District 2: The forgotten BOS election
October 28, 2006
For the majority of the current campaign cycle, District 2 has
shown no signs that there is, in fact, a major election on the
November ballot. Neighborhoods in the district have seen none
of the traditional products of a district election: no window
signs or door hangers, no mailings, not a single candidates forum.
That changed in recent weeks when write-in candidate David
Kiddoo, the last candidate to enter the race, became the first
to launch a webpage and the only candidate to demonstrate grassroots
District 2 write-in candidate David Kiddoo.
Last Saturday, the 32-year-old Kiddoo and a group of young volunteers
took their message to the streets of the Presidio and Pacific
The incumbent Supervisor, Michela Alioto-Pier, has already managed
to spend over $50,000 without conducting any person-to-person
campaigning, such as the hand-delivery of campaign literature.
Since the entry of Kiddoo into the District 2 race, her campaign
has taken on a public face, with Internet and bus shelter ads
promoting her less-than-inspiring accomplishments over her first
term: tax breaks to movie producers and 2004's dubious, costly,
and redundant Proposition I.
District 2 Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier. File photo (10/17/6).
If making five-figure expenditures for consultants, polling,
and media buys seems odd for an incumbent in a neighborhood election
with no apparent competition on the ballot, consider the excitement
generated by the late entry of Kiddoo in this year's race. As
a last-minute write-in candidate, Kiddoo has built a grassroots
campaign that has garnered the endorsements of progressive groups
such as the San
Francisco Tenants Union, the San
Francisco Bay Guardian, and the League
of Young Voters. Kiddoo works as a non-profit developer of
affordable housing and holds a Masters Degree in City and Regional
A 2004 candidate for District 2 Supervisor, I caught up with
Kiddoo shortly after last Saturday's precinct walk and had a few
questions for the candidate.
DAVID PASCAL: The decision to enter the race at this stage
is an interesting one. What made you throw your hat in the ring?
DAVID KIDDOO: I took a look at the choices on the ballot
and immediately knew that progressive voters in District 2 wouldn't
have a choice when they went to the polls this year. I've been
in that situation before, and it's a lousy feeling - knowing that
you can't, in good conscience, vote for anyone on the ballot.
So, I'm here to give progressives in my district a choice on November
PASCAL: Well, your current Supervisor, Michela Alioto-Pier,
has been endorsed by a wide range of organizations, including
the San Francisco Democratic Party. If she's good enough for the
Democrats, why isn't she good enough for you?
KIDDOO: Look, anyone who is a sitting supervisor in our
city is going to be endorsed by the Democratic Party. It's effectively
a one-party town. But all you have to do is take a look at this
year's voter guide to know that she's hardly a progressive. She
shares a number of positions on our propositions with the local
Republican Party - is that supposed to boost her progressive cred?
PASCAL: So, as a progressive, what questions would you
ask Supervisor Alioto-Pier?
KIDDOO: Well, there are a lot of them. I've yet to receive
any literature from her this election cycle - she's raised nearly
a hundred grand and I still don't know what she's all about. Specifically,
though, I have a few:
With kids dying on the streets of our city, why did Supervisor
the plan to initiate police foot patrols in our most dangerous
neighborhoods? She's gone out of her way to make sure that movie
producers don't have to pay fees when they have their shoots here,
which amounts to a dedication of police resources to make sure
that donuts don't get stolen off of the set of "The Wedding
Planner." Is that more important than preventing violent
Even if you're willing to accept that the shell game of forgoing
tax revenues from movie productions isn't curtailing our ability
to pay for city services because police fees are still being paid,
these tax breaks aren't necessarily driving economic development.
If you ignore the constant bleating of Republicans and corporate
types about how taxes are killing our economy and actually look
at the research instead, you'll find that quality of life is a
bigger development engine than tax cuts actually are. That explains
how California continues to be an economic miracle while Mississippi
isn't, and it makes a pretty good case that we should be concentrating
on keeping kids from being shot on our streets rather than giving
tax breaks to rich corporations.
PASCAL: How about questions that you have that are more
directly related to the quality of life in our district?
KIDDOO: District 2 has some of the most famous and unique
shopping areas in the world on streets like Union, Chestnut, and
Fillmore. Still, Supervisor Alioto-Pier sided with the San Francisco
Republican Party in her opposition to Proposition G, claiming
that protection for small businesses should be given on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood
basis. Does she think that local small business owners in the
Marina need more protection than those in Hunters Point, or is
she just too dependant on big-money downtown and out-of-town interests
to take a principled stand in favor of our local businesses?
And have those interests made her forget that three-quarters
of her constituents rent their homes? Supervisor Alioto-Pier amassed
a voting record that has earned her the endorsements of known
anti-tenant organizations such as the San
Francisco Realtors Association and the San
Francisco TIC Coalition, and hardly seems to have the best
interests of most of her constituents at heart.
PASCAL: Then how do your proposed policies differ from
those that have been promoted by Supervisor Alioto-Pier?
KIDDOO: Well, first off, I recognize that we're facing
a serious public safety problem in our city, and I believe that
a move away from the status quo is absolutely necessary to restore
order to our streets. I think that the recent vote by the Board
of Supervisors to establish foot patrols is a great start, and
I'm disturbed that Supervisor Alioto-Pier voted against that measure.
I also support community policing measures similar to those that
were proposed under Proposition A in our past June election, and
I was shocked and disappointed when so much of the Downtown establishment
came out in opposition to that proposition. That is proof to me
that she doesn't get it when it comes to matters of public safety.
I'm also disturbed by her open opposition to Proposition G. It's
a good start towards preserving much of "what makes San Francisco
San Francisco" - local businesses that provide us with a
good part of the local flavor we're famous for. Proposition G
isn't going to prevent business growth in our neighborhoods; instead,
it's just going to give our citizens more of a voice in what the
character of their neighborhoods are, and I just can't see how
that can be represented as a negative.
Finally, I have proposed a housing policy that goes beyond building
million-dollar condos wherever the big, for-profit developers
see fit. So many of our citizens depend on rental housing in order
to stay in San Francisco, including three-quarters of District
2. The only way this city will keep its character is if there
are housing options available that don't require a pair of six-figure
incomes and $300,000 of equity from mom and dad. That's what our
inclusionary ordinance, local reforms to the Ellis Act, and other
pro-tenant legislation are all about, and my vote on those issues
will NOT be for sale to groups like BOMA and the San Francisco
PASCAL: As a write-in candidate, how are you spreading
the word about your candidacy?
KIDDOO: Any way we can - pounding the pavement, making
calls, leaning on the progressive media and the blogs, contacting
key progressive figures. I admit that we're behind the 8-ball
in terms of timing; had I known that Supervisor Alioto-Pier would
not be facing legitimate opposition during this election, I would
have filed for this race much sooner. The fact is, though, I didn't,
and we have to deal with that. I'm really depending on running
a 'viral' campaign here - we need as many concerned San Franciscans
as possible to get the word out that there's an actual choice
in this election. Word of mouth can be effective, though - there's
plenty of precedent for successful grassroots campaigns here,
and we feel like we can catch lightning in a bottle this year