Davis launches D5 campaign with fortuitous timing

Julian Davis formally kicked off his D5 campaign on June 28.
Tim Daw

When progressive activist Julian Davis formally launched his District 5 supervisorial campaign late last week with a well-attended kickoff party at the Peacock Lounge in Lower Haight, timing and circumstances seemed to be on his side.

Days earlier, Quintin Mecke – a rival for the progressive vote in this staunchly leftist district – announced to supporters that he needed to care for his ailing mother and wouldn’t be running after all. At the same time, appointed incumbent Christina Olague seemed to be rapidly falling from favor with many progressives.

First came the viral video of Olague gushing over all the support she’s received from Chinatown power broker Rose Pak during a fundraiser where she raised nearly $50,000, then her squirrely role in helping the moderates repeal ranked-choice voting, and finally the bizarre episode of clashing with a close progressive ally and friend to defend Mayor Ed Lee from perjury allegations.

Davis has sought to capitalize on the rapidly unfolding developments, today sending out a press release blasting Olague for having “joined the conservatives on the Board of Supervisors to repeal ranked choice voting for mayoral elections,” and telling the Guardian that Mecke’s exit will help clarify the choice D5 voters face.

“The fact that he’s out allows us to consolidate the progressive base,” Davis said, not mentioning that candidates John Rizzo and Thea Shelby will also be vying for the progressive vote.

At his kickoff party, Davis also demonstrated that he has substantial support from another significant D5 voting block – African Americans – for which he’ll be competing with political moderate London Breed, director of the African American Arts & Cultural Complex.

Davis said that with Olague’s support by Mayor Ed Lee and the city’s economic and political establishment, he’ll need to run a strong grassroots campaign based on “people power and shoe leather,” an approach that he’s also displaying with regular street corner campaigning.

"We're at an economic, social, and political crossroads in San Francisco,” he said at his launch party. “Rogue developers are corrupting City Hall with a vision of luxury condos, corporate tax breaks, chain stores, and parking garages. It's a vision of San Francisco that doesn't include us. Everyday, progressive reforms are being dismantled and progressive values are being abandoned.”

Davis is hoping that Olague’s ties to Lee will drag her down in a district that voted almost 2-1 in favor of progressive John Avalos (whose campaign Davis actively worked on) over Lee in last year’s mayor’s race.

“Look what's happening on the waterfront where Olague voted to approve the 8 Washington development. These are condos for the Kardashians, vacation homes for the ultra rich and the 1 percent. That's not keeping it real for San Francisco,” he said at the kickoff. “So we've got to ask ourselves: how do they get away with it? The only way they can. By choosing your leaders for you. Over the past two years in San Francisco, we've had an appointed mayor, an appointed district attorney, an appointed sheriff, and an appointed District 5 supervisor. Does that sound like participatory democracy to you? Does that sound like your vote counts?”

And as Avalos also tried to do in his mayoral campaign, Davis says he wants to use his campaign to help restart the city’s progressive movement, which has been in tatters since being divided and nearly conquered by the politicians and political operatives who helped elevate Lee into Room 200 18 months ago.

As he told supporters, “We can re-launch the progressive movement in San Francisco from this district. We can take back City Hall. We will win this election with people power, street by street, block by block, neighbor to neighbor, shop by shop."


non-existence of discussions with Lee for which no credible counter-evidence has been presented?

Could you be any more biased and prejudiced if you tried?

Davis looks hopelessly unelectable so I fee sure that SFBG will endorse him.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

I thought the same thing when I read this article. It was as if Steven was saying that Debra Walker had a good thing going, attacking the Mayor and Olague should have gone along with it, truth or not.

"clashing with a close progressive ally and friend" is Stevens exact words.

What Olague did is say 'No' when reporters asked her if she had discussed Mirkarimi with the Mayor.

Bankrupt political movement.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 03, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

Avalos lost massively and humiliatingly, with Lee getting more than 50% more votes than the appalling Avalos.

Davis should set his ambitions a little higher. Actually, a lot higher.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

Olaque is in way over her head. I watched the ranked choice voting debate and she was absolutely incoherent, on a key issue where she obviously thought that she had a lot of explaining to do. It is such a sharp contrast to the other supes.

There is no way that she is going to be able to hold her own in a debate against any competent opponent.

It might not make a difference. In any event it will be interesting to see if the Progressives can circle the wagon and hold onto D5, which is the one place that the SFBG endorsement might not be the kiss of death.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 03, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

After Mecke's popped without anyone knowing it. Steven is cheering it on - this piece is official notice that Olague has wandered too far from the cultish progressive reservation and she has now been served notice that she's going to pay.

I'm sure she's shaking in her boots.

Posted by Troll II on Jul. 03, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

You're right but they actually started the process back on March 7, as soon as Olaque had the temerity to add her name to the RCV repeal. The SFBG immediately ran a picture of a smiling Mirkarimi and London Breed:


Although in D5 the SFBG endorsement might have some effect. Let me rephrase that since it seems to have an effect city wide. In D5 the SFBG endorsement might actually have a POSITIVE effect.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 03, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

"Rogue developers are corrupting City Hall with a vision of luxury condos, corporate tax breaks, chain stores, and parking garages."

Shameless, baseless demagoguery. I thought Julian was better than that- guess not.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2012 @ 8:32 am

Baseless? Are you kidding me? This board has in the last year approved each of these things, so how do you justify called this statement "baseless"?

Posted by steven on Jul. 05, 2012 @ 10:40 am

Blacks don't drive, or something?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2012 @ 11:46 am

It is interesting how non-blacks speak about our community as if we cannot speak for ourselves. Julian Davis is not a part of the black community in this community or this city.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2012 @ 9:53 am

Exactly, Willie Brown is "Head Negro In Charge" and he has not blessed Davis.


Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

Considering that Julian Davis is African American, why wouldn't be a part of the African American community? And are all the African American supporters at his kickoff party also not part of the African American community? Who decides and is there an official list kept somewhere?

Posted by steven on Jul. 05, 2012 @ 10:38 am

he doesn't mean so much "being black", but rather "thinking black". It's the idea (or rather, stereotype) that being black somehow defines who you are, and that race has real significance and meaning, rather than being an outdated social construct.

If a white person stated that his whiteness "defined" him, people would cry out "racist". But if you're black then that's somehow magically different.

"Guest" excludes blacks from his community if they are "Uncle Toms", but charitably includes so called "whiggahs", i.e. white liberals who are riddled with white guilt and thereby rendered mute.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2012 @ 11:45 am

Olague is an incompetent moron facing many challenges including a good progressive with Davis. Campos gets a pass even though he is a dishonest hollow man who will leave office in 2 years and give Willie and Rose a chance to appoint an Olague clone in his district . Wtf???

Posted by Non troller rolling on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 8:06 pm