Endorsement interviews: Rafael Mandelman


Rafael Mandelman told us that "local government matters." He's talking about a more rational budget process, with the supervisors offering their own alternative instead of just responding to the mayor. He's in favor of raising new revenue -- hundreds of millions in new revenue -- to fund the critical priorities in the city, and he points out that there's enough wealth in San Francisco to pay for it. He also thinks that all city commissions should have split appointments, with the mayor naming some members and the supervisors naming others. He's running as the progressive candidate in a three-way race; you can listen to our discussion here:

mandelman by timred


This whole interview sounds like a bunch of old guys just chewing the fat. Go into this thing like you are a bunch of Mike Wallaces or fire-breathing drill sergeants or something. Regardless of their proclaimed (and especially unproclaimed) ideology, you should get rough with the candidates and test them in order to see how they react under pressure. Make them get as specific as humanly possible when they dole out their pretty-sounding proposals. For instance, if I were in the room I would have asked Rafael straight up, "Do you plan on becoming another David Chiu?", before he even got a chance to sit down. If you guys don't give a shit, why should anyone else?

Posted by Matt Stewart on Aug. 26, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

The class complaining about PGE getting a sweet deal in the thirties that can't be undone, and how bad that is, but sadly the many balloted set asides that the Guardian has been for can't be undone either by the board of supes.

The guy also complained that people in the city didn't get what a progressive was, and he thought Chris Daly being the face of progressive screaming was a bad indicator of what progressive-ism was all about. That is of course ridiculous.

Everyone in the city knows what the progressives are all about. This is just more of the belief that if us peasants were educated correctly on the issues we would agree with the progressives because their religious like revealed view of the world is so awesome. It was great the way that he said we should give the people opposed to congestion driving fees a listen, we should listen and do it anyways because government knows best.

The guy wants to give more power to city agencies to scam more money from the citizens, he has a degree in public policy so of course he wants to more government, because thats how all problems are solved.

Sad what the modern left has turned into. Such comical hypocritical clowns.

Posted by matlock on Aug. 27, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

He's spouting the same crap the rest of the "progressives" have been spouting for 30+ years and look where it's got us? Just another paid whore of Non Profit Inc.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Aug. 27, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

Rafael Mandelman is affable, intelligent, and informed. It's always a pleasure to run into him and have a thoughtful exchange of ideas.

But does he want to be the supe of all the residents of district eight or just the progressives?

I ask this question because he says very little about public safety and public sanitation. Yet these issues are on the minds of many of his constituents, especially older gay men who have lived in the Castro a long time and parents with young children.

Will he make the same mistake as Eileen Hansen and Alix Rosenthal before him? They looked down their noses at such concerns, which cost them dearly. They cared only for the progressive vote and scorned the rest.

I also ask this question because of certain of the city's progressive ideologues. They have a barely disguised scorn for the Castro as a neighborhood. There is an undercurrent of homophobia in their attitude toward many of the men who live there.

So -

What is Mandelman's program for public safety and public santitation?

Does he have a sense of neighborhood pride in the Castro?

Will he challenge the homophobia that lies just under the surface in certain progressive ideologues?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 27, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

Lucretia and Matlock remind me of Chronicle commentators - angry and ignorant.

Whatever one may think about Rafael's politics (I'm supporting Rebecca in this election), he's a genuinely nice and thoughtful guy. He does listen to all sides of an issue and gives people a fair hearing. I'd like to hope that the majority of San Franciscans value that in our candidates. We have good candidates in district 8. Candidates who all care about their neighborhood. These sorts of personal attacks won't fly in this election.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

He agrees with my politics so anyone who doesn't agree with him is "angry and ignorant"

Posted by matlock on Aug. 27, 2010 @ 5:06 pm

Did you just skip over the part where they said they are voting for Rebecca. Or is Rebecca Prozan a progressive now?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

From the earlier guest post I assume that they are well away from being a progressive. har. Is this one of those talk radio like cases where a person who believes only 90% of the dogma isn't a real republican?

Posted by matlock on Aug. 27, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

>>>Lucretia and Matlock remind me of Chronicle commentators - angry and ignorant.<<<

To Guest,

I'm of the mind that people such as this need one's sympathy because some people just can't help being the way they are. They really can’t. It's just the way they are and maybe have always been. Consistently disgruntled and angry. They come off as if they have no fun, love in their life or anything enjoyable. They have to "show their knife" at a person as a sign that they disagree with the person. They can't just disagree with someone without being snide and “showing their knife,” so to speak. That's just the way some people were reared and in some circumstances it's just learned behavior. I used to work at a place where we had someone like that on our floor and I tried to be gentle and pleasant with the person whenever we had contact which was minimal but all other times I did my best to avoid being anywhere near the person, and so did everybody else. We would talk amongst ourselves about the rude and often noxious things the person would say to some of us. I don't know how such a person gets past an interview. Maybe they do have the ability to turn if off, if needed? I saw a person screaming on the street yesterday and from what I could hear of what the individual was saying what I heard was not factually true, speaking to the ignorance. Maybe that person came to this site and has been writing posts of that kind (angry and ignorant). You never know. One often hears the angry screamers on the streets day and night.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Aug. 28, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

An interesting post in a "not agreeing with my politicsw makes you stupid" sort of way.

But one does wonder, why do you progressive elect and then re-elect Chris Daly. That little screamer tosses a wrench into your theory of everything.

Posted by matlock on Aug. 28, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

This excellent response letter was published in a local paper this week:

Economic disparity to blame

Arthur Evans recently blamed violent crime on Tommi Avicolli Mecca and his allies [Mailstrom, August 19]. This personal attack on a longtime community activist exceeds the boundaries of civil discourse and has no place in a community newspaper. Moreover, the Examiner article to which Evans refers ("Crime spike has Castro district wary," August 21)) says nothing about people who are homeless. To the contrary, the article quotes LGBT community liaison, Sergeant Chuck Limbert: "There has been an alarming spike in the number of calls police have been receiving from partygoers who say they have been drugged, robbed, or raped by people they met out at neighborhood clubs, bars, or on the Internet."

Evans unconvincingly tries to connect an increase in violent crime to people who are homeless. This baseless charge is not supported by Police Department crime reports, as indicated by Limbert's comments in the Examiner . There is no empirical data to substantiate Evans's claims. Moreover, associating social justice activists with robberies and stabbings is pretty low, even for Evans.

As the Coalition on Homelessness has concluded: "So much for the addressing of real crimes. It is clear that a great many sit/lie proponents – perhaps the majority of the most vocal proponents – are bothered not by real crimes, but by the very presence of homeless people in public view in San Francisco. ... In a democracy, we cannot purge our society of those we find distasteful as totalitarian and ethnic nationalist regimes have seen fit to do. Any of us should be ashamed to consider the idea in public."

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, in Edward Jones et al. v. City of Los Angeles, noted, "Whether sitting, lying, and sleeping are defined as acts or conditions, they are universal and unavoidable consequences of being human." As efforts to criminalize sitting down continue, there is a waitlist for every city-funded service in San Francisco. The city's shelter system has only one shelter bed for every six officially recognized homeless people.

The problem is increasing economic disparity and demonizing the poorest of the poor while shredding the social safety net. Many young queer people from across the country who've been kicked out of their homes come to the Castro seeking love and acceptance. These people need hope, not citations.

Harvey Milk opposed a similar sit/lie law over 30 years ago because such laws are used to target and intimidate people who some view as socially undesirable (e.g., queers). Sit/lie represents the opposite of San Francisco values. It's unfair, unkind, and unconstitutional. As Milk said over 30 yeas ago, "You gotta give 'em hope." Sit/lie is the opposite of hope. Please vote no on Prop L.

David Waggoner and Denise DeAnne
Co-Presidents, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
Reverend Dr. Lea D. Brown
Senior Pastor, MCC San Francisco
Joey Cain
Tommi Avicolli Mecca
Tab Buckner
Alan Collins
Hyde E. Beck

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Aug. 27, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

The Harvey Milk Club, Non-Profit Inc. and their mouthpiece Babs Chelsai want us to know their position - and to remind us that there's one "progressive" position and we all need to adhere to it.

No thanks Babs. You and the Harvey Milk Club were wrong 30 years ago and your demagoguery is just as wrong now.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Aug. 28, 2010 @ 2:23 am

As noted above, Rafael Mandelman is an intelligent, principled person.

I wonder, though, whether his fellow Milk Clubbers will undermine his bid for office as they did when Gabriel Haaland and Eileen Hansen ran for supe, the former in district five, the latter in district eight.

Both Haaland and Hansen clammed up and looked the other way when voters asked them questions about public safety and public sanitation. At the same time, their surrogates, the Milk Clubbers, launched personal attacks that were slanderous and diversionary against the questioners.

The tactics backfired. Both Haaland and Hansen went down to defeat. The defeat was especially bitter for Haaland. He started out as the front-runner in terms of money and endorsements. But he ended up losing by a 22% margin.

There's a message here for the Milk Clubbers:

Voters do not like to see politicians have their operatives attack voters when voters ask politicians questions. The politicians who promote this practice come across as viewing public office as a personal entitlement. In fact, however, public office is a public trust that has to be earned and re-earned.

By the way, I was a member of the Milk Club in the 1970s when it was known as the SF Gay Democratic Club, and I knew Harvey Milk.

It saddens me to see how the club has degenerated over the years. The Milk Clubbers of today dishonor Harvey's memory with their cheesy ploys.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 28, 2010 @ 9:36 am

It amazes me to see the Milk Clubbers make the same mistakes over and over again. Surely they must know that their tactics are counterproductive for the politicians they support. But they can't seem to help themselves.

Here's the reason:

The Milk Clubbers have turned into an inwardly directed clique with a bunker mentality, committed to a core set of dogmas which they believe are the One True Politics.

Because they have the One True Politics, it follows that anybody who questions their dogmas must be corrupt or evil or compromised. Why else would anybody question The Truth?

Consequently, their typical response to questions is to attack the character or mode of life of the questioner. They do not respond by focusing on issues, avoiding personal attacks, and appealing to facts and logic. Their behavior is the sort of thing you find in religious sects.

Consequently, the Milk Clubbers' behavior will be an issue in the district eight supe race.

Which is not good news for Rafael Mandelman.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 28, 2010 @ 10:42 am