Friday, January 09, 2015

London Breed: President of the Board of Supervisors

[Later: I should also mention Breed's vote for that stupid board of supervisors resolution against the anti-jihad ads on Muni buses that I blogged about at the time. Breed isn't leader; she's a political lemming.] 

In today's SF Chronicle ("City native Breed new president of board") on London Breed's election as president of the Board of Supervisors:

Breed beat out a crowded field in 2012 to win her seat in one of the most liberal districts in the city. District 5 includes the historically African American strongholds of the Fillmore and Western Addition as well as the more affluent and progressive Haight-Ashbury, North of Panhandle and Parnassus. 

Her victory surprised many: She beat out the mayoral-appointed incumbent, Christina Olague, as well as five other candidates who were largely favored over Breed by the city's progressive establishment. While she had the support of many big names, including [Mayor]Lee, Kamala Harris, the state's attorney general and former San Francisco district attorney, and Willie Brown...many observers credited her win not because of those connections but her deep ties to the district's voters.

Bullshit. I've been back in District 5 since 1995 and have always had an interest in local/city issues, but I knew little about Breed until the 2012 campaign. Obviously she was known in the black community, since for years she ran the African American Art and Culture Complex.

Except in the black community, Willie Brown's endorsement was little help to Breed in District 5. Besides, Olague could also play the race card. Recall that this district rejected Mayor Brown's appointee, another "moderate" African-American woman Democrat, in 2000, a situation similar to 2012, when Mayor Lee appointed Christina Olague. Just being appointed by a "moderate" mayor is a handicap in ultra-liberal District 5. I call it the Juanita Owens Effect.

From the Chronicle story: "She's[Breed] made district issues among her top priorities..."  But she's wrong on all of them: on the homeless living in Golden Gate Park, on Japantown, on the Fillmore/Geary underpass, on the decline of the city's black population, and on the Masonic Avenue bike project.

Like her pal Supervisor Cohen, who nominated her for the board presidency, Breed is a beneficiary of the unpopular, convoluted Ranked Choice Voting system, another prog policy fiasco burdening San Francisco. She was elected with 28% of the vote, with Olague coming in second with 20% before the goofy RCV system kicked in to give Breed the victory.

The SF Weekly's Joe Eskenazi:

Breed may use this position to pursue different individual ends than Farrell or [Katy]Tang may have. But, looking at the bigger picture, it's hard to differentiate these politicians. As your humble narrator reported in his column this week, the folks at the mayor's office feel it "doesn't make a lick of difference" who the board president is (considering who was up for the job).

Yes, there's really little difference among the supervisors on important city policies, but Eskenazi clings to the "moderate" and "progressive" fiction anyhow (he should dump the "humble narrator" stuff, too, since it only calls attention to the fact that he has a lot to be humble about):

It'll make a difference for Breed---and, potentially, the people of District 5. The moderate has to run for re-election in the city's most progressive district and it'll help to be anointed with the impressive title of board president and use her newfound sway to cajole department heads and city power brokers into delivering for the district. For the people governing us, at least the dominant moderate faction, everything's coming up roses.

Right. Breed is already planning to "deliver" gridlock this year to District 5 with the Masonic Avenue bike project, and she'd like to eliminate the Fillmore/Geary underpass, which will create more gridlock in this unfortunate district.

See this also.

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