Kim launches D6 campaign, stressing independence from "machine" politics

Jane Kim and David Chiu are part of a new generation of progressive political leaders in San Francisco.
Steven T. Jones

Jane Kim launched her campaign for the District 6 seat on the Board of Supervisors last night during a spirited event at 111 Minna, showcasing some high-profile supporters and giving a speech that began with touting her early work on immigrant rights and homeless issues and ended with the declaration, “I'm not part of anyone's machine and I'm certainly not a part of anyone's master plan.”

That emphasis on her independence could be seen as a subtle dig at Debra Walker, another progressive who has been running for the seat for the last two years, who locked down early support from many progressive groups and officials, and whose supporters were unhappy with Kim's late decision to enter the race, concerned it might split the vote and allow downtown-backed Theresa Sparks -- who could be viewed as a "machine" candidate on the other end of the political spectrum -- to steal the seat for the moderates.

When I asked what “machine” she meant and whether the comment was a reference to Walker's supporters, Kim wouldn't clarify the comment, refusing to criticize the Walker campaign and saying only, “I want to be a part of a new political process.”

And that new process seems to rely heavily on the energy of young people, including many of color, who dominated the crowd last night. Kim also signaled that she will be pushing a fairly bold progressive agenda that includes more city support for schools, Muni, immigrants, and low-income families, and making the streets more vibrant and democratic.

“The mantra of our campaign is to make our neighborhoods complete,” Kim said.

She proposed making substantial pedestian and bicycle improvements on several streets in her district, including 2nd, Folsom, Taylor, and Turk streets, creating more bikes lanes that are separated from car traffic, and turning many of the alleys in her district into more active public spaces. She called for the city to help fund youth programs and a longer school year and to offer more support to small businesses, which she called the city's most important job generator.

Kim, a civil rights attorney and president of the school board, also emphasized the need to improve the tone of political debate in the city, which she helped accomplish on the school board (whose vice president, Hydra Mendoza, an employee of Mayor Gavin Newsom, was there in support). “People are disillusioned and disappointed with the process and the bickering,” Kim said.

Among Kim's supporters at the event were Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, former Mayor Art Agnos, filmmaker Kevin Epps, Police Commissioner and immigrant rights activist Angela Chan, transportation activist Dave Synder, and representatives from a wide variety of community groups.

“She has epitomized the progressive values that I think all of San Francisco shares,” Chiu told the crowd, later adding, “She will be a part of the next generation of political leaders of San Francisco.”

“I'm really proud that Jane has put herself out there as a future leader and our supervisor,” said Epps, later adding, “I think Jane really has her ear to the streets.”

Kim pledged to run a clean campaign focused on her issues, and her only supporter to voice overt criticism of Walker was Agnos, who said he was impressed with Kim's work with him last year in fighting Prop. D, which would have removed mid-Market from the city ban on new billboards, a measure that Walker supported.

“Prop. D for me was a tipping point, and Debra went with the commercial interests,” Agnos told the Guardian.

But Kim, 32, says her reason for running is to help push a progressive vision for the city and bring new blood into the political process.

“I have to tell you, I never wanted to go into politics,” she told the crowd. “But I had the desire to see some real change.”


Is there really a band named Anvil?

Posted by Matlock on Jun. 25, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

"Kim also signaled that she will be pushing a fairly bold progressive agenda that includes more city support for schools, Muni, immigrants, and low-income families."

Notice what's missing here? The middle class - who can't afford shit in San Francisco and have been totally ignored by the city's progressive machine. Immigrants come before hard-working middle class Americans in the minds of the progressive machine in D6 and the city at-large. That's a real shame.

Also - who's going to PAY for all this new support? Where is the money going to come from?

This candidate, along with Debra Walker, are living in Fruit-Loops Land. Nothing either of them said jibes with the reality of the fiscal situation in the city, state or nation, at all. It's as if there's no recession and money is just pouring into the city's coffers, waiting to be spend on the progressive machine's pet causes. It's as if they're both stuck back in 1999, screeching about gentrification and yet salivating over how they're going to spend all those tax dollars that gentrification is bringing in.

Wake Up.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 25, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

Sounds like she wants to win over some moderates in her battle against Debra Walker.

Walker has been a solid progressive in San Francisco for practically a whole generation, judging from the offices she has run for in the past.

Maybe Kim feels she cannot compete head-to-head against someone with stronger progressive credentials...hence the shift to the right.

Posted by Barton on Jun. 25, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

Word on the street is that Kim takes direction and funds via Da Mayor himself, Mr. Willie Brown. Now if that's not a part of "machine" politics, I don't know what is!

Posted by Aly on Jun. 25, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

Jane Kim does not care about the middle class. She is just like any other politician, she just wants to get ahead in her career by pretending to listen and sympathize. She is currently the President of SF School Board. She does not care if kids are being sent to the other side of the city for schooling. She does not care if children should desire a seat in a classroom as long she balance the race in each school for political purposes. She is a true politician. She cares about herself

Posted by SYLVIA on Jun. 25, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

Actually, as a working, perhaps allegedly "middle class," person I saw Jane Kim precisely address that segment of the population. This city cannot be comprised of only ultra poor who qualify for housing assistance and ultra-wealthy who live opulent lifestyles as we do need a diverse population. She recognizes the need for affordable, family housing, first-time home buyer assistance, etc. I support her because she supports working families! With Jane on the BoS I foresee programs that will allow school district employees, police and firefighters, and other city workers to purchase homes and reside in the city in which they work.

Posted by GuestTami on Jun. 25, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

Jane Kim is a thoughtful, principled leader. Those of you who are being so cynical in your comments have clearly not met her.

I wish people were less snarky sometimes. No need to impute ill will on a smart leader like Jane Kim--someone who doesn't deserve it.

Posted by tgarcia on Jun. 25, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

She says she isn't part of any machine, then claims to be progressive?

"Those of you who are being so cynical in your comments have clearly not met her."

Whats to meet? She is happy to be a progressive flunky and then according to essay, she claims to be an original thinker? What in the world are you talking about?

She should campaign as a born again Christian or neo conservative and her rhetoric would have some meaning in San Francisco, otherwise she is just another San Francisco progressive-bot with a revealed agenda and meaningless verbiage.

Posted by matlock on Jun. 25, 2010 @ 10:51 pm

Really? Don't insult District 6 residents like this. We're not idiots. We know that non-incumbent Supervisor candidates do not just magically raise six digits in aggregate of public matching and private funds without either a) SF Chamber, b) Rose Pak/Chinatown, or c) some other SF political machine behind them.

With Willie Brown showing up at the kick-off, this smells like machine (b), Rose Pak/Chinatown.

Well, I like Jane as a person, but the idea of Chinatown buying a second District seat (and its votes) on the Board of Supervisors is complete and utter bullshit. D6's seat is not up for sale.

I wasn't going to vote for anyone who just moved into the District to run for Supervisor anyway because there are at least two long-time neighborhood advocates who know the neighbors very well after 20+ years of living in the District, know the issues because they've been working on them for 15-20 years, and have seen what has worked and what has failed miserably over that time... but this really pisses me off and should piss off all neighborhood advocates who support District elections as a way to have one Supervisor responsible and accountable to our needs within our District.

District 6 deserves better than giving up their seat on the Board of Supervisors to District 3 voters.

Just calling it like I see it ....

District 6 deserves better than giving away its Board of Supervisors vote to Chinatown. We need to elect someone who is not owned by a San Francisco political machine.

Posted by Jamie Whitaker on Jun. 26, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

Jane Kim LIES: about her ethincity, pretending to be Chinese American and playing the race card when in fact she's Korean American

Jane Kim LIES: she has the support of developers who hate Debra Walker because she wouldn't do their bidding like Willie's boys.

Jane Kim LIES: She is just a pawn in a bigger machine that she is either too stupid or too much of a liar to admit. either way she sucks. She is no progressive and had to move to D6 to run.

Jane Kim LIES: She went against the majority of the Chinese American Community on JROTC and now lies about her record.

Jane Kim LIES: She was a Green who hated Democrats and only switched to jump on the Obama Bandwagon. She opposed most Democrats when possible and was proud of it.

But hey, she's a pretty girl, and given that the so-called progressive movement is a white males only club (Boys make decisions, girls make coffee) I'm sure she'll do fine when Steve hits on her.

Fuckers. And I bet the BG won't print this comment because they are Pravda and don't allow dissent and only publish their own political pamphlet's views, and don't allow for dissent like good 60s assholes.

Posted by Jane Kim Lies on Jun. 26, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

with a h/t to Joe Wilso

Posted by Guest on Jul. 11, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

I'm a middle-class working mother of three children and I'm a long-time supporter of Jane Kim. She really cares about my kids' education and safety. I work overtime 6 days a week to support my family, so I don't have much time to volunteer. However, I do volunteer for Jane Kim's campaign because I believe in her ability to improve our city schools, public transportation, and make our streets cleaner and safer. Jane's also a smart cookie! It's hard maintaining school services when there's a limited amount of money in SFUSD's budget. However as President of the Board of Education, Jane Kim has worked hard to make the cuts as equitable as possible. As a former community activist, she's worked hard to mentor Chinatown youth and clean up the streets and alleys. I know she can clean up the streets and sidewalks of the Tenderloin and SOMA for mothers like me to feel safer walking with our children to the bus stop.

Posted by Middle-class Working Mom on Jun. 26, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

Why? As president of the Board of Education she opposed lifting the racist lottery in the SFUSD - forcing children to be bused tens of miles from where they live in order to fit a narrow Green Party-enforced racial quota and despite the wishes of thousands of middle class families in San Francisco.

Jane Kim hates San Francisco children because she supported the expulsion of ROTC from the SFUSD despite the pleading of thousands of working-class families and students in San Francisco - because Jane Kim bowed to whatever her masters in the Green Party and the "Progressive Democrat" machine in San Francisco wanted.

Jane Kim hates the students of the SFUSD. Why? Because she's shown with every single vote as president of the Board that she'll side with ideologues before she sides with the working families and students she claims to represent.

Jane Kim loves Jane Kim. And no one else. Don't be fooled. Jane Kim wants to climb the political ladder in San Francisco and she doesn't care what she has to do to get to the top.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 26, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

ROFLMAO!! SF is 7 miles by 7 miles. Good job hanging yourself with your own rope!

Posted by Erika McDonald on Jul. 01, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

And have you ever tried to cross town, say from the Richmond to Potrero Hill, at rush hour? Kids are regularly bused that route and more and it takes hours for them to move from one part of the city to another, or for their parents to come pick them up.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jul. 03, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

I'm not a D6 voter, so my view of Jane Kim is irrelevant, though I haven't voted for her for school board. But as a veteran and well-informed SFUSD parent and advocate, I need to correct exaggerations that portray the schools in a more negative light than they deserve.

In discussing school assignment on another thread, Lucretia Snapple has made it clear that she has no actual experience or familiarity with the SFUSD school assignment system yet is willing to make confident-sounding statements that are actually based on misinformation.

The claim that kids are "regularly bused" from the Richmond to Potrero Hill is inaccurate, as is the indication that kids in substantial numbers are bused far across the city ("tens of miles" or whatever).

Here's the way the assignment process currently works. Applicants list up to 7 schools that they choose. If those schools have more requests than openings, their requests go into a lottery. If the schools have enough seats to accommodate all requests, the applicant will get the assignment. If they aren't assigned to one of their requests in the computerized lottery, they are assigned to the nearest school to their home address that has openings. That school is likely to be a less-popular and undersubscribed one, because that's why it has openings.

If we're talking Richmond District families, all the schools in the Richmond are popular and successful, so it happens that some families don't luck out in the lottery. The schools that are closest to the Richmond that are not oversubscribed currently tend to be William Cobb in Lower Pacific Heights and John Muir in Hayes Valley. There is no reason under this process that even one Richmond District family would be assigned to a Potrero Hill school unless the family requested it (which could happen -- Potrero Hill has a couple of newly popular schools -- but that would be the families' choice).

I'm talking about elementary schools or K-8s here and will give a further explanation about middle and high schools if anyone wants.

Further: After the first round of the lottery, SFUSD runs two more rounds and has a waitpool process, allowing families to continue to pursue a school of their choice. I've been an involved SFUSD parent since 1996 and have served as a volunteer parent peer counselor in the enrollment process, and on several assignment process committees, and I know many families all around the city. I have never met a family that stuck it out through the whole process who didn't get an SFUSD school they were content with in the end.

The assignment process is daunting and complicated and dismays many parents, which is why it has been revamped. How the new system succeeds remains to be seen. However, the entire implication that it sends many children to schools far across the city is simply false.

I'll clarify some information about Chinese families, racism and the lottery in a different section of this thread.

Lucretia Snapple and others, please don't sling around misinformation about our schools and our assignment process. I will call you out when I see it, for what that's worth. You are not informed about our schools and not experienced with them, and you're basically making **** up because you think you can get away with it. Please cut it out. OK, back to the discussion about Jane Kim now.

Posted by CarolineSF on Jul. 03, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

OK Caroline, we get it. For some reason you're deeply invested in the current system and you don't want a change. Which is fine - we'll see if the voters agree with you. Neighborhood schools work well in many other cities, like New York and Portland, where they contribute to a strong sense of neighborhood cohesion. So we'll let the voters of San Francisco decide this issue in November.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jul. 03, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

Now you're being deliberately deceitful rather than just poorly informed, Lucretia Snapples. Again, the SFUSD enrollment system has been redesigned to incorporate both increased weight for home address for those requesting the closest school AND parent choice. I know that previously you were not informed about that and were speaking from a position of ignorance, but now you know and are just being dishonest. I am not deeply invested in the current system -- I am invested in giving the new system a chance to work, though.

The new system is in effect starting with the next enrollment round. It will not be clear how successful it will be until it is used in real life -- as with any new policy -- but we'll find out. Considering that a new process is in effect, it is, I repeat, a stupid waste of energy and resources to take a vote calling for overturning a process that no longer exists in any case.

It is further misinformed to claim that either Portland or New York schools are any more successful than SFUSD schools -- they simply aren't. If you want other examples of districts with neighborhood assignment, look to Oakland Unified and LAUSD, both districts based on neighborhood assignment that are far less successful than SFUSD and that have very high middle-class flight to private schools.

I don't understand why someone with so little knowledge about and understanding of our school district -- someone so very poorly informed and involved in our actual schools -- is so committed to wasting your time on this pointless cause.

Posted by CarolineSF on Jul. 04, 2010 @ 8:48 am

Agnos made a gotcha point on Prop D. There were legit grounds for a debate about mid-market that could include neon but taking the approval process out of the planning department was a mistake. The Guardian and the Chronicle went thumbs down on Prop D accordingly. But there are always votes, and statements politicians make that can come back to haunt them. They are human and they flub.
What progressives need in D6 with so many rivals is a fair and contextual account of what each candidate has done, stands for and would do in office to meet the district and the City's challenges. In truth Walker did take on Willie Brown over a rule the Agnos planning commission placed into the planning code for SOMA after Loma Prieta: live work lofts which at full bloom arrived with unintended consequences for SF and Brown's Mayoralty. So it's fitting they were both on hand at 111 Minna. Walker was a force "for change" on DBI and wasn't shy about standing up to "commercial interests." A statesman as opposed to what has been reported would be able to acknowledge this.
In politics, people have the luxury of finding that one vote or quote to rationalize a decision or feeling. The basic electoral calculus works this way inD6, if Kim's supporters drive up Walker's negatives that provides incentives for Walker's supporters to zero in on Kim's record. Tit for tat hits. Not only will the quality of the public debate tank (much less what will go down in the endorsement process) so will the second place votes for both Kim and Walker, and that is a real gift to Downtown unless in the end its brokers feel it might be easier for one of them to cohabitate with one of the progressives.

Posted by John on Jun. 27, 2010 @ 11:15 am

I strongly opposed Prop D, and I'm glad it failed.

That said, there was one district that voted for it, and that is D6. Pretty solidly. And while I wasn't happy with Debra's support for it, I will give her this much: she had her finger on the pulse of the district, better than Agnos. I hear she was reluctant to support it. But in the end, she made the decision that her would-be constituents would have wanted. I respect that. There's something to be said for that.

As for Jane... I see a lot of cheap shots here.

I've never heard her lie about her ethnicity. How can she? With her name being Kim, I don't think anyone in the Chinese community can possibly mistake her for Chinese.

I've never heard her express hatred for Democrats. She was a Green, but she's always been willing to reach out to Democrats. And a lot of Greens legitimately went for Obama, not for political expediency, but because they truly believed Obama represented the best prospects for change.

And how exactly is the lottery "racist?" I've heard a lot of criticisms of the lottery, but it's the first time I've heard that one.

There are legitimate reasons for criticisms of her candidacy. I'm not really sure why she's doing this, instead of staying in D3 and setting herself up as David Chiu's successor. It would truly suck if by moving to D6, she winds up siphoning off just enough votes to thow the race to Teresa Sparks. And I find the Willie Brown/Rose Pak connection troubling. For starters.

OTOH, her record is pretty solidly progressive. It's hard to suggest otherwise. That doesn't mean she's "owned" by anyone -either Chris Daly or the Brown/Pak machine. To suggest that anyone controls her is not giving Jane enough credit. She's smart and ambitious, and though of course she claims otherwise, the sky's the limit for her. She'll use them before they'll use her.

Now whether that's good or bad is debatable...

Posted by Greg on Jun. 27, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

According to Greg she is district shopping? That is so great, I just love this cities progressives. Who wouldn't vote for a carpet bagger moving to your district to further their agenda? I wish Condi Rice would move to my district, or Phylyss Schlaffley.

Also being an independent progressive not part of any machine is like being a independent member of the Stalin youth.

You haven't heard about SF's race based school lottery, which has already been sued by Chinese parents? The cities progressive just remade the program to be just as race based to get around the lawsuit. There's another suit brewing again on that front. Stay tuned, there will be tears pouring forth from David Campos soon. It's not really racist, as it doesn't make the statement that one race is better than another, it makes the George Wallace racialist case.

Posted by mr matlock on Jun. 27, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

Mr. Matlock, I've heard of the lottery. Didn't say otherwise. But it's the first time I actually heard that particular criticism.

The criticism I actually hear from wealthy white folks is that the same criticism you heard in the 50s about busing. In public they don't put it this way, but in private, they tell you straight up, "Look, I bought/rented a house in this neighborhood so that we don't have to live in a crime-ridden black or hispanic neighborhood. And I don't want my children to be bused across town to be in a school where they're going to be with those kids, get beat up, and not learn anything."

I hear this all the time. So tell me, what's more racist -a system where every child at least has a shot at attending every school, or a system where a child's educational future is determined by where their parents choose to/can afford to locate?

And don't you think that we as a society would be more motivated to improve the school system as a whole if we were all invested in every school, rather than having people being able to segregate their kids by race and class?

Posted by Greg on Jun. 27, 2010 @ 10:51 pm

kids should go to a neighborhood school and not have to trek across the city to be fodder for the schemes of people who can't run anything right?

Posted by mr matlock on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

Well, first, I totally reject the conservative mantra that elected representatives can't run anything right. I believe in democracy, and I believe that while you can never achieve a perfect system, the more you try, the closer you get. If you give up and stop trying to achieve justice because some thing gets screwed up and just throw your hands up and say just let people go to whatever school is closer, you will wind up with a worse system than you have now. You'll wind up with more inequality, more segregation, less choices for kids (actually ZERO choices for kids, unlike right now), and I believe worse schools overall.

The lottery isn't perfect, but it produces a system where kids have some choice and aren't bound to where their parents chose to/could afford to live, and from what I've heard, some 85% of kids get their first, second, or third choice of schools.

If you took that away from the kids, and forced everyone to go to the school that they happen to live closest to, I don't think you can realistically say that 85% of kids would get their first, second, or third choice.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

"Well, first, I totally reject the conservative mantra that elected representatives can't run anything right."

Although I have never heard that, and I don't listen to FOX news or read the Washington Times though, I agree that the "mantra that elected representatives can't run anything right" is wrong.

I'm talking about David Campos, John Avalos, Chris Daly etal.

Posted by mr matlock on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

Here's the actual story about the Chinese parents' lawsuit and the lottery. The previous incarnation of the SFUSD assignment system, immediately before the one currently used, was created when SFUSD was under court order to desegregate the schools, and the assignment system had to be approved by the courts. That assignment system set a cap on the assignment of any one ethnicity to a school -- 35% in some schools, 40% in others (explaining the latter further would be TMI).

Lowell High School is an academic magnet that in most cases accepts students based on test scores and middle school grades (with some spots reserved for others, also TMI). Because SFUSD has a high number of Chinese students and Chinese students tend to be high academic achievers, the effect of the 40% cap on any one ethnicity meant that Chinese students had to have higher grades and test scores than any other ethnicity to get into Lowell.

A lawsuit by Chinese parents challenged the ethnic caps for that reason, and the system of ethnic caps was ruled unconstitutional in the 2001 Ho decision.

The lottery system in place in the past few years does not use ethnicity as a factor, in response to the Ho decision. If there's a lawsuit pending over this system, I haven't heard of it, and the fact that the system has been redesigned would seem to throw that into confusion.

As I clarified in a lengthy response to misinformation presented by another poster, SFUSD's system is designed to assign students to a school their families requested or, if that's not possible because the school is oversubscribed, to the closest school to the home address that has openings. It's not true that the system willfully buses students "across town" or "tens of miles."

Posted by CarolineSF on Jul. 03, 2010 @ 7:07 pm

Jane Kim, who never went to public school in her life (she went to a posh private school in New York) was often absentee as a school board member because she was attending law school.

Like so many, she has used the school board as a stepping-stone to build a political career.

Debra Walker is a much better progressive choice. Unlike Kim, she actually lives in District 6. Kim is a carpetbagger. She moved into the district only three months ago so she could make a run for office.

Posted by Barton on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 6:28 am

I know Carol Midgen was planning it for awhile.

Whats the point of district elections if a progressive can just up and move(in this very expensive city) to another district just to win an election to further the progressive agenda, or their political dreams? This sort of makes the progressive claim that the representatives in district elections will serve the district better laughable.

Posted by matlock on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 8:58 am

Speaking of the School Board, I think the proof is in the pudding that the School Board was a political career stepping stone for Jane because 1) she has no kids and 2) she didn't work directly for the school district to know what the problems/issues were ... what was the motivation to run? Pure selfishness. That's the thing about career politicians - they're out for themselves, not their constituents despite the rhetoric.

We know Jim Meko. More importantly for District 6, he knows planning and land use issues better than all of the other candidates combined because he's held hundreds of meetings that SOUGHT community input on the Western SOMA plan and many other developments and land use issues in District 6.

As a matter of fact, Jim Meko was the ONLY District 6 Supervisor candidate at the BOS Rules Committee hearing last Friday afternoon where neighborhood champions Kathrin Moore and Bill Sugaya were standing before the committee asking for reappointment to the Planning Commission. Development is THE issue in District 6 - Transbay, Treasure Island, Rincon Hill, eastern neighborhoods, western SOMA (which Jim has chaired and heard what ALL the stakeholders want to see in their neighborhood), the Tenderloin, North Mission - with the exception of Hunters Point/Bayview, no other District in the City needs a Supervisor who is expert on planning and land use issues more than District 6. Theresa Sparks does not know shit about planning and land use. Jane Kim does not know shit about planning and land use. Ask them how many planning commission meetings they've attended to help support District 6 neighborhoods fighting for or against a project prior to running for office? I'm pretty sure the answer is zero for those two D6 candidates. Sparks and Kim should pursue their selfish political aspirations elsewhere .... don't just move into the District in 2009 and decide you can represent us, hell no!

Posted by Jamie Whitaker on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 9:13 am

Carpetbaggers! These are all the same people doing a lousy job running the city right now.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

If that's true then why has Jane Kim spent her entire adult life running for political office?

LOL - this woman is a total fraud. She's completely transparent - she used the school board as a steppingstone to higher office and she moved into District 6 because she thought she'd have an easier time being elected in that seat.

It's lying frauds like Jane Kim that make people hate politics and loath politicians.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

Like I said, I have my concerns with Kim's candidacy, and those concerns were only sharpened by her kickoff event. But her tenure on the School Board isn't really one of them.

I was an enthusiastic Jane Kim backer for school board, precisely because she was not so far removed from being a student herself that she still had some perspective of youth interests. There's a lot of talk about what the teachers want, a lot of talk about what the parents want, but what's missing is the perspective of the students themselves. It's as if they're invisible. I think it's assumed that they don't know what's good for them, and they would want the same thing as their parents anyway. And I think neither of those assumptions can be taken for granted. Students, especially the older ones, have minds of their own. And what they want is NOT always the same thing their parents want. And you know what? Maybe it's un-PC to say this, but sometimes they're right and their parents are wrong. So with that in mind, I wanted to see at least one young person with no kids on there. And Jane Kim ran with a tremendous amount of support from high school students.

That said, of course, now she wants off the school board, swapped districts and is running for supe. I don't see a compelling reason for her to do so, I'm troubled by some of her newfound friends, I think she could throw the race to a tool of downtown like Sparks, and all other things being equal I'd like to see someone with more history in the community. And yeah, one really does get the impression that she's more out for herself than anyone else, and right or wrong, this is the vibe she gives off. (BTW... if Jane reads this, she should think about it, because many, many people I've talked to feel the same way. If the perception is *not* correct, she really needs to work on her people-skills).

But I really want to end with a note of caution for progressives, not to be so quick to go into "kitchen-sink attack mode." Walker, Kim, and Meko would all make far better representatives than Sparks or Drake. If I had to choose at the moment, I would support them in that order -Walker, Kim, and Meko. I don't think we should be playing into downtown's hands by driving up other progressive candidates' negatives to the point where you totally piss off their supporters.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

Bottom line on Jane Kim: A lot of those young kids of color that Steve is gushing about are associated with Gordon Chin's outfit, the Chinatown Community Development Center. Jane interned/worked there -- and Chin et al are quite friendly with Rose Pak.
The real key here is Rose Pak. She's worked her contacts to leverage a considerable treasury for Kim. Those people did not contribute to Jane's school board campaigns, and they aren't a constituency Jane with her Green Party background would have naturally tapped. There's a long history here, in that any help from Pak comes with major strings attached. Read $$$ for city contracts. Pak's a neighborhood power broker. During the Willie Brown admin, she had considerable muscle, b/c anybody who wanted a city contract out of Chinatown had to go kiss her ring -- thanks to her close alliance with Willie Brown. (Willie had trouble in his 1995 election with respect to lack of support among Asian voters. He set about to fixing that by forging a political alliance with Pak). Um, gee, aren't there some big public projects slated for D6? Like say, a terminus for the new Central Subway -- connecting to wait...Chinatown! Pak's been shut out of City Hall under Newsom -- who, thanks to having plenty of Getty dough, has had no need for neighborhood power brokers like Pak and Charlie Walker -- both of whom thrived under Willie. So for Jane to say she's part of some "new political process" is ridiculous. Actually, it's an old political process that has been out in the cold and has seized eagerly upon Jane's rather clueless ambition to get back in play. Jane has become a tool. I don't know if it makes it better or worse that she's an unwitting one, but I don't think she really understands the writing on the wall here. She means well, but she's pretty naive and ignorant with respect to the political history of the city. And she's got no track record in D6. That was the whole point of district elections. To allow the neighborhoods to elect people who are leaders in their own local communities. Like T. Sparks, Jane carpet-bagged into this district, as the appropriateness of the seat was sold to her by some pretty jaded characters, chief among them: Randy Shaw. His hidden motive was to screw with D. Walker, b/c she supported the bidding out of some DBI contracts that Shaw formerly enjoyed exclusive control over -- thanks to his old alliance with Willie. Then Jane's personal friendships with David Chiu (former roommate) and David Ho were able to get her on Pak's radar, and now here we go. This is not a good thing. Given the source of the money behind Jane, her politics will have to change. Jane ain't no Peskin. She in no way is tough enough to stand up to Pak when Pak shows up at her door demanding payback. You can count on that happening, and Jane caving.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

See, THIS is important. This I did not know, and I'm a fairly informed voter. Jane Kim has been repeatedly savaged by moderates and progressives alike for this, and not without reason. But the mods apparently have their own carpetbagger, and no one seems to care. Where's the outrage over that? Total hypocrisy if you ask me.

So how long HAS Teresa Sparks lived in D6?

Posted by Greg on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

Beats me? I wouldn't vote for a carpet bagger if I lived in that district or any other district.

How long have progressive voted for district shoppers"

Posted by matlock on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

The Rincon Hill Neighborhood Association hosted a party at The Cosmopolitan on last November's election day. In attaendance were Jim Meko, Debra Walker, James Keys, Jane Kim, Matt Drake, and Theresa Sparks. I remember learning from Theresa that evening that she had just moved into District 6.

While some of my east SoMa neighbors are supporting Theresa, not so much because the lady has any qualifications to be Supervisor but moreso because they are bitter and feel screwed over, robbed, and ignored by progressive politicians, there are also a lot of my neighbors (including myself and at least one vocal South Park resident who asked Thersa not to run for this reason) in east SoMa who are absolutely appalled at Theresa Sparks and Jane Kim for thinking they can just move into District 6 and run for Supervisor to represent us when there are long-time neighborhood activists Jim Meko who we know and trust will be loyal to District 6 residents - and with Jim, while we may not always agree on issues, we know he will listen to us and respect our opinions.

By the way, I would be posting my thoughts regardless of whether I started managing my friend Jim Meko's campaign this past month or not. I am a blogger after all (Rincon Hill blog).

Posted by Jamie Whitaker on Jun. 29, 2010 @ 9:15 am

In my opinion I think Theresa is as (more) qualified as any progressive to be supervisor. I met her once seven or so years ago doing some business type thing, she didn't strike me as overly personable, but maybe she was having a bad day? The path from community activist, school board, non profit etc... to the board has been a complete wreck.


Its amazing that in this expensive city these people district shop and then claim to be down with the locals, and don't think its insulting. What they are saying to me is "I am giving you peasants the benefit of my genius"

Posted by mr matlock on Jun. 29, 2010 @ 9:50 am

Honestly, the Middle Class can go suck it and shut the hell up. They are the second-most coddled lot out of everyone in America (the elderly, of course, being the most coddled). They already pay the least amount of taxes in the past 25-30 years, and they demand more cuts while demanding more services. Seriously, go suck a witch's tit...I'm sick of your complaining, you big babies.

Posted by ‽‿‽ on Jun. 29, 2010 @ 12:44 am

Especially the working poor with children, who actually receive an Earned Income Credit which means they're net beneficiaries, not contributors, to the system.

I'm not saying that's wrong, clearly the poor shouldn't be shouldering the highest tax burden.

But this endless babbling about "the poor" in San Francisco is misguided. Hardly any city services are aimed at the middle class here - it's all aimed at the poor. And that's unfair. Middle class people in this city can't afford to buy a house, apartment or condo and they get no government assistance to do so. No set-asides are made for them.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 29, 2010 @ 12:48 pm


On the very subject you are talking about you are simply wrong. There are several programs to help middle class San Franciscans buy a home. There are several programs with below market rate housing and city assistance for residential purchases.

So, while perhaps you don't know about them, it doesn't mean they don't exist.

Posted by SF Brian on Jun. 29, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

Please explain the definition of "middle class" which binds the rules of the city's programs - in detail. Please explain how many "middle class" residents of SF qualify for these programs and how many take advantage of these programs (number per year would be satisfactory). Please explain how much of the city's budget is dedicated to these programs, who administers them and how long they've been in existence.

In addition the name and date of provenance of the city's fabled "middle class assistance" programs for homeowners would be MOST helpful.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 29, 2010 @ 9:46 pm

On the perhaps naïve assumption that you're NOT baiting, I'll just point out that the Mayor's Office of Housing runs a BMR program for both sales and rentals, for which (depending on the property) you can qualify if you earn as much as 120% of the median income in San Francisco. Which means there are people earning as much as $75-80K who are able to take advantage of those programs. So although it's true that we median-income-earners are not exactly lavished with city giveaways (for example, it rankles me that I earn about $5K year too much to qualify for HealthySF), we aren't completely left out.

Sorry if this has thrown sand into the gears of your Rage-O-Matic™, dear.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 30, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

That's what the second loan program offers right now.

As for the BMR program it has a number of options available, but they seem paltry compared to the number of people who actually want to own a home here. And these programs also don't allow the buyer to build any equity at all in their home because the resale price is determined by the city and not the market. Which with the state of the housing market these days may just be a blessing in disguise...

If that's an example of the incredible benefits the city gives to middle class people - a "benefit" which costs the city nothing because it's mandated by law that developers provide these units, in comparison to the hundreds of millions spent on services for the "working poor" then my point has been made entirely - the city provides next-to-nothing for the middle class in San Francisco but had a social policy focused almost exclusively on immigrants and the homeless.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 30, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

She is funded by Rose Pak which means the Chinese government owns her.

Posted by Kim on Jun. 29, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

Jane Kim said on KQED once the middle class shouldn't raise kids here, should move, or that SF isn't a place to raise kids. She didn't care that families were moving. She made it so that you can live a block from a school and not get in and then sat and read the newspaper at hearings while people showed up to give input on the system. We need neighborhood schools so we can offer a good life to families and let them move to a neighborhood and plan ahead, just as they do in Burlingame and Orinda. She wants the middle class to move to Burlingame and Orinda, because she'll send them a letter they have to go to school 4 miles away, of course they'll move. She is a part of wanting SF to be only for the very rich and the very poor, no middle class struggling to afford the rent or, if lucky, mortgage. She put in the plan that says the best schools should have spots reserved almost entirely for the poor.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2010 @ 10:13 am