Sunday, August 31, 2008

Black Women Organized for Political Action

Black Women Organized for Political Action
San Francisco-Peninsula Chapter

Name: Rob Anderson
Candidate Office: District 5 Supervisor

Please return this questionnaire to Brigette LeBlanc at no later than Tuesday, September 2, 2008. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact Brigette LeBlanc at 415-267-3997.

Only candidates who complete this questionnaire and return it by the deadline date will be welcomed to meet BWOPA Executive Committee Saturday, September 6, 2008. Your response to the questions below should be no more than four pages.

Thank you for participating in the BWOPA recommendation process!

What are your qualifications for this office?
My main qualification is that I am not a progressive. (I am a member of the Democratic Party, however) My opponent, the Green Party's Ross Mirkarimi, represents everything wrong with SF progressivism, with his support for the Bicycle Plan and Critical Mass, his apparent indifference to homelessness as an issue, and the help he is giving to the Planning Dept. and developers to overdevelop wide swaths of the city with projects like the Rincon Hill highrise luxury condos, the awful Market/Octavia Plan, and the UC/Evans proposal for a massive housing development on lower Haight Street.

Why is the BWOPA endorsement important to your campaign?
My campaign isn’t based on endorsements but rather on my critique of the seriously deficient SF progressivism that Supervisor Mirkarimi represents so well.

Are you a member of BWOPA? If so, how long?
No, I’m not.

What are you planning to do in office to ensure that Black Women are appointed to Commissions, Boards and key leadership positions within the City Government?
As I already told the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee, I will not support anyone just because she’s a woman, which of course also applies to black women. Surely Senator McCain’s pick as a running mate nicely illustrates the problem. Would his choice have been any better if Palin had been a black right-wing woman? I don’t think so.

What are you going to do to improve the quality of life for Black Women? What do you think are the top (3) issues facing Black Women and people of color?
I wish women of color well, but I have no intention of trying to improve the quality of life for any particular group. If a proposal/project isn’t good for the whole city, I won’t support it.

Who are you, as a candidate supporting in various races? Please explain why you are support these candidates?
I’m not supporting anyone else’s campaign.

What have you done over the last 2 to 3 years to enhance the lives of Black Women?
Nothing (see above)

Who did you support in the DCCC race in June 2008?
Scott Weiner

Please list any endorsers, including organizations or elected officials.
I have no endorsements.

Do you favor capital punishment?
No. Some people surely deserve to die for their crimes, but the possibility of executing the wrong person is too great a danger to make capital punishment acceptable.

Do you support Affirmative Action?
No, I don't. We need to move toward a class-based approach to helping the indigent as opposed to a race-based system.

What did you do to ensure the defeat of Props 75 and 83, thus ensuring a young woman’s right to choose?
I don't remember those particular propositions, but if they hindered a woman's right to choose I voted against them.

Who do you support and/or endorse for the Board of Supervisors in November 2008? (Districts 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11)
No one but myself

Do you support the repeal of prop 209?
I don't remember what prop 209 was about.

What work have you done in the past to promote awareness about issues facing Black Women? What would you do in the future?
None and nothing.

Why are you running and what do you hope to accomplish if elected?
See above

Is there anything, in your view, that sets you apart from the other candidates and/or particular reasons why you think BWOPA should support your candidacy?
I represent a completely different agenda---an unprogressive agenda---than Supervisor Mirkarimi, since I oppose the bicycle fantasy and all the awful development projects he supports.

What, if any, policy issues do you consider as being of special concern to Black Women in the San Francisco Bay Area?
I don't know. You tell me.

How do you reach out to the Black Women in the community and address their concerns? What is your track record of accountability? What program and or project have you worked on that addresses the Black Woman’s concerns?
As I've suggested above, I don't like identity politics, so I won't address issues based on race, gender, or sexual orientation.


Richmond Review opposes Eric Mar

Don't Mar the Richmond by Paul Kozakiewicz
from the Richmond Review

The upcoming Nov. 6 election could be the most important ever for the future of the Richmond District.

Always known as a "bellwether" district in citywide elections, the neighborhood took a sharp left turn four years ago, although it was not the choice of the voters.

After the reinstatement of district elections in 2000, district voters supported a local resident who had been active in Richmond issues, particularly housing issues. The candidate we elected, Jake McGoldrick, was relatively moderate in his first term, but once beyond the reproach of voters due to term limits, joined the wacky "regressive" forces led by Aaron Peskin and Chris Daly. No taxes, fines or fees were too large to bestow upon the middle class making an exodus out of the City and there was no longer any need to communicate, or represent, their interests at City Hall. As part of the cabal that seized San Francisco politics, McGoldrick joined the majority on the board who push their agenda regardless of what opposing forces have to say.

There is little compromise in the heavy-handed tactics used by the far left. It is just as ideologically rigid as the far right.

Now, McGoldrick's heir-apparent, Eric Mar, is trying to take the District 1 seat for the furthering of socialist ideology. McGoldrick was a keynote speaker at Mar's campaign kickoff and Mar supported the "loony left's" effort to undo 10 years of hard work for the Bayview community by supporting Prop. F, a plan that would have scrapped an effort to build new commercial space and housing, with much of it affordable. 

Mar and McGoldrick joined Supervisor Chris Daly in his attempt to force the project to designate 50 percent of its housing units as affordable. If the proposition had passed, a decade of planning would have evaporated because the project sponsor said it could not afford to financially complete the project.

A Question of Character

My biggest problem with Mar is with his character. I'm sure he is a nice guy, who means well, but he used our children to make a political point in Washington, and didn't consider the implications of busing them across town with a school-assignment process he was involved with creating, a process that has been a disaster for parents trying to get their kids in neighborhood schools.

It's no wonder, or accident, that some 90 percent of white high school students in San Francisco go to private schools. Last year, my son applied for several west side high schools and we were lucky to get George Washington. Some of my friends weren't so lucky. Funny how you have to be "lucky" to get a good local school in this City. Most parents have a stand-by plan, a private school, in case their choices are rejected.

Academic standards are not the only important criteria being considered by parents looking for a school. Transportation to a distant school on the east side of the City can cause a hardship, forcing youths to be driven, or having to take several Muni buses, every day just to get to school.

Everyone who can afford it has a backup plan. For those who can't afford it, they are at the mercy of the arcane school assignment process. It's not fair to ask a kid to ride Muni for two hours each day just to get to and from school. But that is a part of Mar's legacy on the school board. All in the name of preserving diversity.

We already have diversity, with Russians, Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Pacific Islanders and many other races being represented in our local schools. Mar's school assignment policy drove down diversity by helping drive most of the city's white students into private schools. (In fairness to Mar, the root of the problem preceded his arrival on the school board.)

In June, the members of the Civil Grand Jury issued a report that was highly critical of the school assignment process in San Francisco. The headline for the jury's press release said: "The school district's computer driven diversity index defies description, discourages enrollment in public schools."

Students Used as Political Pawns

Mar has led the charge to eliminate the Junior Officer Reserve Training Corp (JROTC) program in seven of the city's high schools. As a member of the school board, he voted with Mark Sanchez, Sarah Lipset and Dan Kelly to eliminate the program to make a political point in Washington D.C. about the nation's "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays serving in the military. (Board member Norman Yee voted in committee to kill the program.) If he wants to make a point about the country's military policies, that is fine. Send an e-mail.

But to use our kids to make a political point is wrong and crosses the line of what's acceptable by our public officials. Mar, and three other members of the board, felt it was OK to discriminate against San Francisco school children in the name of fighting discrimination. We should not support Norman Yee, who is running for re-election to the school board, or Mark Sanchez, who is running for supervisor.

There is no doubt that the 90-year-old JROTC program has wide community support, but it was eliminated anyway. It didn't matter to Mar that hundreds of students, mostly Chinese, showed up to testify on behalf of the program. It didn't matter that principals, teachers, PTAs and parents supported the 1,600-student program. Several weeks ago, just after school ended for the summer, the school board added an item to its agenda at the last possible moment calling for the elimination of the physical education credit students earn from taking the course. Mar voted to eliminate the credit.

Mar and the other school board members were justifying the vote by saying a lawsuit had been threatened by the Pacific Advocates. If the lawyers and school board are so concerned about non-credentialed teachers instructing various classes, why didn't they go after the other courses that get P.E. credit, including band. Any bunch of two-bit lawyers in the City can threaten legal action, but does that mean it is good public policy to take action detrimental to the health and well-being of our children because of it?

Mar has also been closely tracked by the SF Ethics Commission, which has sent notices for missing 10 filing deadlines. No, I don't think Eric Mar has the mettle to make decisions on my behalf. His ambition to climb the political ladder has clouded his judgment and put our kids at risk. He doesn't deserve an opportunity to foul things up as a member of the Board of Supervisors. The current crop is doing a good job of that themselves.

There are several highly-qualified candidates running for District 1 supervisor in November. I urge you to investigate their positions in the coming months.

Paul Kozakiewicz is editor of the Richmond Review.

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