Inside Chris Daly’s Campaign – 99 Days and Counting

by Ken Werner, Trinity Plaza Tenants Association (TPTA) on August 1, 2006

As Randy Shaw reported yesterday, Mayor Gavin Newsom endorsed Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier’s former legislative aide, Rob Black, in his endeavor to ‘represent’ District 6. But Newsom used the backdrop of a new community mural at 450 Tehama Street as a photo-op to make his announcement while he claimed to Rob Black’s scanty supporters, “You’re looking for a different kind of leadership.” Daly supporter Jazzie Collins perceived the mural dedication with Newsom endorsing Rob Black as making a mockery of the community.

Newsom touted that Rob Black would work for inclusive representative and that Sup. Chris Daly was divisive and was excluding the more wealthy residents of District 6. Newsom claimed that the district is changing for the better which made him appear to be suffering the same bubble-like ‘leadership’ of George Bush. Apparently, Newsom believes gentrification is a positive effect of the Manhattanization of San Francisco. And apparently Newsom thinks that the act to mitigate gentrification is divisive and that only an SFSOS-sponsored candidate would be appropriate for D6.

But you really had to be there to truly understand the events that transpired. For that, I have to send you to another website to look at two photographs: at the Sentinel [http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/news_in_brief/newsom_endorses_black_060730.shtml]. First check out the top photo of the Rob Black supporters, many of whom are actually the muralists. Now scroll to the bottom of the article, to the photo of the Filipino seniors who live across the street from the mural.

These are the people who call this part of D6 their home; it’s part of the massive Yerba Buena Gardens redevelopment that Newsom would love to see connected to the massive Manhattanization of D6 that’s occurring at Transbay and Rincon Hill. These are the people who have lived in San Francisco long before Rob Black wet his first diaper. But during the time Rob Black was in this charming alley street — these folks who he claims would be part of his all-inclusive representation — Rob Black didn’t take the time to either introduce himself in a one-on-one conversation nor shake hands with these wonderful residents.

Newsom and Black stood talking AT the residents of this unique neighborhood while maintaining a common posture used by police officers — hands on hips in a manacing manner that insinuates absolute authority. And Republican-speak was the message of the day — but that’s the SFSOS style, and the special, monied interests seem to be training the next Newsom puppet, while “Republican Lite” Newsom proclaimed Chris Daly’s representation was “… the stale politics of the past.”

So, to summarize, whatever Gavin Newsom and Rob Black claimed was reality was in fact the bubble-like life and their own method of ‘leadership’ that they attempted to project onto the Honorable Daly.

The truth that Chris Daly has worked tirelessly for the residents of D6, including those who are more financial stable, which Randy Shaw pointed out yesterday.

As for the Filipino seniors, Chris Daly took the time to meet these residents and let them know that even though Rob Black would most likely not be back, Sunday would not be the last time they would see the incumbent.

THE DIFFERENCES ABOUND

What was visually striking about the two groups of supporters was how they arrived and left Tehama Street (between 5th and 6th Streets). Rob Black arrived and departed under the guidance of Gavin Newsom’s strings, in a gas-guzzling, greenhouse-gas/smog-producing, global-warming-causing limousine. And Rob Black’s scanty supporters (about 15 of them, or as Daly supporter Vicki Leidner humorously quipped, he managed to gather all his supporters in one-eighth of a block) left by smaller yet still environmentally-detrimental cars.

Chris Daly’s supporters (about 10) arrived and left by three methods: bicycle, MUNI, and biped-transit.

In the signature drive that ended last Thursday, Rob Black collected a pathetic 31 signatures, which he claimed was because he wasn’t trying to get signatures but wanted to turn some in to the Department of Elections to show that he had support — a completely disingenuous response to a direct question given that signatures aren’t required as evidence of support; the purpose of collecting signatures is to reduce the $500 filing fee required by the Elections Department (50 cents per validated signature).

When questioned whether or not he would be attending more SFSOS-sponsored events, Rob Black claimed he didn’t know if he would. He also claimed last Friday’s event was a yearly thing, which indicates how tied to SFSOS he is, because even if the event is yearly it’s not advertised and only insiders would know.

Chris Daly had over 20 supporters collecting signatures, many of whom are seniors. And most of the 1,241 signatures submitted to the Department of Elections were obtained during the recent 2-week heat wave. Unfortunately, that department has reduced the number of validated signatures submitted. Rachel Gosiengfiao told me in a telephone interview Tuesday morning that Chris’ validity rate was at 54% meaning that the Elections Department considers that only 670 valid signatures were submitted. Ms. Gosiengfiao indicated that the Elections Code mandates that only a 3% validity check is required and that there is no appeal, meaning that the number of valid signatures could probably be much higher.

There is time left, however, to collect more signatures. Chris Daly has until 5 p.m. on August 11 to attempt to gather enough validated signatures to qualify for the full $500 rebate.

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