By Luke Thomas
March 23, 2012
San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar filed papers with the Department of Elections Thursday, officially declaring his bid for re-election to the District 1 seat.
Mar, a progressive and an attorney, was elected to the Board in 2008. He previously served on the Board of Education.
Asked if an expected Board vote on whether suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi should be removed from office is “weighing heavily” on his mind, Mar told Fog City, “I really cannot make any comment about my former colleague, Ross Mirkarimi, but I’ll just say that I always will be a fair person that listens to all the evidence and does my best to be fair – and I know that is going to be a difficult decision.”
Mirkarimi was suspended from office Tuesday without pay by Mayor Ed Lee and served with papers Wednesday charging him with official misconduct over his admission of guilt and conviction of one count of false imprisonment stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident involving his wife, Eliana Lopez, on New Year’s Eve.
Because Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, avoiding a costly criminal trial, an account of what actually happened on December 31 remains untold.
As required by the city Charter, the Ethics Commission is now tasked with investigating Lee’s official misconduct charge and making a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors based on its findings. That inquiry is set to begin in April. Nine of eleven supervisors must vote in the affirmative to remove an elected official from public office.
Four supervisors – Mar, David Chiu, David Campos and John Avalos – are each facing re-election campaigns in November. District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague, appointed by Mayor Ed Lee in January following Mirkarimi’s election to Sheriff, is seeking election in her own right. Her appointment was largely seen as reciprocation for her co-chairship of the controversial “Run, Ed, Run” campaign.
Accompanied by his daughter, Jade, and a dozen supporters including representatives of the United Educators of San Francisco, Mar said his re-election campaign will be focused on “all the diverse communities, small businesses, seniors and families – and just everyone in the District – and have the strongest grassroots campaign we can have to win.”
Mar said his accomplishments since his election to the Board include green jobs creation, supporting a balanced budget that is “not balanced on the backs of working families,” improving schools, parks and services in the District; helping to support small businesses survive in a difficult economy; and creating more affordable housing, particularly for low-income seniors.
“Besides jobs creation, I also want to focus on having housing that people can live in and not be pushed out of the city based on their economic conditions,” he said. “For four years, I have done my best to give a strong voice to our diverse residents in our District and I’ll continue to do that.”
Asked what are the greatest challenges in his District and what he hopes to accomplish in the next four years, Mar said he will continue to help “revitalize” the small business corridors between Geary and Clement streets, “so that we can have a thriving small business sector that’s really the backbone of our economy.”
He has been early-endorsed by United Educators of San Francisco.
“The UESF has made an early endorsement of Eric Mar because we know him so well both from the School Board and from his work on the Board of Supervisors,” said United Educators of San Francisco President Dennis Kelly, adding Mar “is a man of integrity.”
“He’s the kind of person we want in politics because he not only listens to his own counsel when he votes, but he is a man who has very sincere compassion for those around him, including people of the city,” Kelly added.
“We’re thrilled to be here and it was a very easy endorsement,” added UESF political director Ken Tray.
An official campaign kickoff event has been set for Saturday, April 21 at noon in Rossi Playground, said Mar campaign manager Nicole Derse.