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Voters to decide five San Francisco Supervisor races

By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service


November 2, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Next week's election provides San Francisco voters in half of the city's supervisorial districts an opportunity to choose representatives for the Board of Supervisors.

Voters in four districts will see anywhere from one to seven candidates challenging incumbent supervisors, and in one district a host of candidates are vying for an empty seat.

One of the most contentious races is in District 6, which covers the Tenderloin, South of Market area and Treasure Island.

Chris Daly has been the district's supervisor for over six years. A Democrat and a self proclaimed champion of economic, social and environmental justice, Daly has based his campaign on fighting against special interest groups like the real estate industry and large corporations.

Daly faces seven challengers in next week's election.

Robert L. Jordan is a 59-year-old Tenderloin resident and president of Alliance for a Better District 6. He says he hopes to do the will of the community as a whole as a supervisor.

Matt Drake, who has a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University as well as a law degree from the University of Michigan, says he hopes to bring more jobs and housing into the district. As a self-described "passionate environmentalist," Drake pledges to be a leader in environmental reform.

Another Tenderloin resident, George Dias, is vying for the District 6 seat as well. Running for the first time for political office, Dias hopes a platform of creating more affordable housing and a more livable downtown will get him elected.

One of the most highly recommended candidates in any supervisor race this year is Rob Black, a lawyer and former aide to Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier. He has received endorsements from the San Francisco Police Officers Association, Mayor Gavin Newsom and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, among others.

A Democrat, Black has made crime and education two of the pillars of his candidacy. He has pledged to put more police on the streets and expand the "care not cash" program for the homeless.

Another District 6 candidate, gay activist and community leader Davy Jones, is also putting crime ahead of other issues. According to Jones, the crime-filled streets of the Tenderloin would make a perfect breeding ground for Islamic terrorism and a supervisor should do something about it.

A final candidate, Manuel Jimenez Jr., claims to run his campaign out of the back of his 1973 Volkswagen Bus. Jimenez describes himself as a common sense progressive interested in safe streets and smart growth for the common interest.

Another district race that involves a lot of campaign funding and celebrity endorsements is in District 4, which covers most of the residential Sunset neighborhood.

Six candidates are vying for the seat that will be left vacant by Fiona Ma, who is running for state Assembly.

Doug Chan, a 30-year-veteran of civic life and a former member of the San Francisco Police Commission, has pledged to bring the Police Department up to its city charter mandated numbers as well as work to upgrade the department's policies and technology. Chan has received endorsements from Newsom, Feinstein and long list of current and former local politicians and organizations.

Another strong challenger in the district is Jaynry Mak, a former aide to Ma. A lawyer and business leader, Mak says she wants to make family issues such as education, home ownership and senior care the major issues for the district. She has received endorsements from California gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides and Congressman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, as well as the San Francisco Democratic Party.

David Ferguson, a public school teacher and long-time Sunset district resident, hopes to be elected so that he can work on local issues and fight against special interests.

Ron Dudum is another candidate who supports affordable family housing. He says he is also interested in homelessness and putting more officers on the streets.

Houston Zheng, who came to Sunset district as an immigrant, is running for office to make life less expensive for Sunset residents. He pledges to cut the cost of power, lower property taxes and work to lower the cost of fuel.

The final candidate for District 4 is Ed Jew. A small business owner, Jew says he would focus on keeping families from leaving San Francisco for the suburbs. He plans to make the streets safer and the schools better and advocates cutting what he says is wasteful spending at City Hall. Jew is supported by California Senator Jackie Speier and Controller Steve Westly.

Only two challengers are going up against 4-year Supervisor Bevan Dufty in District 8, which covers the Castro, Noe Valley, Upper Market and Glen Park neighborhoods.

Dufty, who served as the coordinator for the mayor's office of neighborhood services under Willie Brown, has made neighborhood improvement a cornerstone of his term. From fixing up parks to scaling back the annual Halloween party in the Castro district, Dufty has made quality of life issues paramount.

Alix Rosenthal, president of the local chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus, is one of Dufty's challengers. Rosenthal is a "zealous advocate" of women's and LGBT rights, and as an attorney, she has represented several tenants' rights cases pro bono. Rosenthal has received endorsements from the local chapters of the Sierra Club and the Green Party.

A third contender, Starchild, a self-described male exotic dancer, is running a second time for the District 8 seat. Starchild has worked with the San Francisco Libertarian Party as an outreach coordinator. One of the largest supervisorial districts, District 10 - which includes Bayview, Hunters Point and Potrero Hill - has been represented by Supervisor Sophie Maxwell for six years.

Maxwell, a life-long resident of the district, claims many accomplishments in a district besieged by crime and pollution. During her terms, Maxwell has worked to clean up problem liquor stores and helped negotiate the closure of the Hunter's Point Power Plant.

She also oversaw the installation of the Third Street light rail project. She faces six challengers this year, whereas two years ago she ran unopposed.

Maxwell's challengers include Rodney Hampton Jr., who grew up in the Westpoint housing development, and who hopes to improve life for District 10 residents through job creation, redevelopment and community policing.

Another challenger, Dwayne Jusino, is a self-described working-class family man. He says he is committed to safe neighborhoods, quality schools, community revitalization and local business.

Marie L. Harrison hopes to make District 10 the "jewel of San Francisco." A community activist, Harrison says she hopes to create jobs, work on health care issues and fight corruption in local government.

Another community activist, Espanola Jackson, says she wants to bring affordable housing to the district as well as improve local schools so students don't have to take buses to schools across town.

The District 2 race includes the Marina, Pacific Heights and the Presidio. Incumbent Michela Alioto-Pier was appointed to the district in 2004 after Newsom, then supervisor, became mayor.

A disability-rights advocate and a former aide to Vice President Al Gore, Alioto-Pier has concentrated on quality of life issues, successfully fighting the installation of a cell-phone tower in Cow Hollow and working on health care issues.

She is challenged by Vilma Guinto Peoro and a write-in candidate, David Kiddoo.

Kiddoo is challenging Alioto-Pier because he says she has done little to combat crime or protect tenants rights in the district.

Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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