OPINION: The "people's seat" on the Police Commission


Editor's note: School Board member Kim-Shree Maufas submitted this opinion piece on the upcoming Police Commission appointment.

On Friday, October 11, 2002, what began as an early morning school fight turned into a uniformed police officer-driven melee against students and teachers at Thurgoom Marshall High School. A total of 126 cops (some in SWAT/Riot gear) and sheriff’s deputites (tactical training was nearby) with firefighter and helicopter air support occupied the campus into the late afternoon.

That was so awful -- but the real crime and shame for San Francisco was the subsequent behavior of the then Police Commission, which ignored hundreds of requests (delivered in writing and in person at commission meetings) for accountability, transparency, and reform to address ongoing police misconduct and bad practices so that San Francisco and its youth could actually feel safe and secure - not just from the criminals but from the city’s police force. 

I recall that one woman, who lived in Pacific Heights, asking the commission to “deal with what happened at that high school across town because we all want to know what happened.” 

After attending Police Commission meeting after Police Commission meeting with staff from the Ella Baker Center, Coleman Advocates for Youth and their Families and the ACLU of Northern California, the only response that I ever heard from that commission about the incident was: “We handle things in our own time.” 

These painful memories had me in tears as I walked home after attending the recent Board of Supervisor’s Rules Committee meeting on June 2, 2011, where I watched the recommendation for the board’s appointment to the commission go forward.

Back in October 2002, I was the Parent Teacher Student Association president at Marshall, my daughter was a student, and I suddenly thrust forward to a public podium over and over again to demand justice for our families ... goodbye fundraising and bake sales.

My social justice journey to the Board of Education is closely tied to the 2003 Proposition H, the police reform measure that gave people a voice for reform and accountability by expanding the  Police Commission from five to seven, three to be selected by the Board of Supervisors and four by the mayor.  San Franciscans slapped the old Police Commission squarely in the face, screaming that the people MUST have a VOICE.

Because of what my family and countless others have been through and died for, I will forever consider the seats appoinnted by the board as “the People’s Seats for the People’s Voice,” meaning that those seats are for people who openly fight on behalf of disenfranchised community members, for people who stand as unashamed/outspoken advocates for common sense police policies and practices -- and as seats for those who don’t get mayoral appointments because they’re a part of the in crowd.

On June 14, 2011, the entire Board of Supervisors will vote for the Police Commission appointment -- and it doesn’t have to be the recommendation from the Rules Committee. The supervisors can take a different position – they can stand with the people on this one.

With all due serious respect to the other applicants, this opening on the Police Commission belongs to David Waggoner, who represents that “People’s Voice for the People’s Seat” -- and I believe all those voters who reformed the commission in 2003 would say so too.



Who elected the mayor if it's not the people? Are elections only representative of "the people" if you win?

The key here I suppose is does he live in the right supervisor district and what he can do to get his name in the paper as much as possible between now and next opportune election. If Waggoner lives, or I suppose moves to the right district come election time that is really the key factor here.

Also from this, what exactly is David's qualifications, we didn't get to him until the last paragraph there. Just a man of the people I suppose, like Earl Earl Scheib? Does Mr Waggoner live in district three, that one seems to be driving people here crazy.

Posted by matlock on Jun. 07, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

Waggoner is the most qualified applicant.


Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

Hope that the full board rejects the appointment and puts him in.

Posted by Nate Miller on Jun. 08, 2011 @ 12:01 am

By the numbers,

Chiu and Campos have already said they'll vote for Turman. David's the best candidate but he loses 7-4 or maybe even 8-3. As Campos said just before he started voting with the Conservatives: "This is no longer a Progressive Board.".

Only way to reform the cops is to elect a Progressive police chief.

Giants lose too.


Posted by Guest h. brown on Jun. 08, 2011 @ 12:17 am

Maybe Ms Maufus realizes Waggoner won't go after her when she and her family steal from the city.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2011 @ 8:03 am

Apart from the question of whether David Waggoner is the best qualified person to serve on the Police Commission, he has been poorly served by the choice of advocates who are pressing the supes on his behalf.

These advocates are Harry Britt, Matt Gonzalez, and Aaron Peskin.

To his credit, Britt saved the legacy of Harvey Milk in the early 80s when it came under attack by Mayor Dianne Feinstein and the moderate sect.

However, Britt went goofy after that. His attempt to stop Mark Leno from being elected to the Assembly was preposterous.

Matt Gonzalez is effective in the courtroom but inept at everything else.

Aaron Peskin is a notorious bully, best known for the Peskin Principle ("Payback is a bitch"). Since retiring from the board, he has come to exemplify the McGoldrick Principle ("The only thing more useless than a supe is an ex-supe").

Choosing these three to lobby for Waggoner at the current board of supes is like asking members of the Flat Earth Society to push NASA to abandon its view that the Earth revolves around the sun.

There's nothing progressive about shooting yourself in the foot.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 08, 2011 @ 8:19 am

But that do Ruth R. Snave and Chrissypus think about this?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2011 @ 10:56 am

"But that do Ruth R. Snave and Chrissypus think about this?"

- Guest

What do the words "that do Ruth R. Snave" mean? Are they intended as a satire on English grammar?

Or are we witnessing yet another example of medical marijuana?

Or maybe medical alcohol?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 08, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

According to Luke Thomas at Fog City Journal, progressive David Campos will apparently vote against progressive supe David Waggoner for the open slot on the Police Commission.

This is the same David Campos who united with progressives some years ago to block Sophie Maxwell from being elected prez of the board of supes.

At the time, Campos dropped his support for Ross Mirkarimi as board prez and urged his progressive colleagues to unite behind David Chiu instead. Chiu had never before held elective office.

After the progressives lined up behind Chiu, at Campos' bidding, Campos boasted that the progressives, in defeating Maxwell, had saved the position of board prez for "one of our own."

So after empowering Chiu in the name of progressive politics, Campos is now apparently going to break ranks with other progressives by voting against Waggoner.

Whatever happened to solidarity for "one of our own"?


The progressive pols are just as short-sighted and inept as all the others.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 09, 2011 @ 8:43 am

These posts are just stepping stones up the chain. School board, police commission, and all the doctrinaire "public service" commissions and posts are just ways of getting the name out and failing upwards.

Whoever gets appointed should be prepared to move to the right district to run for supervisor.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 09, 2011 @ 9:16 am

FCJ has a post up about the Board's Police Commission choice. The vote is next Tuesday. It raises the point that Turman will have to recuse himself from all police cases involving any history of domestic violence because of Turman's past?

"will Turman need to recuse himself from police commission complaints regarding domestic violence should the Board appoint Turman over Waggoner, and why would Campos or any other supervisor continue to support a candidate for a City commission who may be subject to a conflict of interest on such issues?"

Posted by Guest on Jun. 09, 2011 @ 11:29 am

The Guardian has an article in this week's issue about the Police Commission appointment and its importance to the future direction of SFPD:


It includes background on all the applicants for the post, and who will likely be voting for Waggoner and Turman. As of Monday, Chiu said he was voting for Turman, who already has votes of Elsbernd, Farrell and Chiu. Chiu also told us Campos would be voting for Turman.

Campos told us Waggoner would make an excellent commissioner but Turman is a close friend.

So far Waggoner has the support of Avalos, Mirkarimi and Mar. And Kim voted for him at the Rules Committee.

So, that leaves Cohen and Chu. I'll leave readers to draw their own conclusions about what's likely to happen June 14 when Board votes on this.

Posted by sarah on Jun. 09, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

Thanks to Sarah Phelan for her detailed background article on the skirmishes to fill the open seat on the Police Commission.

What we have here is a turf battle between two gay political clubs - The Alice B. Toklas Club, rooting for Turman, and The Harvey Milk Club, rooting for Waggoner.

I myself doubt that it will make much difference which of two is eventually appointed by the supes to the commission.

What is interesting, though, is that gay liberation in SF has degenerated into a turf battle between competing gay clubs, each tied to the career of different a politician.

In a way, this development is a sign of progress. The gay community has developed enough clout that its politicians can act with the same pedestrian ambitions as straight politicians, without endangering the gains of gay liberation.

On the other hand, I remember a time when gay liberation meant more than competing political cliques and ambitious politicians.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 09, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

when did the red queen become the moderate moron

Posted by Guest on Jun. 09, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

An ad hominem diversion is where a participant in a debate tries to divert attention away from the topic of the debate by making another participant in the debate into the topic.

A better way to debate is to keep focused on the topic and to support arguments with evidence and logic.

Let's be reasonable.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 09, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but I couldn't resist saying that.

Seriously though, that's a pretty serious allegation against Julius. If true, I don't think he's fit to serve. Even self-appointed critics of "male violence" like Arthur Evans would agree with that.

Now normally, I say that everybody is innocent until proven guilty. But how can you prove somebody guilty, when the DA is the suspect's BFF and refused to prosecute him? Shame on Kamala Harris, BTW, who is supposedly such a big defender of victims of domestic violence (except when the suspect is a well-connected friend, I guess).

But just because Harris didn't do her job, doesn't mean that the board of supes has to go along. Until this guy gets his day in court and we get closure one way or the other, I think it would be wise to hold off appointing him to a commission overseeing the cops! I mean, wtf?

And while nothing about David Chiu surprises me anymore, I think it looks pretty bad for Campos to be supporting Turman, especially when David Waggoner is such an excellent and qualified candidate.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 09, 2011 @ 10:46 pm


Hennessey said long ago that the only way we'll get a police chief who is independent of the Mayor and the POA is to elect one. He said it might take a couple of tries before we get one who'll run the department as the Public prefers. You know, real Foot Beats and that sorta thing.

I talked to David and he'd love to run. Now, how do we get it on the ballot?

Go Giants!


Posted by Guest h. brown on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 6:43 am

Thanks, Greg, for writing a post without a foul-mouthed explosion.

By the way, haven't you repeatedly urged posters here not to read and respond to my posts? Why don't you practice what you preach?

By the way, we agree that domestic violence is a serious matter. But was the incident with Julius Turman one of domestic violence or mutual combat?

As to David Campos -

He says he'll vote for Turman because Turman and he are long-time friends. Isn't this the definition of cronyism?

Doesn't Campos love to wag his finger in the face of others and accuse them of cronyism? And many other things, too? Why doesn't he practice what he preaches?

In any case, this whole scene of Turman vs. Waggoner is just another example of cheesy turf politics between two political clubs.

It has nothing to do with good government, progressivism, or gay liberation.

May the person with the most clout win.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 6:46 am

"By the way, we agree that domestic violence is a serious matter. But was the incident with Julius Turman one of domestic violence or mutual combat?"

That's for a court of law to decide. The problem is that Turman appears to have had a powerful friend in the DAs office who refused to give him his day in court. What do you do when the suspect is so well connected that he seems to be above the law? Well, one thing that you DON'T do is appoint him to oversee the police!!!

And yes, I've already said what I think about Campos supporting Turman out of personal considerations rather than going with the most qualified candidate.

But please, spare me the righteous indignation. You, Arthur, are the biggest finger-wagging scold, and the biggest hypocrite I know. If Turman was the one progressives were supporting, we'd hear no end to your repetitive whining about "the male violence of the progressive sect" and other such garbage.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 7:36 am

Ruthie talking about 'evidence and logic' and 'being resaonable' !!!
I'd better go take my morning meds !!

Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 7:40 am

In terms of overall policy of the Police Commission, it will make only little difference whether Turman or Waggoner is appointed,

But it will make a difference to the clout of the competing factions behind each. That's what's at stake here.

This is known as politics as usual.

* * * * *
"You, Arthur, are the biggest finger-wagging scold, and the biggest hypocrite I know."

- Greg

Didn't you say you would no longer read and respond to my posts? What happened?

* * * * *

"I'd better go take my morning meds !!"

- Pat Monk

Good idea.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 8:13 am

When I volunteer co-coordinated the campaign with the ACLU of Northern California to pass Prop H in 2003, I did not expect that the only queer appointees to the commission would be moderates affiliated with the Toklas Club. Progressives worked hard to overcome same moneyed interests which floats Toklas' boat to pass the measure.

Over the past seven years, progressive queers have patiently deferred seats to other at-risk communities because we realize that we as communities to whom the SFPD has not demonstrated a historical record of respect are all in this together and that others have it worse off than we.

But now it is not "our turn," rather we have carried the water and paid the dues to make this appointment possible, and now the most qualified candidate for this seat is a progressive queer who is demonstrating a broad and deep base of political support from diverse communities for the seat.

Let the mayor appoint a bosses' labor lawyer to the seat. But the Board of Supervisors cannot countenance appointing a corporate labor lawyer with a sketchy history of domestic violence and corrupt political scurrying to cover it up.

A progressive queer attorney like David Waggoner, who has sacrificed so much in his own life to represent those who society would just as soon throw away, is clearly the candidate most capable of generally representing of the public.


Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 8:14 am

"Progressives Have Earned This Seat."

- Marc Salomon

No, rather the public has earned this seat.

No sect has any special claim to any public office as an entitlement.

It's called democracy.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 8:41 am

Does David Waggoner share Marc Salomon's view that he's entitled to sit on the Police Commission because he's a member of the progressive sect?

If so, he should let the supes and the media know as soon as possible.

We're all ears.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 8:56 am

"We're all ears."

No, there's just one of you, and you're all ass and in all the wrong ways at that.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 10:40 am

better now...Ruthie - no, you're all mouth.
Back to the garden, marc, how are your tomatoes doing, mine looking good so far.

Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 10:07 am

Hey Patrick, some of my Stupice tomatoes have fruited in spite of the fact that they are not supposed to fruit when the nite temp goes down below 55F even though the highest nighttime low in the last 3.5 weeks in May was 53F!

Better than that, this season I've got a bumper crop of blueberries ripening in the Mission sun.

There is nothing tastier than eating berries--tomatoes are berries--while still alive, just picked off of the plant.

Similar to the garden of the Police Commission, we've sown our seeds, watered, fertilized and nurtured them, and now it is time to reap the harvest, and David Waggoner is our ripe fruit.

Apparently, seats on the Police Commission are an entitlement for the Alice B. Toklas club.


Posted by marcos on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 10:18 am

David Waggoner has Aaron Peskin, Harry Britt, Matt Gonzalez, and Marc Salomon lobbying on his behalf at the supes.

Anybody see a problem here?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

Arthur rubs his belly furiously yet his hunger only increases!

Posted by Diogenes on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

David Waggoner's supporters will torpedo any chance he may have if they lobby the supes in the way they have advocated his cause here.

There's a role for social skills in politics, after all.

Bummer, huh?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

You know, I really like to read the comments, sometimes more than the article itself. It's a way of democratizing media, and you can get a good exchange of ideas with ordinary folks.

But there has to be a way to control for people who come here for the sole purpose of pissing in the pot. It appears that Fog City Journal solved its Arthur Evans problem some time ago. I wouldn't want to limit anyone's free speech -even the conservatives, who are sometimes the most um... interesting folks who post. But maybe it's time the Guardian also considered doing something about the troll before the discourse degenerates too much more.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

It's clear from the lead article in this thread and many of the comments here that David Waggoner's supporters have an attitude problem.

They believe that the vacant seat on the Police Commission is theirs by some kind of entitlement. They become defensive and hostile when this attitude is questioned. Some, like Greg, want to censor and silence people who think differently from themselves.

Such tunnel vision may give them a sense of psychological relief here. But it won't fly at the supes, who are the ones who will fill the vacant seat.

A better way to lobby is to stay focused on the issues, avoid giving attitude, demonstrate some social skills, and welcome diversity of thinking.

In the long run, nothing beats rationality - even in politics.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

Arthur irrationally believes that progressive queers do not count as diversity and should not be seated on the Police Commission.

Perhaps only candidates acceptable to Arthur Evans' narrow sect are deemed sufficiently diverse and qualified for service?

Posted by Diogenes on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

"Perhaps only candidates acceptable to Arthur Evans' narrow sect are deemed sufficiently diverse and qualified for service?"

- Diogenes

As noted, I don't support or oppose either candidate for the Police Commission. I doubt whether it will make much difference to the city which one is seated by the supes.

I have, however, noted a difference in the behavior of the two groups supporting these candidates.

David Waggoner himself is intelligent, capable, honest, and articulate. His supporters, however, have an attitude problem.

As this thread shows, they believe Waggoner has an entitlement to the vacant seat. They attack, and even hope to censor, anyone who questions their sense of entitlement.

To his credit, Waggoner himself has apparently not made such an entitlement claim.

His supporters would do well to follow his example and let the appointment be decided on the basis of the qualifications of the two applicants. If they did so, Waggoner would have his best chances of success.

The Milk Clubbers, who are Waggoner's principle backers, have a long history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory because of their counterproductive behavior.

Why is it so hard for them to understand that immature, paranoid behavior by a candidate's backers will only end up hurting the candidate?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

I don't know why some people on this board feel the need to stereotype David Waggoner's supporters, of which I am one. Obviously, none of you saw the Rules Committee testimonials on behalf of both Waggoner and Turman last week. Everyone was respectful; there was no yelling or anti-social behavior from the Milk Clubbers. Waggoner's folks mainly focused on his experiences on police oversight issues, while Turman's folks (mostly high-end lawyers and Alice supporters) simply vouched for his character.

Facts trump stereotypes.

And btw, the Milk Club is changing. It's leadership has very little time for rowdy, anti-social rants that come from occasional members. (But since I doubt Aurthur or "Guest" come to any actual Milk meetings, all they have to base their opinions on are, well, blind speculation.)

Posted by Common Sense SF on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 12:12 am

I posted the above message about the counterproductive behavior of David Waggoner's supporters under my own name, but the system listed the author as "Guest." Don't know how that happened.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 10, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

Arthur Evans' typical device, which he ham handedly deploys here, is to not address the issue of the political principal, rather to attack the political principal due to the alleged failure of his or her supporters to achieve perfection in Arthur Evans' mind, to reach Arthur Evans' never attainable standards.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 7:28 am

The lead post in this thread, by Kim-Shree Maufas, argues that “I will forever consider the seats appoinnted [sic] by the board as ‘the People’s Seats for the People’s Voice.’ ”

She makes it clear that she regards the vacant seat on the Police Commission as an entitlement owned by our local progressive sect. She adds “this opening on the Police Commission belongs to David Waggoner.”

Other progressive posters in this thread have agreed. The seat “belongs” to Waggoner because he represents our local progressive sect in claiming its entitlement to the seat.

However, these supporters of Waggoner are wrong. The seat does not “belong” to anyone.

Public office is a public trust, owned by the sovereign people. It has to be earned and re-earned.

The arrogance and paranoia of Waggoner’s supporters are sinking his chances of winning the seat. His best move now would be to issue a public statement along the following lines:

I recognize that no individual or group owns the seat on the Police Commission. I ask the board of supervisors to make a decision based solely on the qualifications of Julius Turman and myself.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 8:56 am

Chris Roberts has written a great article up at the SFAppeal about Julius Turman's attendance record:


Perhaps Sarah Phelan will ask David Campos before Tuesday's vote if he is going to support a candidate for the Police Commission who did not take his responsibilities at the Human Rights Commission seriously.

Posted by guest on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 11:33 am

Arthur Evans thinks that unless a candidate adheres to the rigid dogma of the moderate sect that they have no place on a Charter Commission.

This kind of doctrinaire Stalinism is what did in the early radical gay rights movement in New York City.=

Posted by Guest on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 11:38 am

It's fair game to criticize the public records of Julius Turman and David Waggoner. Turman's poor attendance record, in particular, is a strike against him.

However, it's not fair game to claim that Waggoner owns a seat on the Police Commission because he's a member of a certain political sect. Yet that game has been played repeatedly by posters on this thread.

My guess is that Waggoner himself recognizes the folly of such a game. However, his supporters are another matter.

Progressive candidates in SF are often a cut above their supporters. These often subvert progressive candidates through their own goofy behavior.

I suspect that the pervasive use of medical marijuana, medical alcohol, or medical meth may have something to do with the problem.

Then again, it may just be old-fashioned stupidity.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

Arthur, if you don't think that progressive gay men should continue to be denied the opportunity to serve on the Police Commission because they do not adhere to the right dogma of your dogmatic political sect, then just say so.

There's nothing progressive about Stalinism.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

"if you don't think that progressive gay men should continue to be denied the opportunity to serve on the Police Commission..."

- Guest

Where did this come from?

As noted repeatedly, I neither support nor oppose either candidate for the open slot on the Police Commission.

What I do oppose is the claim that somebody "owns" a seat on the commission.

In a democracy, the sovereign people own all offices. Those who fill offices do so at the sufferance of the people. Nobody has an entitlement to any office.

If David Waggoner's supporters persist in claiming that he "owns" the vacant seat, they will only succeed in torpedoing any chances he may have left of winning the seat.

Waggoner would do well to educate his own supporters about the basics of democracy.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

Waggoner's more qualified. Turman has a cloud of unresolved domestic violence issues, and now we find out that he was a no-show when he sat on another commission.

The justifications for supporting Turman are getting weaker by the day, and now amount to pretty much "he's my BFF so I'm voting for him." That's not enough for such an important commission.

I think it's time that Supervisor Campos reconsidered his position in light of everything that's coming out.

Of course there's still Chiu, but Chiu's hiding behind Campos. If Campos reconsiders, it will put Chiu on the spot.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

Thanks, Greg, for making another post free of obscenities.

Also, thanks for making a post free of asking the moderator to ban or censor posters who disagree with your views.

You're getting better!

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

Obscenities are part of language. What are you, the F bloody fuckin' CC?

Shall we start requiring language ratings on all blog posts?

Posted by vigilante on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

"What are you, the F bloody fuckin' CC?"

- Vigilante

Thank you for your contribution to progressive thinking.

Question, though -

If this is progressive, what would regressive be like?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

"What would regressive be like?"

You personify the answer to your own question.

Posted by vigilante on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

A low politics, even if it claims to be progressive, only serves to perpetuate the barbarism of the status quo.

Only a high politics can transform self and society.

"Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair."

- George Washington

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jun. 12, 2011 @ 7:39 am

Why would anyone want someone like Julius Turman who has a record of domestic violence, I understand the 911 tape is a doozy, and more often than not cannot be bothered to attend his current commission's meetings?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

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