Agnos and other progressives rally for Olague


A string of prominent local progressive leaders today offered their support to Sup. Christina Olague – including former Mayor Art Agnos, who announced his endorsement of her in the District 5 supervisorial race – in a rally on the steps of City Hall.

In the process, many voiced a need to broaden and redefine progressivism as valuing independence and diversity of perspective more than just stands on specific issues, traits they said Olague embodies. But more than anything, the rally seemed aimed to consolidating progressive support around Olague as the best hope to beat moderate London Breed in one of the city's most progressive districts.

“District 5 is often referred to as the most progressive of San Francisco's supervisorial districts. It includes a diversity of views and opinions on how to meet the challenges all our communities face,” Agnos said. “And it takes a supervisor who know how to listen, to hear and respect those differing views, while working for a resolution that moves us forward.”

Sup. David Campos made only a veiled, indirect reference to the problems some progressives (himself among them) have had with some of Olague's stands since she was appointed to the job by Mayor Ed Lee, but he said, “Those of us who have worked with her know what's in her heart...She has been the independent person we always knew she would be and I'm proud to stand with her today.”

Several speakers made reference to Olague's working class roots, her perspective as a Latina and member of the LGBT community, and her history of progressive activism in San Francisco. Cleve Jones, Gabriel Haaland, Sandra Fewer, and Sup. Eric Mar were among those there to offer support.

“It was a big give by the Mayor's Office to appoint someone who wasn't always going to agree with him,” said Sup. Jane Kim, but that was about the only positive reference to the Mayor's Office, which turned on Olague after she voted to reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, setting the stage for her return to the progressive fold.

“To be a progressive is to share an ideology that understands and believes that the best decisions for our city require the participation of all of us, no matter who we are, where we live, or how big our checkbook is,” Agnos said. “As with so many who have endorsed her, that progressive label says she is a politician who understand this fundamental truth.”

SF Rising board member Alicia Garza kicked off the rally by saying, “We are here to set the record straight that the progressive movement is alive and well in San Francisco.” Later, she praise Olague's history as a community organizer, saying that, “She understands deeply what it means to empower communities.”

Sup. John Avalos, another supervisor who hasn't always agreed with Olague in the last nine months and just endorsed last week, commended her for the courage it takes to assert her values instead of simply supporting the mayor who appointed her. He said Olague recognizes that, “We live in a city of extremes, with extreme differences between the haves and have-nots.”

Another new progressive endorsement, coming in the wake of one-time progressive favorite Julian Davis' troubles, was Quintin Mecke, who said he first worked with Olague on anti-gentrification issues 13 years ago. “I trusted her work then and I trust her work today,” he said. Activist Lisa Feldstein – like Mecke, a former D5 candidate – echoed the sentiment.

“I'm here because I really trust Christina and want to fight for her,” Feldstein said. “She comes from a place of integrity and compassion.”

When Olague finally took the podium, she said, “I am humbled by the heartfelt words of my colleagues.” She also tried to help define progressivism in San Francisco, said that it “isn't about a cult of personality.”

Instead, she said it's about working to building people's capacity to create an inclusive and just city. “It's about building a movement that can weather any storm,” Olague said, closing by saying she'll ensure “the progressive voice is always strong in District 5 and I'll keep working to make it heard until I'm blue in the face...I am the most progressive person in the race.”


All aboard! The establishment train is leaving the station. This is the best we can do. Blah, blah, blah. Complete with all the second stringers they can round up.

We need a change. This is just the same old, same old. Profoundly dispiriting.

Posted by Gust on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

So these are the same people (many of them) who were having "serious concerns" about so-called "progressive" Olague before her vote for the current sheriff. And now because of that ONE vote, they can't gush about her enough. Talk about gullible, naive people. All it took was one major vote, huh? I'm sure the conservative mayor is pleased now. Art Agnos endorsing her? It really is hopeless. Cleve Jones also? That's not surprising since he recently crossed a "protest line" and the protest was in favor of the transgender flag flying at Milk Plaza and Jones sided with MUMC. Ugh. There must be something in the water.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

To quote the other guest commenter ("Here's your smoking gun"): "Next time PLEASE investigate, instead of operating on hearsay. YOU LAZY BASTARDS.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

doesn't clear anything up.

This is all a "he said she said" thing, all that hearsay well after the fact is a muddle.

I don't know dudes chances before this, but he is done now, the progressive "leadership" jumped ship. It's a shame that a persons career can be killed like that.

I do find a bit of irony in that it's progressive again getting the blowback from their own narrow dogmatic world view.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

Any of Rizzo, Olague or Davis would make a fine supervisor, as I've said for months.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

which just leaves Olague. And Breed, of course. Hey they're both "women of color" - that's usually enough for the SFBG.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 1:35 am

Hilar. One night of drunken fumbling in college 25 years ago does not a bisexual make. This whole thing is a ridiculous show and progressives are falling for it hook, line and sinker. When will The Guardian get onboard?

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

"...many voiced a need to broaden and redefine progressivism as valuing independence and diversity of perspective more than just stands on specific issues..."

"Agnos said... it takes a supervisor who knows how to listen, to hear and respect those differing views, while working for a resolution that moves us forward.”

It's really cool to see Progressives finally begin to employ some strategy. I live in D5 and Agnos is correct, there is a wide diversity of views held by the people in this district. Despite what some extremists believe, many of the more moderate D5 residents are open to having their assumptions challenged and to being persuaded to align themselves with a more Progressive agenda. Which is good, because Progressives will need those votes if they ever want to regain any of the power they pissed away.

But the tired old technique of shouting down any doubters and declaring anyone that owns property as "evil" is never going to work. Don't believe me? A lot of pretty moderate D5 residents voted for Ross, myself included. Why? Because Mirk listened to people's point of view whether they were Progressive or Moderate. Now, try and imagine these same Moderates, who voted for Ross, casting a ballot for someone like Marcos or lilli. Can you picture it? Me neither.

I know that San Francisco Progressives get really wrapped up in the romanticism of the revolutionary atmosphere, and that they've probably been susceptible to that fantasist bent ever since they first read the little red book of Mao-isms back in college, but being more willing to compromise is a winning strategy for the future of their party. The only time non-compromise works over the longterm is when the guys on your side are holding rifles.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

Gag me, you voted for Ross and agree with Agnos? And SFBG is your bible, very loco.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

I did indeed vote for Ross, just like a lot of other people did. And I do agree with Agnos, just like a lot of other people do. SFBG is my Bible? Not sure where you got that idea. Not only do I disagree with nearly all of the political stances, I disagree with nearly all of their music reviews, movie reviews, restaurant reviews, and art reviews. I don't like the ugly colors and the 80's-style graphics they use in their hooker ads either.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

Actually, I was one of Ross' earliest supporters precisely because he was able to build unlikely coalitions that achieved much more than the shrill professional progressives who've been circling the drain for the past 8 years.

And I've advanced that approach on the MTA CAC that Ross appointed me to and to which Christina has since reupped my appointment.

The professional progressives hate me because I don't toe their dogmatic political line--that government is only here to address the needs of "the most vulnerable"--and the conservatives fear me because I speak below their loudshriekers about corruption to those they consider their base.

I do not labor under the misapprehension that a single member winner take all electoral seat is something that I'd want, at least not until there is a grassroots organization of average folks who can provide the political power to contest corporate dominance of politics. Otherwise, you're working 80 hour weeks to achieve a win every nine months, maybe. I'd rather garden.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 5:47 am

Whoa hoe hoe! So Marc Salomon is sucking at the public teat..just like the nonprofits he loves to excoriate. No wonder he's all for Olague.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

There is no teat, no sucking, it is a volunteer position on an area of public policy on which I've volunteered and amassed a degree of knowledge for the past decade. The only thing CAC members get is the equivalent of a fast pass so that we can see how the system performs or doesn't. I've built unlikely coalitions there that confound the usual suspects.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

"...declaring anyone that owns property as "evil"..."

Reminds of the comment by Greg I just replied to on the Buck Tavern story. I'm not sure what hardcore "progressives" envision for real estate come the revolution, but I wish they'd just come out with it.

Posted by Hortencia on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 8:10 am

Payback for her vote to reinstate Ross, otherwise Olague's a joke. Just check all the SFBG articles prior to Olague reinstating Ross, on how big a joke Olague is.

Hey Julian, how's the view from under the bus that all your guidance progressives threw you under?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

Unbelievable, isn't it? The "Progressives" have really lost me.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

A string of prominent local progressive leaders today offered their support to Sup. Christina Olague – including former Mayor Art Agnos, who announced his endorsement of her in the world.

Posted by Roulette System on Nov. 19, 2012 @ 11:07 am

As the old saying goes.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 19, 2012 @ 11:57 am

Whether or not you think it is ok to have a man accused and convicted of abusing his wife and on probation as the Sheriff. Classy progressives, classy.

Posted by D. native on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

I spoke with a friend this afternoon and told him about this article. He continued, "I guess Ed Lee told Christina to vote to keep Ross as sheriff in order to guarantee her seat and his tool on the Board and he probably laughed his ass off saying that "progressives will be falling all over themselves endorsing you after your vote. The Suckers. Just like they helped put me in office as the 'caretaker mayor.' LOL. They fell for that too." Of course Lee and Christina would categorically deny this. That's a given. The conversation may have gone something like this: Uh Christina dear, Ed Lee here, you don't need to worry about your seat on the Board any longer. You'll keep the job. Just go ahead and vote to keep Ross as sheriff and I'll act all furious about it the next day and lambaste those who voted that way (it will all be a political act as usual, just ignore it). Because I'm going to make Ross' life as much hell as possible anyway, so you'll be helping me, Willie Brown and Rose Pak in many ways. Wink, wink."

My friend asked: What do you think? I said: I thought the exact same thing. Put nothing past a corporatist politician.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 12:48 am

They decide this election, and not a handful of pundits, endorsers and political has-been's.

The voters aren't all sheep, you know?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 1:37 am

As the Guardian has noted, with early voting and IRV it's impossible to tell how this election will shake out.

Posted by Hortencia on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 7:58 am

Steve Jones has lost all creditability as a progressive voice.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 6:53 am

I am sorry that John Rizzo is not getting more attention. He is a hard worker and would be the best progressive vote on the Board of Supervisors. The pro-development forces have two candidates in the D5 race -- London Breed and Christina Olague. Don't forget that Christina voted for 8 Washington and voted for the re-appointment of Michael Antonini to Planning.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 8:30 am

Come on, now. Our betters have this all figured out for us. Lisa Feldstein for the win!
Let's not be ungrateful.

I can hardly wait for the Guardian's revised D5 endorsement. Christina will be Number One! Christina will be Number One! Because, let's face it, the last nine months have been magical.

More pictures of Christina too, please! There isn't anybody else in the race!

Posted by Gust on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 8:54 am

I just read this article in Fog City Journal It was a smear campaign against Davis.
Good reporting at FCJ. Tim and Steve if you had spent some time investigating the SF Weekly article that was done on Julian Davis, then you may not have accepted their article on its face value.

Posted by Guest 1 on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 10:52 am

I like Luke and FCJ, but I respectfully disagree with the tack he's taken with that article, which implies with little support that Julian is being truthful and Kay isn't. I did most of our reporting on the allegations, and I've talked to several key sources that wouldn't talk to Luke, and I've corroborated that Julian hasn't been honest about his past behaviors or how he's handled them since then. I'm sorry to arrive at that conclusion, because Julian is a friend of mine, and I'm sorry that I can't be more transparent in my reporting because most of my interviews were off-the-record. Few people would want to put themselves out there the way Kay has, particularly if the ugly political climate we see in San Francisco these days. But to "make amends" is a two-way street, not something the male transgressor simply gets to claim, and it should be obvious to everyone that if that was true then this issue wouldn't have come up.

Posted by steven on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

Is Aimee Ellis one of the "key sources" you talked to? Ellis lied when she spoke at the June 6 D5DC candidates meet and said that Davis was “fired from Senator Mark Leno’s office for sexual assault.” Leno wrote a letter denying the charge. He said, "Julian Davis did not leave my office related to issues of sexual harassment.” So, she lied in a public forum. And apparently Ms. Ellis has had it in for Julian from day one of his campaign.
Did you bother to ask Kay if she went out with Julian after the (alleged) incident?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

Tell your sources to stop hiding behind the "whisper campaign" and show themselves. This furtive backstabbing behavior is despicable. Man up, I say!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

No, Aimee Ellis was not one of my sources, my focus was on corroborating incidents that she didn't witness. I interviewed two women with similar stories of unwanted, below-the-clothing physical contact from Julian from the same time period (during which I personally saw Julian regulary behaving in an overentitled and aggressive way toward women on many occasions, which already lent some credibility to the charges) and several sources who corroborated that they had told these same stories at the time, including to Julian himself, who denies even hearing about these stories until recently. The stories he's now telling about what he "apologized" and "made amends" for strained credibility initially, and they have changed in recent weeks to suit the new revelations. There was also an incident of aggressive and disrespectful behavior toward a woman that I personally witnessed, which Julian has misrepresented to me, also hurting his credibility. Since our endorsement, a third woman has also come to me with stories of inappropriate behavior toward her, and I have also heard from another source who corroborated Kay's account, all progressives who have no reason to try to sabotage Julian's campaign. Similarly, I have investigated suggestions of Kay's connections to other campaigns and I haven't found any evidence to support that view, which has been the true "whisper campaign" of late.

My reporting and Julian's refusal to be honest about what happened or to deal with these women in way that showed integrity and worthiness of the public trust caused us to lose faith in him, unfortunately. I have no desire to harm him any more than he's been hurt by this incident, so I won't say anything more about my reporting than I have here. But just as those who sought to deny Mirkarimi's bad behavior toward his wife (rather than acknowledging it and then going on to make the case that it shouldn't cost his family their livelihood) hurt the progressive cause, and so do those seeking to blame Kay for Julian's mistakes, which he was well aware of before he decided to undergo the scrutiny of running for public office.

Posted by steven on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

and I believe you have responded to this story in the way you feel is most fact-based and fair.

I myself feel a bit uncomfortable having expressed doubt regarding Kay's story and having questioned whether her attainment of a city job is on the up-and-up; I wish I hadn't stated those doubts on such a stark basis at the least, and would like to provisionally express my sincere apology to her if I have been wrong.

That said, the story still looks like a smear.

I understand that Julian has sometimes acted badly, but the crux of the matter now seems to be whether he properly atoned for it, with the fact that he sought to legally enjoin her from telling the story being taken as proof that he did not. Right?

The problem for me is that there doesn't seem to have been any reasonable way for Julian to publicly atone. There doesn't seem to have been any way for him to have been less-than-perfect *six* *years* *ago* and still stand for election to an office for which he is a qualified and popular candidate.

I don't personally know the parties involved, but I look with great suspicion on this sort of eleventh-hour revelation. It really seems like an opportunistic exploitation of the division created over Mirkarimi's prosecution and suspension.

Also, just like the attacks on Ross, there seems to be some disagreeable component to the rhetoric being used.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

This is part of a comment written on FCJ.

"Going into the Weekly story Julian Davis was the top progressive candidate in the D5. That's why he had to be taken down. These charges are 6 years old and were made by an educated, middle class member of the Lee administration with resources and political motive. The SF Weekly story failed to mention these two individuals went out together after the date of the alleged incident, a fairly odd occurence given the allegation. What was that about? Would such a fact complicate an otherwise one dimensional "hit?" Of course it would."

Is it true that, " these two individuals went out together after the date of the alleged incident...?"

If so, yes that is very odd. Just curious.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

Steven, Tim,

You have done a terrible job answering even the most basic questions about this case. Your "key sources" are apparently too cowardly to come forward with their allegations. According to the law, the accused has the right to confront his accusers. Yet, you expect prog voters to throw our best candidate under the bus all on your say so, when we don't even know who's behind this attack. How can we judge their credibility? Or understand what's really going on behind the scenes if you refuse to reveal what you know? I think this is a disservice to the voters.

Well, we do know that one of your (probable) sources, Aimee Ellis, was caught in a blatant lie about Davis. And that Ms. Vasilyeva is a good friend of hers who also works with the city administration. We understand that politics is a blood sport in this town (remember the Ed Lee deception?). Not to mention that this is coming in the eleventh hour in a tight race.

As Ann Garrison pointed out, "Julian Davis also didn't have any power over Kay Vasileya. He was not her boss. She had no reason to fear filing charges or making a complaint to Chris Daly's campaign manager." And there's nothing wrong or illegal about sending a cease and desist letter if you honestly believe that your character is being defamed.

Here you are jumping on the bandwagon to call for Davis to drop out, all based on a whisper campaign. Is this your idea of fair dealing? Well, it's not mine, and it won't change my vote.

Julian Davis for Supervisor!!

Posted by Ana on Oct. 23, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

I really don't get this - we forgive Christina for 8 Washington, Run Ed Run, Rose Pak fundraisers, Michael Antonini....But London Breed? Somehow she's the 'moderate' we can't trust

If progressives are going to require 100% from people (UNLESS they're already powerful and influential i.e. Mar on the Ross vote and 8Wash) we're going to find that we're on a small island in a city that needs to be the vanguard of progressive politics in this country, but can realize shades of grey in between our most fundamental pillars. There are things we need to be 100% on, and I think London is with us on them. She might not be at the Buck Tavern all the time, she might not be at cocktail parties with us all the time - but she is a woman of color from the projects who has been delivering services in D5 for years.

I just don't get why progressives think London is THE moderate in this race. I'd love the DCCC to endorse a full ballot - Breed (who has the votes), Olauge, Rizzo/Thea

Oh well....

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 9:39 am

Pretty simple. London is--and has always been--on the side of big money and big power. Yes, her life story is inspirational and I believe she would be committed to delivering services to the District in a patronage and paternalistic way. But she would always be there to grease the skids for the big guys. No question.

Much like Christina, actually--except Christina has sold out for the umpteenth time while London has never had anything to sell out (which, I guess, makes her cleaner in a way).

Interesting article in the Chronicle this morning. Ed Lee has not withdrawn his endorsement of Olague and Rose Pak calls her a friend. Plenty of whisper about lending aid to more moderate opponents, which is just absolutely blowing smoke. Pretty clear where the chips are. Once again, How many 8 Washingtons did Olague buy with her Ross vote? I'll bet Lee and Pak have a pretty good idea.

Good thing we will actually have an election.

Posted by Gust on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 10:24 am


Funny how this game being run on Julian is so eerily similar to that which was worked upon Sheriff Mirkarimi, but in the former case the powers decided we didn't need to have an election; they simply assumed it was enough to *assure* us voters that we'd have decided differently "if we knew blah, blah, blah."

Now in Julian's case, these same people are telling us what we are *going* to do. Same diff.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

"Lee confidante and Chinatown power broker Rose Pak, who has endorsed Olague and raised thousands of dollars on her behalf, said she will continue to support Olague's campaign despite being disappointed by her vote.

"Do you stop talking to friends?" she asked."

Read more:

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 11:33 am

@ Corroboration, Steven and the editoral board at SFBG by your comment posted on Oct 24 th 2:54 PM you knew about Davis's alledged mis-conduct with females. It does not make sense why the SFBG endorsed him.
A lot of your readers are wondering.

Posted by guest on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

That hardly seems to equal him being declared "a top candidate." More like - wishful thinking.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

when designed by one's opponents, it's a foregone conclusion what the results will be

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

Any he may want to release to buttress his claim to be a serious candidate?

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 4:54 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

How interesting. Maybe I am a double-agent for Julian.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

Other new stuff we haven't reviewed yet: the not-screened-for-critics-because-let's-face-it-these-movies-are-critic-proof Paranormal Activity 4, and Tyler Perry's first Madea-free enterprise in some time, Alex Cross.

Posted by Roulette System on Nov. 19, 2012 @ 11:08 am

They dated after this alleged incident??????

Is there any truth to that?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

The Davis charges

"Don't know how many times I have to say this, but we did NOT know about Kay's allegations, or anything close to them, when we made our endorsement. When we found out -- and checked the story out pretty thoroughly -- we made a decision."

Posted by tim on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 3:08 pm


"There was also an incident of aggressive and disrespectful behavior toward a woman that I personally witnessed..."

Posted by steven on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

He made a pass, at a woman, at a singles bar or at a party!

Posted by marcos on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

towards women is "making a pass."

Your sniveling excuses for this inexcusable behavior are shameful.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 26, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

I doubt that all or even most women feel this way and that must drive you batshit crazy.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 27, 2012 @ 6:54 am

The likelihood of you knowing ANYTHING about how women feel, in particular about having their tits or asses grabbed against their will, is next-to-none.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 27, 2012 @ 5:03 pm