Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quoted in the SF Chronicle about Ed Lee running for mayor

Was interviewed last week by a reporter from the SF Chronicle. I was sitting in a cafe in Glen Park with fellow artist Catherine Mackey, when the reporter walked up and wanted to know whether our appointed San Francisco mayor should run for office. ME...with opinions???

Here's the quote and the article follows:

But those following the mayoral campaign almost universally wanted him to enter the race.
Martha Rodriguez, a Glen Park artist, likes that Lee lacks his predecessors' gossip-worthy social lives.
"The city needs someone like him who's not all flash and mouth and money," she said. "He's one of us."

Ed Lee says he does not intend to enter the race for mayor.
Imagine that every time you leave your house, you see a big cartoon of your own face smiling back at you from your neighbors' front windows.
So it goes for appointed Mayor Ed Lee, who is the focus of efforts by at least three groups trying to persuade him to change his mind and run for a full four-year term as mayor.
But are these really grassroots movements urging Lee to add his name to the November ballot or simply AstroTurf campaigns being rolled out by seasoned political operatives to appear as if there is a public groundswell?
Until campaign finance reports are made public Aug. 1, the answer is unclear, although it appears there are elements of both.
It's easy to spot the "Run, Ed, Run" signs in the windows on steep, leafy Hamerton Avenue in Glen Park, though one house boasts a "Bevan Dufty for Mayor" sign.
Carole Brown, who has lived across the street from the Lees for 15 years, said there was no campaign push to display the sign in her window. She requested one online because she thinks her neighbor should run to keep his job after being appointed in January to serve the final year of newly elected Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's term as mayor.
"We're all hoping so. He gets things done," Brown said, explaining that she likes Lee in the neighborhood and in Room 200 for the same reasons, "His general rapport, his honesty. He's very effective."

Storefront signs

More than a dozen "Run, Ed, Run" signs dot storefronts and office buildings along busy Stockton Street in Chinatown, but none of the half dozen managers or business owners interviewed said they asked for them. Instead, a group of teenagers came by two weeks ago, asking to put up the signs.
Mendy Jiang, manager of Hop Hing Ginseng Co., a traditional Chinese herb shop, said she was glad to accommodate.
"Many Chinese support him," Jiang said. "He's doing good."
But an assistant manager at a nearby hair salon, who had a picture of herself with Newsom, didn't know who Lee was, despite the sign in the window.
A silver-haired shop owner at Wonkow Food Products, a neighborhood store with a "Run, Ed, Run" sign just a few feet from a "Wilma Pang for Mayor" one, shrugged when asked if she wanted Lee to run.
The first group urging him to jump into the race, the Draft Mayor Ed Lee Organizing Committee, was started by former Supervisors Michael Yaki and Jim Gonzalez, both political consultants who could benefit financially from working on a Lee for Mayor campaign.
Enrique Pearce, a political consultant being paid through funds raised by a second group of Lee backers to organize the "Run, Ed, Run" campaign, said their effort was a true groundswell of public support.
That group, calling itself Progress for All, has the active backing of Lee confidante and Chinatown power broker Rose Pak, an ally of former Mayor Willie Brown, who has also called for Lee to run. Its co-chairs include Planning Commission President Christina Olague and outgoing Chinatown Community Development Center head Gordon Chin, whose nonprofit group got $1.1 million in contracts with the mayor's office during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Progress for All, despite being registered as a general campaign committee not affiliated or opposed to specific candidates, this week started going after four announced candidates, buying advertising on Google tied to searches of their names. One is Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, a Lee ally. The ads say, for example, "David Chiu needs competition - Sign our petition to Mayor Ed Lee."
The group has so far gathered at least 20,000 signatures using volunteers and the online petition, Pearce said.
"The proof is in the pudding," he said. "You don't get 20,000 San Franciscans urging Ed Lee to run in November without a solid grassroots movement."
Still, in interviews with dozens of people in neighborhoods around the city, at least half had no idea who Lee was, let alone whether he should run, Ed, run.
But those following the mayoral campaign almost universally wanted him to enter the race.
Martha Rodriguez, 56, a Glen Park artist, likes that Lee lacks his predecessors' gossip-worthy social lives.
"The city needs someone like him who's not all flash and mouth and money," she said. "He's one of us."

Against the draft

But Pamela Clark, who was waiting for the 14-Mission bus in front of the "Run, Ed, Run" campaign headquarters, disapproves of the effort.
"If he doesn't want the job, they shouldn't try to draft him," Clark said.
That hasn't stopped Michael Breyer, a library commissioner and co-founder of the company Courtroom Connect, from creating a Draft Ed Lee Facebook page, boasting over 1,500 fans.
With handmade signs of office paper glued together, Breyer and a couple dozen others hoisted beers Thursday at 1300 on Fillmore as part of "Drink a Draft Beer to Draft Ed Lee."
Mohammad Ibrahim is not so energized. He has a sign backing Supervisor John Avalos for mayor in his Mission District smoke shop, and thought he also had a Lee sign, until it was pointed out that the sign was for state Sen. Leland Yee, another candidate. Ibrahim said he lets any candidate post a sign.
Really, he's not excited about any of them.
"You can't ask too much these days," he shrugged.
This article appeared on page D - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/09/BAFS1K7AH5.DTL#ixzz1RihtNt6t

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