Eating humble pie with Glendon "Anna Conda" Hyde


It was with a sinking feeling that I read the comments that Glendon “Anna Conda” Hyde’s supporters left on the Guardian's website last week, after I wrote about the DCCC questionnaires last week—and managed to screw up by omitting Conda/Hyde from my hasty round up.

“How is it that you've omitted Anna/Glendon from your election roundup?” was one of many similar comments made by Conda/Hyde’s outraged supporters. “This looks awfully like PREJUDICE, darlings. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Anna/Glendon's candidacy is not a joke. S/he is one of the most promising progressive voices in SF. Wake up."

So, I picked up the phone, and called Conda/Hyde to offer my humble apologies.

And today we sat down and talked about the role of the media and political endorsement clubs in propping up the marginalization of marginalized candidates and communities—and the role of radical queers in pushing back against the status quo and the political machines.

Conda/Hyde kicked off by recalling how the DCCC offered congratulations on the campaign’s artwork.

“But then they said you are not a viable candidate, and have you thought about taking the spotlight off yourself,” Conda/Hyde claimed.

(After our interview, I put in a call to DCCC chair Aaron Peskin. He had no recollection of the conversation going down quite like that. But Peskin also noted that the DCCC had done a ton of interviews recently.

“I like Glendon and I remember him appearing,” Peskin said. “But I don’t remember anyone telling him he was not viable.”

But with 26 candidates in the D. 6 race, and 27 candidates in the D. 10 race, it's likely that some similar-minded candidates in those contests may decide, or be advised, to rally together between now and the election to increase the chances that  “the bad guys” don’t win, right?

“You’d think,” Peskin said. “That’s why I dropped out of the Board of President’s race when Willie Brown’s guy looked like he was going to win, and as a result, Matt Gonzalez won the race.”)

Anyways, back to my interview with Conda/Hyde, who also claimed that D. 6 candidate h.brown recently got barred from a small business debate in SoMa.

I wasn’t at that particular forum, or the D. 10 debate that the SF Young Dems recently hosted in the Bayview.

But I have watched videos of the outrage that was triggered at the Young Dems forum, when D. 10 candidates Dianne Wesley Smith, Nyese Joshua, Ed Donaldson, Marie Harrison and Espanola Jackson were excluded from the debate, even though the Bayview is where they are based.

And it's similar to the outrage that Conda/Hyde supporters understandably felt when their candidate's positions on issues like Mayor Gavin Newsom's sit-lie legislation weren't included in my original summary of the DCCC questionnaire. Especially since Conda/Hyde led the pushback against Newsom's sit-lie measure.

“Marginalized districts, marginalized candidate voices,” Conda/Hyde observed.

The point Conda/Hyde is making here is that all candidates bring unique voices and perspectives to a race, and they provide marginalized communities with a rare opportunity to push back against powerful interests and ill-advised measures before this or that political machine can shoe horn its preferred slate into office.

“I was the first candidate to come out against sit-lie aggressively,” Conda/Hyde noted, by way of example.

At this point in our conversation, Labor leader and DCCC member Gabriel Haaland, who sat in on today’s meeting and voiced sharp criticism of my Conda/Hyde omission last week, chimed in.

“So many candidates were ducking sit-lie, so when I introduced a resolution opposing sit-lie at the DCCC, so many people were pissed off,” Haaland said. "And it was refreshing to see Anna Conda vocally opposing sit-lie in drag on Polk Street.”

Haaland added that he’d be working for Conda/Hyde’s campaign, “if not for a 15 year friendship with Debra Walker.”

And then he pointed to the central role that radical queers have played in pushing for political change.

“The first queer to run for elected office was a drag queen,” Haaland observed. "Radical queers have always been leading the movement, busting a move and changing the world. And Anna Conda is more the Harvey Milk of the race, in my opinion."

“You reflect my radical queer positions more,” Haaland continued, addressing Conda/Hyde direct.  “And you have a real base in the district in a way that Theresa Sparks does not. But people are moving into the district and having bases created for them.”

Conda/Hyde then observed that plans are afoot for an inclusionary District 6 forum.

“Jane Kim and I are getting together to do a forum that includes all the D. 6 candidates,” Conda/Hyde said, “We’ll be including James Keys, Dean Clark and Fortunate ‘Nate’ Payne, who are all out there working hard on their campaigns, as well.”

The ability to raise funds is often an indicator of whether a candidate is viable. Campaign finance records show that Conda/Hyde has applied for public funds, the application is under review, and that Jane Kim, Jim Meko, Theresa Sparks, Debra Walker and Elaine Zamora have qualified for public financing in the D. 6 race.

That level of public fund raising is only bested by D. 10 where Malia Cohen, Kristine Enea, Chris Jackson, Tony Kelly, DeWitt Lacy, Steven Moss, Eric Smith and Lynette Sweet have already qualified for public financing, and Diane Wesley Smith, has her application under review.

(In D. 2, Kat Anderson and Abraham Simmons have already qualified for public funding. In D. 8, Rafael Mandelman, Rebecca Prozan and Scott Wiener have already qualified, and Bill Hemenger’s application is under review.)

At the end of our meeting, Conda/Hyde talked about name recognition problems.
“I have a lot of name recognition as Anna Conda, and not as much as Glendon Hyde," Conda/Hyde noted, choosing to pose as Glendon Hyde next to his D. 6 campaign sign.
“I think I’ve already proven that I’m a drag queen," Hyde explained.

“And not just a pretty face,” Haaland concluded.





Sarah, truly appreciate your 'mea culpa', how refreshing. Suggest you also contact Nyese Joshua. As always miile gracie for all your investigative reporting and truth telling with an appropriately restrained 'proffessional' attitude.

Posted by Guest Patrick Monk on Aug. 18, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

I concur, Pat ~Just came from Nyese's kick off at 195 Kiska Road, was nice to see kids, seniors, and Archbishop Franzo King, Minister Christopher Muhamad, and yummy healthy snacks !
I have endorsed Nyese and contribute to her campaign monthly.
Nyese and James Keys in D6 are clearly the candidates for the People

Posted by mesha Monge-Irizarry on Aug. 28, 2010 @ 11:52 am

professional, correct spelling is with one (1) f. You are welcome!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 18, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

Is StarChild in district eight.

A San Francisco progressive trying to claim to be radical is so hilarious.

It's such a strange assault on language when the more conformist you can be to progressive dogma and mantra's, the more you can claim to be radical. Its like when Marilyn Quayle claimed to be wacky and radical because she roller bladed on her tennis court.

The Guardian should hire James Watt to write a column, he's not much different than the average progressive. "I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent."

Posted by matlock on Aug. 18, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

Do you know Anna Conda?

You should probably read more about her, perhaps come and meet her at one of her campaign events, before you question her radical politics...

Posted by Pink Feather on Aug. 20, 2010 @ 9:08 am

Is being significantly different from everyone else politically, such as proposing vastly different objectives to everyone else.

That in no way describes the uni-mind of SF progressives.

Being against sit-lie in SF is quite radical here in SF, it really puts a person on the outs with the progressive establishment like Ross Mirkirimi, David Campos, Chris Daly and the gang.

The most radical position a politician could take in SF is to advocate for; fewer taxes, lower fees, less micromanaging of business, fewer born again Christian like "values" laws for our own good, and no laughable foreign policy proclamations.

It would be great to see a candidate who wants to do the nuts and bolts of government instead of clownish Utopian schemers who think being an SF supervisor means you have a podium to comment on Israel.

Posted by matlock on Aug. 20, 2010 @ 10:37 am

Just to be clear, I am supporting Debra Walker as my first choice in District 6, and not just because she is my friend. She will be an excellent Supervisor, and I'm proud to support her. I have known her for fifteen years, and I trust that she will bring a very progressive voice to the Board of Sups.

I do support Glendon "Anna Conda" as my second choice. As a radical queer who came out early against Sit/Lie before any other candidate running for office did, Glendon showed his mettle, just like Harvey did years ago. Furthermore, Glendon has been fighting gentrification in the Polk street area and fighting to preserve queer space. Glendon calls himself two-spirit when it comes to gender, and I hope someday that a drag queen is elected to the Board of Sups! It almost happened in the 60s, and I suspect it will happen someday. Never underestimate drag queens!

My quotes came off harsher than I meant them in this article. It's fair to say I have many friends in that race, people that I support now, people that I will support in the future, and people I have supported in the past.

That all being said, I told Glendon today that I am supporting him as my second choice. It is his first run for office, and it feels probably like how Harvey's did on his first run.

Finally, thanks to Sarah for her incredibly gracious mea culpa. She didn't get defensive, and as always her heart is in the right place, all while being an incredibly talented journalist. Thanks Sarah!

Posted by Gabriel on Aug. 18, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

Gabriel - Thanks for supporting a robust debate & cross-campaign collaboration... San Francisco is lucky to have smart organizers like yourself working to advance the common good.

Glendon/Anna - You're doing a lot of wonderful things for your district, and your campaign is making a real difference for a lot of people. Thanks for opening so many doors for so many folks who often feel left out of the political process.

Sarah - Your integrity is really shining through here. Thanks for your prompt apology for your earlier oversight & taking such decisive action to make it right. You are graceful under pressure and come out of this looking great.

Thank you Guardian staff & editors for taking time to publish corrections & taking proactive steps to ensure your political coverage is the best it can be. You guys all make me proud to live in San Francisco. thanks for doing what you're doing on behalf of the city by the bay.

Posted by Kitten on Aug. 19, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

The beauty of having a field of 22 qualified candidates in the race has been the heighter awareness associated with the Nov election. In such an environment it's difficult for the machines to influence the outcome. This repesents a radical shift and increased political engagement for the folks of BVHP since more people will vote for their candidate of choice.

Why are folks unhappy with the folks in BVHP being engaged in the democratic process? Isn't this what district elections are all about? Why are folks who don't live in D10 so concerned about what happens there? It seem to me that some folks don't want to see the political maturity of BVHP.

Nonetheless, as I said in a recent Bay Guardian article the eventual winner will be met with the same recall backlash as Maxwell if the needs of the district and BVHP in particular continue to go unmet. Finally, we will continue to go through the recall process and other measures until the "machines" recognize that folks in BVHP/D10 are awake!

The next time around the signitures will be validated before being turned in to the Dept of Elections!

Also, for the record I refused to answer the SFYD questionnire since I have never heard of them nor known them ti be active in BVHP during my 45yrs of living there. Furthermore, the questions had very little to do with the issues of the district so, the whole thing smelled fishy to me. My suspicions were confirmed when SFYD recruited BWOPA as a sponsor to validate them doing the fourm in BVHP then refused to allow them (BWOPA) to have input on the questions to be asked of the candidates....The invisible hand is not so invisble anymore...

Posted by Ed Donaldson on Aug. 18, 2010 @ 9:53 pm

I SOOO appreciate one of these gutless uninformed ethereal soporific trolls drawing attention to my typo !!!!
Seriously, Gabriel, you rightly mention Anna, but wrongly ignore James... seems like more of the same exclusionary insider politics that is becoming accepted practice by the 'progressive' machine and it's shadowy establishment backers.

Posted by Guest Patrick Monk on Aug. 19, 2010 @ 6:48 am

I don't know James Keys very well at all, but I'm sure if Daly supports him, he would make a good Supervisor!

Posted by Gabriel on Aug. 19, 2010 @ 7:03 am

Thanks Sarah and it was great to meet with you and have a discussion. I was never angry about being "excluded" because thats how the game runs; but more about the idea that only 3 voices are viable and how that flies in the face of District Elections. Does a Progressive Machine not work just like any other political machine? Kinda like a corporation.
I am a fighter and when I don't meet the qualifications for an endorsement I get out there and try to rectify that situation. I am currently out there trying to get on the CMAC radar. They require 3 elected officials endorsement and I think at this point we have several 2nd endorsements. Also I believe that if James Keys had approached you on this matter you most certainly would have spoken to him as well. You were very gracious.
I also fully realize that the first time out the fight is all on my campaigns shoulders to get the goods. Thats why we fought for this recognition and I would like thank you for being courteous and open to us; especially after receiving numerous harsh words from well meaning supporters of mine.
The reason I voiced this issue was not to grand stand but to say that there are many voices in San Francisco that over the past years have not been represented by machine politics. It is people like Dean Clark, Nate Payne, Katie Mallory, H Brown and even Mr. Keys that have reminded me of this and of why I am running. They are unique voices in this race with concerns that come directly from the community. I mentioned these names in the article because this is the discussion of not marginalizing we do need to remember everyone comes to the table with something winner, top middle or not.
Thanks agin for your time and generosity

Anna Conda

Ps. Take you out for a pint sometime....!

Posted by Guest Anna Conda on Aug. 19, 2010 @ 8:30 am

Thanks for writing this article, Sarah. This is a good example of how a journalist should handle a sticky situation like this. Good job.

Posted by Duane Gammill on Aug. 19, 2010 @ 9:19 am

Thanks for the positive feedback. Sometimes it's really hard to say I made a mistake. But I'm getting used to it.

Last week, I sat through a gang injunction debriefing in which C.L.A.E.R. founder Sharen Hewitt reprimanded me for giving readers the impression that the issues in the D. 10 race are all about Lennar.

"That's criminal" Hewitt said, pointing to the multitude of other issues that D. 10 is facing, including a gang injunction that CIty Attorney Dennis Herrera is seeking in Viz Valley.

"It's critical for you to understand the intensity of what's happening here," Hewitt said to the media and D. 10 candidates Kristine Enea, Steve Moss, Marlene Tran, Isaac Bowers and Chris Jackson, who took the time to show up for the debriefing, where we learned about the impacts that gang injunctions have on the community where they are imposed.

Hewitt's right. D. 10 is about way more than Lennar. And I want to thank her for being gracious enough to recognize that reporters, much like the public they serve, have to start somewhere and build up their knowledge base and experience. I also want to thank all the members of our community who have taken the time throughout the years to educate me and keep me honest when my writing reveals bias and/or ignorance. Please keep up the good and vital work of educating me about what's really going on.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 19, 2010 @ 10:11 am

The Guardian did the same thing to me ten years ago, claiming that I did not have enough community support to warrant an interview until after they'd interviewed and endorsed.

In addition to Daly and Magilavy (who?) they did interview the late great Hank Wilson and Denise D'Anne. I think that Hank spent $15K to beat me by one handful of votes and Denise by a hundred or so after dropping a whopping $70K.

The Guardian tries to balance roles of social director in a political cruise as well as chronicler of politics, and often those two roles clash, leading to confusing, inconsistent outcomes.


Posted by marcos on Aug. 19, 2010 @ 10:23 am

I just got off the phone with D. 10 candidate Diane Wesley Smith, who was mortified that she was not allowed to speak at the SF Young Dems recent D. 10 forum in the Bayview.

But while she is angry about the incident, Wesley Smith is currently busy making lemonade out of this particular batch of lemons.

"Those folks ended up doing more for my campaign than I could have," Wesley Smith said.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 19, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

I just got off the phone with D. 10 candidate Diane Wesley Smith, who was mortified that she was not allowed to speak at the SF Young Dems recent D. 10 forum in the Bayview.

But while she is angry about the incident, Wesley Smith is currently busy making lemonade out of this particular batch of lemons.

"Those folks ended up doing more for my campaign than I could have," Wesley Smith said.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 19, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

I just got off the phone with Diane Wesley Smith, one of the D. 10 candidates who was not allowed to speak at the SF Young Dems forum in the Bayview.

Wesley Smith says she was mortified not to be able to speak in her own neighborhood.

But right now, she is trying to making lemonade out of lemons.

"They did more for my campaign than I could have," Wesley Smith observed.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 19, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

Sarah, hope you can find time to talk with other 'outsider' candidates; eg James and Nyese.

Posted by Guest Patrick Monk on Aug. 20, 2010 @ 8:52 am

I interviewed James Calloway for the Guardian's kick-off piece about the D. 10 race. And I've talked to and reported about Nyese Joshua's candidacy, with specific reference to Lennar's plan for Candlestick Point and the shipyard. But I'm always happy to talk to the candidates and the latest developments in the race. For instance, today, I sat down with Diane Wesley Smith who told me she submitted a questionnaire for the SF Young Dems debate in a timely manner and was shocked to be excluded from the subsequent debate.

"I was told that so many candidates submitted questionnaires that a committee was formed to select who got to speak," Wesley Smith said."What upset me was my exclusion from my own community. What are they afraid of? What is it that they don't want people to hear? We've wanted for change for 40 years. For too long, folks from outside our community have decided who will hold this office. Now, the people want their district back."

Posted by sarah on Aug. 20, 2010 @ 10:05 am

I also just updated this piece to include a photograph of D. 10 candidate Diane Wesley Smith, whose exclusion from a recent D. 10 forum in the Bayview, is yet another illustration that the marginalization of marginalized communities, is alive and well in San Francisco.

Posted by sarah on Aug. 20, 2010 @ 11:54 am

As a candidate and registered democrat for District 6 Supervisor. I was amazed when sent a questionnaire from DCCC, filled it out and submitted it to the organizers. Called and emailed with no response from the DCCC. I was not allowed to participate in the endorsement process. It is of concern that I was not allowed to participate, seeing that I am a democrat. Are the democratic groups such as this slating the public to vote for someone else. You guys should be ashamed of what you have done!

Dean Clark
Candidate for District 6 Supervisor

Posted by Dean Clark on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 11:06 am