Elections: Mayoral candidates run the gamut
Mayoral candidates (from left to right)
Tony Hall, Billy
Bob Whitmer, Quintin Mecke,
Lonnie Holmes, Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, h. brown, Harold Hoogasian,
Josh Wolf, George Davis, Wilma Pang and Grasshopper Kaplan.
Photos by Luke
By Caitlin Cassady
October 17, 2007
It's election time again in San Francisco and the mayoral candidates
run the gamut this year, ranging from doctors, business owners,
and bloggers to nudists and sex club owners.
Incumbent Mayor Gavin Newsom started his tenure at City Hall
in January 2004 with a bang. His first month in office he directed
the city clerk to issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Most recently, Newsom has focused his energies on the problem
of homelessness that pervades the city. He has launched Project
Homeless Connect and the Care Not Cash initiatives in a drive
to eradicate urban homelessness. He has also launched San Francisco
on the path to becoming the first city in the U.S. to have universal
Newsom has launched his campaign for the upcoming election by
asking San Francisco residents to let him know what matters to
them most. He has vowed to strengthen the economy, further sustainable
environmental practices and providing affordable housing without
displacing other San Franciscans.
Eric Jaye, spokesman for Newsom's campaign, said that the mayor
is proud of the progress that the city has made in the last four
years and would like to continue working toward even greater successes.
"The mayor knows that success really is a series of both
big and small steps, he is working very hard to take those steps
and continue moving San Francisco in the right direction,'' Jaye
Blogger Josh Wolf, a video journalist who was imprisoned for
226 days for refusing to turn over recordings of a 2005 protest,
is heading his mayoral campaign under the motto, "A Bold
Alternative to Business as usual.''
Wolf promises to wear a video camera while performing any mayoral
business to promote transparency of office.
Wolf's platform focuses on eradicating homelessness, providing
clean energy and renewable resources and increasing community
policing. He also promises to look into offering a county marriage
license so that same-sex couples can "formalize their love
"The most important aspect of my campaign is the lack of
real democracy in the city,'' Wolf said. "I would like to
revise and modernize the community congress in order to empower
people who feel they are not really represented by elected officials.
I want to give those people a voice.''
Another strong candidate in the mayoral race is Dr. Ahimsa Porter
Sumchai. A graduate of University of California, San Francisco
Medical School, Sumchai is known as a "vocal proponent''
of universal health care and is an advocate of environmental health
and justice. Sumachi would like to stop privatization in San Francisco
and improve renewable energy sources.
If elected Sumchai hopes to halt construction activities of the
Lennar Corporation in the Hunters Point shipyard. She has been
endorsed by the Green Party, Peace and Freedom Party and by former
Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia.
Small business owner Harold
Hoogasian is running what he calls a "No Nonsense'' campaign.
He hopes to make land development projects transparent in an attempt
increase the number of San Franciscans who own their own home.
Hoogasian is the vice president of the South of Market Business
Owners Association and owner of Hoogasian Flowers, as well as
a number of other small businesses in the city.
As manager for the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department,
Holmes has a strong stance on crime in the city. Holmes would
like to see community policing implemented and enforced and a
reentry program for repeat adult offenders.
Holmes is calling for voters to "return City Hall to the
people of San Francisco.'' He is being endorsed by figures as
disparate as Former Supervisor Tony Hall to 49ers Super Bowl Champion
Another candidate who is focusing on crime is Quintin Mecke.
As program director for the Safety Network Program, Mecke is well
acquainted with the violence plaguing San Francisco. He would
like to see community based crime prevention councils established,
and would like to collaborate with the city district attorney's
office and the San Francisco Police Department in reducing the
number of guns on the street.
Mecke has received endorsements from supervisors Chris Daly and
Ross Mirkarimi, as well as the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club.
An additional mayoral candidate is "Chicken"
John Rinaldi. Rinaldi is a self-proclaimed instigator and
artist, as well as being a mechanic.
According to Rinaldi the two most prevalent problems facing the
city are homelessness and crime. Rinalidi states on his campaign
Web site that he is using the campaign as "an opportunity
to examine the political apparatus of San Francisco.''
Alec "Grasshopper'' Kaplan, taxi driver who lives in his
vehicle, has called for the legalization of marijuana and amnesty
for all undocumented aliens. Kaplan is running his campaign for
mayor out of his taxi, which he operates within San Francisco.
As a professor at San Francisco City College for 30 years, candidate
Wilma Pang has high hopes
for improving education in the city. Her platform aims to improve
the quality of neighborhood schools and explore avenues for establishing
affordable college tuition at city universities and colleges.
Pang is a lifetime San Francisco resident and founder of community
organization "A Better Chinatown Tomorrow.'' She is calling
for protective assistance for small business owners and incentives
to keep families in San Francisco
Harold Brown is the second blogger involved in the race for mayor.
Brown contributes to sfbulldog.com
and comments about ongoing issues
and events at City Hall.
Candidate George Davis, nudist and author of "Naked Yoga''
is more commonly known as "Naked Yoga Guy'' in the Fisherman's
Wharf area. Davis has stated that he will establish Golden Gate
Park as nudist-friendly if elected to office. Powers states that
he is "reasonably well informed'' on issues such as urban
planning and public transportation.
The final candidate for the mayoral race is Michael
Powers, owner of Power Exchange Sex Club. He has based his
platform on his opposition to the new Transbay Terminal. Powers
would like to see historic San Francisco preserved for tourists
and residents alike.
A second race that residents will be voting on is for San Francisco
Sheriff. David Wong, a 16-year veteran of the force and president
of the San Francisco Sheriff's Deputies Association will be challenging
the incumbent, Sheriff Michael Hennessey. Wong would like to improve
communications within the department, while Hennessey has emphasized
his commitment towards improving salaries and benefits for officers.
Sheriff Michael Hennessey
Voters will head to the polls on Nov. 6 to decide which candidate
will represent San Francisco for the next four years.
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