San Francisco D3 Candidates Jockey for Position

Written by FCJ Editor. Posted in News, Politics

Published on June 17, 2008 with 7 Comments

Ten of the eleven candidates for San Francisco District 3 Supervisor
held a debate yesterday at the Holiday Inn.
Photos by Luke Thomas

By Gino Rembetes

June 17, 2008

Harold Brown thinks building heights should be capped at 45 feet, tourism in San Francisco should take a back seat to schools and alternative energy as an economic engine, and our homeless population should be housed on Treasure Island.

Denise McCarthy believes homeless people would help keep the neighborhoods clean if they weren’t treated as pariahs.

Wilma Pang recommends encouraging graffiti as an art form.

And how Bob Coleman would address issues of interest to voters in Supervisorial District 3 remains for the moment a mystery; he alone was absent from the dais at a candidates’ forum held Monday night under the aegis of the Middle Polk Street Neighborhood Association.

The candidates who did participate seemed to agree for the most part on what the major challenges are: a rise in violent crime, homelessness, street filth, living costs beyond the reach of the middle class, and an inhospitable environment for small businesses.

And there was apparent consensus on solutions: community policing and more cops on foot patrol, more-vigorous prosecution of suspects, more affordable housing and client support services, beefing up public works crews and equipment, preserving and adding open space, and financial incentives both for small and midsize businesses, and for owners of residential and commercial rental properties.

Besides the aforementioned, the aspirants are Joseph Alioto Jr., Sal Busalacchi, Claudine Cheng, David Chiu, Michael DeNunzio, Anthony Gantner and Lynn Jefferson.

(Candidate photos below the jump)

Voters in the district, which blankets the city’s northeast corner from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Financial District, are to decide in November who should replace Aaron Peskin, who must leave the Board of Supervisors because of a two-term limit. (That’s the plan, anyway. More than a few folks believe the Bush team will invent a national-security crisis as an excuse to cancel all elections across the country. Hey, ain’t it nice to know that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is keeping impeachment off the table?)

Few novel ideas emerged during the forum, which lasted just over 90 minutes. I say that without prejudice to the merits of the policies and programs that the candidates suggested, or to the candidates themselves. Mostly, they appeared to have done their homework and made their cases articulately.

Brown said the city should lessen its reliance on tourism for its economic health. Tourism took six years to rebound after the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks, and they occurred not here but 3,000 miles away, he said. If there’s a major earthquake or other disaster here, would-be visitors will stay away but students will still show up the next day for their final exams, he said. San Francisco should build its economy around schools and alternative energy, he said.

He also advocated restricting new-building heights to 45 feet, for safety reasons and for curbing population growth.

McCarthy urged “integrating” the homeless into their communities’ social fabric. Make them feel that they are citizens of the neighborhood and they’ll want to help keep it clean, she said.

Pang wanted to know why graffiti is “a no-no.” Nurture children to love the environment and “make graffiti into an art,” she suggested.

I won’t try to handicap this race, though I will observe that ranked-choice, or instant-runoff voting changes the dynamic from what it would be under the old, separate-runoff system. The District 4 race that gave us Ed Jew in 2006 attests to this.

The main reason I don’t want to speculate on the outcome is that I believe it does a disservice to the voters. Citizens who think their favorite candidate is out of the running lose an incentive to vote, even when important measures are on the ballot.

Candidate Photos

Joseph Michael Alioto, Jr.

Harold Brown

Sal Busalacchi

Claudine Cheng

David Chiu

Mike DeNunzio

Tony Gantner

Lynn Jefferson

Denise McCarthy

Wilma Pang


Comments for San Francisco D3 Candidates Jockey for Position are now closed.

  1. Best Photo Award.

    Sal Busalacchi
    Lynn Jefferson

    The photographer is biased.

  2. IRV was responsible for Jew’s election. Folks on the ground in D4 tell me it was common knowledge that he didn’t live in the district. No one wanted to go negative on him and risk losing his voters’ second votes. Had his residency problems surfaced during the campaign, we all would have been saved a lot of trouble.

  3. I also thought the young Joseph Alioto was the most prepared. He had some great insights on homelessness…

    Harold Brown certainly the most entertaining!

  4. IRC/RCV got rid of the time-consuming and expensive runoff election. That alone makes it great. It wasn’t intended to elect different people than the old system. It was intended to save time and money by streamlining the two elections into one, while ensuring the winner gets a majority of the vote. It succeeded beautifully.

  5. IRV/RCV is bullshit. Top vote getter on election day wins. Period. All the folks in 2004 who did the buddy/buddy bullshit got their asses kicked. Sucks to be a progressive in 2008…all these cheezy electoral gimmicks don’t change one thing – if you aren’t a winner, you’re a LOSER! Boo Hoo!

  6. My opinion is that Joseph Michael Alioto, Jr. was the most prepared. And the unnerving of David Chui by h Brown was the most memorable.

  7. Your dead wrong, Gino: IRV had nothing to do with Ed Jew’s win and Ron Dudum’s second place finish. It was all about district elections.