Kim Campaign Kickoff Draws Two Former SF Mayors

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Published on June 26, 2010 with 34 Comments

Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos attended a campaign launch event for Jane Kim in the race to succeed District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly. Photos by Luke Thomas

By Luke Thomas

June 26, 2010

Former San Francisco mayors Art Agnos and Willie Brown attended a campaign kick off event held Thursday for School Board President Jane Kim in her bid to succeed Supervisor Chris Daly in the hotly contested race for District 6 Supervisor.

The campaign launch drew as many as 250 supporters to the event held at 111 Minna Gallery in the heart of Downtown San Francisco, far exceeding the attendances of previous kickoff events held by Kim’s closest competitors in the race.

Jane Kim addresses supporters at her campaign launch event at 111 Minna Gallery.

“District 6 is the heart and soul of San Francisco,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu during introductory remarks. “District 6 has been represented by Chris Daly who has ably served this district for the past ten years, but it is now time for change.”

Citing Kim’s work as an affordable housing activist and working as a community organizer, Chiu said he is supporting Kim because she has “epitomized progressive values that I think all of San Francisco shares.”

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and Jane Kim.

Former Mayor Agnos, who arrived fashionably late to the party, told the SF Bay Guardian he is supporting Kim over Debra Walker because Walker supported Prop D, a failed measure on the November 2009 ballot that would have turned mid-Market into a haven for electronic billboard advertisers.

Insiders believe Walker reluctantly supported the measure because of pressure from her campaign consultant Jim Stearns who was representing the measure’s sponsor, businessman and real estate speculator David Addington.

As to why the ever-dapperly dressed former Mayor Brown attended the launch party remains somewhat of a mystery, but Kim told FCJ she personally invited all current and former electeds to the kick-off event.

Jane Kim greets former Mayor Willie Brown at her District 6 campaign launch party.

Also in attendance were School Board Commissioners Hydra Mendoza and Sandra Lee Fewer, Police Commissioner Angela Chan, Golden Gate Bridge Board Commissioner David Snyder, Sunshine Task Force Commissioner Hope Johnson, renowned filmmaker Kevin Epps, fellow District 6 candidate Glendon “Anna Conda” Hyde, and several supervisorial aides including Judson True, Cat Rauschuber and April Veneracion.

Lennar spokesperson Kofi Bonner, looking in the wrong place for a Progressive District 6 candidate supportive of Lennar’s development agenda, was also in attendance. Kim supported Proposition F on the November 2008 ballot that would have mandated 50 percent of all housing developed by Lennar at Bayview/Hunters Point to be affordable.

During her speech, Kim said she “never wanted to go into politics,” echoing sentiments expressed by Plato who believed the common good is best served by individuals who are not politicians.

Jane Kim addresses supporters at her campaign launch event at 111 Minna Gallery.

Kim said she is running for office “to build safe, strong communities” and “to invest in smart planning that brings more opportunities for working class and middle class communities.”

Her platform includes creating more parks, open spaces and recreation centers, investing in street-scape beautification, promoting traffic calming in SOMA to reduce pedestrian accidents, affordable housing development, investing in bicycle infrastructure projects and promoting public transportation projects including the Transbay High Speed Rail Terminal and the Central Subway project.

“We have an opportunity to make District 6 a model neighborhood of the future and smart growth for San Francisco,” she said.

Jane Kim addresses supporters at her campaign launch event at 111 Minna Gallery.

In closing, Kim said, “I’m not part of anyone’s machine, and I’m certainly not a part of anyone’s master plan,” an apparent dig at fellow District 6 candidate Debra Walker, according to SFBG City Editor Steve Jones.

“That emphasis on her independence could be seen as a subtle dig at Debra Walker, another progressive who has been running for the seat for the last two years, who locked down early support from many progressive groups and officials, and whose supporters were unhappy with Kim’s late decision to enter the race, concerned it might split the vote and allow downtown-backed Theresa Sparks — who could be viewed as a ‘machine’ candidate on the other end of the political spectrum — to steal the seat for the moderates,” Jones wrote.

Mayor Agnos could not resist giving SFBG City Editor Steve Jones a smoocher.

More photos after the jump

Political svengali Marc Salomon with Jane Kim.

Board President David Chiu aide Cat Rauschuber with Golden Gate Bridge Board Commissioner David Snyder.

Board President David Chiu and LGBT activist Bobbi Lopez.

A large crowd of supporters attended the launch party.

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu with Police Commissioner Angela Chan.

Community College Board candidate and Sunshine Task Force Commissioner Hope Johnson with Jane Kim.

Central City Democrats Vice President Michael Nulty and Jane Kim.

Former Ethics fines officer Oliver Luby with Jane Kim campaign coordinator Sunny Angulo.

Judson True, Cat Rauschuber and Steve Jones.

District 6 candidate Glendon "Anna Conda" Hyde (center).

SEIU organizer Tami Bryant and School Board Commissioner Sandra Lee Fewer.

School Board Commissioner Hydra Mendoza.

Activist Julian Davis, Mayor Art Agnos and Jane Kim campaign consultant Enrique Pearce.

Former Mayor Art Agnos smooches possible future mayoral contender Julian Davis.

Julian Davis with sisters Makay and Andrea Davis and filmmaker Kevin Epps.

Editor’s Note: Luke Thomas is a resident and voter in District 6. In the interest of transparency, he has provided photography services to the campaigns of Jane Kim, Jim Meko and Debra Walker.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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  • Luke thank you for covering another District 6 Candidate Kickoff Event. I just want to clarify my current connects to District 6 which is Vice President of Central City Democrats (the only chartered Democratic Club for those who work or live in District 6. And I am currently the Executive Director of Alliance for a Better District 6 and co-founder. The current President of Alliance for a Better District 6 is James Keys (Candidate for Supervisor in District 6) Please make the correction. Thanks.

  • Great pics,

    Willie was there because Rose Pak is a primary fund raiser for the campaign. Also, don’t forget that it was Willie who gave Theresa Sparks her first boost in SF politics. As I wrote after watching the SFYD forum, Walker and Meko would make better representatives but the ‘Kim Machine’ is walking away with this one. Congrats to her. Lots of wonderful people working with her. Starting with Agnos.

    I notice Daly wasn’t there.

    Bumgarner throws at 4pm!

    I think there’s some soccer game too.

    h.

  • marc

    To clarify, I’ve not endorsed in D6, am supportive of the progressive and community rooted candidates, Walker, Meko, Keys, Hyde and, yes, Kim, who I’d supported for School Board in ’04 and ’06, but like many am not supporting any candidate.

    It is critical that progressives cast a gimlet eye towards the cold, brutal electoral realities of IRV and how it plays in D6 and not deceive ourselves.

    My primary concern this November, aside from ballot measures and electing Rafael Mandelman in D8, is educating the voters about Theresa Sparks’ record of serial failure as qualification for serial promotion, and how that record wholly disqualifies her from yet another inexplicable promotion to Supervisor of our beloved District Six, the special needs district of SF politics.

    -marc

  • PoliticoWatcher

    Kickoffs are for show. That said, they do show off a candidate’s strength (e.g. how many people show up, if any ‘important’ folks show up, etc.)

    Looks like Jane Kim passed the test with her event. I did watch her speech online. She did a good job, but it’s only a kickoff. The true test will be with her signature in lieu numbers and fundraising totals.

    Just watched the Young Dems debate.

    Jane Kim clearly won that one. I thought it would be close, but it really wasn’t. The other candidates made a mistake in giving her so many questions–it gave her much more facetime than the others. You could tell that Jane was a bit nervous at first, but once settled in, she showed her strong command of issues.

    Debra Walker was surprisingly weak to me. I had expected more from her, but she didn’t deliver. Theresa Sparks did well, though. Her style was very good, and she seemed poised. Theresa did better than Debra, but didn’t get the questions that Jane did.

    Jim Meko and Glendon ‘Annaconda’ Hyde also did okay. Jim spoke in too much politico jargon, and Hyde’s remarks seemed unpolished. James Keys flopped. He wasn’t very impressive and gave a backhanded slap at Chris Daly…whose support I know he’s working hard to get. And watching Matt Drake is like watching paint dry.

    It was a good week for Jane Kim. Time will tell if she can keep it up.

  • kay vasilyeva

    Luke, your readers are insiders. Don’t insult them with things like you have no idea why Willie was there.

  • @Kay, I never spoke to Willie so I don’t know why he was there. Perhaps you can enlighten us?

  • marc

    @Kay, do you all really want to get into that kind of a cooties fest? Each of the major candidates has political associations that stand antithetical to progressive policies.

    If I’m not going there, you all can figure out a way to not go there either.

    For what it’s worth, Willie Brown was at Ross Mirkarimi’s 2008 reelection campaign kickoff. Now Ross has cooties too!

    Observers agree that going negative at the SFYD debate did not prove fruitful.

    Let’s not go there, Kay, it doesn’t work for progressives. There are no entitlements, no “deserves,” it is nobody’s “turn,” all that counts is putting together the package that can win.

    -marc

  • To clarify, I’ve not endorsed any candidate running in the District 6 race. I have attended many of the District 6 candidates campaign kickoffs and other candidate related events and forums.

    I plan on remaining neutral, since I am connected to several entities that will each have their own endorsement process.

    I will have to wait for those processes to occur first. I’m looking forward to inviting all the actual candidates (after last week of August when the Supervisor candidates names will appear on the November ballot) to participate in District 6 candidates forums, and I looking forward to reviewing their websites and campaign platforms.

  • Some connections would be clearer to the casual observer if one could capture Rose Pak’s image in a camera lens or a mirror. But her steady diet of unicorn blood and infant hearts keeps her corporeal form kinda shifty.

  • Rob Anderson

    Of course as a good progressive Kim supports the Bicycle Plan, even though it’s going to jam up traffic on Second Street, Fifth Street, and Cesar Chavez. And the Central Subway and the high speed rail boondoggles. She also supports the high-density development that threatens to degrade any city neighborhood anywhere near a major city traffic artery.

    It would be helpful, too, if the candidates take a stand on the proposed CityPlace development on Market Street on its most blighted block. Is the city’s anti-car movement going to block the much-needed project just because the project includes a parking garage?

  • Another harbinger,

    When Pelosi hit da Dome last week the last thing she did was to put in a plug for Jane Kim for D-6 supe. Y’all realize that? I’d say Downtown has settled on their lady and it ain’t Theresa Sparks or Elaine Zamora.

    h.

  • @h, Hmmm… does that mean Theresa gets thrown under a bus?

  • Wilie Brown showed up? I agree that this stinks of Rose Pak/Chinatown trying to buy a second District seat on the Board of Supervisors to fund more awful projects like the Central Subway that will allow folks pass by the alleys and stores (if businesses can survive the next few years of construction along 4th Street that is … Hotel Utah, hang in there!) of South of Market.

    I like Jane, but it appears as though she has sold her soul to Rose Pak. I’m sorry people, but the whole point of District elections is to make sure that each region of San Francisco have a Supervisor that answers to them primarily … Chinatown trying to power grab District 6’s vote for their own needs is complete and utter bullshit.

    There ya go … do not vote for Jane Kim. She just moved into District 6 last year to become a rubber stamp for Chinatown. District 6 residents deserve their OWN Supervisor.

    Just calling it like I see it ….

  • Robert B. Livingston

    San Francisco is such a small pond where I think, with minor adjustments, we are bound to see more of the same– or more likely, less of the same from its identity-driven political insiders as our economy tightens and unprovoked foreign wars are marginalized by propaganda and diversion outside the interest of anyone except the wars’ suffering victims.

    Most of the candidates seem to be just good people.

    Debra Walker is– I mistakenly thought I would back her at the beginning for that reason alone.

    Kim probably is, but what an obvious opportunist, like Mirkirimi– moving to the Democratic Party. Then, the Green Party in San Francisco was already hijacked by the Democratic Party and its apologists; it came close to being an independent force for a time, but never became more than a left flank of an almost wholly ignored left progressive wing of the Democratic Party (think Kucinich).

    Good luck to all the candidates in this yet another charade of democracy. Those that rise, pray lightly and think occasionally of who you will likely sell out on your way– through intention or by rationalization.

    And I will try to tend my own garden and pray not to have to step over Pollo Del Mar at anytime.

  • Not certain,

    I think since Eric Jaye lost his control that Downtown really has not had a captain. The Progs have shown with the careful nurturing of the Kim candidacy that at this point they are better organized. As I said in a column after watching the SFYD film the other day: “If I’m running against Kim I’m feeling like a Belgian farmer working in my field peacefully in 1939 and I hear a rumbling.”. She can’t be stopped.

    Not that this is a bad thing. It’s just that Daly was always so ‘authentic’. Kim’s someone Willie Brown is comfortable endorsing as is Nancy Pelosi. How’s she gonna vote on the Lennar project on Treasure Island?

    h.

  • Erika McDonald

    @Robert B. Livingston
    I have respected your opinions in the past, and I am curious as to why you think the Green Party was hijacked by the Democratic Party. Is there something we did or said that made you draw this conclusion?

  • marc

    “Chinatown trying to power grab District 6?s vote for their own needs is complete and utter bullshit.”

    Campaign manager for caucasian candidate who celebrates SOMA’s history as a place welcoming newcomers decries participation by people of color in district elections?

    Eww, as if the interference of Calvin Welch or Sue Hestor or Randy Shaw in D6 politics is okey-dokey?

    Can we please keep the attacks to attacking bad policies, specific land use policies, instead of imputing cooties by association?

    -marc

  • Well, if you’re cool with one part of town controlling the rest of San Francisco, I don’t know why you would defend District elections … care to explain?

    When a candidate makes a big deal about being “independent from machine politics” http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2010/06/25/kim-launches-d6-campaign-stressing-independence-machine-politics when anybody with any common sense CAN sense that is complete bullshit, I think we should call them on the floor about it.

    Issues? Well, she was the only candidate who waffled on Jeff Adachi’s Sustainable Pension Reform measure and gave a “No Answer” for the SFYD candidate forum. When asked about it, it became clear she was against it. On her website, it says “It’s our time to change our neighborhood.” Funny, but leaving pensions and retiree benefits as is means more young people get laid off every year and their ideas and familiarity with the latest tools leave San Francisco … not to mention all of the service cuts that impact our most vulnerable neighbors the most. Hmph … change? Sounds like more of the same machine politics to me where career politicians do what is best for themselves … and their financial benefactors (ie: Rose Pak).

    Your turn sweetie … happy Pride

  • marc

    District Six has few political organizations representing residents that can create a political culture for a variety of reasons. What it lacks in civil society it makes up for in tons of nonprofits and as many lucrative development opportunities.

    This means that supervisorial races here don’t look much like other districts because there aren’t enough voters capable of financing campaigns, and it ends up that there are generally more external forces at work than home grown.

    I’ve tried my best to move my progressive vision of land use forward, but the forces with direct economic interests are just too strong, or nobody has figured out how to out flank them by organizing.

    If only length of residential tenure in a district correlated with effectiveness, but alas, those who have lived here for decades can still fail to execute in the face of corporate power.

    I forgot to mention Sean from the RBA in my list of those with keen interests in D6 politics.

    On Adachi’s petition, D6 saw the first waves of what would become the economic collapse in the orgy of development during Daly’s tenure. Having caused the housing market to swoon and after receiving government bailouts while housing prices languish, the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sector is now turning its attentions to diverting collateralized obligations of tax revenues from pensions and social services to their own stabilization, prosperity through austerity goes the slogan.

    There is a progressive response to this, Jeff Adachi carrying water for the Chamber of Commerce is not it, not during this global tsunami of class warfare attacks on the last 300 years of enlightenment economics–compared to Adam Smith, these banksters are radicals.

    We have plenty of money for dignified retirements if the income cap on social security payroll taxes are lifted, our problem is a massive discretionary unfunded military obligation.

    San Francisco’s fiscal crisis is due to a lack of progressive taxation, the fault of Adachi’s petition is that it jumps on that regressive bandwagon, treating MEA six figure managers like SEIU 40K workers. This approach also leverages public outrage at high public service pensions where most voters get none, but does nothing to do anything to help solve most peoples’ pension insecurity. That’s cynical given the crisis facing what’s left of the safety net.

    Moderates and conservatives can quibble about the details of such an exercise in class warfare. Progressives should back away slowly and promote a progressive alternative.

    -marc

  • tami

    Thank you for the thorough and beautifully photographed coverage of Jane Kim’s campaign kickoff. I am convinced she is a solid, progressive vote on the issues that matter the most. I have not seen the SFYD debate, but if as is stated she “waffled” on the pension initiative, then I think that is a good sign. She is a thoughtful person who will weigh both sides of an issue. And she expressed the right position.
    Although I do not support this pension reform measure, I do support Jeff Adachi as a solid, progressive ally, just not on this issue. That said, as a public worker myself, there is a need for frank discussion on funding, budgets, and how public workers fit into this. However, it is not a one size fits all issue. Low paid service workers should not be treated the same as six figure employees. Wasteful overtime practices need to be rectified, salary caps are necessary, as always I say “chop from the top,” and certainly no one deserves a pension over $100,000 a year, especially when all that money is getting spent outside of San Francisco! I believe in a residency law for all city workers, especially for public safety workers. Then they spend their discretionary money in San Francisco, they pay taxes in the city, they care about public schools and the general well being of the city because it is not just the place that they work, while their heart and commitment is based in the suburbs. That alone will raise untold millions in revenue!
    Wall Street is largely to blame for the pension crisis as well! As a state worker, I remember when CALPERS was solvent, now after the Bush/Schwarzennegar era, that is no longer the case. Generally speaking public workers have always forgone comparable salaries for the work we do in order to enjoy the benefits of a secure pension, etc. Now it seems that the public sentiment is headed towards low salaries AND insufficient benefits. That does not seem fair to us either.
    Lastly, I spend 40+ hours a week serving the public, I believe I provide a thorough and vital public service, a lot of folks are relying on their unemployment benefits right now. I do not believe those that I serve truly begrudge what I am earning, they just don’t always hear the facts.
    I believe Jane Kim is a candidate with integrity who I trust implicitly.