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San Francisco Supervisors sworn in to office

Peskin re-elected as Board President

Supervisors re-elect Bevan Dufty, Chris Daly, Sophie Maxwell, Michela Alioto-Pier and newly elected Supervisor Ed Jew, pledge their oath of office and are officially sworn in to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors during a specially convened meeting at City Hall.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Brigid Gaffikin, Bay City News Service

January 8, 2007

Amid cheering, clapping, the occasional hiss and even the cries of young babies, four re elected members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and first-time supervisor Ed Jew were sworn into office in a packed legislative chamber today.

Rebecca Goldfader, mother of Sidney Dufty. Dufty's lifetime friend, John Alter, (right).

Supervisor Bevan Dufty (left) greets Valentina Alioto-Pier and father, Thomas Pier.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin was re-elected board president unopposed and unanimously.

District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin moments after being re-elected
President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Chris Daly commented as he nominated Peskin that Peskin "has led this board as gracefully as it can be done, because it's not an easy task."

Following Peskin's re-election, a member of the public asked the board to "please kiss and make-up, all of you, with the mayor," hinting at the division that at times appeared to dominate the relationship between the board and the mayor last year.

Upon the request of San Francisco resident Ernestine Weiss, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Board President Aaron Peskin rise to the occasion by shaking hands and making-up.

On Tuesday, at the first regular board meeting of the year, the supervisors are expected to vote to override Newsom's veto of an ordinance that would introduce a one-year, pilot police foot patrol program.

Newsom has said police staffing decisions should be left to Police Chief Heather Fong, not the Board of Supervisors. But in closing today's event Peskin remarked that the city's constituents had demanded more community policing.

At Tuesday's meeting the board will also vote to approve a motion to make room on the calendar each month for the mayor to appear in person before the board and engage in policy discussion.

In the past, Newsom has been criticized for not sufficiently engaging in debate with the board, and as he introduced Newsom today, Peskin remarked that the mayor was "always welcome" in the supervisors' chambers.

Hisses were heard from the public gallery as the mayor began to speak. The mayor welcomed the new board, telling the supervisors, "I appreciate your willingness to put yourself out ... to fight your case" and then each in turn, the new and re-elected board members - Michaela Alioto-Pier, Daly, Bevan Dufty, Sophie Maxwell and Jew - spoke of their goals for the board's new term.

Mayor Gavin Newsom

Several supervisors and the mayor emphasized the need to improve the city's disparate distribution of wealth, the importance of fostering an environment friendly to small business and of the opportunities the election of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, as U.S. House speaker offered the city.

Alioto-Pier said she wanted San Francisco to be able to accommodate first-time homeowners and offered a special welcome to Jew, noting that they both had in common a long San Francisco family history and small business ownership as well as both being parents.

Supervisor Alioto-Pier

District 6 supervisor Daly said he was proud of all San Francisco had done to help its disadvantaged residents but said the city was experiencing a "San Francisco version of apartheid" that was seen most clearly in the gulf between his district's poorest residents and the corporations that had also made the area their home. Daly's constituency includes parts of the South of Market neighborhood, the Tenderloin and Downtown.

District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly

Dufty, a new father, opened with an apology for so often imbuing his politics with the personal but went on to talk about how inspired he was by other young parents serving on the board. He said he hoped to experience San Francisco through his young daughter - and in the process help make the city a friendlier place for young families.

District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty

Small business is the lifeblood of the city, creating jobs and tax revenue, said Jew, a former Republican and longtime community activist, adding that he would oppose any legislation that increased the burden on small business. Jew closed by thanking the city's Police Department and with a salute to slain San Francisco police Officer Brian Tuvera, who died after being shot by an escaped parolee on Dec. 23.

District 4 Supervisor Ed Jew

Like Daly, Sophie Maxwell spoke of her district as "the other side of San Francisco," calling it "the district we don't see" and urging the board to close the growing gap between the poor and the very rich. Providing support to small and women-owned businesses would be a boon to the city, she said. Daly's district includes Bayview and Hunters Point, which have been plagued by violence and bear much of the burden of the city's homicides.

"If you're going to be progressive, you have to be progressive all the way," she said.

District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell




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