Overheard in Fog City
FCJ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
Photo by Adam Aufdencamp
May 12, 2007
Daly whips up progressives
With less than six months before San Franciscans go to the polls
to elect a new mayor, incumbent Mayor Gavin Newsom remains unchallenged
from any viable candidates from the left. As I wrote in my last
column, this could soon change.
Yesterday, Supervisor Chris Daly sent an email inviting progressives
to attend a progressive convention on June 2nd at the Tenderloin
Community School from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The purpose of the convention, as stated in Daly's email, is
"to set the stage for our progressive campaigning this summer
and fall, to consolidate our platform, train in the nuts and bolts
of electioneering, launch our candidate(s) for Mayor of San Francisco,
and have lots of fun."
Reached by phone, Daly explained San Francisco progressives will
have a progressive mayoral candidate nominated by the end of the
"I am one hundred per cent committed to a progressive campaign,"
Daly said by phone.
The short list of nominees presently includes Supervisor Ross
Mirkarimi, Board President Aaron Peskin, former Board President
Matt Gonzalez, and Daly, himself.
Although Senator Carole Migden has confirmed her attendance at
the convention, her name is not expected to be added to the list
of possible mayoral candidate nominees.
Newsom returns unsigned affordable housing supplemental
Mayor Gavin Newsom sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors
yesterday explaining why he refused to sign legislation passed
by supervisors appropriating $28 million of $127 million in surplus
budget funds to affordable housing.
The letter, released after the close of business Friday, states,
"Today I return unsigned an ordinance approving $28.05 million
in supplemental spending at the end of the current fiscal year.
This last minute spending measure doubles the City's budget deficit
in the coming fiscal year, and therefore my administration will
not spend funds which we do not have.
"All of us share affordable housing, the subject of this
supplemental spending, as a key budget priority. However, I believe
that spending available funds now which we will need in a matter
of weeks to balance our budget is akin to spending available cash
from a monthly paycheck before next month's bills are paid."
Commenting on the letter and Newsom's action, legislation sponsor
Supervisor Chris Daly said Newsom will be forced to spend the
money as required by the legislation.
"San Franciscans need more affordable housing. While Newsom
can choose not to spend these monies while in office, San Francisco's
newly inaugurated progressive Mayor will answer the call and utilize
these monies to aggressively build affordable housing next year,"
Sparks makes history, Renne resigns
At Wednesday's police commission meeting, the seven-member panel
voted to elect a new commission president. The commission voted
4-3 to replace anti-reformist Louise Renne with pro-reformist
Theresa Sparks. Sparks' elevation marks the first time in U.S.
history a transgender person has been elevated to head a big city
Following the vote, Renne stormed out of the meeting and resigned
from the commission the following morning.
Renne is lucky to have served another year as commission president.
Last year she narrowly escaped being dethroaned by a commission
growing increasingly dysfunctional under Renne's reign.
You'll recall Commissioner David Campos, a newbie to the commission
at the time, led the vote with a nod for Renne. Campos' vote was
critical in determining Renne's fate by influencing the votes
of commissioners following Campos. Had Campos voted for Sparks
then as he did Wednesday, Sparks would have been commission president
a year ago.
Newly affirmed Police Commission President Theresa Sparks
with former Commission President Louise Renne. File photo.