Independence, Equitable Growth – Central Planks to Mecke Campaign for D5 Supe

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in Crime, Housing, Land Use, Politics, Technology

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Published on June 07, 2012 with 4 Comments

Quintin Mecke files for District 5 Supervisor

Accompanied by friends and supporters, former legislative aide to Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Quintin Mecke, filed papers with the San Francisco Department of Elections today, officially declaring his candidacy for District 5 Supervisor. Photos by Luke Thomas.

By Luke Thomas

June 7, 2012

Former legislative aide to Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Quintin Mecke, who officially filed to run in the ranked choice race for District 5 Supervisor today, says political independence and a check on excessive development will be central to his campaign message and platform.

His candidacy was first reported by FCJ.

“I’m running for District 5 Supervisor because I think it needs independent leadership,” Mecke, who previously ran for mayor in 2007 against then-incumbent Mayor Gavin Newsom, told FCJ outside the Department of Elections, accompanied by several friends and supporters, “and I think that the changes happening in this city right now, specifically the dot-com boom happening for a second time in San Francisco – my concern is that this administration is not managing the change well, nor is the Board of Supervisors.”

Mecke and his supporters posed for a group photo outside the Department of Elections.

Mecke cited rising residential and commercial rents as an example of the downside impacts of Mayor Ed Lee’s policy of stimulating San Francisco’s economy with tax breaks to tech companies like Twitter, Zynga, SalesForce.com and others.

In response to the impacts of his economic policies, Mayor Ed Lee is sponsoring an affordable housing measure on the November ballot that would provide housing subsidies for middle-income residents. But the mayor recently told FCJ he is also modifying developer inclusionary affordable housing requirements, reducing the percentage of required affordable housing units per multi-dwelling development from 20 percent to 15 percent.

“My role as District 5 Supervisor would be to manage that change so that there’s equitable growth in San Francisco, which is not happening right now,” Mecke said. “We’re making all our bets on a trickle-down theory that the wealth of a very select few is going to trickle down to the masses – and I don’t think that’s the case right now.”

Mecke cited the recently approved 8 Washington project, a 134-unit luxury condo development on the Embarcadero with multi-million dollar price tags and supported by the mayor, as an example of misplaced development and housing policies. Lee-appointed District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague, a self-described progressive, voted in support of the project.

“I think we’re losing something in San Francisco,” Mecke said. “It’s not necessarily any one massive development, it’s a persistent amount of change that is happening – and I think that growth needs to be managed better in a way that keeps people here who have been living here a long time, able to stay here.”

Mecke is a supporter of community policing as part of his public safety platform, particularly police walking foot patrols to deter crime, a progressive policy championed by former District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi. He is also a strong advocate for public transportation but said, “Let’s be honest, we’re not going to fix Muni until the City actually makes a larger commitment to truly fund Muni. It hasn’t and it’s not.”

Considered the most politically progressive of the City’s 11 districts, District 5 comprises the Haight-Ashbury, Western Addition, Hayes Valley, Inner Sunset, Japan Town and Lower Pacific Heights. Mecke is the tenth candidate to enter the D5 contest which has attracted a handful of political heavyweight challengers including College Board Trustee John Rizzo, former Redevelopment Agency Commissioner London Breed and community activist Julian Davis.

Asked to comment on Olague’s record, Mecke said, “My concerns would be that she or anyone else in this race has the required independence and the history of independence in this District, from Matt Gonzalez to Ross Mirkarimi – both of those were very strong independent voices at City Hall, no ties to any administration, and I think that’s what District 5 respects and that’s what it needs.”

“I don’t think the conversation in this race is about who is more or less progressive,” Mecke added. “I think the conversation is, who is independent in this race, who can manage the change best at City Hall.”

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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  • Richmondman

    Independent?  From what?  Sounds as if he is mainstream democrat all the way.  Given his blessing by Tom Ammiano, senior mainstream democrat and key member of the Democratic Central Committee.  Ed Lee is more independent, since he was unable to get the endorsement of the Single Party in a one-party town.

  • http://district5diary.blogspot.com/ Rob Anderson

    Mecke needs to be more specific on the issues. Does he support the UC development on lower Haight? The Rincon Hill highrises? The Market/Octavia Plan? Treasure Island and Parkmerced? Of course, like Olague, he supports the Bicycle Plan, but what about Congestion Pricing and Critical Mass?

    • Bob

      Rob, cities change. Life goes on. Get over it.

  • http://twitter.com/AnnGarrison AnnGarrison

    Nice guy, but how many progressive candidates can compete with one another in D5?  Rizzo, Davis, Mecke?  Shouldn’t these guys be collaborating instead of competing?