About 100 demonstrators blocked access to a Bank of America branch in the Excelsior District to call attention to unfair lending practices.
Judge Katherine Feinstein, daughter of US Senator Dianne Feinstein, was originally slated to administer the oath of office to Mirkarimi, Sunday, but declined last week citing a potential conflict of interest resulting from an ongoing investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident on New Year’s eve involving Mirkarimi and his wife, Eliana Lopez.
The well-choreographed proceedings were undertaken below the majestic City Hall rotunda, emceed by Lee’s former boss, Willie Brown, and attended by who’s who list of luminaries and dignitaries.
“Christina Olague is my appointment for District 5 Supervisor,” said Mayor Lee. “As a low-income tenant and immigration advocate, she shares my values in making government more fair and responsive for San Francisco residents. She has been a voice for our neighborhoods and has proven through her voting record on the Planning Commission that what San Francisco needs most right now is job creation and revitalizing our local economy.”
Olague, who co-chaired the controversial “Run, Ed, Run” campaign, will serve out the remainder of Sheriff-elect and former Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi’s term on the Board of Supervisors.
As chair of the Ethics Commission in 2004, Garcia was instrumental in fast-tracking Elsbernd’s appointment to the Board of Supervisors by then Mayor Gavin Newsom following Newsom’s appointment of former Supervisor Tony Hall to head the Treasure Island Development Authority.
Gascón’s presenters comprised the political elite. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, who appointed Gascón following former DA Kamala Harris’ election to California Attorney General, introduced Mistress of Ceremonies, US Senator Dianne Feinstein. DiFi acknowledged over 30 elected officials and judges from Los Angeles to Sonoma County including Senator Mark Leno, Mayor Ed Lee and Police Chief Greg Suhr. Harris introduced Spoken Word poet, Brandon Santiago. Each politico paid homage to former Mayor Willie Brown who introduced retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, who administered the oath of office. Gascon’s wife, Fabiola, held the Bible when Gascón took oath.
Shortly before she died, the results came back. To no one’s surprise, they showed that her tumor was resistant to the chemo she was given, and was resistant to the next round of chemo her doctor recommended but my sister refused. To make matters unspeakably worse, there were some chemo combinations that would have proven effective, but with days left to live, the results were moot.
Guests in attendance included Rep. Nancy Pelosi; Mayor Ed Lee; Supervisors Sean Elsbernd, Mark Farrell, Malia Cohen and Carmen Chu; labor leader Tim Paulson; Chamber of Commerce director, Jim Lazarus; Police Chief Greg Suhr; United Way CEO Anne Wilson; conductor Michael Tilson Thomas; City Attorney Dennis Herrera; District Attorney George Gascon; Giants president, Larry Baer; and a huge contingent of musicians from all over the country. Filmmaker George Lucas was spotted in the upper side balcony.
Mirkarimi’s response stands in contrast to what he said when he was asked about the appointment when it was all but certified Mirkarimi had won election to Sheriff. At that time, Mirkarimi said he was “hopeful” Mayor Lee would contact him to discuss the matter.
Another trucker, of Russian descent, said he understood revolution was sometimes necessary, pointing to the 1917 revolutions in Russia that overthrew autocratic Tsarist rule and the French revolution in 1789 that overthrew the ruling absolute monarchy.
Valdez will be the stalwart of the OccupyCCSF for the next few weeks because, as he explained, finals are upon the students and the occupiers had to pack up and go study. Valdez said that he could afford to skip out on the rest of his classes and was committed to continuing the encampment “until the cops come.” He’s running a 50 foot extension cord from his tent to an outlet of Smith Hall, and so far, the campus police “have not provided resistance.” Valdez expects more students to return in January. So far, all the feedback he’s gotten during this occupation has been positive.
Forty-five protesters were arrested for illegal lodging in the pre-dawn raid. Their belongings were confiscated. No injuries were reported.
“The police came out of nowhere,” said a citizen journalist who documented the raid live on Ustream. “I was standing here, literally just a few feet from here when they [SFPD] came running from around the corner, up the side in a mass attack.”
In 1921, the California Legislature passed the Public Defender Act after Clara Foltz, California’s first female lawyer, spent years advocating for the creation of Public Defenders’ offices to provide legal assistance to poor people in criminal law cases. Later in 1921, responding to the Public Defender Act, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance creating the Office of the Public Defender.
Police moved in and ordered the protesters to leave the space, stating the plaza was closed for renovations. Most of the protesters complied with the SFPD order but a defiant group of 30 protesters remained following an SFPD clearing operation. One protester, Chris Jones, was injured during the forcible removal action. He was treated at the scene by SFFD paramedics and taken to hospital.
At noon today, activists held General Assembly in front of the Federal Reserve. Despite the ransacking of the encampment, spirits were high, and speakers were defiant. Activists made the point that there are several alternative locations for OccupySF already. A new focus on foreclosures is leading to the occupation of vacant bank-owned houses. Petitions were being circulated in support of “Josephine,” who is being evicted by Bank of America.
A crowd favorite was the live auction of a bike ride and lunch date with District 11 Supervisor John Avalos. Making the sound of a sheep, Supervisor Avalos announced his “BAAA” legislation: the Bike Access and Anti-theft Act, to be introduced in January. This Act will require commercial buildings to either provide space for parking bikes or to allow tenants to provide such space. The intent is to keep the sidewalks clear of bikes, and to keep bikes secure for their owners. (And, yes, there is a bike room in City Hall.)