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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
More photos after the jump
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.