chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Wed, 13 Dec 2000 11:44:00 -0700

Call me tickled, because I am!

Every candidate backed by Mayor Willie Brown in yesterday's runoff election
for district supervisor went DOWN! DEFEATED! And in the case of district 6,
where I live and work, affordable housing and tenant rights advocate Chris
Daly got 82%! In district 5, COH ally Matt Gonzalez made history by becoming
the first Green Party candidate to win a seat on the Board of Supervisors!

In fact, the unbelievable truth is the Coalition on Homelessness has more
allies on the Board of Supervisors than the Mayor!!!

And that's a very good thing, because a Bush presidency can only mean we're
going to need all the friends we've got.



S.F. Election Loosens Mayor's Grasp on Board
Edward Epstein, Ilene Lelchuk, Chronicle Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 13, 2000
©2000 San Francisco Chronicle



San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown lost his iron grip on the Board of
Supervisors last night as candidates he backed appeared headed for defeat in
contests that will determine control of the board for the next two years.

Brown was the main issue in the runoffs, as he was in the first round of the
supervisors' district elections Nov. 7, with insurgent candidates out to end
the power the mayor has enjoyed over the board in his first five years.

The mayor mounted an all-out effort to keep his loyal board majority, even
sending City Hall aides on their own time to work in the campaigns of
several candidates he backed in yesterday's voting.

But it appeared the work hadn't paid off with city voters, who, according to
unofficial results, turned aside Supervisors Michael Yaki and Amos Brown --
both of whom were first appointed to the board by the mayor and remained his
steadfast allies. 

The runoffs produced several new faces on the 11-member board as the city
tried district elections again after 20 years of electing supervisors in
citywide contests. 

For Brown, it appeared his words last October in his annual State of the
City speech had come back to haunt him.

"I just hope that the irresponsible advocates of electing people just
because they oppose Willie Brown don't load us down with a lot of crazy
people, " he had said.

Unofficial results showed challenger Jake McGoldrick had defeated Yaki in
District 1 in the Richmond. In District 3 in the city's northeast corner,
neighborhood activist Aaron Peskin topped City College board member Lawrence
Wong, who had Brown's nod in the runoff.

Supervisor Leland Yee, a Brown critic, defeated challenger John Shanley in
the Sunset's District 4, while community organizer Chris Daly won a big
victory over Brown's choice, businessman Chris Dittenhafer.

In West of Twin Peaks District 7, court administrator Tony Hall narrowly led
Supervisor Mabel Teng -- a Brown loyalist -- in a race too close to call. In
another close contest, Supervisor Mark Leno appeared to have defeated
challenger Eileen Hansen in District 8, which includes the Castro and Noe

In District 10 in Bayview-Hunters Point and Potrero Hill, challenger Sophie
Maxwell topped Brown's choice, Linda Richardson.

And in District 11, Deputy Public Defender Gerardo Sandoval defeated Amos
Brown, perhaps the mayor's closest ally on the board.

Supervisors Gavin Newsom in District 2 and Tom Ammiano in District 9 won the
needed majorities in the first round of voting last month and avoided

Yaki and Amos Brown, first appointed by the mayor, had gone on to win
election in their own right. Leno also was appointed by the mayor, who has
named six supervisors to the board during his tenure and built a reliable

The mayor wasn't available for comment last night, but his press secretary
P. J. Johnston admitted the outcome was grim.

"It's pretty disappointing. It's a rough night," he said.

Johnston denied the election was a referendum on the mayor. "The mayor's
name was on the ballot in 1999. It wasn't here. This may make things tougher
to govern in San Francisco, but Mayor Brown will try to keep this government
focused on the city as a whole and not on individual fiefdoms," he added.


Daly said the results meant big change. "It looks like there will be a good
number of independents on the board. Hopefully that means there will be
checks and balances that we didn't have during Mayor Brown's first five
years," said Daly. 

"Mayor Brown will have to negotiate with people who have other ideas, and
that will be good for the city," he added.

Maxwell said she won't harbor hard feelings against Brown.

"I do see myself working with the mayor," she said. "It's not for me -- it's
for the community and the district."

Maxwell was endorsed by Ammiano, the mayor's nemesis. But she ran a grass-
roots campaign without any formal campaign manager or consulting firm. Her
campaign headquarters was her house in the Bayview.

"I can claim victory in that I ran a good race," Maxwell said. "We had an
electricity and enthusiasm."

Newsom said he thought the change on the board "is good for the mayor. He's
presumed that he'd have a majority of support from the board and he's been
laissez-faire about how he conducted himself with concern to (creating) new
legislation. A new board will create a different construct where the mayor
will have to be more involved with the board."


Pollster David Binder said the results showed that the city's political left
is alive and well. "The progressives spoke loudly tonight that they are in
control of San Francisco," he said.

Business groups and others linked to Brown mounted independent campaigns for
the mayor's choices, spending several hundred thousand dollars. On the other
side, former mayoral candidate Clint Reilly and such groups as the San
Francisco Tenants Union spent a far smaller amount helping anti-Brown

The insurgent candidates -- grouped around forces that helped Ammiano in his
losing mayoral effort last year -- waged feisty campaigns to bring their
brand of reform to City Hall.

Neighborhood activist Doug Comstock, a frequent critic of the mayor, grinned
as he watched election returns roll in Tuesday night.

"This means he'll have to listen to the neighborhoods," said Comstock,
president of the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods. "I think we
should take our win and force his hand."


As political pros expected, yesterday's runoffs sparked little voter
interest, with the election coming during holiday preparations, after a huge
turnout of 66.6 percent for the November general election and during the
continuing fight over the presidency in Florida.

Early results showed about 30 percent of the city's registered voters went
to the polls yesterday.

At an Ingleside precinct in District 11, inside Fellowship Bible Church,
bored poll workers warmed themselves by a wood-burning stove and chatted the
day away. By 6 p.m., only 89 of the precinct's 760 registered voters had
cast ballots. 

"I don't feel like I'm earning my money," lamented poll inspector Rose
Jones, who suggested the still-undecided presidential race kept voters away
from the polls. 

"They are discouraged by the Bush-Gore election," Jones said.


The mayor, who opposed the idea of district elections, said earlier that he
hopes the new supervisors will be more interested in getting things done at
City Hall than in political combat.

"You need to build at least six votes to support something, whether it's the
budget or living wage or a stoplight. It isn't friendships that govern, it's
the merit of the issues," he said last weekend during a campaign stop on
Clement Street with Yaki.

But the mayor fears that neighborhood bickering could bog down the
supervisors' work. 

"The NIMBY concept is now moved to an official spot on the board. Which
supervisor who wants to get re-elected will ever support locating a social
service agency in their district?" he asked.

©2000 San Francisco Chronicle   Page A1


**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107,
this material is distributed without charge or profit
to those who have expressed a prior
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