennessey was introduced as "the most counter-hedgemenonic law enforcement officer in San Francisco. A wonderful title that he can wear proudly.
State Sen. Carole Migden, demonstrating that she's planning to attack her challenger, Mark Leno, from the left, gave a fiery speech complaining about the billionaires moving into pieds at terre in San Francisco -- effectively criticizing the city's entire market-rate housing policy. That's an intriguing political prospect: Would Migden support a moratorium or strict limits on new market-rate housing? I've got a call in, and I'll keep you posted.
More Migden: "we're spending billions to lock up non-violent people. I say, let em out."
Wow, me too, Carole.
Jake McGoldrick made one of the better speeches of his speechifying career, denoucing the attempts to recall him as an attack on progressive values.
As I said, it was fun, and everyone there was glad to be there. But the bottom line is we still need someone to run for mayor.
Paul Hogart (who not too long ago was arguing that perhaps we shouldn't run a candidate at all) now thinks we should, and that the race is wide open for Matt Gonzalez. Yes, it is -- if Matt decides to run. He's thinking, he's thinking. And his absence at the convention, I suspect, was part of that calculation: If he enters the race, he'll be in it to win, not just to make a strong showing, and he figures that being nominated by a progressive convention linked to Chris Daly (who is not at all popular on the West side or town) wouldn't help his candidacy.
Blogswarm at Calitics says McGoldrick ought to run. That would be a blast; he's a west sider, and rather than just defend himself against a recall, he could go out and fight back by not only preserving his seat but running for mayor. When I suggested it to him Saturday, he laughed at me. But stranger things have happened.
I still say Daly would be a good candidate, and I still say Mirkarimi ought to think this over some more and not write himself off. And if Gonzalez is going to run, he should start making a few more positive noises about it, meet with some progressives whose support he would need (beyond Daly, Mirkarimi and Aaron Peskin) and get things rolling.