A Call to Action for Eric Mar

Written by FCJ Editor. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Tagged: , , ,

Published on October 03, 2012 with 18 Comments

Facing an onslaught of negative attacks backed by downtown corporate special interest money, Supervisor Eric Mar needs all the help he can muster to stave off a takeover of District 1. File photo by Luke Thomas.

By Alan Wong, guest contributor

October 3, 2012

District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar is facing a difficult reelection bid. Having won his seat by a mere 347 votes in 2008, Eric’s challenges grew greater when redistricting made his District more conservative for the 2012 election. He needs your support.

I can speak from personal experience on why you should support him: I have known Eric as a friend and ally since I was fifteen years old (2003). I met him when I served as a student member on the San Francisco School Board. Eric was inspired to become involved in social justice movements at a young age when he learned about the brutal beating and death of Vincent Chin. Chin was an Asian-American hate crime victim, mercilessly beaten to death with a baseball bat because of fear that Japanese were taking American jobs. That injustice inspired him to act and serve. Since then he has dedicated his life to social justice movements.

Eric served on the school board from 2000 to 2008 and was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2008. He also served as a Vice Chair for the San Francisco Democratic Party, volunteered for two decades with the Chinese Progressive Association (which advocates for poor immigrant Chinatown tenants for their housing rights and against wage theft), worked as Dean of the New College public interest law school, and taught as a San Francisco State University Asian American studies teacher.

I sat beside Eric during two years of school board meetings as he advocated for policies that closed the achievement gap and served as a vote of constancy for the most disadvantaged youth in the school district. We need him to remain on the Board of Supervisors to win battles that affect each and every one of us living and working in San Francisco.

My family needs leaders like Eric to continue serving on the Board of Supervisors because we faces battles each and every day that decide whether San Francisco is a livable place for us. Whether it be my father, a hotel cook and UNITE HERE Local 2 member, who has been locked out of work before for being a part of a great struggle for dignity and decent wages; finding a place to call home within my family’s means; holding accountable those who break minimum wage and health ordinances; racial discrimination; or facing those unscrupulous enough to throw families out of their homes for the bottom line. We need Eric, a proven champion for working people, to remain on the Board of Supervisors to fight for us.

I have always known Eric to be someone of great conscience, always so considerate of others and the diversity around us. As a community activist and attorney, he has fought for the civil rights and livelihood of immigrant families like mine. As a labor leader, he has been an ally to people like my father. On the school board, he unceasingly fought for the unrepresented and disenfranchised. As a district supervisor, Eric has worked to create jobs and decent wages for San Franciscans.

Eric is supported by my father’s union, UNITE HERE Local 2, the San Francisco Democratic Party, San Francisco Labor Council and the Sierra Club.

Despite great community support, Eric’s reelection is no guarantee. Independent expenditures from wealthy downtown special interest groups will certainly spend huge sums of money to swiftboat Eric in an attempt to take him down. Polling indicates that the opposition’s distortions of Eric’s record is confusing voters and making the race a close one.

The election is less than two months away. Eric needs the community to rally behind him now to win. It is more urgent now than ever for people to come out to support Eric.

Join the campaign. With your help we can win.

Alan Wong is a labor organizer. He lives in San Francisco and serves on Eric Mar’s kitchen cabinet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

    Not to hard to see what’s going on here if you study David Lee’s endorsements, including Dianne Feinstein, Gavin Newsom, and the POA.  http://www.davidlee2012.com/about/endorsements/

    Eric is likely to benefit from a big wave of volunteers if he votes to reinstate Ross next Tuesday.  

    • Floyd Thursby

      Eric Mar is going to lose mainly because the Richmond District has awesome schools and he lied to defeat Prop H and put in place a policy which makes it so it’s residents have to go into the lottery, and maybe have to take a bus from a block or two from Washington to Mission, ISA, Galileo or Lincoln, can’t get into our elementary schools and if not, can’t get into middle schools including some of the best in the state like Presidio.  He also voted to close Cabrillo, a popular school in the District, at a time, like now, when some with kids move or go private against their wish because they get assigned far away. 

      This is an example of a policy which he believes benefits those of other districts, definitely at the expense of Richmond District residents.  He’s trying to confuse people.  Camile She sent a flier out claiming he helped her choose a school here, total nonsense, she should be ashamed of herself.  Mar’s policies made it harder for anyone in the district to get a school here and many didn’t get one, and she’s trying to confuse people and make it look like he did.  But most residents will be smart enough not to believe Camille She and Eric Mar’s lies.  There’s no way she believes Mar’s policies helped her choose a school here, in 99% of America you can go to your district school, and only Mar made it harder by closing one of our schools and passing a lottery.  He decreased choice for anyone here who wants to go to school here.

      There are other lies.  David Lee is strongly for rent control, but fliers are claiming the opposite.  Mar is also attacking smokers.  I think Mar’s vote on Mirkarimi cost him volunteers, because Lee has more than double the number of volunteers out.  Early, Mar had a lot but I see way more people out advocating for Lee.  I’ve had my door knocked on three times by Lee supporters, once by a Mar supporter. 

  • TamiBryant

    Alan- thank you for your insightful piece! 

  • Richmondman

    Eric Mar – highlights
    1.  Legislation to try to get the number of grammy awards changed.
    2.  Make  it harder for banks to open in the Richmond (BTW – when was the last new bank opened west of 25th Ave – 1950?)
    3.  By his own admission, his Happy Meal legislation was (inspired?) by personal guilt from having fed his own children so many meals at McDonalds.  The cure for his guilt is to force others into behaving as he didn’t.  Do as I say, not as I do.

    That said, what concerns me about his opponent is that David Lee supports allowing residents to charge for parking in front of houses, and in driveways (without registering with DPT).  Parking in the Richmond is bad enough, caused by the proliferation of illegal in-law units, and increasing the nuber of cars while simultaneously reducing off-street parking.

    Eric Mar is a bad fit for the Richmond.  He would be better off in the Haight or Mission, where his constituents live.

    • RickinSF

      You imply that Eric has more than one child, is there something you know that nobody else is aware of?

  • Stonere

    As a resident of District 1, I.am waiting to see how he votes on the Mirkarimi matter. I expect him to disregard Mirkarimi’s (and his wife’) diversionary tactics and vote to permanently remove him from office

    • RickinSF

      And I’m a district 1 resident who expects Mar to ignore Ed Lee & Co.’s clumsy machinations and support the duly elected sheriff.

  • DavidinSF

    Lets see how Mar votes on the 9th if he does not vote in favour of reinstating Mirkarimi, why bother supporting him to get re-elected? 

  • Sienamale

    Eric Mar is the laughing stock of San Francisco. He spent 10 minutes extolling the benefits of hot rubbing and inviting fellow supervisors to join him at the YMCA. He has proposed non binding resolutions on the Grammy award categories. Mar has not, however, addressed the issues faced by our district. We don’t need a flake like Mar. Elect David Lee

  • PatrickMonkRn

    Interesting ‘quote’ from Lee in SFBG. I paraphrase, ‘…to busy campaigning to answer reporter’s questions…but will be more accessible and accountable once elected…’, sounds like he’s channeling Mitt Romney. Is there any connection between CAVEC and the folks who were filmed violating election laws during the other Lee’s campaign. Just asking.
    GO GIANTS
    GO A,s
    GO 49’ers
    Gonna be a busy weekend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

    Lots of people who identify as progressive are upset with Eric about his vote to remove Ross, but otherwise D1 and the rest of the city will be stuck with David Lee on the Board.  

    • Daniele

      yeah. we gotta keep things in perspective here.

    • Richmondman

      Unfortunately for Eric, much of what he has done goes against his constituency.  His resolutions have been an embarrassment to D1 and the city, and D1 is not as ultra-left (progressive) as Eric is, as shown by the last election results (Ross lost in D1, and Lee beat Avalos more than 2 to 1).  Mar shows up for all the ribbon-cuttings.  D1 wants more than that from their rep.  My biggest concern is the support Lee has from RBA.  They want to increase housing density in D1, which is a big mistake.  But so do “housing advocates” and absentee property owners – that is, people who don’t live in D1.

      • Greg

        btw… Ross did very well in D1, he was neck-in-neck with Miyamoto, losing the district by 16 (sixteen) votes. Largely because the citywide second-place candidate -the conservative Chris Cunnie -came in a distant third in D1. It wasn’t really because of progressive-vs.-conservative in this case, but rather the large Asian population in the Richmond.

        Note the results in that poll that Willie Brown’s friends commissioned to push the meme that “the city wants Ross to be removed.” The poll was crap, the questions were crap, and the results were accordingly crap. Nevertheless, it’s instructive in comparing district by district to get an idea of the *relative* strength that Ross has in each district. Where were the results the most favorable to Ross besides his home district of D5? Surprisingly, it was D1.  

        • Richmondman

          Here is where RCV gets difficult to interpret.  Ross lost on the 1st ballot, but picked up votes during the later rounds.   So did D1 support him?  Depends on if you look at the 1st, or last round.  

  • Greg

    Richmondman’s comments, as well as others, perfectly illustrate the stupidity of Eric’s vote. The people who think this was a good vote aren’t going to vote for him anyway. But the people who wanted our sheriff reinstated are now totally demoralized about this campaign. He basically ripped the heart out of his volunteer and small contributor base. I still hope he wins. Ann’s right -David Lee would be a disaster. But between this, Golden Gate Park  astroturfing, and other votes… man, what a gutless wonder!

    • RickinSF

      Were you knocking doors with the Mar volunteers this weekend? I’ve not seen so many since the beginning of the campaign.
      I’m not happy with Eric’s vote, either, but it was ultimately irrelevant in deciding Mirkarimi’s fate.
      I’m heartened that the realtors/David Lee won’t be able to portray Mar as a “supporter of spousal abuse,” as they certainly would have in the expensive mailers that appear in my box every day.
      This is a moderate district and Mar must try to represent the people in it, which is not always easy. Or convenient.

  • Richmondman

    From the Chronicle “Six days after voting to remove suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from office for bruising his wife (but failing to get enough supervisors to join them), Supervisors Eric Mar and Malia Cohen announced plans to push a long-stalled workplace policy for domestic violence.”
    However – “Mar …delayed introducing it until after last week’s Mirkarimi vote.”

    Day late, dollar short.  Glad to see Mar doesn’t allow politicians to get in the way of protecting victims….or is it  – doesn’t allow victims to get in the way of protecting politicians….